HMV of J&K politics
It's all His Master's Voice
Bhartiya Janta Party is a party with difference. The difference is yet to be felt. In fact, it is His Master’s Voice. Sorry, if you have started thinking that it is the party with a difference in Jammu and Kashmir and it speaks for the people of the state on the instructions of its top leadership or as a matter of policy of the party. No one seems to be having any clue as to who is calling shots in the party and who is speaking whose language.
In Jammu, this party whose legislature party has been truncated because of that cross-voting episode in April last year, it speaks one language and the other in Srinagar and third in Delhi – a typical trait of Kashmir centric parties. The BJP has learnt its lessons well from the Kashmir-centric mainstream parties. In some cases, even the separatists, too, have started different languages. But why it is surprising in the case of BJP, because it calls itself with a party with difference and having certain “ principles”, some of which were on display during legislative council elections, when seven of its legislators opted for cross-voting and helped the ruling coalition win all the seats.
Since then, nothing has been heard from the party high command as to which direction it should follow. This party in Jammu and Kashmir has its matches fixed with one or the other Kashmir-centric parties. The leaders of these parties- as per the script that it had been following since 1970s- is supposed to speak against the ruling parties of the state, rather loudly, so that the ruling parties benefit from them in the Valley. BJP has been helping Kashmir-centric parties to strengthen their position in the Valley.
In January 2011, the party thought of unfurling the national tricolor at Lal Chowk on Republic Day- January 26. There were strident charges from the Kashmiri parties, particularly National Conference against this flag hoisting. It was given out as iof one flag at Lal Chowk in 2011 would reverse the history and a well chalked out theatre was played before the people. BJP leadership, that time apparently united in Jammu and Kashmir, sought to give an impression that one flag hoisting would make some kind of footprint that would never disappear. It forgot that it had held the similar yatra and hoisting of the flag at Lal Chowk in 1992. Nothing changed. In fact what had happened was that in 1998 when BJP led NDA came to power, the National Conference joined the alliance and in 1999 it had its share in the union ministry as well.
This was the same party that had made an issue of Indian nationalism versus separatism in early 1990s and had decided to repeat the same audacious act in 2011 in some kind of hope. This time, as was the case in 1992, Congress was ruling at the Centre.
After all, it is a well known fact that as and when National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party are in power, they unfurl the national tricolor at Bakshi stadium in Srinagar. And, when they are not in power, they criticize India all the way. Another thing is that whenever they are in power, they play HMV’s of the Delhi government. The latest case is that when the Union government hiked diesel price by Rs. 5 and put a cap of six cylinders per family per year, all other allies criticized the move, but National Conference kept mum.. This silence is its consent to the policy. Or perhaps there is a fear in the party that if it annoys Delhi, then 1953 or 1984 might be repeated.
This is one side of the story, other is that BJP raises the level of criticism in Jammu, criticizing the coalition government, and makes it a point to criticize the National Conference. NC rebuts that. It looks as if in this theatre of politics, each is playing its role. Behind the scene what happens, is known to very few people.
That BJP was playing politics with the sentiments of the people became very clear when it fueled the Amarnath land row agitation in the summer of 2008. That time, the common people in Jammu, mostly Hindus, thought that BJP would emerge as their savior little knowing that in less than two and a half years’ time, the party would go in for cross voting and dash all the hopes of the people.
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 17 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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