Srinagar, August 16 : In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the Kashmir Valley’s pro-India politicians appeared to treat Indian Independence Day with scorn, mostly staying away from the celebrations, skipping the customary greetings, and some even mocking the absence of celebrations in the territory.
Indian English daily The Telegraph said that the Valley-based pro-India politicians did this as a sign of the anger at last year’s abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
As per the English daily, Mohammad Akbar Lone, National Conference Lok Sabha member from Baramulla, summed up the mood, saying he had stayed away from the celebrations because he no longer accepted August 15 as his Independence Day. “We don’t accept it as our Independence Day,” Lone told the daily.
“We did not go because the event is not ours…. It is natural (that people should feel this way after the scrapping of Article 370). The relations between them and us are bad,” Lone said. “We have no relations with them. How can we accept them and take them as our own? It cannot happen.”
As per The Telegraph, it checked the Twitter handles of nearly two dozen senior Valley politicians, including Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti (whose daughter operates her account with her permission) and Congress leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ghulam Ahmad Mir. None had a word of salutation, it added.
It pointed out that some made fun of the abysmal popular participation in the Independence Day events. In this regard, the Kolkata-based newspaper quoted Naeem Akhtar of the PDP as having tweeted, “Is it a meme? Who did it”, while uploading a video of the city centre in Srinagar where the govt had installed LCD screens for live telecast of the Indian PM’s speech. The newspaper said that hardly anyone was there to watch it.