BY NOOR UL HAQ
They say that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. As the saying goes the mainstream politics of Kashmir has seen many ups and downs throughout this turbulent political weather; what has been impacted is the trust of a common man in the mainstream political leaders.
At present when Jammu and Kashmir is at a crucial juncture, after losing the statehood, there are many questions about the political road ahead.
The politics of the Jammu region has different contours as compared to the politics of the Kashmir region. However this time the aspirations of the people remain the same and probably the needed political breakthrough will also be one.
For the people in the valley, BJP is seen as a political party that went contrary to the aspirations of the locals by abrogating the state’s special status.
If the BJP’s model of politics is studied carefully, they have been very clear in their manifesto before seeking the mandate from the people.
Apart from excellence in grassroots organisational politics, it goes to the BJP’s credit that the clarity of thought they had in their manifesto was well translated into action.
However, it remains a different question whether or not that was in the interest of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Post abrogation the political scenario saw a drastic change when BJP’s former alliance partner and their facilitators in Kashmir politics, the PDP, joined hands with the National Conference. This false stage of unity was set to seek exemption from answering the people. There are tall claims of this unity for a cause but when pages of recent history are turned, one fails to find an achievable roadmap that could possibly provide any succour to the people.
Talking of PDP, Mehbooba’s idea of politics was saffronised much before than it appeared to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. After the demise of her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mehbooba had a clear choice to ally with like-minded parties to keep BJP at bay but she turned out to be more decisive than her father, not only allying with the BJP but empowering them in state affairs. Even one of her close aides, a bureaucrat turned politician proudly attended BJP’s party function while being at the helm of affairs.
Today when Mehbooba Mufti has taken the agenda of politics against the BJP, after being ousted by the BJP, the political undercurrents don’t suggest that her tacit understanding with the BJP is over yet.
Today the idea of her politics is to infuse a new lease of life into her Party. This time by allying with ideologically apart National Conference. Mehbooba, who batted for unearthing NC Patron’s alleged cricket scam is now a partner in a political alliance in J&K. But this alliance remains dishonest as the threads of previous alliance partner BJP significantly remain there.
The consistent fluctuations in political ideology have robbed the people off trust. With this trust deficit PDP is seeking political redemption at the cost of declining the history. History of opening gateway for BJP in J&K, will Mehbooba be able to win the trust of people, remains a question.
Recently Mehbooba took on to Twitter to change the display picture of her social media profile, where her late father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is seen sharing the stage with Prime Minister Modi. The partners of the North Pole and the South Pole perfectly are in one frame.
Post the abrogation of J&K’s Special Status, Mehbooba steered a political drift where in she became critical of the centre. However, political trajectory has been such that she has always been very close to the power corridors of New Delhi. This may also be seen as an alternative doors open, seeking attention of New Delhi that all is still well and also a breather for the broken alliance of the PDP and the BJP. Now the question remains, will BJP acknowledge this tacit political messaging of Mehbooba?
If her political discourse of national politics is seen, Mehbooba with her sharp and provoking remarks has helped the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. This may also have acted as a motivation for the BJP cadre. Back home in Jammu Valley, her activities in the Pir Panjal suggest that the political activities are aimed to divide the votes further and thus fragment the mandate ahead.
In this grand scheme of things, strengthening the family rule within the Party, Mehbooba is sailing in two boats. On one hand, she espouses the agenda of PAGD. On the other hand, she has seemingly not yet severed ties with her former alliance partner BJP. What holds in future for the people of Jammu and Kashmir is unknown but the political redemption of her party is on cards and the alliance is not over yet.
The Author is a political analyst, a Supreme Court lawyer studying South Asian politics.
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.