Towards peace

The huge 2019 mandate in favour of BJP and NDA under the leadership of Narendra Modi leads to a new history in the making. The Lok Sabha elections in 1984, which were swept by the sympathy wave (due to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her own security guards) erupted into an unprecedented result in favour of Congress in the political history of the nation. But that was an extraordinary election which cannot be compared with any other normal or ordinary election in India.

Since 1984, the country saw eight general elections to the Lok Sabha

upto 2009, that led various political parties to a belief of coalition politics. The Alliances were accepted by all as compulsion of Indian politics. The jinx was broken in 2014 when a single party, the BJP, got a sufficient mandate with 282 seats (for the first time in history) under the stewardship of Modi. He gave a new meaning to the electoral politics of India when he asked people in 2014 to trust his promises (vaadey) to them. People did the same and experienced five years’ BJP/NDA rule for five years. The year 2019 brought an entirely different scenario before the voters of India ie, the people were appealed by Modi and BJP, this time to trust their intent (Iraadey) on the basis of their experiences with the government for the last five years. Though the opposition at regional and national level made it a fierce battle with the help of a divided combination of media, intellectuals, known and unknown political pundits yet the BJP and the enlarged NDA swept the polls. It was virtual rout for most of the political entities. People voted overwhelmingly defying the so-called anti-incumbency factor and the negative campaign unleashed by the opposition.

The Mandate2019 is a phenomenal result, 45% plus votes in favour of NDA in a multiparty parliamentary democracy is a huge mandate particularly when it got translated into a near two third majority in the Lok Sabha for the NDA. The moral of the story remains that the Modi Charisma worked and worked to the hilt. Such a huge Mandate is a big responsibility on the shoulders of the new establishment and BJP has assumed a special responsibility to fulfill the people’s aspirations and deliver accordingly.

People in general have expectations on a number of fronts from the dispensation in the saddle and Kashmir is one of them. Jammu and Kashmir has been bleeding for the last three decades unabatedly despite a number of intermittent attempts to bring calm. The whole nation wants Kashmir to be peaceful and relieved of the menace of terrorism that has been the cause of bloodshed in Jammu & Kashmir.

It is a welcome step that many in and outside Kashmir have expressed their desire for peace in Jammu & Kashmir. The establishment of peace is incidental to elimination of terrorism in the state. Amarnath Yatra is on our head and its success will speak for itself about the situation on ground. Anybody with an illegal gun in Kashmir or outside Kashmir or a person having even the slightest sympathy with the men with gun needs to realise that 30 years of bloodbath has killed more than one hundred thousand people in the state, resulted in the exodus of the indigenous people of the Kashmir valley-the Kashmiri Pandits, radicalized the Kashmir society, destroyed thousands of houses in Kashmir including the temples and shrines in the valley, dismembered the tourism industry and left a scar on the image of Kashmiri Muslims throughout the world. It is time to introspect, review, reconsider and reform. Kashmir has lost three generations to achieve the unachievable.

The political leaders of Kashmir ab initio committed themselves to two fault lines i,e, One was pro-Pakistan line and the second was pro-India line. Their interpretation of the first line led to the secessionist politics and consequently to terrorism having religious goals as guiding postulates. The second line led to the so-called mainstream politics wherein it was suggested that the accession was “limited and conditional” and J&K was a special state which needed special status and treatment. Article 370, 35-A and the other such dispensation was considered sacrosanct and any change in it was made to believe as the political blasphemy. The second line was also guided by the religious dictum presuming that the J&K was a Muslim majority state and its Muslim majority character and precedence in all walks of life needed protection.

It was the Congress which succumbed to these two lines and hobnobbed with various catagories of people in J&K for it’s own survival and vested interest and made a total mess in the state. BJP kept opposing both the lines and talked in terms of total integration first as Bhartiya Jan Sangh and then as BJP.  BJP which has a strong background of RSS has come to the centre stage of the Indian politics at all levels and it stands committed to its ideology and election manifesto. People all over India and also in the J&K state flooded its ideological dams with votes and aspirations which are core to J&K state being an integral part of India. No government in India can muster guts to oppose the aspirations and mandate of the people of India that vividly describe Accession as full and final and speak in terms of abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A.

The peace seekers who would like to cease the opportunity, whether it is the so-called mainstream circle, secessionist camp or the civil society, need to bear two things in mind. One that with the appointment of Amit Shah as the Union Home Minister and the BJP’s focus on Kashmir through various appointments and plans, the party in power has authored its preferences. Second, politics is a game of patience, consistency and intent…..the Kashmir watchers and activists cannot ignore the writing on the wall.

The new urge for peace is for some a mirage, but those who make history convert mirages into reality. Kashmir beckons its lovers to think afresh and give this urge for peace a real and affordable chance…….!