Summers in Kashmir are no longer what they used to be. These days, summers here are more synonymous with uncertainty and death than beauty and serenity. The past three summers have seen the people all over the valley getting sucked into a vicious cycle of violence. The spark in all these summers of unrest has been insensitive moves or blatant violation of human life by the authorities be that the government or the army. There are indications that the authorities refuse to learn lessons and another insensitive move has already raised fears of yet another troubled summer.
While the state government gives an impression that they don’t want a repeat of past three summers by arresting hundreds of youth and making repeated requests for maintaining calm and peace, the fact of the matter is that its actions are pushing the state people into an uncertain situation. The issuance of Dogra Certificates to the people of Jammu is fast snowballing into a major controversy, which has the potential of being exploited to dangerous consequences.
Right now, tourist arrivals are gaining momentum with hotels reporting occupancy of around 40 percent in Srinagar. Though the peak tourist season is more than a month away, when schools in India will shut down for summer vacation and the mercury will soar outside Kashmir. Academic season in Kashmir has began on good note and trade and manufacturing has picked up after the seasonal winter slump.
The transfer of land to Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board in 2008 and the subsequent withdrawal of the order by the state government was received with shock by people over here and caused mass unrest in valley and polarized the state to dangerous dimensions. The Shopian incident of alleged rape and murder of two young women was messed up by the government from the very beginning leading to a prolonged mass agitation in the valley in 2009.
The Macchil fake encounters by Army and the subsequent killing of a teenager in Srinagar by police turned out to be ominous for the valley and the year 2010 saw the death of around 125 Kashmiri youth and hundreds of days of curfews and strikes.
The government has once again embarked on a dangerous path by issuing the so called Dogra Certificates to the residents of Jammu. The move can only further divide the already polarized state.