Roots of migrant massacre in Kashmir

    18-Dec-2021
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Er Prabhat Kishore
Migrant workers are those, who work away from their home, especially in other states or even abroad and earn for their livelihoods. They include not only the labourers engaged in various sectors, but also the bureaucrats &  many other officials. Although these officials do not suffer  as much pain as the labourers, who have to work without counting the hours.
The term “Migrant worker” is not new in the global history and also in the multilingual lexicons. Old people recall,  the “Kabuliwalas” from Kabul, residents of areas located  thousands of  mile away from India. They used to travel through the village streets to sell their dry-fruits and were much popular among the youngsters. These migrant people garnered  love & affection according to the Indian culture & tradition of “Atithi Devo Bhavah”.
Interestingly enough since ages, this perennial process of migration has been continuing at various levels across India. People often migrate from one place to another in search of livelihood; and, this is a positive sign for fostering  integrity among diversity of cultures across our lovely India. The progress & prosperity of some States is a testimony to the diversified contributions of such migrant people.  When the migrant workers returned to their native destinations during the pandemic Covid-19, this cycle of progress got stalled in many states and the organizers  eventually had to request their workers to return to their places of work.
Similarly, the people of Bihar, irrespective of their castes, religions, faiths, cultures, languages, food habits among various other factors,  have spread to different corners of the country  and have intermingled with local people in the respective regions. Of course conversely, Bihar is also welcoming the migrant people from various other states. During the winter season, Kashmiri people often travel to sell their shawls & sweaters. The Lhasa markets of Tibetan refugees are famous places for woolen clothing in many towns. Once, Chinese dentists had a monopoly in the field of dental treatment across Indian towns. Not only migrant workers or vendors, but Bihar has established several powerful politicians through its constituencies, notably George Fernandez, Madhu Limaye, M.J. Akbar, Syed  Shahabuddin, I.K. Gujral, Sharad Yadav & others. Numerous bureaucrats & officials have also served in various states for their entire service tenure, but the masses of those respective States have never treated them as migrants.
On the other hand, Bihari workers are often the soft targets whenever and wherever there is disturbance  for local causes in any corner of the country. In this endless series, now  the migrant labourers & street vendors, who are the poorest of the poor, are being massacred  in Kashmir without any fault. Old parents, life-partner wife and even young children were eagerly waiting for their kin to return home with new cloths for the  Dipawali & the  Chhath Puja; but the separatist forces dashed their dreams in the blink of an eye; and the hapless family  found the dead bodies of their kin wrapped in shrouds.
After the abrogation of article 370, it was ardently hoped that the Central Government would crush the separatist forces. But recent events indicate that the roots of these foreign elements  are deeper in the region. The intelligence system has completely failed. Although some foreign militants have been gunned down;  their whereabouts are yet to be traced out and razed.  
More responsible for the latest killings of the Hindus &  the Sikhs are the pro-Pakistan unemployed  politicians, who are frequently  praising Pakistan & China while provoking the  militants. Such gun-men are just the branches & leaves of the “Anti-Indian” trees; the roots are those politicians, who ruled this beautiful State for their own petty reasons and never ever did anything for the State & the common masses. They were, of course, involved in  brain-washing the public.  
The deceased migrant workers were not foreigners; but were breathing at their roots. All of them belonged to the “Maharishi Kashyapgotra”, whose name Kashmir owns. They were engaged in the developmental works of roads, bridges, tunnels, telephone towers and other infrastructures of the Himalayan state; and  in lieu of their variegated services at the ground level, they were supposed to be paid wages for the livelihood of their families. Any kind of development in the region is nothing short of a thorn for the masters of stone-pelters, communalists and anti-peace forces.
The Most ironic aspect is the continued appeasement politics of the political parties. For instance, there has been a series of political tourism of leaders during the aftermath of the brutal incident at  Lakhimpur Kheri. To be contd