The state of Jammu & Kashmir has the distinction ofbeing the frontline state of India in the field of ancient history andcivilization. The beautiful treatises and classical works that have beencreated in this state represent chronological order of prehistoric and historicevents to enrich our knowledge about the state's proud past.
Kashmir commands a relatively emancipated and elaboratedview of the flow of historical and political developments and vicissitudesprimarily due to available volume of documentation. The first hand historicalnarrative comes from the local classics of hundreds of years that have beenaccorded the recognition of the chronicles of historicity. The most fascinating part of the voluminous historicaldocumentation pertaining to Kashmir is the political history of Kashmir.
As it is true with politics so is true with the history,both do not wait for any sort of sanctions and approvals. Both have their ownflow and have a consistent and unhindered flow with speed. The speed may varybut the flow remains constant. All of us have seen and witnessed long upheavalsof our times, but the severe most upheaval was what happened in Kashmir overthe last three decades.
Despotic rulers in earlier times and especially during themedieval era did many wrongs with common people of Kashmir, though the majorbrunt was inflicted upon the indigenous people of Kashmir, the KashmiriPandits. Historical evidences and witnesses are a testimony of the fact thatthe ruling class had been brutal and also extraordinarily intolerant. With thedusk of the despotic rulers of Kashmir in early stages of 19th century, amodern outlook developed. 1819AD, 1846AD, 1931AD and 1947AD were very significantevents that wrote very important chapters of history of the state. People havevarious and different and many a time contradictory perceptions about theseimportant historical milestones. Nevertheless, the difference of opinion doesnot devalue the importance of them, in fact these developments gained moreimportance due to bunches of views and opinions regarding these developmentsloaded with political messages and meanings.
1947AD was actually a gateway which was carved out in 1819ADin context of the modern history of Jammu and Kashmir state. The biggest eventwithin the political and historical developments in J&K was the emergenceof the so-called mainstream in politics as an important component of democracyand constitutionalism. The "mainstream" was supposed to reflect thewill and aspirations of the people at large.
However, this new elite 'mainstream' also assumed the roleto guide, lead, define and implement the aspirations of all kinds anddimensions with the blessings of the corridors of power in Delhi. It assumedthe position of political class in Jammu and Kashmir at the cost of the commonpeople and even the socio-economic edifice of the state. During the periodbetween 1930 to 1950, this political class or the "mainstream"considered it as its moral right to use (or misuse) the podium of religiousshrines and occasions to further its interests. It was this"mainstream" that showed a way to the non-mainstream emergingpoliticians and leaders to get control of the religious shrines and places ofworship sometimes even to their distaste. People were compelled to joinpolitical games since while laying the basis of the principle ofcompetitiveness, level playing field was absolutely important.
The biggest fraud that the "mainstream" played wasto make people believe that Kashmir needs to have a special position that wouldensure them their 'honour'; and the biggest compromises were made by the same"mainstream" to dilute the so-called special position only toguarantee itself the continuance in the corridors of power. Reigns of powerwere the key to amass wealth by all means, keep the gullible guessing fordecades, hold the right to make political equations in order to suit politicalambitions at the centre, browbeat the opponents with the stick of"national interests" and then be available to create bonhomie withthose, whom in power, it would call anti-national. The games in the form of'national interest', 'ensuring honour', 'anti-national activities' and 'holdingdialogues' shaped, unfortunately, the destiny of the subjects for seven longdecades after 1947.
There is no denying the fact that the people by and largefollowed the 'mainstream' somewhat blindly in Kashmir. This custom of followingblindly the 'mainstream' was replicated even in non-mainstream politics alsowith the results that are right before us as on date. Four generations weredeceived and misguided only to make it sure that the Family Feudal Politics isconsolidated and made a reality of realities so that the non-mainstream getsisolated and ignored.
Time has come to realise the follies of"mainstream" politicians who, day in and day out, made it possibledue to their intent and deeds for the last seven decades to convert Jammu andKashmir state as a fully dependent unit on the central grants and loans.J&K is today considered as the most corrupt state among the states of Indiaand it has a dubious distinction of being a non-productive state in terms ofcontribution to the national wealth and GDP. It is a politically volatile statewith hardly any contribution towards the national accreditation leave alone theinternational accreditation. Politics in the state was considered as a domainof "mainstream" only to finally devalue the meaning of probity inpublic life.
It is a matter of shame to acknowledge the role of"mainstream" in misusing the state run institutions to its benefitand largesse. The bunglings in J&K Bank is one of the examples that isenough to bring the skeletons out one after the other. KVIB is another exampleto be quoted while cooperative infrastructure is a gross failure with JAKFED inthe lead. The contribution of the "mainstream" over the last sevendecades has been simply appalling and disgraceful politically, administrativelyand morally. It had absolutely no vision of public good, prosperity andwelfare. It encouraged clinging to useless slogans, exploiting people'sreligious sentiments and historical wrongs, and shaping communal overtones inall walks of governance and life.
The course correction is a Herculean task and it cannot bedone by the same lot that created the mess all seven decades."Mainstream" of the yesteryears in the state needs substitution andsubstitution by new blood, new vision and new action. A completely new trust inpublic life and domain is warranted. It is a measure challenge for those whoare waiting in the wings for people to get rid of deceit and fraud, exploitation and misuse of the last sevenlong decades. This million dollar question is for all of us to resolve and thedate for resolution has also, almost been, finalized. It might be by the end ofthe year 2019. The wise need not to be reminded time and again, a single strokeof an alarm is more than enough……!