After 28 years of militancy, Kashmir’s militant movement has entered a completely new phase. The public support for militants fighting troops, paramilitary troops and police is rising. Furthermore, it is being articulated in open in the Kashmir valley. Militants either alive or dead are becoming heroes followed by hundreds and after their killing during gunfights, massive crowds turn up at their funerals.
The trend is now a lethal combination of armed militants, well-energised stone pelters, thousands of students from schools, colleges and universities and most of all the social media operators. The three-decade ongoing separatist struggle with two main functionaries the separatists and militants has taken a new turn. Now it seems that separatists are losing the ground of political struggle of Kashmir and gun has regained its momentum in the Valley.
The trend of releasing videos, started during Burhan Wani, is emerging as a main source of publicity. It would not be wrong to say that the new trend of militant struggle has totally hijacked the social media and they can easily broadcast clashes, gunfights, speeches and even their movement in resident areas. The social media attracts millions and in turn, hundreds of fresh cadres are joining militancy.
The situation is turning from bad to worse with every passing day. Witnessing a gun salute at every militant funeral is not rare but the recent incident in which a mother of one of the militant commanders gave a gun salute to her son in public is not only a fresh addition but also an alarming phase for Kashmir’s political scenario.
Clearly, Kashmir is at an important turning point. Recently, Valley witnessed a bloodbath with the killing of militants and civilians during clashes in addition to security personnel. The graph of local militants is increasing with every passing day, so is the support for militants. To prevent Kashmir from an uncontrolled situation, India needs to address the political issues underlying the conflict.