President hailed Kashmir voting underscoring journey from conflict to conciliation – a clear message to the international community

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 29, 2024 IST

Arun Joshi

 President Droupadi Murmu  hailed the Kashmir Valley’s high   voter turnout in the  Lok Sabha elections as a befitting reply to the enemies of the country who used to rejoice low turnout in the previous elections held in 40 years amidst shutdowns and general strikes . This was no ordinary statement as it reflected country’s will in recognizing Kashmir’s changed attitude toward conciliation from the days of conflict that kept them away from voting and polling booths .

  This was the one of the  highlights of her address to the joint session of the Parliament  captured the new  democratic landscape that has emerged in Kashmir in the past five years , the benchmark being the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.  She was making a larger point , telling the international community that the whole of the country rejoices “ heartening” news of the return of democracy in Kashmir. It was a moment of national pride , and all the detractors of  India must have got their lesson that they cannot befool the people of the Valley anymore .

 It was obvious that the  President while making policy statement of Modi 3.0 government  was hailing the numbers of the  voters in the Valley who came out to vote in Lok Sabha polls . The statistics do tell the human stories , as the numbers on their own have little meaning . The statistics gain meaning only when the human spirit is also decoded. It was the love for the democratic spirit , which got a new lease of life   in the  last five years which are counted as a period when Kashmiris started believing in themselves , unshackled by the fear of terrorism and the graves that it delivered in the neighborhood. Though the official estimate is that   42,000 dead in the past over 30 years of militancy , but the number is much higher. . The underlined idea was to tell the world that India wanted Kashmir to show its faith in democratic numbers not that of general strikes  and graveyards . That’s what happened in Lok Sabha elections this time .

 There was a far  greater message n President Murmu’s celebration of high voter turnout in the Valley . It was far beyond the count of the votes . She made it a point to   underline the fact that this voter turnout had reversed the miseries of the past , and opened doors to its future.. That meant that the Modi government had not only rescued the people of Kashmir from   the terrorism-inflicted miseries on   them in the past 40 years but also shown them path for the new future in. Indian democracy.

 Now the onus is on the country as a while to reduce the differences and distances between Kashmir and Delhi . Prime Minister  Narendra Modi reiterated his moral and political understanding of Kashmir’s situation and aspirations when he called for bridging the gaps between   Delhi and Srinagar. During his visit to Kashmir on June 20, on the eve of the international yoga day ( June21)   in which he participated , Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the people of Kashmir for voting in high numbers . And, as a reward  announced that Assembly polls would be held soon , and  thereafter the statehood too would be restored . This was a localized messaging which had national connotations that the country owes it to the people of the Union  Territory of J&K  to give them their democratic institutions .The fact is that the return of the democratic institutions is a must to bridge the gaps .

 The President’s speech missed the point of return of the Assembly in J&K, but there was an international messaging – to learn from India  how to salvage a bad situation ad turn a conflict zone into a conciliation landscape . Kashmiri voters  were looking for dignity and identity in these polls . That quest   in itself  means that the people wanted  the realization of their aspirations in a peaceful and normal Kashmir, deeply integrated with India, the largest democracy in the world.

Disclaimer: This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write-up have nothing to do with

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