It’s no farce. It’s farcical. It’s no comedy. It’s comic. The exercise that is underway in the world’s largest democracy, our India to wit. And nowhere in his farcical comedy do see it in fuller play than in Kashmir valley, given that it’s is officially considered to be the most unstable part of the union of India.
Yes, the valley is said to be going through the motions of electing its representative, currently for the lower house of parliament, to be followed hopefully by assembly elections, symbolic, the latter, of ours being a democracy.
Yes, Assembly situations, y’see the masses can’t be trusted, more so when they are “mentally disturbed.” And believe you me it’s no exaggeration. Just stating the truth yes, the Kashmiris must be mentally disturbed to be challenging the authenticity of the goods being put on offer.
What’s a few hundred youth being killed or sent to prison or even losing their sight to pellets fired from friendly gun in the hands of our own brethren. Yes, as Indians they are said to be our brethren.
Does it really matter if for the larger good of us all we are accused of staging a sham election, spread over an age, conducted under the auspices of a benevolent CEC. And look at the magnanimity of the Dilli durbar the valley is spared the trouble of going in for the Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha poll.
Delhi, we are told is being fair; it’s just its sense of fair play that prevents it from staging the exercise at one go. It gives the people of the valley the opportunity to take considered view of the stakes involved. If, for instance, the ruling dispensation has its way at the Centre after the ongoing parliamentary polls who knows it might be auspicious to implement the other plans Delhi has for what we are told was originally the princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, its camouflaged break-up into separate entities (virtually) like Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh, a very distinct possibility.
That’s the only way you can break the back of the intransigent Kashmiris who argue that theirs is the only Muslim majority State to have joined the Indian State, subject to certain conditions.
And it’s this conditional accession – not that anyone has, even in Kashmir valley, formally suggested secession from the Union. Yes, indeed later generations post 1947 have asked for greater say in the affairs of the State including ending its disputed status. Indeed, it was the original sinner Sheikh Abdullah (who endorsed Maharaja’s conditional accession) who had second thoughts about the deed within four years.
So strongly did he express his feelings ironically in a remarkable speech in Jammu’s Ranbirsighpura where he questioned the Centre’s role in managing the State’s internal affairs. His Plebiscite Front saw him and his senior colleagues end up in Indian jails. He even had to face a treason trial which ultimately had to be dropped because there wasn’t a hint of treason in what he had espoused just before his dethronement and a plus Indian jails.
Today’s Kashmiri, as I underline is, is doing no more than repeating he suspicions which the Sheikh had entertained. The then regent Dr Karan Singh has repeatedly affirmed with clearly defined limits of the deed.
Anyway that’s something for the jurists to decide. For my limited purposes I do believe that the ruling dispensation in New Delhi could have shown much more sagacity than invoking its muscle, armed forces thrown in for good measure, to suppress the aspirations of the State’s people as a whole, unfortunately, for the BJP, majority of whom happened to be Muslims.
And the very mention of Muslim majority virtually amounts to showing the red rag to the saffron bull. That explains the Sangh Parivar’s nervousness to the prospect of having a proper election in the State.
Even in its crippled form the process is virtually rendered meanignless with the kind of conditions that have been imposed. Take the latest brainwave of the “security conscious” saffronites. Removing or relaxing of course is an absolute no, no to the Sangh bull.
Cordon and clear is the manta it has passed on to the security forces – cordon meaning surrounding entire localities and clear denoting readiness to kill who even remotely seems to be protesting.
To add insult to the injury –in the context of the upcoming elections, is the order banning movement of traffic for two days a week between Udhampur (Jammu) and Baramulla from dawn to dusk, cutting across the entire valley. Upshot, the valley becomes a ghost valley and the pro valley district between Udhampur and Baramulla virtually cut off from the mainstream.
Election time with an erratic power supply to contend with it also means no poll rallies, leaving the field free to the saffronised DD and it variants. I must admire the top Security Advisers of the Indian government for having hit upon this stupid idea.
This is the kind of stuff one thought only Idi Amins of the world could have lived. I don’t know whether Idi in the luxury of power enjoyed his meals of the human kind but surely the late tyrant of his people could have learnt some of the tricks which seem to be in partial application in our parts.
I must mention it; our saffron leaders lose no opportunity to preach world the dharma of tolerance yet continuing to be most intolerant of people. Similarly they speak of democracy and democratic norms, without ever bothering to tell whether they know how to spell out the word.
Let them know that the world’s second largest democracy – sadly for them Muslim Indonesia, with the world’s largest Muslim population has just had a one day countrywide poll. Never mind the country’s string of islands stretching over hundreds of miles. Sham democracies alone are tempted to put restrictions not just the date but also on the mode of how to go about it. The Kashmiris did and do indeed deserve better than this. Sadly, mine happens to be lone cry from the desert land that surrounds my living place now.