CHURUMURI POLL: Is an ‘economic blockade’ OK?

A common feature of post-Godhra Gujarat and the Amarnath shrine row are whispers of an “economic blockade” of Muslims by Hindus.

In Gujarat, it was reported that pamphlets were distributed urging “all Hindus to boycott the entire Muslim population in all possible ways including not hiring them or working for them in their establishments, not buying from or selling to them, and even not watching films in which Muslim actors/actresses worked”. Recipients of the unsigned pamphlets were asked to distribute it to ten more Hindus.

A similar situation is being played out in Jammu, where fruit traders in the Kashmir valley are allegedly not being allowed to transport their produce to the rest of the nation, through Jammu. There is talk of a shortage of drugs, baby powder, and other essential supplies. The implication again is that Hindu-majority Jammu is seeking to starve Muslim-majority Kashmir to have its way. It’s a charge the BJP has taken upon itself to deny, calling it a “myth” concocted by separatists”.

Questions: Is an “economic blockade” a legitimate way of “teaching a lesson”? If terror-mongers (in Gujarat) and separatists (in Kashmir) are the target of the blockade, should ordinary Gujarati Muslims and Kashmiri Muslims be made unwitting targets? Is an “economic blockade” likely to show “them” where to get off, or is it only likely to further accentuate tensions and harden feelings for generations? Is an “economic blockade” likely to drive Kashmiris closer towards Pakistan?

Also read: ‘Economic blockade can rebound’

‘All politics, no blockade’