Waiting for Change   

It has been already around six weeks since election results were declared; and more than five months since historic floods devastated most of the Kashmir’s major towns and villages, including its summer capital Srinagar completely. The intensity of these catastrophic floods was such that historians had to go back server centuries to find something of this nature ever happening, but found none. There is no record of such a devastating natural calamity ever hitting Kashmir region. Yet it passed off quite quickly from people’s memories, as if it has never happened. Interestingly, just when the Jhelum started to swell near Sangam in Islamabad district, political parties in Kashmir were preparing for six-yearly election process that was due to take place in a few months time. But with floods putting life to a virtual halt in Kashmir for a while, politicians too sat ducks till GoI intervened and gave green signal to polls despite the fact that thousands of people were still living under the open skies. And thus started the process of democracy that gave flood affected people some hope that the new government, after its formal takeover, will finally do something to bring on track their devastated lives. But as the process of elections concluded, a new power tussle took-over. This power-tussle between two political dispensations, one an out-rightly communal and the other one a self claimed champion of people’s cause, took away focus from flood affected people completely. And all of a sudden, the entire administration got busy putting their bets on the formation of the new government. There was hardly anybody talking or even listening to these flood affected people. As politics replaced flood related banner stories in local dailies, victims overnight turned into non-sellable burdens for media.

Everybody wanted to know who, when and by whose help the new government will be formed. It did not happen so far. Nor is there any hope of it happening sometime soon. Despite voting in large numbers Kashmiris still reel under Governor’s rule. But the absence of a formal government at such a crucial juncture in Kashmir’s recent history is something unpardonable.

There is only one question that everybody seems to be asking now. Are personal interests more importation for politicians than lives of thousands of people who have already suffered a lot?

And where is that promised “change” that people have been waiting for since last six-weeks now. We understand that change does not happen overnight and takes time, but there has to be a start somewhere for this change to happen at all. Without a start there is not going to be any change whatsoever that is. All one will get in the end are promises that will fall flat like all other promises made previously. Hope good-sense prevails over those who won by hawkering change in the times of flood and misery. Let people be put first and everything else after that.

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