Needed A People’s Forum
   Date :01-Feb-2020
Time has now come for taking the national issues out of the political arena and create an apolitical “The Centre is keeping ‘normalcy’ in Kashmir under heavy security cover. That is not normalcy; that is actually a failure ...”. - Statement by an Opposition leader
THIS is nothing but a massive hypocrisy. Ever since the Centre first introduced Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution of India in Kashmir, the State was always kept under heavy security cover of varying proportions. So bad did the situation become on a continual basis that the Centre -- under the Congress rule -- imposed the stringent Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to assume powers and authority to use the security forces the way it chose to keep things under control. Despite that arrangement, terrorism grew monstrously, claiming lives of countless thousands of innocent civilians over time. And then came that dark moment thirty years ago when a minimum of three lakh members of Kashmiri Pandit community fled the State to save themselves from the atrocious reign of terror that saw thousands of their brethren killed or raped or ousted from their homes. Terrorism also grew in intensity and extent and affected the State so much so that a fear also rose in common people’s minds if Kashmir was lost to India altogether. The impression was that the Government of India had failed terribly and comprehensively.

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And still the Central Government had not failed! And now, when no terror incidents are taking place in the past six months, when the security forces are firing not a single bullet, when everything is becoming normal, when the administration is engaged in all normal operations, the Opposition still wishes to describe the situation as “failure” just because Jammu and Kashmir is under a heavy security cover!
If this is not hypocrisy, then what is it? If this is not building a massive false narrative, then what is it?
This is the question that the nation must ask Opposition in the loudest possible manner. This is the question the Opposition must answer. For, this question will restrain Opposition from building a false, almost anti-national narrative on Kashmir. And once this question gets louder, international voice that is getting boosted over Opposition protests over Kashmir or the CAA or the NRC or the NPR will be automatically silenced. This, thus, is a national need to question the Opposition narrative, to dare it, to stare into its face eye-to-eye.
There is no doubt that the Opposition is crossing all limits of sensibility in pushing its narrative of utter falsehood, and so there is a great need to drown that falsehood in the voice of reason, with right type of questions, with right kind of detailed information and with righteous indignation. That will make Opposition see sense, that will make the Opposition realise that its canard has no place in the maturing democracy of the country.
But this should not be the initiative only by the Government; this should become a people’s initiative beyond political narrative. This should become a national movement to ask Opposition the right questions and seek the right answers.
Time has now come for taking the national issues out of the political arena and create an altogether apolitical platform on which critical issues should be discussed threadbare. True, the Opposition and its army of pseudo-intellectuals may try to brand such an effort as something triggered by the Government. But such an accusation had got no meaning. For, national need is of greater importance than shallow and hollow as well as negative political branding. Time has come for the right-thinking people to stand up and get counted in this national cause, simply because the country deserves a right patriotic narrative to foster its democratic and nationalistic narrative.
Blinded by the rage upon its failure to check the ruling combine headed by no less a person than Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, the Opposition is now trying to raise a ruckus that actually makes no sense beyond being cantankerous, to say the most. And that is the reason the people should now rise and resist the narrative of falsehood being raised by the Opposition.
This is how a true democracy serves itself, nurses itself to good health, makes itself stronger and pulsating. If this is done in the right measure, the Opposition will have no option but to learn the right lessons. That will be good not just for the Opposition but also good for the nation.
However, the most unfortunate part of the overall conduct of the Opposition is that it has refused to learn right lessons from the immediate past. It kept talking of ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ and got snubbed. It kept talking against whatever the Government did, and got replied to in its own language -- by the people in the elections. It might have won some elections all right, but its overall performance in the nation’s psychological eco-system has been poor. This fact the Opposition does not realise -- of course much to its own discredit.
But that is not the real issue. For, the nation is not worried about what Opposition does to itself. The real issue -- the actual worry -- is that the nation needs the right narrative based on truth and not on falsehood.
Playing its part, the Government is responding to the narrative of falsehood on the basis of facts. That effort, however, needs to be supported by the people, their initiative to ask questions, to resist nonsense that is costing the nation dearly.
It is time the people stood up and asked questions. We, the people, cannot allow the Opposition to wrest a wrong narrative on Kashmir where the new measures are meeting with huge success in the national cause.