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Posted at: Aug 20, 2019, 6:45 AM; last updated: Aug 20, 2019, 7:43 AM (IST)

Fatigue sets in, wait for early winter in Kashmir!

Fatigue sets in, wait for early winter in Kashmir!

Arun Joshi

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 19

Fatigue is the keyword in Kashmir and the administration is looking fast-forward to the winter season as commoners are grappling with their helplessness and hopelessness and tonnes of economic losses inflicted on them by the curbs and communications clampdown for the past two weeks.

The administration is hoping that an early winter will bring an early end to the troubles in the Valley as it had happened in 2010 and 2016 when massive protests had rocked the Valley and normalcy returned with the arrival of the winter. Kashmir winter is severe and punishing, people stay indoors or shift to other parts of the country.

One after another factor is coming into play and Kashmiris know that this has exposed them to much vulnerability. Even if they want to think positively and accept the new and what seems to be a serial of irreversible realities- Article 370 and 35A gone with the special status that they had made them to feel privileged for the past over 70 years, and the geographical reality of the division of the state into two union territories, they are unable to reconcile to the sense of loss. Their silence is deafening.

“Yes, fatigue is setting in,” admits a University professor who doesn’t want to be quoted on record for there are two kinds of fear gripping the people – there are security forces outside their lanes and also that the almost entire population views people like him as betraying weaknesses.

The connotation of fatigue is clear – how long can people sit in their homes and struggle with never-ending rounds of familial discussions about the abolition of Article 370 and 35-A. “The conclusions are same, nothing changes with these discussions,” the professor said. “We are going round and round around the same set of thesis and arguments, and our helplessness is making us sick.”Everything is being calculated and the answers bring beads of cold sweat on their foreheads, which they try to wipe out to look and sound normal in conversation. Imtiaz Ahmad is a middle-aged man who was employed in hospitality sector in a private firm is a profile of despondency.“Sudden death of the tourism season for the rest of the year came when the Amarnath pilgrims and tourists were asked to rush to their homes on August 2,” he said and added in desperation, “they ( tourists left) and left our hopes to earn something this year shattered once and for all”. Hotels are shut, restaurants are locked and Dal Lake is bereft of any activity. There is an inexplicable stillness in the air.

The story of losses does not end here. The orchardists who had been watching apples to ripen and send these across to other parts of the country are unable to find a way out for themselves. There is a deepening of air of uncertainty as the crop continues to ripe. Kashmir produces more than 19 lakh metric tonnes of apple.

Will bring an end to troubles in Valley

The administration is hoping that an early winter will bring an early end to the troubles in the Valley as it had happened in 2010 and 2016 when massive protests had rocked the Valley and normalcy returned with the arrival of the winter. Kashmir winter is severe and punishing, people stay indoors or shift to other parts of the country.

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