A fresh look at Kashmir politics has become mandatory for all those who want to see a way forward for the region that carries an unwelcome tag of being a trouble spot. It has also to be seen that how much of political acts of omission and commission have contributed in making this tag look larger and worrisome.
The tag trouble-spot brings no benefits, though some love it because it has the potential to keep it in the international attention, and a source of discussion in the parliaments and ever-flowing statements from foreign leaders. That think tanks across the world talk about it, come out with their suggestions for the solution, is an added attraction for them. These things never help, and if any evidence is needed, a look at what has happened to Palestinians, should serve as an eyeopener.
It is time to realise this truth. What has happened in the recent months, perhaps it would be more appropriate to say in few weeks, that the political leadership in the Valley has added yet another chapter of doubts about itself. The politics needs ideas, and there are none. Things are floated in high-going balloons and ultimately reduced to zero-sum games on the ground.
If that is not the case, then what exactly have the political parties done to save Kashmir from becoming the trouble spot. No outside force can cause trouble or superimpose things if the house is in order. And, the way things are in Kashmir, it is not in order. Blame it on Delhi, but before that, let there be self-introspection.
Political order demands accountability. When these parties were in power, they looked for privileges, and out of it, they are running to get the same back. The chase for the return of the Article 370, translated as Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir, has been reduced to a charade. People’s Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone has laid bare the real script in his letter to the PAGD president Farooq Abdullah.
There may be a disagreement over what he did, walking out of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration for his own reasons, but he did serve a valid point for people to ponder: the parties that lack the will and spirit to sacrifice cannot struggle for getting things for the people. The people know it best what is happening. The trust of the people has been breached and it is perhaps irreparable. Now who has refreshed the troubles? The parties owe an answer.
Well, it is also undeniable fact that there are many things that should awaken us up to what has happened in Kashmir. It has been a scene of immense bloodletting, there have been many occasions of shame and indignities and where genuine expressions for the realization of genuine aspirations have been curbed with force. The theory that the problems that afflict Kashmir also exist in other parts of the country, but the youth there do not pick up guns and stones manifests ignorance about Kashmir. These political pundits have a squinted view of things. No two places are same, and Kashmir is having a historical baggage that cannot be unburdened by flimsy claims.
It is wrong to say that it was a Muslim-majority region that’s why it became a trouble spot. It was a Muslim majority region , before and after 1947. So why it was quiet all these years before it erupted in 1990s. Certain forces were working overtime to fuel the crisis, they succeeded because the order was destabilized by the same very politicians who now are promising struggle to get back the special status. The accountability clause never figured in their words.
To be very blunt, it was clear from the very beginning that the PAGD that had offered some kind of hope to the people, that they were really serious in translating their words into reality on the ground, focused more on their individual interests under the banner of the Alliance. This surfaced up with a bigger bang when the PAGD took plunge into the District Development Council polls. It was not a dilution of its commitment, but a U-turn from what it had stated on August 22, 2020.
“PAGD was not formed for contesting elections,” it was said before the DDC polls, and it is being repeated after the results are out; then why did the Alliance contest poll – obviously to keep BJP out of the Valley. That has happened in 2008 and 2014 too, but did these efforts succeed.
These questions have not lost their relevance, but the fissures in the Alliance, have added to the unease of Kashmiris. They are disillusioned.
What has become clearer after the PC announced its departure with a letter, that all said, is a synopsis of what is wrong with Kashmir politics. it is an acknowledgement of the fact that the parties could not stand the test of their own commitment .
In its immediate aftermath, all the parties have started consolidating their individual bases. The PAGD is not even in the peripheral references. The old rivalries are back in the discourse – till date there is nothing to suggest that the alliance is in existence. No meeting has been held by the Alliance till date after the DDC results were out. In fact, the charges of proxy candidates have overtaken the goals that they had promised to the people.