People losing faith in leadership?

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, returning to power with a thumping majority has proved it beyond doubt that hard work pays. During his first term the Prime Minister Modi worked relentlessly to put the country on the path of development and the people by reposing their faith in him again have acknowledged his hard work and dedication.

Prime Minister leading BJP to empathic win should serve as an eye opener for the Kashmiri leaders and politicians, who during all these years after getting power have misused the same against their own people. Kashmiris during the past seventy years have given numerous chances to their leaders by voting for them and sending to the Assembly and Parliament but these leaders have not delivered. These leaders should ask themselves why they couldn’t deliver despite getting mandate from their people. Why these leaders even after winning the elections always looked towards the Centre? Why they failed to utilize the resources of their own state? Why they couldn’t turn the youth into entrepreneurs and kept them dependent on government jobs only? There are many whys which politicians and leaders have to answer to put the records straight.

Mainstream politicians could have done a lot for Kashmir had they focused on governance and other issues confronting the common man. It’s unfortunate that these leaders despite being aware about the fact that they cannot address the external dimensions of the Kashmir problem kept on misleading the people. The Peoples Democratic Party losing all the three parliamentary seats in Kashmir has vindicated the people who used to advice the party leadership not to show dreams to people. National Conference is happy that it has swept the Parliamentary polls. The NC leaders are celebrating their victory but they are ignoring a big fact that polling percentage in south and central Kashmir was dismal as people just stayed away from the electoral process. No doubt NC candidates have won but one cannot ignore the fact that only limited number of people participated in these elections. 

The NC has assured the people that its MPs would ensure that they would safeguard the Article 35A and Article 370 in the Parliament. It seems that someone needs to tell them that there are more than 540 MPs in the Lok Sabha and when they decide to scrap these Articles, three MPs won’t be even told what the Parliament wants to do. It’s unfortunate that our leaders make such promises about such things which don’t even fall in their domain.

During the past seventy years NC has ruled J&K for most of the time, PDP came to fore only after 1999 but both the parties had one thing in common that during their tenures they empowered their own kith and kin and the party workers. They had nothing to offer to a common man.  Their indifferent attitude has pushed the common man to an edge and people not participating in the recently held Parliamentary polls has proved it beyond doubt that masses have lost faith in the democratic process.

On the other hand separatist leaders, who claim to represent the aspirations of common Kashmiris, too have failed to deliver. These leaders on many occasions have spurned the talks offer forwarded by the Government of India. They have always looked towards Islamabad without bothering about the plight of their own people. They have been maintaining that no talks can be held with New Delhi without involving Pakistan. Had these leaders paid some heed towards the sufferings of their people they would have accepted the talks offer and tried to find a way out through negotiations. Had these leaders tried engaging with New Delhi, situation in Kashmir would not have turned from bad to worse. Whenever these leaders got a chance to lead from the front they couldn’t go beyond calling for shutdowns and protests. They caged their own people within their homes.      

When 2010 unrest was at its peak in the Valley, entire political leadership of the country knocked at the doors of the separatist leaders and tried its best to persuade them for talks. They (separatists) just turned their back towards them. Similarly in 2016 they got another chance but none of the leaders came forward to break the ice.       

The indifferent attitude of Kashmiri leaders has made people believe that no one can lead them and today they (common masses) stand disillusioned and disinterested. Popularity of Kashmiri leaders is declining with each passing day and they no one to blame except themselves.         

(The writer is a Former Journalist and member of JK Youth Alliance)