Kashmir's politics is hitting a new low. From here onwards starts the highway to a higher violence. In such a situation what are the options for Kashmir. Do we have to carry on this luggage of poor and bad choices, or is there a possibility of hitting some 'better choice'. Though the real and the only choice is to break free of this captive politics, but how does that happen. This is a head swivelling question in search of an answer.
PDP's ignominious fall is just on expected lines. The birth of PDP politics was as ugly as sin, and its demise could only be uglier than the original sin. So there is none in Kashmir to grieve over what happened to this wily operation – conceived, and conducted by people from Delhi. Though for that brief period, in a run up to 2014 elections, this party cashed in on the perennial anxieties of the Kashmir politics, by raising a dust-storm of trepidation that if BJP comes to power we will be facing the final assault. Coupled with the appalling mutilations of the politics of Kashmir by National Conference, this party succeeded in creating a favourable atmosphere for itself. Had there been a sliver of integrity in this party that was the time to salvage itself from the sin of conception. But anyways, this drama was conceived, scripted, directed, and finally drawn to a close by the Delhi House of Production. Rest in eternal agony.
But what happens to the politics of Kashmir, as a consequence, is something inviting serious attention. If politics reflects the collective will of people, Kashmir is a case of politics held captive. This captivity is the legacy of Sheikh M Abdullah. His leadership was a surprisingly curious creature. Leading a national struggle of the Muslims of Kashmir, he soon deserted his own people by falling into Gandhi-Nehru trap. He mounted a life threatening contradiction over the heart of Kashmir's politics. By doing so he actually massacred the politics of Kashmir. What is happening afterwards are the acts of scavenging. Some do it big way, some in petty ways.
The latest act of major scavenging was done by Mufti M Saeed, and his PDP. His evil knew no bounds. In Kashmir many people voted first time just to keep BJP at bay, as they say. But in the end Mufti welcomed the bear. He thought of playing a 'master stroke'. But before his death he must have realised that Kashmir's politics was now a slave to new masters of Indian politics. One doesn't know who whispered this line into his ears, when he explained the alliance as the meeting of North Pole and South Pole. He was bang on. If the two Poles actually meet it's annihilation of life on earth. Today's Kashmir is a story of that total collapse.
Mufti learnt the craft of politics in the school of Congress, but it wasn't the India of Congress make. He couldn't realise that the spool had run itself complete, and the screen was just about to display, in red: THE END. Now the question is what lies beyond this End; something that sends shivers down the spine. Where will the politics go from here. Or is there any politics left now. Will it now be left to pure violence.
Right now the news is doing rounds that some defections will happen and BJP will cobble together an alliance. Does that happen or not, one thing is sure to happen. Kashmir's electoral strength will undergo further divisions. Later, when the elections are near, National Conference will exploit the failure of PDP to the hilt. The same dust-storm will now be raised by NC boots. The talk of demography, constitutional safeguards, Kashmir centric government, threat to the Muslim character of Kashmir …. once again the old sounds will be played out on an even higher pitch.
In such a situation what are the options for Kashmir. Do we have to carry on this luggage of poor and bad choices, or is there a possibility of hitting some 'better choice'. Though the real and the only choice is to break free of this captive politics, but how does that happen. This is a head swivelling question that is in search of an answer. Till the time someone finds an answer to it, and the situation takes a turn for better, here is a reminder of some basics regarding Kashmir's politics.
From 1930s Kashmir's politics evolved with a strong sense of individuality. The eventual 'joining' of the state with the Union of India never eroded that sense of selfhood, and Kashmir resisted all attempts at subordination from, and merger within, the politics manufactured in Delhi. This separateness informs even the electoral politics of Kashmir, that is otherwise considered Pro-India. Whenever this separateness, or call it political self of Kashmir, was assaulted, Kashmir went into flames. It began with the arrest of Sheikh M Abdullah in 1953, and the first phase of Resistance from this political-self against Delhi lasted for more than 20 years, till 1975. This phase was dotted with some violent patches, like al-Fateh, an armed underground rebellion. Later when New Delhi again thrust itself on Kashmir as Rajive Gandhi's Congress, and Farooq Abdullah's NC joined hands in 1987, popularly known as Rajiv-Farooq Accord, the contradiction again turned active. That was the time armed resistance began its journey. Similarly when PDP and BJP made an alliance, it was a direct assault on the political self of Kashmir, hence this renewed phase of violent upheaval. This pattern is quite graspable in Kashmir's recent political history. Any attempts to forcibly, or mischievously, bring Kashmir's politics closer to that of New Delhi activates the primordial contradiction. When Kashmir reverberates with the slogans like We Want Freedom, or Go India Go Back, that is a plain and undiluted expression of recovering the Kashmir's political self from the grip of that contradiction.
Who can supersede this contradiction mounted over the heart of Kashmir's politics, and how? How can this captivity end? All the experiments till now have failed, on this side or the other. Right now all paths lead to violence, a natural outcome of the absence of politics. Right now we lay massacred on our own ground, and the beasts tear us limb from limb. NC, PDP and the would be defectors, curse is a scanty reward.