Note to reader: There has only been a 26% turnout in the indian elections.
PULWAMA/WACHI (SANA): The Kashmiri youths, who were yet to attain the age of voting, seemed to be disillusioned by the present election process and most of them asserted they will exercise franchise only when Kashmir issue is resolved.
Anger was reflected on the face of Basit Nazir, a class 9th student, who was watching people entering into the polling station at Bunura in Pulwama district. “They are playing with the blood of martyrs, who sacrificed their lives for a sacred cause,” Basit told Rising Kashmir.
He said, “I may not be a voter but am fully aware of the fact that election in presence of more than seven lakh troopers is a futile exercise. Those who vote should declare that they are Indians not Kashmiris as casting vote means accepting the Indian constitution.”
Stating that he will stay away from the election process, the 9th class student said, “I will cast my vote when Kashmir will become a free nation. If India is confident enough that Kashmir is its integral part then it should not shy away from holding plebiscite in Kashmir”.
A 10th standard student, Irfan Ahmad said the younger generation will prove visionary. “I may not be able to justify that voting is a sin but I must say that blood of Kashmiris won’t go waste,” said Irfan, who was standing outside a polling station at Pinglana.
Upset over people exercising franchise, he said, “I want to ask them what have they got so far. Roads here were in shambles since my childhood and have never been repaired. Regarding the jobs, I saw nobody here who was provided employment.”
Adil Wani, 16, of Wachi accused people of having double standards. “During the last summer agitation, entire Wachi was demanding freedom and sending fruit and rice trucks to Srinagar. Same people voted in Assembly polls in large number. Now, majority of them are staying away this time around”.
Giving an advise to people, he said, “We should mend our ways. If we won’t unite for the cause, we should die.”
A few teenagers said even if entire Kashmir would vote no change could be expected from the government. “Even if I vote after attaining the age of 18, that will not mean that I voted for India,” said 16-year-old Aqib Nissar of Pulwama.
Some of the teenagers said that they may think of voting but cannot even imagine of compromise on the Kashmir issue. “Freedom is our destiny and we will achieve it sooner or later,” they said.
Hasseeb Ganai, 17, of Wachi said if at all he votes in future, it would be for getting a job. “I will catch-hold of a person in favour of whom I would vote. Who knows, Kashmir might be a free nation by then,” added Ganai.