People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 26

June 30, 2013




‘Don’t Politicise Pilgrims’ Security Issue: Tarigami


OFFERING a word of caution to both the central and the state governments, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, secretary of the CPI(M)’s Jammu & Kashmir state committee, said on June 20 that the issue of security of the pilgrims should not be politicised as it adds to the element of uncertainty to the annual pilgrimage which is integral to the ethos of Kashmir.


In a statement issued from Srinagar on the day, Tarigami expressed dismay about the attempts being made to give an unnecessary hype to the issue of security of Amarnath pilgrims, saying that such assumptions would be doing no service either to the country or to the smooth passage of the pilgrimage.


“The Amarnath Yatra is integral to the Kashmiri ethos and even during the critical times, the people of Kashmir have wholeheartedly cooperated to facilitate the smooth passage of the pilgrimage,” he said, adding that the people of Kashmir need not prove their religious tolerance. “The people of Kashmir have always given their best in terms of hospitality and security of the pilgrims,” he added.


Tarigami, however, maintained that the security matters pertain to the experts of the field and the same should be left to them to take care of and not discussed in public.  




In the backdrop of Dr Manmohan Singh’s proposed visit to Jammu and Kashmir, the state committee of the CPI(M) has expressed its dissatisfaction over the current scenario of the state. In a statement issued from Srinagar on June 25, the state committee of the party said that the disillusionment of people has steadily increased and the expectations regarding improvement in the overall socio-economic situation and progress of the peace process have decreased. The hanging of Afzal Guru and some other unfortunate incidents have resulted in a serious setback to the political process and reconciliation efforts. In order to set things right and instil confidence, political leaders, both at the national and state levels, should introspect and take quick and adequate corrective measures.


Saying that till now the valuable opportunities for peace and reconciliation in the state have not been fully availed, the CPI(M) said this has resulted in untold sufferings for the common masses. In order to reduce these sufferings and usher into an era of peace and prosperity in the region, the stalled Indo-Pak dialogue as well as the talks between the government of India and the various political sections in the state, including the voices of dissent, need to be given priority.


The confidence building measures (CBMs) which had generated hope among the people on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), like the people to people contact and the cross-LoC trade, need to be strengthened and followed with vigour and utmost seriousness. Relaxation in the regulations regarding travel papers, replacement of barter system by the use of currency and banking facilities in the cross-LoC trade and provision of speedy communication facilities will make these CBMs meaningful and effective.


The CPI(M) also expressed the opinion that a shadow of fear still hovers over certain sections of the younger generation, as harsh and draconian laws like the AFSPA and PSA continue to haunt them. This needs to be cleared and corrected. The cases of those languishing in jails outside the state should be taken on fast track basis so that speedy justice is done. There should be an amount of tolerance towards the voices of protest and dissent. Violence in any form as a means of solution to our problems needs to be rejected outright.


Apart from other unfulfilled aspirations of the youth, growing unemployment has resulted in frustration and alienation. This is proving harmful for peace and development in the state. Since there are no employment opportunities in private sector within the state, the government of India should make result oriented efforts to get the educated and professionally trained youth of J&K absorbed in public and private sectors of the country.


The status of recommendations of different working groups as well as of the centre-appointed interlocutors, aimed at providing relief to the people, need to be reviewed and these must be implemented. The prime minister’s reconstruction programme regarding the return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants deserves serious attention. Adequate relief to the earthquake sufferers in the erstwhile Doda district must be ensured.


According to the CPI(M) state committee, corruption free good governance with accountability has been a long cherished dream of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and could have proved an effective facilitator in seeking solutions to our current problems. Unfortunately, this has not been achieved and we have miles to go for reaching this goal. In the same way, institutionalisation, decentralisation and democratisation of the administration continues to be a distant dream, the party reminded.