Politicians in Kashmir have decided to come together once again to mislead the people of the UT of J&K. The political paradigm has shrunk from the special status of J&K to that of Kashmir. This is political chicanery at its best. The motivating factor may be the China-Pakistan-Turkey axis that by their utterances continues to display gross ignorance about the political dynamics as it evolved post accession of the princely state of J&K to the Union of India. Their political credentials are restated here:
1. The tallest among them from National Conference (NC) ran away to play golf in London at a time when the state had plunged into total chaos, disorder and communal and rose up in arms against the mighty Indian State.
2. The lady from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a MP created ruckus in the Lok Sabha while declaring herself to be “Bhagat Singh” of Kashmir! As CM of J&K, kept praising the PM for the way he had been conducting official business. The lady joined hands with BJP to form the government.
3. The Congress too claimed to have a base in J&K. They joined hands with NC in 1986? Can there be a bigger farce than the fact of their joining hands?
4. The PDP fought elections for the first time in 2002 and that afforded a chance for the Congress to be a part of a coalition government in J&K.
5. To top it all a Messiah came, that’s what the Kashmiri Muslims (KM) thought, to rescue them from their pain and anguish. IAS officer felt chocked in his job and gave it up to serve his KM; ended up choosing such politician as the Ideal who had nothing to show on record except for incongruous and irresponsible public statements. He declared to start a movement only to abandon it.
6. What about separatists and Apni party? They are Indianised? Those who are on a killing spree of BJP functionaries in Kashmir should know that their leaders had no ideological differences with BJP, when it came to sharing power. The KM need to internalize this fact of history that they were cheated and misled not by GOI but by their own leaders in Kashmir and their ideologues from across the border.
The 1996 Elections: Attempt to communalize politics
The golf player also known for having motorbike rides with the Bollywood damsels, found his way back into J&K post fleeing. For some reasons, the Indian political leadership thought that the time was ripe for state elections and they were proved right by very enthusiastic participation of the people in the polls despite boycott calls by Hurriat. Ironically people gave thumping 2/3 majority to the party of golf player. As elected CM, he played a neat politically communal game.
Excerpts from ‘Demystifying Kashmir by Navnita Chadha Behera’:
[“In November 1996, Farooq Abdullah … set up the Regional Autonomy Committee (RAC) to reexamine the issue of interregional relations… The entire RAC forum was flawed. It was not a truly representative body because all its members belonged to NC. Opposition leaders had no voice in redrawing the “rules of the game” for internal power sharing… The RAC report, released in April 1999, endorsed the idea of following communal fault lines by recommending that the state be reorganized into eight provinces….. It offered no reasons for the new arrangement …The committee simply disregarded the Pandits’ demand for Panun Kashmir…
The communal undercurrents of the committee’s recommendations were further exposed in its proposed restructuring of the Jammu region into three provinces, along Hindu-Muslim lines… ..”]
Incidentally, one of the solutions offered by former Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, was same as suggested by the RAC! Fortunately it did not appeal to the Indian leadership and the whole plan was rightly shelved.
The Autonomy/Special Status Syndrome:
The votaries of special status, more particularly NC, need to answer the KM as to when it was abrogated and with whose consent. NC must explain to their constituency the difference between PM and CM; about the year when J&K ceased to have a PM, and who put final stamp of approval on abrogation of special status in the year 1974. There was no compulsion on the part of any KM leadership to accept the changes as incorporated in the political relationship between the erstwhile state of J&K and the Union of India; as mutually agreed procedures were followed to institutionalize them.
What was abrogated?
The horse was dead in the year 1964 to be buried in the year 1974 and its skeleton was excavated and disposed off on 5th August, 2019. In this exercise the BJP smartly made use of the degenerate politics indulged in by the local and National level politicians and claimed for removal of non-existent special status; the political purpose was to create a UT to checkmate nefarious designs of the touts of Pakistan.
Understanding the farce:
Once the PM chair is relegated to that of CM the special status no longer exists; it happened in 1964 with the consent of the close associates of Sheikh Abdullah. They could have disagreed with or agitated against the Indian leadership and taken the matter to international forums, but they chose to give consent for, that got them to wield political power. If there ever was a case of political prostitution it was succumbing to greed of power over the promises made to the people. The tallest leader of them all, Sheikh Abdullah gave his final consent in the year 1974 for chair and played very important role in alienating KM from the Indian Union and he did that in league with Jamait – e – Islami. Rest is the history dominated by turmoil, pain, anguish and ethnic cleansing.
The ‘group of 6’ is itching to cause devastation as it costs nothing to them. The people of J&K, more particularly the Muslims, have to take a call to save the beautiful land of J&K from the predators. There is this need to promote and encourage politicians with honest intent to shape the destiny of the region in a way that would see only peace, happiness and prosperity of the people.
Mir Junaid is the party president of Jammu Kashmir Workers Party. He is a lawyer by education from Law School at Kashmir University. Besides, he is a regular writer for national and international dailies and journals.