Of convenient politics and blame game

See what is good for your community and stop being cynical

To err is human; to blame is politics. These words reveal the very idiosyncrasies of politics in the world and Indian sub-continent in particular. Kashmir presents no exception to this the established norm.

Blame game is a natural phenomenon when it comes to people. It is not exactly God-given, but I would say it is a trait found in every individual. Unfortunately this blame game takes a magnanimous form when it comes to politicians as a whole. In most of the cases when a politician speaks up, it’s only to shift the blame of whatever is happening in the country or state-a perfect emergency exit, so to say. Conventional politics in the contemporary era is all about doing nothing and blaming others.

As the elections are nearing, hopefully, it is obvious that a political outfit, in a working democracy, will swing into action and start convincing the voters about its numerous virtues. Following the league of his counterparts, former Chief Minister and Vice President Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Omar Abdullah announced that his party will revoke infamous Public safety Act within days after his party is voted to power with a strong mandate. He maintained that the PSA must go lock, stock and barrel. However most of his detractors and political analysts made of it as a populist measure to woo voters. Omar’s slew of promises about putting end to the PSA, what he referred to as “tool of oppression” at his Pulwama public meet has made politicians across the state jittery. It is quite understandable if the resentment to this poll undertaking of Omar comes from National Parties, but the uneasiness amongst the local Kashmir based parties to it has implicit connotations. 

Populism, slogan-mongering, fanfare have always been part and parcel of politics in the sub-continent, however a commitment towards what holds good for the society shouldn’t be subjected to unfair politicking and criticism. 

No sooner did Omar come up with the undertaking of removing PSA, if voted with a strong mandate, his detractors started berating the necessity of revoking  PSA, and people who have been touting themselves as the sole benefactors of Kashmiris  are unfortunately  the  ones  showing more consternation towards the idea of revoking PSA.

And unfortunately, as the politicians are busy blame gaming, it is a common Kashmiri who is suffering. No matter where the idea, is coming from, does it hold good for a common Kashmiri? Doesn’t a common Kashmiri deserve a life bereft of insecurity? Doesn’t our youth deserve safe spaces to pursue their vocations?

Angry words tell a lot about speaker than the one who is being attacked upon. Here it seems that politicians, who have come out against the recent undertaking of Omar, have actually been doing politics on the miseries of people. Had they been the benefactors of Kashmiri, they would have seconded the very idea of revoking PSA.

Amnesty report of 2010, refers to PSA as a lawless law. The law finds its roots in the DIA (Defense of India Act) used during the British rule. Many national leaders including Mahatma Gandhi referred to it as draconian law.  After independence it was renamed in the year 1967 as PSA. However the law which operates in our state differs from the law operating in rest of the country. The JKPSA amendment 1978 was amended in year 1990 which gave state more powers in its application. This happened much after Dr. Farooq Abdullah had resigned as chief minister. The question remains as under whose supervision the amendments were carried out. Let me leave it to posterity to decide.

In 2011, the cabinet met under the chairmanship of Omar Abdullah to okay the promulgation of ordinance titled: The J&K PSA amendment ordinance 2011 thus approving among other recommendations that a minor child would no longer be detained under PSA. The amendment also mellowed down the others statutes of the act. 

Nevertheless if the rhetoric of the Kashmir based parties is to be believed, all of them across the political divide have been showing abhorrence for the law. Then isn’t it a right time to support the clarion call of Omar towards abrogating the law. Wouldn’t it show the largess of all political parties? Definitely it will!

Politicians be politicians, the forthcoming elections will provide ample stage for all parties to enact their theatrics of fanfare, slogan mongering. But as far as some basic issues concerning youth are concerned, political parties across the divide should put up a singular front. Elections act as fairs in a democratic set up. The whole process invigorates the very working of democracy and advances the cause of development. 

As far as wooing people is concerned every party should keep it in mind that people are the best judges and no guile or sophistry or passing the blame can impede their decision making while voting.

muzaffar.khn2010@gmail.com