“Why Fetters and Shackles only for Kashmir”

Showkat Dar & Zubair Ahmad

The Mantra of Proscribing of Jamaat-e-Islamia in Jammu and Kashmir has led to cessation of various Philanthropic activities in the state, Jamaat-e-Islami is a socio-religious political organisation active in Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmir branch broke away from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and was founded in 1953. As a matter of fact, this is the third time in its history that Jamaat-e-Islami has beenbanned. In 1990, after militancy broke spread, the organisation was banned for the second time for allegedly encouraging unlawful activities.
The government claimed the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir is in close touch with
militant outfits and supports extremism and militancy.

The move has led to angst and grudge among the Masses. A local Lady from Handwara , Noth Kashmir, wishing anonymity, said, “I am a widow who has three daughters and little son. Jamaat has been taking care of my basic needs from the local Bait-ul-Maal for past Ten years without letting anyone
know about it. Infact one of my daughter was married by the help of Almighty Allah and then after the assistance of this Jammat. This Jamaat ban will make my life difficult. I am asking the government. Who will now take care of me and thousands like me? You were not taking care, that’s why Jamaat was.”
The woman was not the member of the outfit, but was one among the many, who approach Jamaat for financial help, which is provided to them on contingency basis.
“Bait-ul-Maal works like Auqaaf. They are maintained by Jamaat in every locality where they have their units. Funds are donated to Bait-ul-Maal by the members of Jamaat and others who wish to contribute,” said another local.
Meanwhile some Schools were sealed too, as it was being run by JeI. Parents of the children’s are in traumatic situation feeling that what will be the future of their children after this hellish and draconian policy of state.
But later, when the locals protested, the school was reportedly reopened. Locals said that the authorities will keep a check on the curriculum of Jamaat schools, and will take action
accordingly. Another symbol over substance is that Once you close the doors of peaceful activism, you open the door of suicidal response. The people perception sometimes being hypothesis is accurate and true that This mantra is nothing but only Election doldrum of present regime after playing consistently with the lives of kashmir innocent people.
If Narendra Modi has banned Jamaat under an Islamophobic trend and to earn votes of anti-Muslim Hindu constituency in the upcoming parliamentary elections in India, then it is yet another day of sorrow for Republic of India and a dismal repeat of the hanging of Afzal Guru by the Congress Government in 2014.
I would strongly argue for the lifting of the ban on Jamaat on an urgent basis and give Kashmir a breathing space for politics. Bans cannot resolve the Kashmir crisis.Jamaat is neither an
underground organisation, nor is it a terror outfit.
It has been part of the electoral process in the state in1971, 1975, 1977, 1983 and 1987. It is only after mass rigging of elections in 1989 that Jamaat abandoned the electoral process.
Many sane voices acknowledges the gross root network of
social service support system provided by Jamaat-e-Islami, J&K for the victims of conflict, and livelihood to orphans and widows in the state. It offers education through its vast network of schools having over 1, 00, 000 enrolled students.
Jamaat has done a remarkable job after 2005 earth quake and 2014 Kashmir floods, which broke humanitarian crisis in the region.
Incidents of sealing of properties, including residences, have been reported from several areas in Kashmir Several properties, including residential houses belonging to various JeI leaders and activists were sealed in many areas of the city and elsewhere in the Valley.Even the bank accounts of JeI leaders have reportedly been frozen. This has caused panic among the locals in Kashmir who see this move by the Centre as an “assault on the right to religious practice”.

“The sealing of houses and properties is new. The families are literally being thrown out of their homes at night, without any intimation, for no justified reason. And it is shameful and disgraceful. And
naturally, it will cause pain to not only the families, but even to
the locals. People are angry and scared here. They are even apprehensive about revealing the details.

The banning of JeI was informed by a notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs that accused JeI of being “in close touch with militant outfits.” The ban has been condemned by regional political parties, and the Joint Resistance Leadership.
Recently, members and activists of the Joint Resistance Leadership assembled in several places, and raised slogans against the ban. The protestors said that ban on religious organisation
JeI is unacceptable. They also raised issues like release of all political prisoners. Ahead of the ban, a major crackdown was carried on the JeI outfit in the valley. Nearly 150 leaders and activists of the outfit were detained in the nocturnal raids across Kashmir. Sealing of residential houses and schools
violates the basic principles of humanity and demonstrates the
desperation of vested interests after global rejection of their politics of hate, communalism and pernicious designed propaganda.

A former Jamaat chief, wishing anonymity, said, “We have no associations with the militancy. We do religious and welfare work and it is for everyone to see. We don’t work in shadows.
It is a politically motivated decision, and baseless allegations have been levelled. There is no evidence against us. We are peace-loving organisation, and we will take the route of law to challenge our ban. Kashmir is an unresolved political issue and it is the root cause of militancy, not us. Government must avoid measures like banishing that only feed anti-India sentiment in Kashmir. Governor of the state, Mr. Satya Pal Malik must inform the Centre about the Kashmir’s response to the ban and make efforts to help in making peace in the state..” Hello! India, We want paradise kashmir in peace not in pieces..

“It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it.
And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it….

(The writer Showkat Dar resides in Handwara with Four post graduation and civil service aspirant)

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