NEW DELHI: Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, a senior legislator of Jammu and Kashmir, has been a voice of sanity in troubled times in Kashmir. The sole representative of the CPI(M) in the Valley, he has won from the Kulgam constituency repeatedly in 1996, 2002, 2008 and 2014. He can by no stretch of the imagination be called a separatist being a mainstream politician who has taken firm positions on important issues in the past.
The enthusiastic Kashmir Lawmaker, Tarigami was deeply disturbed and worried this time. His usual optimism was missing and he insisted that it was absolutely imperative for the government of India to open dialogue with “all stakeholders” of the current crisis. Move fast, he said, is the biggest confidence building measure that the government can take today.
The situation is so much worse than he has ever seen it, said Tarigami in an interview, adding that it can “explode”. Excerpts:
Q.How do you see the present situation in Kashmir?
A. It is a very serious situation. The present unrest is much deeper and much wider than anything we have seen for decades. It is mass uprising, there is no village, no mohalla left now that is not involved in the protests today. Primarily the younger generation is in the front row, but the elders too are equally concerned, and involved. A large number of women are coming out and driving the protests.
Q.No signals that this might be happening..?
A.That is unfortunate. Some message of hope needs to be sent to the people, do not add to their hopelessness That will be detrimental to the interests of all, Kashmiris yes, they are suffering, they will continue to suffer
Q. The Opposition is also silent
A.We were waiting for the government to send an all party parliamentary delegation led by a senior Minister. But that is not happening so the CPI(M) is planning to send an all party delegation to Kashmir. We are late, but better late than never
Q.The state government has disappeared
A.The crisis we are confronted with today is far beyond what the state government can deal with or handle. It is too big for them.