“In a democracy, the well – being, individuality and happiness of every citizen is important for the overall prosperity, peace and happiness of the nation.”
-Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam
Once I asked a young boy with a radiant face and eyes gleaming with hope, “What is your dream?” He answered with a faint smile, to live in this pristine landscape with all my rights bestowed upon me. His understanding of his dream might surprise many but the very thing he talks about is his rights which is guaranteed to him only through democracy. Kashmir was once a composite culture built around the tenets of Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Buddhism. However, last few decades have seen anti national elements penetrating this scintillating and enthralling piece of heaven through their nefarious designs. It is this diabolical entity that has infused venom into the minds of the gullibles and obliterated the peace and tranquility of the region. Now every child in Kashmir desires to bask in the glory of solidarity, prosperity, love and happiness. The long overdue resurgence in the valley has started to take shape as the local polity has accepted changed resolutions in the face of changing times. The residents of the violence ridden valley have learnt the perils of a thriving militant culture and have unequivocally accepted the fresh reforms despite losing their special status in addition to their statehood. The call for securing future generations from the woes of gun-culture have grown louder in the past few years and have been answered with much compassion on varying fronts. The emotional and psychological restoration of a society torn in conflict has been made easier by the proactive efforts of the security forces, who have relentlessly helped the youth embrace the mainstream by incentivising their honest determination for peace. Consequently, the youth today lead a life rich in quality and richer in opportunities.
The Government of India has had a longstanding agenda of re-establishing peace in the valley and has dynamically involved local parties with political inclination to pave the path for a new tomorrow. While prioritising the Union Territory’s cultural plurality, the administrators have keenly tried to secure rights and of scattered Shia settlements across the valley. The suggestions of interlocutors with respect to perennial issues like celebratory funeral processions of terrorists, stone-pelting and other religious sensitivities were welcomed with open arms, the results have been palpable. The government representatives and administrators have successfully boosted public confidence by holding ‘Janta Darbars’ alongside their local counterparts bringing about a wave of contentment among the residents. Other societal changes also instilled hope among the youth to actively participate in the power structure to serve their community. The recently announced Zila Parishad election saw a 51% voter’s turnout proving that Kashmiriyat still believes strongly in Jamooriyat.
In a first, the tricolor unfurled on all government offices and buildings across the Union Territory as per the directives of the administration on Republic Day and have made their presence permanent despite the disbelieving political discourse surrounding it. As on date, the tricolor adorns Shikaras of the Dal Lake which as an illustrious foreground to the 70 feet high tricolor on the Char Chinar. Ongoing Swarnim Vijay Varsha Celebration in the form of Victory Flame march for commemorating India’s victory over Pakistan is witnessing unprecedented gathering. Youth of the valley take pride in sporting the tricolor as they beam with hopes for a better future in service of their community and their motherland alike. Despite the call for ceasefire across the LoC, the agencies of India’s adversaries have constantly tried to nurture outfits and individuals who stand against any peace effort in the valley. However, they have had little to no luck this time around as Kashmir proudly sports its identity. The hopes for restoration of statehood lingers among the residents of the valley as strong as the hope to bridge the distance between the valley and New Delhi resonates in every square inch of the Union Territory.