Press Esc to close
Tuesday 28 March 2017
News updated at 5:26 PM IST

Stirring trouble

August 13, 2013,
It is unfortunate, indeed a matter of deep concern, that even as Jammu and Kashmir is under pressure from multiple fronts, politicians and political parties are stirring the communal cauldron in the state. Communal violence erupted on Eid in Kishtwar in the strife-torn state. At least three people have been killed and scores of others injured in the clashes. Although the army brought the situation more or less under control, clashes continue in Kishtwar. A curfew is in place and the mood is tense. Worryingly, violence has now spread to other districts including Jammu, Doda and Udhampur and these are under curfew too. Meanwhile, the Kishtwar killings have set off protests in the Kashmir Valley, where separatists have called for a bandh. Clearly, the situation is explosive. It has come at a difficult time, when bilateral tension is soaring over the killing of Indian soldiers on the Line of Control and ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

At a time when political parties should be burying their differences to stand firm against Pakistan’s hostility, they are busy scoring points and stirring trouble. The visit on Sunday of BJP leader Arun Jaitley and J&K’s People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti to Kishtwar when emotions are running high could have triggered clashes. Both are known to give emotional speeches, which can incite mobs. The state government did well to stop them from going to Kishtwar at this point. While its decision can be interpreted as a threat to their right to movement guaranteed under the Indian constitution, it became necessary to prevent possible violence.

Incidents of communal violence are rarely spontaneous. They are often planned, engineered and triggered by groups and individuals keen to polarise society. With elections to Parliament and the J&K Assembly due in 2014, politicians will be looking to polarise society and reap votes. Instead of waiting for them to mend their ways, the state’s civil society needs to act. Research on communal violence in India indicates that cities that have cross-community associations are less prone to erupt in communal violence. The civil society can make efforts to set up such associations as these can prevent tension from escalating into violence. As for the J&K government, besides stepping up the deployment of security personnel, it must act on rumours that are fuelling violence. It must provide people with information that is accurate. Being niggardly with information on the ground and opacity is not the best approach during times of tension.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, foreground, speaks to press in a court room in Moscow....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

A huge fish that was found in the sea near Vijaydurg in Sindhudurg, Maharashtra on Monday....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Jaime Yarza (3rdL), Head of Tournament FIFA and Javier Ceppi (R),Tournament Director, LOCFIFA....

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Indian players during the tea break at the 3rd day of last test match against Australia at HPCA...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

Guillaume Sicard, President, Nissan India Operations poses with the newly launched New Terrano...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

An ASHA worker holding the newborn baby girl, who was found buried-alive in a manure heap...

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Preparations underway for the “Namami Brahmaputra” festival in Guwahati on Monday....

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Tourists enjoying photography at Badamwari (Almond Alcove) in Srinagar on Monday. The almond trees..

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

Nepalese army soldiers demonstrate their horse riding skills during the Ghode Jatra festival...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

A group of devotees arrive to participate in the annual Urs of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523