HYDERABAD: They are here either for education or livelihood. The recent floods in their Jammu and Kashmir state have dented their fortunes. Though the Assembly elections this week are being seen as a game changer, Kashmiris in the city see no good coming.
Many of them are not keen to go to their native places to cast their votes. Reasons are aplenty.
“There has never been a fair government in J&K. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has failed miserably to take stock of the situation during the floods. We see no point in casting our votes,” said Sajjad Ahmed, a trader at Shilparamam in the city. Ahmed’s family lost their home in Ganderbal district in the floods.
Similarly, another trader Zameer Bhat added, “Corruption has been the worst curse of Kashmir. No funds from Centre reach the people. Whether we vote or not, it is going to be a coalition and BJP will win a large chunk of seats.” Noting that the Centre has been trying to develop the state, he said, “Modi is a great politician with a clear vision and determination. At least, if BJP comes to power in the state as in the Centre, there is a bit of hope.”
However, according to him, politicians show their true colours only after elections. “When Omar Abdullah, who won from our constituency in 2008, became the CM, he conveniently forgot all the promises he made to us. He had promised to convert ours into a model constituency,” he added.
Another trader, Manzoor Ahmed, feels no change in government can bring a real change. “Corruption is so deep rooted in our bureaucracy and political structure. I was sanctioned Rs 75,000 towards damage during floods and what reached my hand is only Rs 12,000. A change in government will bring no change. People’s attitude has to change,” he pointed out.
Bilal Majeed, one of the 30-odd Kashmiri students at the University of Hyderabad, said Kashmiris have lost faith in the ‘democratic drama’. The 25-year-old has never participated in any elections. “I belong to the generation where I have grown up in a troublesome situation. We very well know how our state elections are perceived across India and that is enough reason why we do not participate,” stated Bilal, who believes a section of J&K people are leaning towards the BJP in the present elections and thus a big change is on the way.