The politics of economics

But the situation never changed and we heard it never before

COMMENT

HASSAN ZAINAGAIRI

Saying that ‘Kashmir resolution process cannot be held hostage to the unity’ between various Hurriyat groups and the ‘process has to be carried forward’, the executive head of the Huryat (M) Mirwaiz Umar is exuding in a neo-convert’s impatience to cross the LoC and come up with Holy Grail to silence his critics. His Hurriyat faction is in a “brain-storming” phase, busy holding consultations and getting feedback from members of ‘civil society’ and trader fraternity.
 When the die is cast already, ‘feedback’ sessions hold nothing but the a series of rituals. If the ‘pooling of thoughts together’ has the ‘sincerity’ as the driving force behind, the discrimination exhibited in selection exposes the fault. Importantly, are the ‘leaders’ really sensitive to opinion? What if in ‘consultation’ process the ‘moderate’ leadership is back-fed with the “desirability” of joining the ‘mainstream’ and contest the elections? Or, if the ‘consensus’ emerging out of deliberations asks to calm down your inflated egos, which of the two options your “Lordship” would sign off for?
 We must avoid rubbing the ointment at wrong place. The fact of the matter is whatever position one may take, he always has a claim (even command) in ‘intellectual inputs’.
 The history of political turn-abouts reminds us that in exploring ‘viable’ alternatives and for Izat, Aabroo Ka Muqam, such expeditions always co-opt “intellectuals”. Late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah relapsed into ‘mainstream’ after engaging in ‘consultation’ and the ‘feedback’ he got from State People’s Convention.
 So, Mirwaiz Hurriyat factions ‘feedback’ activism is not that surprising. Everyone who gets fatigued in pursuing his cherished goal, does political somersaulting. Unfortunately, however, that mind and heart change are not told at the face value. But woven in mysteries, sold in cloaks. To the naïve people.
 In a ‘feedback’ meeting on November 20, Mirwaiz Umar advocating for the new role he has cast himself in, said: ‘We believe Kashmir issue is primarily a political issue but it has an economic dimension as well. We were a self-reliant state in 1947 and now we are totally dependent…. States all resources, be water or electricity have been looted and there was a direct need to weave political independence with economic independence’.
(GK, November 21, 2012).
 The above quoted lines are a clear manifestation of changed stand of Hurriyat (M). whittling down the priority of Kashmir issue. From expected quarters the change would be welcomed and serenaded as Ay Ishk marhaba woh yahan tak to aayai!
 Addressing a public gathering at Rahama (Rafiabad) PDP patron and former CM Mufti Muhammad Syed said on 14th July 2011 that his party is struggling to earn the state ‘a pre-1947 position’ when the state was ‘self-reliant and enjoyed free-trade and travel’. He said he is fighting for the ‘individuality’ and ‘identity’ of the state and is ‘dreaming marketing apples to Lahore and Rawalpindi’.
(Kashmir Uzma:  15th July 2011).
 NC President and coalition chief minister Omar Abdullah on many occasions stated that Kashmir is ‘primarily a political issue’ and ‘no election is the solution of the political issue’. (GK, 08 July, 2011).
 Mirroring the statement of Mirwaiz with those of Mufti Syed and Omar Abdullah, one is stunned at the common denominator shared by all.
 Immediately and instantaneously the question arises, why it took more than two decades for the ‘moderates’ to wake up to the urgency of economy. The resources were ‘looted’ in these 22 years also. Power projects and water resources were ruthlessly exploited by the NHPC all these years. But never once did it agitate you to ‘weave political independence with economic independence’?
 Hurriyat (M) has proudly announced that it is constituting an Economic Advisory Council to ‘revive the lost status of J&K as an economically self-reliant state’.  Obviously the ‘EAC’ would suggest many recommendations so as to make state ‘self-reliant’. Would they have binding force? Or, they will end up the way the various commissions ended up with nothing tangible taking place. Justice Rangarajan Commission recommended return of Salal and Uri projects to state but nothing happened. When you have no political authority, dozens of your EACs are futile exercises meant to deceive people and change the dominant Kashmir narrative. Roti, Kapda aur Makaan has never been on agenda during the turmoil decades. People in Kashmir are fairly well-off than people in the rest of India.
 These leaders on umpteenth times hurled choicest invectives on late Sheikh for giving up the ‘cause’. He, however, showed moral courage in converting plebiscite into national Conference. Hurriyat (M) is, in contrary playing the role close to that of a trapeze artist, not to lose the ‘separatist’ constituency, but at the same time drift in ‘mainstream’. They have right to choose the way they like. But they should avoid double-speak and dichotomy. Speak in one syllable, election. Contest and clinch the issue.  

Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 7 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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