IFTIKHAR AMIN SOFI COMMENTS ON THE BOOK “OMAR ABDULLAH-THE BURDENS OF INHERITANCE” BY ARJIMAND HUSSAIN TALIB
It was a pleasant surprise to know that after Basharat Peer’s “Curfewed Night”, our valley’s another young writer, Arjimand Hussain Talib, has come up with a book on Omar Abdullah which suddenly seems to be catching attention. After an enjoyable reading of this new book written on Omar Abdullah, I cannot hold back from sharing my feelings about it.
“Omar Abdullah: the Burdens of Inheritance” appears to me like a political post mortem of the Abdullah family’s handling of the state’s most important issues. It highlights interesting new aspects of the challenges faced by Omar Abdullah and his handling of those issues from a perspective of our new generation. Although the book analyses a broad range of issues, some issues particularly catch a reader’s attention, notably the history of Mughal Road, ethnic and geographical divisions because of Congress and NC’s policies and Amarnath yatra.
The first chapter gives some exhaustive insights into the personal and political life of Omar Abdullah ever since he joined politics. One of the most important chapters in the book is on Nitish Sen Gupta and Mukherjee Committee recommendations, which provide a whole new insight into the Amarnath issue. The author writes in the book, “One popular misconception that continues to be widely consumed both in media and public discussions in Kashmir is that since the Nitish Sengupta and Mukherjee Committees had recommended a cut in the number of yatris to the Amarnath cave, the current increase in numbers is in contravention to their recommendations. Facts are little different.”
Quoting from the two committees’ recommendations, the author argues that basically it is the Mukherjee Committee’s recommendations of better security infrastructure that has necessitated the creation of a separate security system for the yatra, over which the State government has almost no control. “The security system has since been handled by the Governor’s Office and some components of the Unified Command, whose Chairman, ironically, is supposed to be the state’s Chief Minister”, he writes.
It also opens a new debate on the issue when it quotes from the Nitish Committee further saying that the committee has basically suggested that the period of yatra is to be one month and that in the event of normalcy extension of period of yatra, to ensure enhanced period of ice lingam by controlling temperature of the cave. It also says that the two committees have actually recommended “increased duration of darshan, to open the Baltal route much before the Pahalgam side to enable a large number of yatris to visit the shrine and reduce the rush during the yatra.”
What was new to me also is that it were these committees which had actually recommended “establishment of infrastructure of yatra which include up-gradation of infrastructure, road communication, involvement of voluntary organisations for financial assistance for construction of permanent structures, etc.”
The role National Conference and PDP governments have played in the political affairs of the state is well known. But when the author says that Omar has also inherited this unfinished issue from the previous governments, he is not wrong. Overall, the hard work that has gone into writing the book and ensuring that it is mostly error free is commendable. We must encourage our young writers so that they come out with newer ideas, newer books.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 7 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 8 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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