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Mainstream Pushed To The Margins

The seven per cent turnout in the Srinagar bypoll marks a new low for Kashmir’s pro-India parties

Mainstream Pushed To The Margins
No Show | Photograph by PTI
Mainstream Pushed To The Margins
outlookindia.com
2017-04-15T11:22:54+05:30

“The youngsters here are angrier than they were in the 1990s,” Andrew Whitehead, who had been to Kashmir several times during that tumultuous decade as a BBC correspondent and went on to write A Mission in Kashmir, told locals who had come for his talk at a café on Residency Road near Srinagar’s Lal Chowk a few days ago. Recalling his conversation with an elderly woman with no separatist leanings, he said she remembered the 1990s as a time when the people were “angry and scared”, unlike now when most of them are “angry and fearless”.

Anger and fearlessness, indeed, were abundantly on display in the streets—and especially around the polling booths as Srinagar went to polls on April 9. With almost all separatist leaders either under house arrest or in jails, internet connections snapped, government forces in huge numbers manning the roads, streets, lanes and bylanes, the constituency that had in 2014 elected the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) Tariq Hameed Karra—the MP who resigned protesting...

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