The NC Legacy….
…...and the political history of Kashmir. The bond inseparable
DR. ABDUL MAJID SIRAJ
India is construed as the largest democracy on Earth and by its own definition democracy integrates opinion of a system of government by the whole population. The National Conference leaders from the time of Sheikh Muhammad Abdulla to Omar Abdullah are making news by asserting their right to be a part of that whole population. Faith and friendship bondage anchored relationship between the party and people that followed them and the State of India. Omar’s tears in the assembly over the maltreatment of innocent youth in Kashmir precipitated by one more young man Tahir Ahmad killed in cold blood repeated injustices against the young population of Kashmir. Omar has been defending India’s corner faithfully ever since Shopian tragedy but how long could he maintain a cynical posture and face angry masses?
National Conference maintains that Kashmir has suffered adversarial treatment to silence their voice for legally mandated pledges given to them. NC responsible for seminal politics in Kashmir carried the mantle of restoring the historical title through right to self-determination. They used Indian foreign policy decree of a plebiscite and fought elections on the back of that manifesto. They were rebuffed and their leaders banished to exile. As a step towards larger ambit of self-determination National Conference’s current platform on autonomy spawned from Feb. 11, 1975 when Abdullah reiterated that the constitutional relationship between India and J&K can only be based on 1953 Accord. This paved a legitimate pathway for a democratic demand that could not be called seditious. Article 370 was not only a statute in Indian constitution but also unshakable because of its endorsement by J&K constitution (1975) that made no provisions for its dilution or removal when confirming accession. This posture in India Kashmir relationship encouraged further parlays by NC leaders including Omar Abdullah and Dr Mustafa Kamal to press for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and withdrawal of armed forces from Jammu and Kashmir.
National Conference is synonymous with the life history of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah. In 1931, in an all-out revolt against autocracy he rose to reform governance of a brutalised society and assertion of democratic right in a totalitarian harsh regime. His journey was momentous, full of hazards, trials and tribulations and encounters with fierce resistance from the ruler. He came through as a strong and prodigious leader, known the world over. He played his part and left behind his progeny who show talent with Irish and Welsh genes sprinkles in their personality. Dr Farooq and Mustafa derive inspiration from their father. It is the grand-children notably Omar, Muzaffar and Nyla who have excelled faithfully in the lineage.
NC has an imprint that runs in the family and the last anchor of policy was pitched by Sheikh Abdulla’s Rambir Singh Pora speech on April 10, 1952 that crystallized for the party a clear stand. India was communal as Abdullah had said and Kashmir was wedded to secularism. The two ideologies stood symbolic of anti-thesis. The working group of NC top leaders had met and decided on supporting a plebiscite to include choice for independence for the whole State, with joint control of defence and foreign Affairs from India and Pakistan. Sheikh Abdullah declared on July 13, 1953 that Jammu & Kashmir can be independent and is not an appendage of India or Pakistan. In a dovetail development NC General Secretary Moulana Syed Masoodi warned India of a demand for third option if pressure for a total merger with India was allowed to mount. The call was reiterated by the present general secretary Shiekh Nazir. It is the intensity of such landmarks in the genesis of NC party that brings tears and impels them to say that if autonomy was not conceded, India may have to give independence.
NC had its controls in New Delhi. Sheikh Abdullah made an all-out effort to pilot the governance of the State and spent 20 years in jail. Dr Farooq re-invigorated an autonomy drive and tried to resist the drone culture and met his fate by being unseated from power by using associates close to him. The grandson Omar has a grooming in the wider Indian constituency and he made his efforts at withdrawal of draconian laws and withdrawal of army from the State. He was disappointed and as reported by Early Times Jammu (March I, 2013) the response he got was deployment of more troops on LoC and IB. That would inevitably increase tension and harsher treatment for the masses. What else would he expect except tears? I take exception with people who say that he must resign if he finds himself ineffectual. What would be the aftermath sequel following his resignation? Would India then concede to demands; current or past? It was apparent to him that while screaming for redress of massive criminal violations against people in the State one more young man Tahir Ahmad was killed in cold blood. ‘We had to cross so many rivers of fire and blood’ written in memoirs of Sheikh Abdullah remind him of where history has landed the nation.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 3 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST
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