Need to assert
Otherwise we will be reduced to a powerless people
WORDS WITHIN BY FIRDOUS SYED
This is no democracy but disempowered democracy. Politicians are nothing more than figure heads. Chief ministers here have been nothing more than dignified clerks. He can’t even remove a heap of messily placed sandbags called bunkers, on his own. On Tuesday Home minster of India paid a day-long visit to the winter capital, Jammu. The ostensible reason apart from paying obeisance at the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi was to review the “security arrangements” for upcoming Amarnath yatra, besides how to ensure “2012 peaceful summer in Kashmir” was also “high on (his) agenda”. According to the media reports during the high-level meeting held at chief minister’s official residence, apart from host of other issues reviewed, “the Home Minister also discussed with CRPF and police the removal of some bunkers from Srinagar city”.
Even removal of a bunker exceeds the powers of the government? Is this a funny occasion or an incident worth deploring? This depends upon the political orientation of an individual. For a person driven by the sentiment of Hurriyet---liberation---it’s time to mock the protagonist of Indian democracy in Kashmir; “didn’t we tell you the democracy here is a mere facade to provide cover to the worst repression, the real powers to govern rests with New Delhi”. And for a Kashmiri advocate of Indian democracy, it may be an occasion to bang his head against the absurd but obscure wall of Indian obduracy, seeing how even the petty issues related to J&K are micromanaged by Delhi leaving very little space for the so called elected representatives to manage the affairs of the state.
Before one strives to reach a conclusion that whether the government deserves the sympathy for such a helpless and powerless position, a questing needs to be asked first, is such a brazen highhandedness possible in other states? Mamata Banerjee is considered to be a hot headed maverick, yet she as an elected chief minister is conscious about her responsibilities and interests of West Bengal. She scuttled a water sharing agreement on Teesta river reached between India and Bangladesh; Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh had to cut a sorry figure during his recent visit to Dhaka. For the last two years Omar Abdullah rightly so has been voicing his concerns over human rights violations, and struggling hard for partial withdrawal of AFSPA, transfer of hydro electric projects form NHPC and occasionally underscoring the constitutional status of J&K in limbo.
The genuine concerns of an elected government here have been met with an utter contempt by the centre. If one even dares to think of moving unilaterally on one of these issues he would find himself dislodged with Xongress withdrawing its support? How army’s top brass described the demand for the withdrawal of AFSPA in a meeting of Unified Headquarters as “separatist inspired” is all in public domain. And could an elected government of Kashmir like eight other governments dig-his-heels and criticise the formation of NCTC in its present form; it “will infringe on the federal structure”. JK Government did voice his concerns on NCTC but mildly just to register his concerns and not to block the move. It was obliged to oppose the move tooth and nail to protect the interests of Jammu and Kashmir.
Such helplessness is ridiculous. Due to this big brotherly attitude of New Delhi even people sitting outside can feel this suffocation? Why the elected government is comfortable with the repeated insults heaped on it, is mind-boggling. Leave aside the concerns about the honour and dignity of a common Kashmiri, NC leadership has voluntarily in lieu of power given up that role, since long. Nothing new about this, ever since Sheikh Abduallah decided to join India in 1947 lured by the shallow slogan of greater autonomy, New Delhi has always treated people of J&K with deep contempt. But the situation lately has surpassed all the past records. Politicians ruling us have been rendered as spineless creatures. The big brother in Delhi busy pulling the strings of real power needs to ponder over the fact, will this remote-controlled micromanagement help to flourish democracy in Kashmir? Potted democracy is incapable of meeting the people’s aspirations.
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Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 13 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 14 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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