The old game

The old game

It won''t work now. It''s too rusted a trick that can fetch you anything

After PDP’s falling apart from the BJP, Mehbooba Mufti begins to play the old game. Not that difficult. Take the brush and tar the past. Tog on to confront and mutilate every narrative you and your party peddled. Cling to a no-holds-barred verbo-mania. Appear in the new avatar of a warrior from the ruins of fallen guy in power. Sheikh Abdullah showed the way and his son and grand son worshipped the culture. Mufti duo improvised it to almost perfection. George Orwell captures the grand dichotomy in these  words: ‘The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth’.

In all these years PDP enjoyed power with, what she used to call and frighten Muslim Kashmir against, ‘communal forces’. To remain in power,  it did what was demanded. In fact went grovelling to Delhi to sing paeans to the beauty of the ‘world’s largest democracy’ and the ‘ Man of millennium’ at the helm.  You will recall how fondly they would nuzzle at each other and drink from the same trough. Muftis would hail the embrace of two parties as the two book-ends reflecting ‘stability and sanctity of mandate’ on either side of regional and religious divide with ‘shared interests’. Now seeing her party at the verge of an internal implosion, Mehbooba Mufti  asks Delhi to desist from its attempts of ‘breaking’ her party, as doing this, she says, will ‘erode the trust of Kashmiris on democracy’. Four days after on July 12, she raised the anger to highest decibel and warned: ‘  If Delhi tries to dismiss the voting rights of people like 1987, if it tries to create divisions and interfere like that, then I think just like a Salahudin and Yasin Malik were born…then outcomes will be dangerous.’( Indian Express. 13 July). 

This reconstructed narrative, the former chief minister imagines, will gravitate Kashmiri people to look to her, commanding a second line of ‘defense’ after the Huryat. She played this kind of antics before – seamlessly. She and her party has left nothing we can measure a knew. The witch’s brew is full of the cocktail. Of deception, frauds and treachery raised to the new high. 

Till she was chief minister Delhi’ appeasement held pre-eminence to ‘ regional aspirations’, she advocated and sought the support for. That sole objective drove her to see the silent burial of the Agenda of Alliance. As long as  they kept her in chair, neither democracy was in danger, nor trust of people on Delhi’s democracy was deflowered. The moment they are scripted off the power, they bash Delhi. Mehbooba Mufti’s blaming Delhi for the party crisis and the rebellion would have carried some weight had she and her father not played fraud with the mandate of the people. Muftees led the party to co-opt BJP  against all ‘injunctions’. Rebels take on the same foot-prints. In both cases mandate of people was violated with impunity. Why it is only when a certain disgruntled group in your party raises revolt that you take a fright and shout people have eroded trust on New Delhi’s version of democracy. If trust of people eroded is a strong provocation to condemn Delhi’s alleged hand behind the defection,  how come you reconciled with two and half year’s non- representation from the parliamentary seat left vacant after your ascension to the top most executive position.   The entire politics of mainstream groups in Kashmir plays according to the script of New Delhi.  All of them have realized it the hard way when priorities for Delhi change.  Also there is no point in stretching the issue of defection to voting rights in an election. We are, in principle, against the floor crossings and there is a strong law of anti-defection. It is only when rebels earn what law demands (two-third of elected legislators),they can have a legitimate grouping. But Mehbooba has forfeited the claim to shepherd the flock the day she decided to walk the talk of joining with BJP. 

That Salahudin and Yasin Malik like people will rise up from the PDP in disarray reflects their frustration after BJP opted out of the coalition government. It also shows their brazenness while doing the comparison. The ideological and political appeal of the two opposite camps make them antithesis of each other. Even if the PDP opens up offering to play surrogate, Yasin like people, let alone Salahudin, cannot be born from the rubble of the PDP. The very nature of the  two extreme strands sets two different paths, shapes two different political characters. One  fights the hegemonic discourse, other collaborates to fasten it to the  last nostril. One seeks state patronage and protection, the other has to be on the receiving end of the state’s might. Where lies the similarity in dismissing voting rights of people in 1987 and the split in the PDP.  Muslim United Front ( MUF) –which became prelude to the Huryat—entered into electoral fray with a set agenda of resolving Kashmir through democratic process. Unfortunately polls were rigged by Congress government in Delhi in league with the NC dispensation at Srinagar.  What followed we all know.  

 From MUF’s  germ seed Hurriyat originated.  PDP is the creation of Delhi and we know how much they invested in grooming Muftees. Already they have Abdullahs as the ‘best bet’( Dullat). All  this is to ensure a political mechanism that facilitates playing one puppet against the other and, thus, shift the balance of power to desired direction. In this scenario PDP’s threatening is bizarre, ridiculous and one to be recommended for make-you-laugh shows. All efforts of the various governments to woo Hurriyat to fight elections failed for its insistence of addressing the internal and external dimensions of the dispute. Unlike that stand, a little call from corridors of power and Muftis and Abdullahs  run with bent backs. That kind of adaptation—and political rehabilitation too—forestalls for ever the birth of resistance leaders or militants from the ashes of any pro-accession political party from Kashmir, even if not one but dozens of factions crop up at the behest of Delhi. Even if elections are rigged. They cannot go against their genes.  Mehbooba Mufti  celebrated cruelty and presided over the gross human rights violations during the time she ruled. That Delhi have other candidates to replace her and do she did is making her insomniac. She has not yet reconciled why she failed to propitiate gods in Delhi. That is why she is frothing with rage. She and her party needs a little favor, condolence solidarity.