Kashmir has been agog since the last five days with rumours running high that ‘something big like August 5, 2019’ is going to happen.
In 2019 also rumours flew wild saying ‘Delhi was planning something big’ and those rumours came true when articles 370, 35A and the statehood were scrapped by the Indian Parliament.
What fuelled the rumours of 2019? The official advisory to tourists to leave the Valley, the curtailment of the Amarnath Yatra which was in full swing when the government decide to cut it short. The huge influx of security forced into J&K in July 2019.
These telltale events fuelled the local rumour mill and thankfully for the rumour mongers, their arumoured fears’ came true in 2019.
To the detriment of the local rumour mongers, there are not enough ‘earthshaking possibilities in Kashmir’ now to serve as raw materials for the local crystal ball gazers.
J&K Lt Governor, two chief secretaries, police and CID chiefs were called to Delhi to discuss the possibility of holding this year’s Amarnath Yatra the online registration for which was suspended on April 22.
This coincided with the arrival of many companies of paramilitary forces which would be deployed on security of the Yatra or to provide relief to the existing companies those have been doing duties in the Valley for long.
This provided fodder for the rumour mongers who started spreading ‘breaking news’ about epochal events lying in store for Kashmir.
“Jammu would get statehood while the Valley would be centrally administered without an elected assembly.
“Four south Kashmir districts would be ceded to the newly carved out state of Jammu while the centrally administered Valley would be limited to Srinagar, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Budgam.
“There is even another possibility that the district of Ganderbal would be made a part of the existing Ladakh union territory”.
The spinners of the local rumour mill did not seem to have done their home work, they had just allowed their imagination to fly high.
Those credulous among the local population started saying that the prelude to all this would be snapping of the mobile phones and imposition of curfew.
The UT administration has probably decided not to give any credibility to the rumour mongers by denying these speculations.
When asked to comment on the rumours doing the rounds, a senior officer of the government said, “If we start denying these baseless rumours we would be giving importance to these which they don’t deserve”.
If the administration has decided to let these rumours ‘die a natural death’, then they are overlooking one basic reality.
Rumours need to be squashed in the beginning otherwise they become Don Quixote’s imaginary windmills in Kashmir.