This is in response to an article titled ‘ My Own Agent’ authored by AIP patron and former MLA Engineer Sheikh Rasheed. Engineer Rasheed is presently a contestant for Baramulla parliamentary segment. In his article published on 13th of April, Engineer Rasheed in a bid to dispel the theories surrounding his affiliations and agenda and to prove himself what he calls ‘ agent of his own conscience’ tries to unmask many harsh realities what according to him the recently concluded election has thrown up.
In a hastily dashed off emotional analysis, Engineer came up with many conflicting arguments which don’t add up. At the outset let me acknowledge Engineer Rashid is the most vociferous legislators who has been speaking against human rights violation in Kashmir.
If the people of Jammu and Kashmir do not acknowledge this or doubt his credibility and intentions, they do so for many genuine reasons which are deep rooted in the history and politics of the state. Engineer Rasheed is not the only person who is practicing this brand of Politics. There have been may people before him who climbed up political ladder merely by adopting separatist posturing.
There is undoubtedly a large section of electorate in the valley whose crystalised political psyche is unamenable to this brand of mainstream politics given the decades of cheating by demagogues in the guise of guides and leaders. Secondly, the political history particularly the events of 1953, 1975, and 1987 has made it amply clear to the people that mainstream political space offers little scope for representation of larger sentiment.
It is naive to expect Hurriyat leadership to appeal people to participate in elections or to vote for engineer Rasheed. It isn’t as simple as he thinks no matter how sincere one may be. It would amount to legitimising electoral politics which they have been critical of since the beginning of armed struggle in Kashmir.
The author in his write-up has used the phrase ‘Pakistan’s real stooges’ for resistance leadership which is exactly what the government of India wants world to believe. It is paradoxical that legislator who is time and often seen protesting against slapping PSA on stone pelters is using the expression ‘ a section of professional and hired stone pelters’ for such youth which is same argument that all pro Indian politicians have been propounding.
The author blames both Delhi and separatist leadership for poll boycott at the same time which is conflicting and doesn’t add up. I would request esteemed author to offer a clarification on the contentious claims made in the write-up.
(The author is a teacher by profession)