Kashmir issue, triple talaq, reining in cow vigilantism to take centre stage next year

Kashmir issue, triple talaq, reining in cow vigilantism to take centre stage next year

What progress will a government-appointed interlocutor achieve in Kashmir, how will a law on triple talaq evolve, who will rein in cow vigilantism and when will India get Vijay Mallya extradited?

Next year, all eyes will be glued to these issues as well as those of the fate of Rohingya migrants, the fallout of the Ayodhya hearing in Supreme Court and the twists and turns in Indo-Pak relations.

The security establishment will also have its eyes set on the Maoist and Northeast insurgency fronts, though no  large-scale attack took place this year leaving the forces upbeat.

While the  first half of 2017 went on without any major incident, the unprecedented terror strike on Amarnath pilgrims in July will remain a black mark on the government, as it once again proved that forces were still not on top of the terror machinery.

The government sought to put pressure by squeezing separatists through a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into funds they  reportedly received from Pakistan for triggering trouble in the Valley besides offering several sops.

But peace is yet to return to the Kashmir Valley, as people are still taking to the streets, there is no respite from militant strikes and more security personnel are losing life.

While acting tough on one front, the  government made a surprise announcement in September appointing former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma, an old Kashmir hand, as an interlocutor to deal with the issue.

With this, the government subtly changed its goal post from "no-talks" to "talks with all stakeholders", a euphemism for involving separatists in the process.

However, Sharma's outings in the Valley have not earned much so far.

The task is also cut out for the government in reining in cow vigilantism and right-wing groups using the bogey of "love jihad", a description used by Hinduvta elements to describe a marriage between Muslim man and Hindu woman, to target minority communities.

A Muslim labourer from West Bengal was killed in Rajasthan with the accused claiming that he was preventing a "love jihad".

Though it could put the onus on states saying law and order is a state subject, the  Centre will have to face flak if they do not manage to curb such incidents, especially in the BJP-ruled states.

Another contentious issue would be the formulation of a law on triple talaq following a Supreme Court making it illegal.

Early next year, officials also would have to burn the midnight oil over dealing with Rohingya, who have illegally crossed over to India following a purge in Myanmar.

While the officialdom has taken a position that India cannot afford their presence, an adverse order from Supreme Court would have an egg on its face.

Another question that would bother the security establishment would be the early conclusion of a deal with NSCN(IM) on the Naga issue.  

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