In a recent open letter, Iltija Mufti endeavors to cast a rosy glow on what she refers to as the “golden era” during her grandfather Mufti Sayeed’s tenure as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. However, a comprehensive examination of historical realities is imperative, as her narrative not only reflects an outdated playbook but also raises questions about the broader impact of political decisions on the people of Kashmir.The touted Healing Touch Policy, portrayed as a masterpiece, delicately danced on the fine line between promoting a semblance of peace and inadvertently fostering a culture of militancy. Rather than addressing the root causes of conflict, it sustained and rejuvenated separatism, leaving an indelible mark on the region’s trajectory.Contrary to the nostalgic portrayal, Mufti Sayeed’s era was far from a golden age; instead, it marked a dark period for Kashmir. The politics of coffins and graves, championed by some Kashmiri politicians, hindered progress and obstructed genuine development. The people of Kashmir deserve a future free from the shackles of a worn-out conflict, grounded in inclusivity, progress, and unity.The disruptive Hartal culture, prevalent during that time, hindered economic progress and contributed to a cycle of stagnation. Ending this practice was not merely an administrative move but a crucial step towards achieving genuine development and steering Kashmir towards a more positive trajectory.Recognizing the end of stone pelting and street agitations is crucial. The positive shift in the security climate and the resultant growth and prosperity is a testament to the fact that healing is multifaceted and goes beyond mere political rhetoric. Redirecting our focus towards a narrative that resonates with the evolving needs and dreams of the people of Kashmir is imperative for sustainable development.In the so-called Golden era, Fridays were not merely days for special prayers but occasions when the youth gathered to express dissent through stone pelting, sacrificing lives for a political vision that failed to address their aspirations. Similarly, Eid was not a joyous celebration but an event tainted with the poisonous seeds of separatism.Iltija’s selective version of history conveniently omits the anguish, sacrifices, and shattered dreams of countless Kashmiri Muslims. The distortion of our shared narrative into a tale of supposed glory is not only painful but also a disservice to the complexity of Kashmir’s sociopolitical landscape.The scars of that era are deeply etched in the collective memory of Kashmiri Muslims, reminding us of the bitter truth behind the gloss of nostalgia. As we confront present challenges, it is crucial not to forget the untold stories, the tears shed, and the silent cries of a community betrayed by the delusions of a bygone era.The upcoming elections in Kashmir should prioritize the aspirations of the common Kashmiri, steering away from a continuation of divisive politics. Embracing a new narrative that aligns with the evolving needs and dreams of the people is paramount for genuine progress.In conclusion, the myth of Kashmir’s Golden era needs to be unravelled, and the true legacy of those dark years acknowledged—a legacy of shattered hopes, blossoming Kashmiri youths sent to graves, and a heavy burden carried by Kashmiri Muslims who bear the scars of a past that should never be romanticized.Blurb:This critical analysis delves into Iltija Mufti’s depiction of Mufti Sayeed’s Chief Ministerial era in Kashmir, challenging the notion of a “golden age.” Unmasking the shortcomings of policies like the Healing Touch and addressing the disruptive Hartal culture, the piece underscores the lasting impact on Kashmir’s trajectory. Advocating for a narrative aligned with the people’s evolving dreams, it urges a realistic acknowledgment of the era’s dark legacy, cautioning against romanticizing a past marked by shattered hopes and silent cries.