Kashmir alienated

Jaitley’s much delayed diagnoses , Azad’s accusation against the BJP and the real problem Kashmir is facing for long

B L Saraf
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jan 10 2019 10:35PM | Updated Date: Jan 10 2019 10:35PM
Kashmir  alienatedRepresentational pic

In a   moment of     reckoning , last week    Rajya Sabha      heard  speeches  of    leaders of   INC and BJP   which    had    a common refrain  that   Kashmir’s   is    a  “history of alienation .”  It  is a  statement of truth, no matter it has come  in  a  political run down show. 

 Rajya Sabaha  was  discussing   the  resolution to  impose president’s rule in Jammu and   Kashmir.  Participating in the discussion    ex-CM    J&K and current leader of opposition in Rajay Sabha , Ghulam Nabi Azad    accused    BJP of destabilizing   the state governments and breaking  NC . INC and the PDP. Refuting the charge   the  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley  said  that   it was wrong  to say that alienation started  in the state in the last four years    and it was Congress which played the destabilizing game .  He said that when Governor B K  Nehru refused to play the  game he was replaced and the new  Governor was appointed   who    destabilized Farooq Abdullah government  and     formed new  one  by breaking the National Conference. 

 Jaitly  went to say   “ Kashmir’s     is a  history of alienation ”   and that Assembly elections  for successive years  in 1957 , 1962  and  1967   were not fair.  It was a massive fraud played with democracy  by the Congress leadership .  He recalled that there was a District Magistrate  named  Abdul Khaliq  who manipulated elections for the ruling party.  According to him “ there were  two types of  MLAs elected. One by Khaliq and other by people .” It was only  1977 that Kashmir witnessed  free and fair elections when Morarji Desai  became Prime Minster .  FM admitted that the regional parties have a role in J&K. The national parties  could align with them  despite ideological differences.

 Very true , Mr. Jaitley . Pointing towards Azad the FM said “ when history will give verdict on the roles of Jawaharlal  Nehru  and   Shyama Prassda Mukerjee   you will feel the pain  .”  Let’s wait for the verdict!

  Takeaways from the statement of  Arun Jaitly  are  : that one,   Kashmir stands alienated. Two, democracy was never allowed to have a free run in  J& K. Three, Governor Jagmohan destabilized  NC and government led by Farooq Abdullah , and ,   four. Local political parties have a role in the state and that national political parties may align with them irrespective of an ideology .

  Good  that  the  FM     is concerned   on  Kashmir  .  He is right in castigating Congress   for  its flawed K   policy. Nonetheless, the BJP   cannot escape  blame in complicating the matter. It’s   up starts and  loud mouths in Jammu and elsewhere   lose no opportunity to play foul when  a solution of sorts in visible . Some of them have not taken kindly to  Atal Behar Vajpayee   when  he  invoked   Insaniyat, Jamhooryat and Kashmiriat    to settle the issue. 

What  Arun Jaitley says about the role of Congress party in  messing up Kashmir is largely  true. However, for Kashmir's sense of alienation every political actor who ruled Delhi  is responsible with varied degree of share, depending upon his political clout in the national capitol.   It is a travesty that the person who  built relationship of State with the Indian union – Jawaharlal  Nehru – is  portrayed a villain to the cause . It can’t be denied that  he is partly    responsible for the mess Kashmir is  presently  in   .  Alienation started from 1953 . 

True, Kashmir has had traumatic experience of the democracy  . Elections held were largely flawed . But what has BJP done to   correct   the  wrong? Nothing . On the contrary it has  followed the bad practice. Latest example is  the sham ULB elections in Kashmir , where  these bodies were  made In Jammu   and  packed off to various  places in the Valley, in utter disregard  to   the democratic norms  .

It  sounds  revelation  when it  comes    from a person whose party  ( BJP )  has persistently  refused to acknowledge that Kashmiris  were  nursing  a feeling of alienation,  on account of things done by Delhi, and whose consistent narrative was that Kashmir has no problem except  taking back what was taken by Pakistan  in   1947.    It is reassuring  that BJP  has realized the importance of local parties in the State. This position must be welcomed because,  earlier,  BJP  would  lose    no opportunity to deride theses local political parties as “Kashmir Centric Parties “.    So,  is  worth noting that  B JP  has admitted the role of Jagmohan  in destabilizing the state in 1984.    Remember , to some  ‘nationalists ‘   he is a   ‘savior of Kashmir ‘ .

Having diagnosed the problem , it for the FM   to   impress upon  PM   Modi and the  bigwigs of the BJP to see  Kashmir in  dispassionate way and  take a call to address the problem,  without playing a political blame game. Start peace process, first , by  taking a stock of what  interlocutor Dineswar Sharma has achieved – if any  . Then, get     real  stake holders on  board –  if not  to resolve    ‘issue  ‘   entirely    but , at least   ,   for  ensuring   that  no   precious life is lost  .

(B L Saraf  is Former Principal District  & Sessions Judge)


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