The Bharatiya Janata Party’s vice-like grip on the Kashmir valley and its majority Muslim population is tightening. Muslims, I mention the country’s largest minority of over 20 crores, in the Kashmir context with due deliberation; and Kashmir, the valley that is, is seen by the saffronites and their mentors in Delhi and Nagpur as the last bastion of Islamic influence in the country – they are the majority community in Jammu and Kashmir, anathema to forces who consider India a Hindu State wherein every Indian is a Hindu. A Muslim Kashmir never fits nor has it ever over the past few decades, into the saffronite grand design of Akhand Bharat where anything that moves on two legs must adopt Hindu way of life, Hindutva, for short. Of their resolve to carry out the cleansing job they, there is evidence scattered all over the land. And it is piling up by the hour in Muslim inhabited parts of the land beyond Kashmir. The “shudhi karan” of the land has already seen Muslims being killed at will for no other reason than sporting a beard or a cap; cow-killing continues to be the big pretext as indeed the very presence of small Muslim populations in the countryside as much as in bigger towns. The anti-Muslims depredations are not necessarily confined to any State; Muslim-baiting has become some kind of a sport from Assam in the East to Rajasthan, Maharasathtra and Gujarat and including the populous cradle of Ganga-Jamini tehzeeb, the densely populated, a favorite hunting ground of the Mahant of Gorakhpur temple Yogi Aditynath, who currently happens to double up as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. A handpicked man of Modi’s is he and not loath to let his marauders get physical. The Yogi’s police obviously has instructions not to act against his religious zealots (he has a youth arm of his own) as is being seen Muslim killings keep piling up one upon another. Bihar and Madhya don’t lag behind. Thus the Muslim majority State of Jammu and Kashmir continues to be an unacceptable eye-sore, a position which the BJP, in fairness to it, has maintained; even when the party went to that ill-conceived coalition with the PDP in the State had only put its plan for the State on hold. And mind you, just now, when its plenipotentiary in Kashmir, Mr Ram Madhav is working overtime to rope in some valley MLAs (a few had already lined up as a I write) to cobble together another coalition –the man to say the least is the persevering type as befits an RSS pracharak—-tell us that democracy has been restored with new lineup of opportunist valley MLAs and the BJP MLAs from Jammu. You have the word one of Mr Modi’s Ministers, a former Army Chief, that he had some senior Kashmiri politicians on his payroll during his term as the Chief. Ram Madhav by contrast has the might of the Indian State behind him and he shouldn’t find it hard to lure ambitious dissidents to his side. I do remember how Madhav pulled the wool over Mufti Sayeed’s eyes (Haseeb Drabu must be wondering what had hit him to be taken in) when the PDP-BJP accord was signed some three years ago. Madhav is on record now saying there is no need to have a fresh election in the State since the present Assembly (suspended animation) has another two and a half years to go. And meanwhile he is pressing for, against the advice given earlier to the Governor some weeks ago by the elected government, that it would be most inopportune to have the panchayat poll. But Ram Madhav and the BJP are convinced that they can swing the elections, may be even with a couple or so votes cast at the booths. The mainstream parties could still take the wind out of the BJP’s arrogant sails by coming together to thwart the formation of a rigged govt. in the State as a consequence of the political horseplay the BJP is obviously planning to stage. Given their massive arrogance and pet hates it is most unlikely the NC, PDP, and Congress would ever think of coming together if only to spare the State further blood-letting. Given the political thinking in Mr. Modi’s New Delhi that it is impossible to believe that the oversimplifications sold in New Delhi have no buyers in the valley. Experience has proved the skeptic right. No promised “heaven on earth” ( Modi promised on his first Independence Day speech), no boli chalegi goli nahin, very little to show for the Rs. 80,000 crore bonanza promised by Modi in 2015 in the valley. It is a gross mistake there is serious concern that there is no valid reason to believe its possibility. It is a gross mistake that militancy is only the outcome of the proxy war sponsored and driven by Pakistan among a brainwashed populace. The saffronites are so obsessed that they fail to understand that the local youth is wholly alienated. Why, just the alienated youth. Take the latest BJP tirade against Shah Faesal, the Kashmiri IAS topper currently in the US on a scholarship. Why? Because some Hindu bigot from Jammu questioned his loyalty to the Indian Constitution cheekily questioning his right of tweet disapproval of the BJP-propped challenge in the Supreme Court to the validity of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution. Predictably tweeted back “I have complete faith in the Constitution, in all its chapters, articles, clauses including Article 370 and 35 A. Constitution is a covenant. It is not some Mughalsarai Station (reference obviously to Uttar Pradesh CM changing the name of the historic Mughalsari to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Junction, whatever that may mean. Thwarting efforts of valley-based parties and projecting the Jammu-centered. Such myopia only exacerbates the divide between Hindu-Jammu and the Muslim Kashmir with the BJP serving as the drum-beater of the Hindu cause and decrying the valley and its Muslim majority.
To sum up the saffronites, in Delhi, in Nagpur and the ones who have had their first taste of power in the State just three years ago, are all agreed that the valley (read Kashmiris) have to be cut to size. They have said separately and in unison : that Kashmiri Muslims were pampered by successive dispensations in New Delhi. Right and wrong? I wouldn’t go into detail anymore. The fact is that the Muslims in Kashmir, as much as the 20 odd crores in the rest of the country are made to feel unwanted. You have just to keep a count of the hate incidents all over the land – the death toll in Kashmir is a different story. Kashmiri Muslims, if you ask his fellow Jammuites, must be ogres… and worse. And their bosses of the BJP obviously know how to deal with them. A pity that.