Corrupt. anti-people mainstream leaders in Kashmir stand at crossroads today. And to make their presence felt they are trying to take refuge in Islam by claiming that Hindus are ruling Jammu and Kashmir.
Recently national General Secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party, Ram Madhav wrote an article in a Kashmir based daily and exposed double standards and duplicity of Kashmiri leaders. He showed them the mirror by recalling the past.
Ram Madhav’s article evoked a sharp response from National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah. He blamed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for communalizing the situation.
Prior to Ram Madhav’s article, former J&K chief minister, Omar Abdullah, in an interview to a national daily had said: “What about the representative character of the government? We are still a Muslim-majority state. Please look at the make-up of our administration today. Your LG is non-Muslim; chief secretary non-Muslim; DGP non-Muslim; both your divisional commissioners are non-Muslims; both your IGs of police non-Muslims; the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court is non-Muslim; the rest of the High Court bench, barring two judges, are all non-Muslims. How many of your deputy commissioners and SPs posted in Kashmir today are Kashmiri-speaking? It may appear minor, but please understand these are the issues that resonate with people. We are not fundamentalist people. We don’t play the religious card, but when there is such a severe communal imbalance, there will be resentment.”
It seems Omar Abdullah has forgotten that when he ruled the erstwhile J&K State, he managed the affairs with the help of Hindu bureaucrats. His Principal Secretary B B Vyas was known as the “de facto chief minister.” Even his father Dr Farooq Abdullah in 1996 had insisted on having Ashok Jaitley as this Chief Secretary. History stands testimony to the fact that till date many Hindu officers have held top positions in J&K administration and police.
It’s unfortunate that after losing power these leaders are trying to create a wedge in J&K bureaucracy by raising the issue of Hindu and Muslim officers. This depicts the desperation of Kashmir based leaders and their attempts to somehow make their presence felt on the ground.
The developments which have taken place in the recent past indicate that the regional parties in Kashmir are trying to don the mantle of Hurriyat hardliner, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. These leaders are ignoring the fact that how much damage Geelani and Jamaat-e-Islami have done to Kashmir.
The article of the BJP National General Secretary has hit the Kashmiri politicians below their belt as the new narrative which they were trying to build stands punctured. He has driven home a point that it’s not for the first time that Hindu bureaucrats and police officers have been appointed in J&K. It has been a precedence and there is nothing unusual about it.
After being ousted from power Kashmiri leaders are looking for ways and means to vitiate the atmosphere in the Valley. They are invoking religion to threaten New Delhi and are projecting people of Jammu and Kashmir in a wrong way.
Last one year has proved that these leaders were nothing but “failed politicians” who for the sake of power misled the people. They projected themselves as nationalists in New Delhi, communists in Jammu and communals in Kashmir. They did so for the past seven decades and kept on reaping the fruits of power by enacting dramas.
These leaders should realize that in New India there is no space for such “dirty politics.” These leaders during all these years have strived for their own benefits and gains. Till August 5, 2019, these leaders had projected themselves as the only people who could keep Kashmir with India. PDP president and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had threatened that if J&K’s special status is fiddled with, no one will be left in Kashmir to hold the tricolor. But time has proved her wrong, during the past one year many young leaders have come forward and have proved it beyond doubt that people of Kashmir are not against the country.
As on date veteran leaders of Kashmir, including separatists, stand exposed. People have moved on with their lives and abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A has hardly made any difference. The time has proved that it’s not the people who were wrong but the leaders who claimed to represent them, misled everyone, including the Centre.
Congress leaders like Professor Saifuddin Soz who are delivering sermons today should sit back and introspect, how their party, messed up Kashmir affairs by giving undue importance to a few political families in the Valley.
Kashmir based leaders, who are talking about the Valley being Muslim dominated, seem to have forgotten that National Conference founder, late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had to dissolve the Muslim Conference to become the leader of masses. His following increased only after he adopted secularism. When he tried to communalize the situation and started talking about Pakistan, he lost his credibility and stature. He came into the limelight only after he gave up his “seditious thoughts” and mustered courage to speak the truth. After 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, late Sheikh Abdullah realized that showing dreams to people of Kashmir is of no use. The reality had dawned upon him that Pakistan is no choice for the people of Kashmir and their future is secure with India.
The present generation of Kashmiri leaders should wake up from deep slumber and come out from the world of illusions. They cannot hoodwink people by issuing so-called “Gupkar Declaration” and by telling them that they will get everything back. They taking refuge in religion is not going to help them as the people are least interested in their politics and the issues being raised by them. People of Jammu and Kashmir want to live a peaceful life. They have witnessed enough of bloodshed during the past three decades and want it to end once for all.
Leaders sitting at Gupkar need to peep out from the windows of their houses and see for themselves that no one gives a hoot to them and their so-called hardliner approach. Their time is up as the new inning has already commenced.
The writer is a former Journalist and a Political Activist based in Kashmir .