The delay in government formation due to a fractured mandate and the doubts about the stability of an ideologically incompatible coalition leaves the only sensible choice – go back to the people
Immediately after the declaration of the election results it was very clear that the people have given a fractured mandate. Mandate showed a regional divide with a strong communal overtone. Even though there were possibilities of a regional combine setting up a government yet the clash of families with bloated egos prevented such an occurrence.
People were claiming to be keen to uphold the peoples’ mandate but were in fact looking at all permutations and combinations to capture political power. Many track-II dialogues were going on behind the scenes to somehow cobble together a government. There were two considerations given out for urgency in government formation. One is the development side where huge amounts of funds are required on which state is being falsely projected by the politicians very eager to form the government at all costs, to be totally at the mercy of the centre. The other is the basic political problem pending for a solution for over 60 years or so because of the failure to fulfil the basic aspirations of the local people. Almost all the regional parties had touched both issues in their mandates given to the people before the elections. After having been convinced that all mainstream parties had failed to move on the basic problem, the main consideration for the people in voting was to effect a change at least at the governance level. However, the entry of BJP-RSS combine with their Mission 44+ gave a shot in the arm to the valley people for massive participation as they were determined in preventing the entry of the saffron wave into Kashmir. They did very well succeed in this as all but one BJP candidates lost their deposits. However, the BJP-RSS combine are trying to enter the valley through the backdoor as has been the perennial misfortune of Kashmiris right from the Mughal times!
The famous constitutional expert A G Noorani in a series of articles in Greater Kashmir has made startling revelations especially about the Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy touted by many as a practical way forward for solving the decades old problem. Quoting from a letter to Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh, he reveals how Vajpayee opposed the possible break through between Musharraf and Manmohan Singh on the issue! Vajpayee has only been a willing mukhota to hide the real intentions of BJP-RSS. According to A G Noorani if 1953 was a crime against Kashmir’s autonomy, 2015 would see a crime of saffronising the valley. A grand scale “Ghar Wapsi” for the “lost tribe” of the Hindutva whose present dwelling place is considered to be the crown of the Hindu Bharat Varsh! No doubt in earlier times Kashmir was a very famous Hindu Kingdom and the Saivite philosophy of the Trikka School was the highest spiritual thought in the ancient Hindu India. The famous Sharda University which was a seat of the highest learning especially the Hindu philosophy was situated in Kashmir. The RSS ideologues are not only dreaming about the glorious Hindu past of Kashmir but are seriously contemplating its resurrection through Mission 44+. However, they need to come out of their utopian dreams. Vitasta has turned into Jhelum and much water has flowed down the River. The ancient Hindu Kingdom cannot be resurrected by demographic changes. It has now become an abode of the saints who have been protecting it from all outside assaults through the ages!
As pointed out by A G Noorani, there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind about the ultimate goal of the BJP-RSS combine. Their aim is to revive the Bharat Varsh, the ancient Hindu Kingdom of the Chandragupta Mauraya’s time and for achieving that objective, they have dozens of Kautaliyas working round the clock! This should be starkly evident from their campaign to remove the word “Secular” from the constitution of India. Even President Obama pointed out the fact of unrestrained Hindutva campaign in his speech quoting article 25 of the Indian Constitution which gives religious freedom to all the citizens. It was a subtle hint to Narendra Modi to restrain the Hindutva zealots running all over India to proclaim it as a country of Hindus only. According to Kuldeep Nayar, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be regretting why he invited Obama for the Republic Day. The latter made no secret of his distaste for the Sangh Parivar’s Ghar Wapsi slogan and the other programmes related to Hindutva ideology”.
While analysing various consequences of a BJP government in Kashmir, A G Noorani has very intricately outlined the possible consequences of a PDP-BJP (RSS) alliance for Kashmir and Kashmiris. He has made very damaging revelations about all Kashmiri leaders of different streams including the present group of politicians more than eager to get into the seat of power at all costs regardless of the long term consequences. The question is not whether a government can be clobbered together regardless of the ideological incompatibility of the alliance partners but how stable it would be and what would be its impact on the long term situation. It has often been opined that a strong and stable Central Government with Hindu leanings may be alone able to take decisive steps to solve Kashmir and other problems. This may be true but then the million dollar question is whether that government would be able to sell to the people of India the give and take which may be necessitated by such a solution? Leaving aside the long term consequences, the immediate fear is whether after the government formation, will the BJP-RSS combine be able to restrain the non-state actors from furthering their ultimate agenda regarding Kashmir? Mere intent of transferring land to Amarnath Shrine Board in 2008 toppled the then coalition government and created a massive upheaval.
Any coalition government having BJP as a partner will have a Damocles’ sword hanging over their heads especially from the valley side. Any indication about the furthering of the controversial Hindutva agenda of the BJP-RSS combine will immediately trigger an upheaval in the valley. Fingers will have to be kept crossed for facing eventualities worse than 2008 and 2010. It has been observed by many that the militancy has been contained but the alienation is at the extreme. The Kashmiri youth are not only restive but have become very vociferous. They don’t even listen to the so called popular leaders at certain occasions and these leaders instead of leading have to follow the dictates of the youth.
In view of these realities, it may be sensible to continue with the Governor’s rule for six months as provided in the constitution and then impose President’s rule for some more time to enable undertaking of restoration and rehabilitation work on a fast track without any political interference. We have already had six years central rule from 1990 to 1996. A couple of years more will not make a big difference. On the contrary, a capable and active governor with a dedicated administration can accelerate the whole process. After restoration and rehabilitation, one could go for fresh elections. It would be a better choice and one could get a clear mandate from the people to have a stable government in future. The present plan of having a government at any cost will have a continuous suspense about various possibilities of sudden upheavals without any warning escalating into massive agitations. This would disturb the restoration as well as the peaceful atmosphere. The state politicians eager for government formation need to give a thought about these possibilities before rushing in to take over the seat of power! The Central Government if really sincere about Kashmir’s rehabilitation should keep their over eager followers to capture Kashmir at any cost for BJP-RSS combine on hold for the time being!