Irtif Lone

It’s late in the evening and I have just reached home. Day has fallen prey to the night. The weekly deadline for my column to be sent is hanging over my head. I have somehow started relishing this weekly deadline which gives me immense pleasure and makes me feel like a journalist. That’s what I wanted to be when I was young. But then destiny had something else in store for me. And that’s not the point I want to make.

While travelling back from work I kept thinking, what would I write about today? Ok, yes I wanted to write about Modi, his communal stance in politics. I had kind of written the bullet points on the white board of my mind. I was thinking of writing, how these elections have been communalised and how I think Modi has been responsible for it. How he made an issue out of not wearing the skull cap. It was only an issue because he didn’t wear it. And how he has given a free hand to people like Amit Shah. And, why he is fighting the elections at two different places. One in his own state, which he has ruled as a chief minister for more than a decade now and other one a sacred place for Hindus. Probably it’s his way of letting know the masses about his Hindutva idea for India.

But, then when I make that hot cup of coffee and open MS Word on my laptop. Yes, the coffee is to get some thinking in writing. It gives a feeling of being an intellectual. Coffee shops are where you find these types of intellectuals the most; coffee perhaps would have some mental marathon chemical in it. Then, before I start writing as happens before every piece I write, I check my facebook. Yes, I am also a social networker. And I find lots of updates about the Elections in South Kashmir constituency. Not, that I didn’t follow the news during the day. I kept on checking the online newspapers. But, this was like an eye opener.

I wanted to write about this Election Day. There was probably a very low voter turn. And somehow I didn’t expect such a low turnout. In 2008, soon after the PDP withdrew support from Congress and the government fell over the Amarnath row, during which some 60 young boys were killed. People voted, and voted in huge numbers, that wasn’t expected then. Neither was this expected now. But, then anything can happen any time. I also found a thanksgiving statement, not the American thanksgiving Holiday, it was a statement from Syed Ali Geelani, who thanked the people of south Kashmir for boycotting elections and wished that people in Central and South Kashmir follow the suit.

There were varied statements; someone had turned so emotional that he had warned his friends, “Anyone who plans to vote tomorrow in Islamabad/Anantnag constituency should not bother to attend my funeral when I die”. Somehow the emotions seemed to run high, and I thought they would not move beyond the social network, but eventually they did.

But, then let’s get back to what I had earlier thought of writing, about the communalisation of elections. One statement which baffled many, at least in Kashmir was of Giriraj, that anybody who criticizes Modi should go to Pakistan. In Kashmir people didn’t know what to make out of it, realising the fact that a considerable section of people including some stalwarts leaders of the struggle in valley have been fighting for the accession to Pakistan. And the height of it was the Chief Minister’s reply that he would prefer Pakistan over not-criticizing-Modi.

And probably, I have run out of the space allotted to me by the editor. So, it’s good bye for the week.


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