Since taking over as the CM of J&K, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed seems to be in soup and his North and South Pole meeting balloon is deflating.
From his first press conference, wherein he credited Pakistan, militants and the Hurriyats for facilitating peaceful elections in the State, the Indian media are hounding him like anything. It's been given such hype as if India has lost control over Kashmir.
The Congress also found an opportunity and caught the Modi Government by the collar, forcing the HM and PM to make a statement in the Parliament, distancing themselves from the Mufti's statement.
The Delhi-based news channels have developed a strange paranoia. Whoever talks about Kashmiris, their pain and agony and wants New Delhi to mitigate their wounds by deviating even a step from the beaten track, they are dubbed as traitors.
Their avowed Indians like Engineer Rashid and many others are 'traitors' if they ever talk about revoking AFSPA, maintaining status quo in Article 370 and/or giving any concessions to Kashmiris. Engineer Rashid was targetted for talking about Afzul Guru's mortal remains. On a TV channel, he was asked to apologise for equating Guru to Baghat Singh (which he never meant).
And, now their own 'Indian by conviction', Mufti Sayeed, is a ' traitor' for crediting 'unwanted' elements for peaceful polls. Before getting cleared of his 'treason', he shot another salvo, asking the DG to prepare to release those detainees against whom there are no serious charges—Masarta Alam has been released since.
On these issues, his daughter had to do a lot of explaining on TV channels, swearing by her father's honesty and, above all, by his being an 'Indian by conviction'.
And there lies the irony! New Delhi can't trust an elected CM because he is deviating from the 'commandments', how can ordinary Kashmiris be trusted? How strange! When a Vaikoo supports the ruthless Tamil Tigers who killed an Indian Prime Minister, forcing the PM to call off his tour of Sri Lanka, he is garlanded for speaking against a foreign country. However, when an avowed Indian talks about 'his' people languishing in jails without trials for decades, he is dubbed as a ' traitor'. Isn't it hypocrisy?
It's too early to say whether or not the Muftis have, by now, realized that just by allying with the Sangh Parivar, they can't be trusted to be the Indians. They are Kashmiris and can't be trusted like any other ordinary Kashmiri unless they toe New Delhi's line.
This time, it's happened to them; long time back, other leaders, the Abdullahs, in particular, met the same fate. Everybody knows that barring a small period of aberration, between 1953 and 1976, Sheikh Abdullah would swear by Indian democracy and advise people on why he chose India and not Pakistan for Kashmir.
In spite of that he had to spend decades in jail for his abberations because India never trusted him and always treated him differently from all other Indian leaders. After 22 years, New Delhi made him the CM only when he did what Indira asked him to do.
She roped him in as their ally to tell the world that Kashmiris had reached their much-cherished goal. New Delhi never trusted him and just a few days before his historic win in the 1977 election, all Indian leaders spoke against him in his own hometown.
Although, his son never walked the path of his father, his accords with Indira and Rajeev never made him their trustworthy Indian. The son's son had no scruples. He shook hands only to grab power as long as he could.
He managed to hold on for 6 years, but not without compromising on everything that his party was known for.
And, those people who once would praise him for being young, energetic and what not, changed their stance and attributed all the failures in governance to him. Not only that, in election rallies, he was, many a times, accused of dereliction in solving the people's problems.
Claiming to be an Indian is not the same as being treated as an Indian when you are a Kashmiri. It's because of this reason that the daughter felt it necessary to assure the Sangh Parivar that her father was an Indian by conviction, and whatever he is doing should be taken as a step towards mitigating the pain of Kashmiris.
She knows it well that there is a great mistrust between New Delhi and Kashmiris, if not between Indians and Kashmiris, and if she did not defend her father over the controversial issues, they might lose the power that they have got under the aegis of the RSS. The Muftis may claim to be the Indians first, before they are Kashmiris, but who would trust them and why would they?
Although through the CMP, the Muftis surrendered everything that they had promised in the election, India can't trust them because they have started going beyond the mandate as spelled out in the CMP.
Whatever the Mufti is doing can be read in a different way also. He could be doing it deliberately in order to keep people away from discussing the CMP which most Kashmris feel is a complete sellout. He knows that Kashmiris are no fools not to understand the language of the CMP.
He is therefore deliberately creating chaos and confusion, forcing all, even his ally, keep the pot boiling. Nobody should be surprised in the Mufti's having the blessings of the BJP in this. You can't expect an avowed Indian like Mufti to take decisions which, he knows, will annoy the BJP.
He's a clever politician and will do nothing to disturb the accord that he has made with the Sangh Parivar. They may make noise, but that will be for public consumption only. This is what they appear to be doing through their spokespersons on the electronic media.