'Naya Kashmir' reminiscent of middle ages in Europe: PDP

TNN Bureau. Updated: 10/3/2022 1:41:29 PM Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar, Oct 3: The Peoples Democratic Party on Monday said there is no end in sight to the Centre's "oppressive and punitive" measures in Jammu and Kashmir even after over three years have passed since the abrogation of article 370 in August 2019.

In the October edition of its monthly newsletter 'Speak Up' released on Monday, the party attacked the government over a host of issues including the use of Public Safety Act (PSA) and the alleged "war on Kashmir's horticulture industry"

The party charged that after shutting down Jamia Masjid and "forcing" Kashmiri school children to sing 'bhajans', "they are now targeting our religious scholars, slapping them with GOI's personal favourite, the draconian PSA".

"Nothing says 'Vishv Guru' quite like flogging the citizens of your only Muslim majority state. Three years past the abrogation and there is no end in sight to GOI's oppressive and punitive measures," the PDP charged.

Referring to the recent issue of fruit trucks stranded on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the party charged that the Centre's "war on Kashmir's horticulture industry" is a perfect example of "oppressive and punitive measures" where "all our fruit has been rendered forbidden".

"If it is the collapse of an economy you seek to hasten, then you break its backbone. GOI's war on Kashmir's horticulture industry is a perfect example of the above where all our fruit has been rendered forbidden," it said.

"Naturally, in keeping with their past practices they have turned a blind eye to the problems faced by Kashmiri fruit growers. Prices of Kashmiri apples have fallen as low as Rs 20 due to the import of Iranian apples and most of our fruit is rotting in trucks that spend days stuck on the national highway," the newsletter read.

The PDP charged that after using the 'Kashmir Files' hype to "exploit" the Kashmiri Pandit sentiments, the "gloves are finally off as the government has ordered withholding the salaries" of Kashmiri Pandit employees on strike.

"They're being forced to choose between their lives and their livelihoods because relocating KPS doesn't align with GOIs narrative of 'Badalta' Kashmir," it alleged.

The institutions that were supposed to uphold democracy have atrophied into "mere rubber stamps" and the idea of equal human rights for Kashmiris is treated like a radical thought, "mere suggestion of the idea is heretical", it charged.

"Certainly not the first time in history as even Galileo was charged with heresy for affirming that the earth revolves around the sun. While they proclaim 'Naya Kashmir' to the rest of the world, Kashmir has been thrust into the middle ages with GOI going after Kashmiris with the enthusiasm of the Catholic Church going after innocent citizens after declaring them heretics," the newsletter alleged.

The party said it is no surprise that 'Naya Kashmir' is rather reminiscent of the middle ages in Europe when the Catholic Church was creating 'Naya Europe.'

"Homes would be raided in the middle of the night and people would be abducted only to be tortured and burned at the stake so the church could confiscate their land and their estates.

"Much like our very own ED, SIA and NIA. History tends to repeat itself and while we are long out of the middle ages, GOI's actions are a testament to the adage the more things change, the more they stay the same," it said.

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