Choking roads means choking freedom
By Mudasir Ahmad Gori
The decision to stop the civilian traffic on national highway on Wednesday and Sunday in view of the large movement of security forces has sent shock waves among the general masses. It has really upset the people of Kashmir.
The tall claims of a democracy have been exposed by this decision again. There are varied responses coming from all corners of Kashmir and why not, it is tantamount to curb the civil movement. I fail to understand where the priority should have been the civilians; the same have become the worst hit and sufferers. The justification that has been given is to ensure that force convoys march smoothly. However, this is justified at the cost of sufferings of common people.
This announcement came in view of the recent Pulwama attack where a bomber rammed his car in a military convoy on the same highway near Lethpora. It has to be understood that this highway is a lifeline for many of the Kashmiris. Choking the movement of civilians on Wednesday and Sunday would mean then choking the freedom of seventy lakh people. This move is like a parody of Israel politics to reprimand Kashmiri like Gaza. The civilians as well as mainstream politician have raised the voice and concern citing that India has adopted the Israel politics by not allowing people to use its own roads for security reasons.
Now the issue is what will happen to the people who travel regularly on the highway for many reasons. I am sure there are many children who have to walk down few kilometers only through highway to reach to their school. Does that mean they should not go to school on Wednesday just because of this? It is believed that children are the launch pad of any nation but you are stopping our children from going to school, how would they exhibit their talent and credentials tomorrow then.
There are many government employees who rush to their respective department through highway; it means that you will halt their work as well. How many people will suffer because of the non-availability of government employs at places like court, tehsil, block etc. I know many doctors are travelling through national highway as they have no other road to reach to their respective hospitals, so on Wednesday and Sunday patients can’t be attended because of security reasons.
I wonder you claim that they secure us, how do they secure us, when children are not allowed to go school, when employs won’t reach their office and doctors are not allowed to attend patients. What has happened to the common sense of these officers, have they lost their wits.
When most of the budget gets spend on the defence section, why can’t there be alternatives options for them. There are numerous ways for them to do so. Get them transported through Air. This will further ensure that the threat of attack get thwarted easily. A separate rail connection can be possibly made which will be in fact more convenient for them.
Why do we Kashmiri have to bear this every time? The need is to see alternative ways rather than curbing the civilian movement on Wednesday and Sunday. The normal chores can’t be stopped because of the security reasons. For any country, or state its people are the first priority. Enough care should be taken to ensure that no trouble is created for bonafide citizens of a country or a state, but this seems to be entirely a reverse case with regard to Kashmir.
Just because of security reasons the movement of people cannot be stopped. It is actually rubbing salt on the injuries of Kashmiri people. Every now and then something is ordered just to keep the people of Kashmir suffering from mental, physical and psychological tortures.
Officials did not even think of a substitute in view to mitigate the movement of security personnel. However, did it come to their mind that students can reach their schools and others their respective places of work on the days when no movement will be possible on the highway?
The writer is a researcher