The entire state of J&K has been gripped with election fervour amid Urban local body elections. The non-seriousness of past government to conduct local bodies election created a democratic vacuum at the grass root level in the state. However, the fierce stand of BJP led NDA government to conduct elections on the fixed dates in spite of open boycott from political parties like PDP and NC backed by Hurriyat and separatist leaders has been a tight slap on the face of anti-nationalist powers in the state. Aversing the stand of separatist forces, people in J&K have ensured active participation in the election campaigns leaving Hurriyat leaders red faced. When these powers failed to hinder local bodies elections, Pakistan entered and joined hand with them. The election syndrome has rosed a Cold War like hysteria in J&K. On one side ,we see common masses of J&K who are showing overwhelming faith on local bodies election, fighting for democracy at the lowest level and on the other side, there are separatist leaders and ISI who are trying to disrupt polls by violence and terror and thus, hampering democracy.
In 1947, J&K legally became the part and parcel of India. However, to affirm people’s faith in India’s democracy, the J&K representative body (constituent assembly) was also given due consideration. The popular people body convened constitution of the state which clearly stated J&K as an integral part of Indian. In 50’s when India was promoting democracy and people’s will, at that time even Pakistan breached stand and still agreement which they signed with Maharaja Hari Singh and killed thousands of people in J&K. The bloodshed that was followed by Pakistan’s invasion testifies the fact that leaders of Pakistan never loved people of Jammu and Kashmir and had a lust of winning over its land. Pakistan treated Kashmiri as mere a piece of land while India saw it as it’s imperishable part. The same pattern may be traced even today from Pakistan’s regular attempts of hampering local bodies election which is ultimately meant to hamper democracy in J&K.
The past experience has taught the people of J&K many lessons. However, there is still lot to be learned from these lessons. In fact, the present ULB elections is a lesson to the youth of J&K that how Pakistan and their sympathisers are hindering democratic machinery in the state. The educated and literate youth in Kashmir has framed some germane questions against NC-PDP declaration to boycott Local bodies elections, adding to this people also questioned the loyalty of these two parties and asked “Whether they are playing in the hands of Pakistan”. The youth promptness to question these parties and zeal to participate in ULB elections reflect their faith in Indian democracy and has left separatist leaders begging for support in the state.The present chapter has taught J&K that Pakistan never wants democracy to work in the state while PDP and NC don’t aspire to distribute power among the common masses and want to monopolies power.
ISI clear motive is to disrupt Panchayati and Municipal elections in the state through every possible way. Killing of police personnel or setting Panchayat ghar ablaze is a part of their conspiracy to effect election polling. The time has ripe when the youth of Jammu and Kashmir has to answer and slap these anti-nationalist forces playing in the hand of Pakistan or ISI and establish democracy in the state to the fullest. Local bodies election are to be conducted in the state after a difference/gap of 13 years. The conduction of local bodies elections against all odds is viewed as an essential step on the road that will take Jammu and Kashmir to peace, prosperity and development.