As portrayed by some media channels, the LPG has apparently displaced the cry for “Azadi” notwithstanding the fact that a Kashmiri never reveals his true feelings except when things go beyond his proverbial patience and resilience. He is capable of keeping “Azadi” on the side till he sorts out other urgent necessities of his daily life. LPG is a rage now. Long queues, chained cylinders, fights and protests, subsidised and full rate cylinders, black and white cylinders, domestic and commercial cylinders, cooking, heating, and vehicle cylinders and so on. In fact, LPG has penetrated every sphere of daily life! There are also interesting anecdotes like the Chief Minister and a Union Minister surrendering some connections as if their food is actually cooked in their own kitchens! The Hospitality and Protocol Department used to be responsible for the kitchens of these VIPs. May be the things have changed now? Usually delegations used to go to Delhi to plead for a political solution to Kashmir problem but now teams are going there to plead for LPG cylinders!
Well, LPG is not the only thing nagging Kashmiris during one of the possibly harshest winters ever seen. Power is already playing hide and seek and the worst is yet to come. Kerosene is being sold in the black market for 30 to 40 rupees a litre. The prices of the food items of daily use are sky rocketing. Everybody is trying to take his pound of flesh! Common Kashmiri is planned by “some” to be brought down on his knees and enmeshed in so many daily problems that he forgets “Azadi”! Interestingly, instead of trying to raise voices to bring some relief to common people in daily lives, some leaders are looking for any activity of road construction to the holy cave of Amarnath Ji! In Kashmir every construction activity even in the plain areas of the valley comes to a complete standstill during the harsh winter. How can a road be constructed in those high-altitude areas during winter? These leaders seem to be out of sync with the pulse of the people. Moreover, the main problem with Amarnath is not the road. The apprehensions as expressed by some quarters are about the possible settlements around the area to create an Amarnath Nagar. Panun Kashmir has been demanding a homeland within Kashmir valley and their aim seems to be to get clustered around the Yatra route on two sides getting connected by a tunnel in the mountains. One fails to understand why the Shrine Board has given itself the authority for setting up railway lines, tunnels, power-houses and so on unless they have some hidden motives?
Apart from choking by LPG, the people are already choked by security forces and the politicians. AFSPA is not going away soon. The tightest ever security grid is going to continue. Politicians are taking every one for a ride. Sarpanches and Panches have to fend for themselves and have no alternative but to resign en mass! Freedom of expression has been choked long back. This must be the only place where people are detained in their own houses to prevent them from offering prayers at a mosque simply because the authorities apprehend a breach of peace. Kashmir has the peace of a grave yard. So who is going to breach it? Hopefully, not the dead rising from the mass graves scattered all over the valley?The only boon Kashmir has at the present moment is the brilliant sunshine with blue skies. Of course, the nights are very cold and are bound to get colder. The absolutely dry and cold weather is giving rise to many respiratory problems.The air in Kashmir even though brisk, cold and sharp, is very heavy and is making breathing difficult. One feels choked from all sides. There is an alarming lack of life sustaining oxygen in the air. Thus, people should forget LPG and rush for Oxygen Cylinders if they want to breathe freely and survive all these man made calamities!