A dangerous makeover in Kashmir’s mainstream leadership | The Resurgence of Mehbooba Mufti’s Soft Separatism Politics

The dangerous norm of the resurgence of soft separatism in Kashmir’s politics by the dynast political families can lead to a tectonic shift of the common man picking up the weapon while getting alienated from the social fabric.
Mehbooba Mufti during a presser in Srinagar [Representational Image]
Mehbooba Mufti during a presser in Srinagar [Representational Image]File: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Though a common man in Kashmir has always expected “Better progressive times” under the conventional mainstream dynast  leadership, however, the Kashmiris have always been left in a lurch where they only got shortchanged with empty promises. Recently the political clan is trying to woo the Kashmiris with their bogus slogans of the newfound claim to fame for the restoration of Article 370/35a.

On March 1, 2015, PDP formed a coalition government  along with BJP. Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was sworn in as the Chief Minister of J&K for the second time. On January 7, 2016, Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed died of illness at AIIMS, Delhi. On March 22, 2016 Mehbooba Mufti met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

After the meeting, she announced that she is satisfied with the assurances from the Centre and on April 4, 2016, she took oath as the Chief Minister of J&K . Mehbooba Mufti went into the BJP camp to be in power and proved to be the perfect opportunist However, this move, backfired on her political career as some of her own political aides started blaming her for providing an entry to BJP into Kashmir politics. Therefore, she is making a desperate move to revive her political career by propagating soft separatism politics. 

5th August, 2019 has left these political dynasts exposed as now people can see that they only propagate “Naare Baazi” & want their families to be in power to promote dynasty politics while playing with the emotions of the innocent Kashmiris. 

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti is now fighting tooth and nail to gather any and every kind of sympathy that she can get from the Kashmiris. She is trying to establish herself as a pro in playing the victim card and changing sides, and her political narratives have become her second nature. She is now trying to gather pity by saying that she is being targeted by Govt of India for being a pioneer who is fighting for the restoration of Article 370/35a.

However, the apt question that she needs to answer is why she joined hands with the BJP and form a coalition with them when the BJP had clearly mentioned in its manifesto that it intends to abrogate Article 35a and Article 370.

This was nothing new, this was being published and upheld by the BJP right from the beginning. So, it is evident that she only saw the opportunity to get into power and form a government and ignored the principles of the political party she was collaborating with. She only focused on her political clout and focused on nepotism by getting her family members like her brother and others into power.

Mehbooba Mufti has been at the forefront of spreading panic while trying to get attention by dint of propagating some miscalculated demographic philosophies. She wants everyone to believe that Kashmir with its uniqueness cannot be an integral part of India. The overall unified ethos of India amidst the co-existence of diversities is beyond her comprehension.

For instance - Maharashtra , Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other states as well as Union Territories that have several languages/religions and cultures are thriving and prospering beautifully as a part of our country India without having any special/exclusive status.

It is only to play politics that Mehbooba Mufti talks about a special and exclusive status for Kashmir so that she could add unnecessary frills to the Indian constitution while trying to separate this region from the Union of India. A pertinent point to note here is that a special provision or status will only push the Kashmiri youth on the back foot.

The Kashmiris, have all the rights to have access to employment opportunities in various industries, other investment opportunities facilities, and perks/privileges that any other citizen of the country has. With the special status/provision, the exposure and accessibility of the Kashmiris to all these benefits will only get limited.

The narrative, that is being driven by these politicians on having a dialogue with Pakistan, nullification of the PRC (Permanent Resident Certificate), the consequential attacks on Kashmiri Pandits on account of the online registration portal for time-bound redressal of grievances of encroached land are all a whitewash in the eyes of common Kashmiris to stray them away from the main issues on the ground which are lack of development & progress.

These are all attempts to blackmail New Delhi and stay in power to keep the Kashmiris away from the mainland of India by spreading rumours of the danger of hijacking of entire Kashmir by Pakistan which could then lead to an increase in terrorism etc.

The recent comments on the encounter of a terrorist Imran in District Shopian is a veiled attempt from the PDP honcho to malign our security forces, who are striving day in and day out to thwart all violent activities from the neighboring country. Security forces are toiling hard to fight against the drug menace that the neighboring country is trying to spread by sending narcotics to Kashmir so that the youth can get disoriented in their thinking.

A huge number of security forces personnel which includes the local J&K Police cops and officers have laid down their lives to protect Kashmir and dynasts like Mehbooba Mufti are only trying to malign them by spreading lies and rumours about them. 

Now let’s look at the years when she was at the helm of administration in 2016. These were the years when killings of young Kashmiris were rampant. The aftermath that followed the Burhan Wani killing witnessed the deaths of more than 96 civilians including young boys and girls getting killed, blinded, and injured due to the use of pellets.

15000 civilians and approximately 4000 security personnel were left grievously injured.  The press conference in the presence of Rajnath Singh wherein she made a very unempathetic statement- “woh bache doodh aur toffee lane gaye the kya” did not sit well with the sentiment of the Kashmiri people as she then blamed the youth for inciting violence.

However, today she is changing her stance as that is what is suitable for her now as she sees this as a way to rise in the eyes of the Kashmiris. However, after the abrogation of Article 370, there has been no instance wherein an innocent Kashmiri has lost his/her life.

It is now on the common Kashmiri to decide what is good for them. They should understand the extent of damage and loss that has been caused to them in the last so many years. A common Kashmiri today is struggling for access to good education, employment opportunities, etc. However these political honchos have their children study and settle in foreign countries.

The Government of India should also put in efforts to ensure that these selfish-minded politicians do not indulge in cross-border activities which pose a risk to the nation.

Though there have been consistent efforts from the Government of India and LG Manoj Sinha led administration and security agencies to unite Kashmir with the mainstream of India, they should put proper checks and balances in place to ensure that there is no influence from across the border which is at play here trying to spread venom amongst the Kashmiris, against our country and trying to stall any developmental or progressive activities. 

(Emaad Makhdoomi is the Consulting Editor of Greater Kashmir.  Views are personal. He can be reached out at emaadmakhdoomi@gmail.com. His Twitter ID is @MakhdoomiEmaad)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK

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