While I'm increasingly amazed by how unthinking and insensitive our governance has become, I am also almost amused by your choice to organise celebrating independence day in the same valley that has been denied basic rights to freedom of movement and communication for 10 days now - something that will never stand justified against your self-proclaimed threats to their security. While children are waiting to make meaning of their days so as to compete with the ever challenging world; small farmers and traders are running restlessly to fetch some incentives for Eid; business owners are praying for the economy to survive these blows; teachers are hoping to get salaries to run households, kids are hoping to step out fearlessly; and mothers are endlessly waiting for their young sons to return home safe, are you insisting that they share your sentiment of independence with you, tomorrow? Are you asking us to believe that this was the best way to appease a people you call your own? The amount of intelligence, stealth and strategy with which you led the process of "acquiring Kashmir irreversibly" just goes to show how well you'd have done had you only honestly tried to understand what inclusivity meant for the people you are currently trying to include, holding them against the wall. And while you're doing this, are you expecting us not to ask why the other 10 states continue to enjoy their special status?
Your address to the nation justifying your move on J&K was indeed a powerful one, because the entire nation now has the certified vocabulary to argue in support of it, no matter who or where they are; no matter how well or ill informed they are; no matter how liberal or authoritarian they are. But in J&K cable network was and is still shut, media houses still paralysed and phone lines are still blocked. In your definition of inclusivity, the people who were being spoken about, didn't need inclusion, did they? So while the rest of the nation was celebrating something that is of no real relevance to them, the impacted were kept in the dark, on pretext of their own security. How do you exactly plan to make them feel safe ever, after having threatened them outrightly in a manner as this? I'm sure you made a hundred new fans and followers that evening, but really Mr. Modi, why is it difficult for thinking minds to believe you when you say you feel for the children of Kashmir? Or that you care for the progress of the state?
And if you really care, do you realise that emotional, psychological and social well-being matters? You may be proud of securing Kashmiris against 'foreign threat' by deploying more than required and insanely large number of army men, but the terror you caused to their hearts and minds over the last 20 days and the last 30 years, is immeasurable. You call "them" your own, and your cabinet chief says he can die for them. But do you see that you have alienated, cornered, pushed them to the point of no return? Do you want us to believe that while you are speaking for and of Kashmir, you are unaware that people in Kashmir are suffocating under your pressure?
Do you really think terror kills terrorism? Really?
And so, how do you plan to compensate for the rise in cases and levels of PTSD among people of Kashmir? How do you plan to compensate the loss of basic dignity and hence the impoverishment of the people of Kashmir? How do you plan to generate trust for a regime that has only deceived, over-powered and under-delivered? How do you plan to pacify children in their teenage years who are slapped, stopped, cornered for no reason by the 'powerful other'? How do you propose to win people's hearts, which should have been your first step towards change any way? How do you propose to compensate for the pellet injuries caused during an obvious outrage after what you've done? How do you plan to justify the use of pellet guns in the first place? But again, if lynchers are acquitted and citizens used as human shields, anything can pass off as fair, right?
The true idea of an independent, secular, democratic country, which you claim to be leading well, is that every citizen of it must enjoy equal freedom. And clearly the minorities in this country, be them by caste, class or religion, are far from being independent. So, while your beloved countrymen are crying in despair, how exactly do you plan to spend 'yours only' independence day, dear Mr. Modi?