What is in a rumour!

Nipping mischief of bifurcation in the bud was need of the hour
What is in a rumour!
LG Manoj SinhaMir Imran/GK File

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has done a great service to the people of Jammu and Kashmir by making it unequivocally clear that the tale of the bifurcation of the existing Union Territory was nothing but a rumour. This should put a permanent halt to the rumours and serve a lesson to the rumour-mongers that their mischief can be nipped in the bud and they should not dare to embark on such disinformation campaign in future .

He has ruled it out completely that the bifurcation of J&K on the anvil. The talk that Jammu would get a separate statehood and Kashmir will become a Union Territory is nothing but a rumour spread by those having jealously with the development and the normalization. “When everything was going right and the mischief makers had nothing to say, they floated rumours.”

Two other significant things emerged out of LG’s remarks on this critical issue that was gathering a storm of unknown proportions; he sought to dispel the impression that he was blaming any particular country for floating the rumours of disintegration of the existing geography of J&K. It was a polite snub to the TV anchor who attempted to put her words into his mouth. All what he had said that some foreign elements too were involved in rumour mongering .

A person of Sinha’s stature holding constitutional position in one of the most sensitive places in the country chose his words with caution , for he knows that how his words could have been exploited by the vested interests spreading rumours.

Secondly , he chastised the anchor, who, in her enthusiasm tried to trigger a war of words against the Kashmiri leadership, sought to attribute all this to some of the prominent leaders like Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. He said that he has not named anyone. This discouraged all those, who, out of their habit, or agenda, seek to create fissures in Kashmir.

The times are important. The possibilities of Delhi and Kashmir talks opening at the highest level have gained strength. As a seasoned politician and administrator L G Sinha knows that how crucial it is to keep the hopes and optimism alive. That is driving force behind the development and increasing the number of stakeholders in peace and normalcy in Kashmir that has suffered for decades because of violence.

Rumours are rumours, but in Kashmir rumours have a bad habit of coming true as well. This is not a rumour but a fact that many a time the rumours have laid the basis for something which emerged as a reality. It is not prudent to recall all the episodes which disturbed minds of the people. This time, the nature of the rumours had the toxicity with a potential to inject a permanent discourse of suspicion between regions, sub-regions, communities and ethnicities.

It is good that Manoj Sinha put to rest all these speculations fuelled by rumour-mongers who had employed imaginary cartographers for disintegration of J&K. The rumour mill was working overtime and the messages were travelling thick and fast as to what was in store for the people of J&K. Sinha quelled all this with his words , “bifurcation (of J&K) is a rumour”. He was quite emphatic.

This assertion has more connotation than merely putting the record straight vis-à-vis the existing geography and demography of the UT of J&K . This established a clear line of the people in authority who can speak on the critical affairs of J&K.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, it is Lt. Governor who can say things in a definitive manner on all issues concerning Jammu and Kashmir.

After having said what he said, the Lieutenant Governor should now order a probe ; from where these rumors emanated and for what purpose? This probe should be taken to its logical conclusion to know what dangerous dimensions it had . If left unprobed it will become a habit with such elements to cloud the atmosphere with uncertainties .

Every time the top man in J&K cannot be expected to dump the rumours on TV channels.

The circulation of the rumours at a time when National Conference has put itself in the driver’s seat to repair relation with Delhi cannot be a mere coincidence. There was a mischief to place hurdles in the possible talks .

All those advocating for bifurcation are trying to provide substance to what they call the issue of their identity. Their identity politics has consequences. How would they deny the identity criterion of the sub regions that define the overall geography of J&K.?

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