Politics of hatred divides people in Kishtwar

Politics of hatred divides people in Kishtwar

Ahead of elections, politics of hatred has divided people in this hill district which witnessed one of the worst communal riots in the history of Jammu and Kashmir in August.

There seems to be a complete polarisation between the two communities in the town, 230 km from Jammu, that was once an example of communal harmony in the state.
Advocate Khurshid Ahmad, who was part of the committee which succeeded in dousing the flames after last year’s riots, terms the present situation in Kishtwar as a lull before the storm.

“There are communal elements in both the communities who are being patronised by political parties. Last year also same elements brought death and destruction in the town,” he told Deccan Herald. Ahmad, a retired sub-divisional-magistrate, says Kishtwar was never a communally sensitive place. “But in the last decade, religious and political parties have been trying to create communal tensions in the town to suite their own agenda. For the first time Muslims have decided to vote for Congress-NC, while Hindus have taken a vow to side with the BJP,” he said.

Ahmad claimed that mosques and temples were being used by political parties for their own agenda. “We have to learn how to live together with tolerance and brotherhood but instead political and religious parties with vested interests are trying to create the wedge between the two communities,” he added.

Ahmad’s views were echoed by Dhoni Chand Sharma, a retired college principal.
“BJP is trying to play discrimination card with Jammu in this election. I fear if not in this election, in next the election (Assembly) the situation can take a turn again. And I fear vested interests are working overtime to create such situation,” he told Deccan Herald.

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