Comparing the statistics of Covid deaths in Jammu and Kashmir regions which is being pegged at 9% and 91% ,respectively, raises certain questions regarding the surprising surge in the number of Covid- positive cases in the Kashmir valley. A small sample of possible reasons for this catastrophe could be:
1. Air travel to Kashmir with a huge influx of security forces into the valley who have possibly contracted the virus during their visits to their hometowns in mainland India.
2. The opening up of tourist destinations in Kashmir at a time when Covid pandemic is at its devastating ‘best’ in the rest of India.
3. Woeful lack of medical facilities in the valley even during normal times in dealing with commonplace health issues.
Coupled with the Amarnath Yatra which is being planned to begin soon, there is clearly a case for enunciating the most important reason involving:
4. A complete lack of empathy and interest of the administration, bordering on what appears to be a vested interest, in inflicting and perpetuating the pain and misery on the people here in various ways. Those include not only the manner in which Covid is being handled in the valley, but more painfully, how the lockdown is being used to disempower the people of Kashmir, for example, by stealthly granting the Domicile status to tens of thousands non-Kashmiris.
“If the endgame is engineered demographic change, through brute coercion, we are setting ourselves up for a long and violent war”. That was voiced by Prof Pratap Bhanu Mehta in a recent article, where he further adds: “The COVID lockdown may have been precipitated by a virus. But the intellectual, political, constitutional, strategic and moral lockdown with which we are imprisoning Kashmir will produce more violence. It is also a harbinger of the future of the rest of India”.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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