by Farooq Ganderbali
One more meaningless hartal call by separatist leaders in Kashmir on Friday against the arrest of JKLF chief Yasin Malik and Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) activists once again forced thousands of daily wagers to abstain from their work and lose a precious days earnings. This has been a routine for the almost three decades for Pakistan-sponsored separatists to call for strikes and force people to stay at home.
From murder of air-force officers to kidnapping of Dr Rubaya Sayed, there are dozens of cases registered against Yasin Malik and he has to face the law. Similarly, the Jamaat leaders and activists are known for inciting violence in Kashmir and if the law is taking its course, why separatists force people to observe strikes? Over the last 29- years, protracted cycles of unrest, terrorism, proxy war by Pakistan and endless strikes by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Co have propelled the decline of sustainable development in Kashmir.
After losing the ground completely, these so-called Hurriyat leaders in the last two and half years have been imposing strikes on poor people of Kashmir and they make it sure people abstain from work by unleashing stone-pelters on them. Despite mounting pressure on the separatists that shutdowns have achieved nothing in 29-years, but only destruction, these Pakistani stooges are giving no respite to people.
And then there is a section of people in Kashmir who blindly support the hartal tactics of the separatists. Those who get handsome salaries during strike days, can’t understand the pain of a laborer who loses his daily wage. Are those who support strikes ready to share the salary they get during strike days with the poor laborers? Well off people who support strikes can’t understand pain of a poor patient who is deprived off treatment due to strikes. Rich have cars and they move freely during strike days.
Incidentally there is no evidence of strikes in Muslim history. Striking work emerged mainly as a communist concept where the daily waged worker wants to inflict economic costs on the capitalist owners. People have expressed a strong resentment on Social Media against separatists for calling shutdown against the arrest of Hurriyat leaders. Some of the netizens even alleged that Hurriyat leaders are working only for their selfish ends than the sacred cause of Kashmir at the cost of blood of innocent youth. Hartal has become a disease in Kashmir politics which need be cured once for all. Somebody sneezes somewhere and we force people to shut all normal activities. Hartals have not only ruined Kashmiris economy but they have a very negative impact on the academics of Kashmir. Better is to shun this hartal strategy so that Kashmir is not harmed anymore.
by Farooq Ganderbali