Divided we stand

We are going through a period when new ‘normal' is in the making.
Divided we stand

Politicians, after all, are politicians; destined to learnonly  that which, in their narrow view,will keep them afloat. Beyond that they shut the mind – even to those realtieswhich stare naked  from a distance. Infact the  politicians feel pleasure in getting   taken in    by the mirage they conjureup to see themselves  dressed up  in the King's robes. Those in   Kashmir are  no exception to the rule .

There is a perception  in   Kashmir: that the BJP led Central government is on a  job to destabilize  the constitutional position that definesJK's  relationship with the Centre. Withthe passage  of   time this perception  is  turning into the reality, as  New Delhi hasdone nothing to dispel it. Contrarily,  it has encouraged  the forces thatwant to  divide the state on communal andregional lines. The  occasion, therefore,demands  a  unified and concerted   move on the part of local  leadership to ward  off the threat, real orperceived.  Though  we hear right noises of forging a unity ofsorts to resist the  destabilizingattempt  yet,   in practice everything is done to  dispel the notion of unity.

Mehbooba  Mufti  told Farooq Abdullah to  arrange for a meeting with the PM Narrandra Modi, in Delhi, wherein  political leaders of all shades  from  Kashmir will participate, to apprise him ofthe local sentiment and   repercussionsthat may follow should there be any tinkering with the Constitutionalprovisions   which  mark the sentiment  underlying   Centre-State relationship. But  Farooq Abdullah  seems to have broken the ranks   and   met with the PM, only  taking his son Omar  Abdullah and one MP along with. Miss Mufti is on fruitless  voyage  to some areas of South Kashmir to resurrect her   dwindling political fortune. Absence of hertwo Rajya Sabah members  from the debateon  Triple Talaaq Bill   and their  meeting with the PM   tells anintriguing  story.

The new star on Kashmir's political horizon, Shah Faisal is   on  signature gathering   campaign, ostensibly ,   to  markresistance to the  BJP's   abrogation move .   For some, this signature business is launched to muster the membership register ofnewly formed  political  party. Sajad Lone raises  his  feeble  voice from a remote cornerin the north Kashmir.

Rumblings  havestarted in the political circles of the Valley on  Farooq 's  meeting with the PM.  Mehbooba has not taken kindly to it.  She feels ED had to do something with it and says   nothing has come out of theexercise. Shah   Faisal  has been more forthright. He has described Farooq Abdullah's   move as   one   'to score a point' .   Perhaps, he is right in  observing that it would have been better for the cause  if  NC leader  had  carried    other political parties along with.

At  the time when theneed of the hour is to have concerted voice raised in defense of the  state's peculiar nature of relationship with the Union and be ready to thwartthe destabilizing forces,   the  NC  solo   act   seems to have  widened the fissure.   Make no mistake, BJP mangers look to be the Head Masters of the schools whereIndira Gandhi  had  learnt the art of destabilizing theopponents.   BJP   has  torn apart many political outfits in the mainland. It   has entered Kashmir through the outside manufactured  ULBs  and managed Panchayat committees .

It is obvious. We are going through a period when new'normal' is in the  making.  People   have to guard the situation in J& K   lest that 'normal'turns  'abnormal'. The state is on apowder keg. Let us keep fire at some distance. We  can't be  oblivious to it. For one issuewe expect  our political leaders  to shed  differences  and come  together  to safeguard whatever little is left of  the 'autonomy'.

The BJP mangers must give due thought to the whole process.Claiming to be the  nationalist  party its actions must be  such as not to  cause damage to the lager national good. A peaceful and content Kashmir isalways a  good  asset for the nation. It is the  BJP's  legitimate right to  increaseinfluence and  membership in  the Valley . But   there are no short cuts   to the route   . Party's success to make inroads in the political arena , here ,  is largely  predicated on its   showing due respect to the local sensitivities  . It will have to press in service its ability   for a credible and meaningful dialogue withthe Valley's youth .    Otherwise ,as   past experience tells us ,  its  boast of  hundreds of thousandsof  Kashmiris  ( Muslims ) having    entered its membershipregister    will   remain only in the  paper register.

B L SARAF  isformer  Principal  District & Sessions Judge

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