Browse through the pages of Kashmir history and you will have a feel of pain expressed through rage. Every 'elected' government, 'working within the parameters of Indian constitution' , has been more damaging to the interests of Kashmiris and autonomous 'semi sovereignty' of the state than the non-representative direct rule from Delhi through President or governor. While the latter have no fig leaf of 'mandate sanctity', the former do flaunt this with swaggering confidence. The most tragic part of this political machination has been they seek votes on one thing and do quite contrary after gaining power. In case of rigged elections it can be expected from the lackeys of the establishment but even when ' people's power' script its ' sanctity' and 'glory', the vote is molested and trust betrayed.
In 2004 ' free and fair' election when Mufti Muhammad Sayeed sought vote on promise of 'healing touch' and deliverance from task force raj, the 18 MLAs of his party were hailed by the father-daughter duo as '18 mujaheedeen' in the assembly to articulate the sentiments of militants and hence 'no need of gun'. After a few years the ' 18 mujaheedeens' in 2008 conspired with its coalition partner Congress to clandestinely sanction a cabinet order transferring forest land to Amarnath Shrine Board for raising a future Amarnath Nagar. As the sinister design got leaked, the spontaneous massive public protests surged the streets. The massive unrest—immediately morphing into Aazadi demand—forced the government to cancel the order.
A glance of the election manifesto and pre-poll pledges are enough to point to devil's ruse ultimately these turned into. The hands-folded demeanor of Omar begging voters for ' forgiving' NC's ugly past and lease him a fresh innings powered him dove-tailing with Congress in 2009. What followed was people writhing in desperation, gasping to relieve themselves from the claws of his government they preferred to PDP. Caught between the two eternities of deception, the naïve people of Kashmir are lured in opting out the dispensation that inflicted fresh wounds, forgetting ones from the previous rulers. We have emerged a special breed that taste the follies to their last toxicity.
Cultivating on the forgetfulness of people and freshness of their pain, Mufti hugged BJP, though his two-pronged poll campaign was directed against both NC and BJP. The vote sought on promise of 'better governance' and keeping communal forces at bay, soon last the priority and direction. Even the agreed contours of the Alliance Agenda were put on hold, rather folded up. BJP both at Delhi and Jammu snared Mufti and his PDP for their not-so-hidden Kashmir agenda, that is bringing demographic change as a 'permanent solution' of Kashmir issue. Initiating steps for setting up Composite colonies for Pundits in Kashmir and Mufti's ' assurance to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that government will acquire and provide land at the earlier' ( GK, April 8, 2015), mulling to settle West Pakistan refugees, distribution of state subject certificates from schools, Sainik colony issue, all these threw Kashmiris into state of alarm.
Why such a shameful flip-flopping? Why this abuse of mandate? Why this stabbing of trust? Why their vote pushes them on to the precipice, just a step away from the unenviable fate of Palestine? Irony is same people who voted such leaders and their party to power look to pro-freedom camp for redeemable measure. The question is if there were no such political mobilization, no forceful public response to force the ruling dispensations to retreat, how would have been Kashmir saved from approaching disaster?
Instead of taking steps to fulfil electoral promises and nudge the alliance partner in implementing 'common minimum' already agreed, Mehbooba Mufti has cast herself in a new avatar, showing more interest to Nagpur than to 'regional aspirations', she had pledged to serve and defend. Series of events, with dangerous implications for Kashmiris, are unfolding and she, as chief minister, is at the central place helping to happen all these. It is another matter politically conscious people foil these moves, but intent of the dispensation is very much clear. The Sainik colony issue figured in summer last year when Indian defence minister Manohar Parikar told parliament that state government has been asked to take 'appropriate action' for allotment of state land to retired army men. Mufi Muhammad Sayeed, in face of strong public resentment, shelved it. His daughter, true to her father's legacy, is trying to appease Delhi in lieu of her safety in chair. It is only when public pressure, in particular from Hurriyat and civil society, began to mount she is stuttering in desperation. Now she says only state subject ex-service men can be settled in Sainik colonies, not outsiders. But the question is why separate colonies are being established for the retired soldiers and their family members?. If they have lived in their homes for the last so many decades without any threat to their lives- even during the peak of militancy- why cannot they live in their homes from now on?
The present government has opened several other fronts which people here view as detrimental to their interests. Under National Urban Livelihood Mission, the Mehbooba-led regime is aiming to settle homeless non-state subjects. The new Industrial Policy the government embanked on is bound to open gates for non-state subjects who are being provided land on large scale for setting up industries.
All these developments are creating a sense of siege. And the fear that majority character of Muslim majority state is being diluted to the disadvantage of Muslims and disputed nature of Kashmir issue.