DOST KHAN / ANCHOR
Fingers remain crossed as to what shall be in store for the people of Jammu and Kashmir, given the bad taste generated by politicians of all hues and colours. Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing volleys of venomous vituperative being hurled by politicians at each other. The common man, by whom these politicians swear, especially at the turn of elections is left puzzled at the rapid pace at which they change colours. The political scene of this sensitive State is being held hostage to different ideologies and sadly the dominant discourse veers around the valley of Kashmir. This has undermined the unity and plurality of the state at the cost of personal agenda of these politicians. Instead of forging a common front against poverty, disease or terror, which evidently is the greatest challenge, these politicians indulge in horror harangue, that has the potential of taking the state to the very brink.
To come from a general statement to the particular one, it is the Kashmir centric politics which the people of the State will have to watch. Since the Independence, it is the National Conference (NC) which has set the political agenda of the State for a considerable period of time. Autonomy and Pre 1953 are its pet slogans. Never did it utter a single word on 1975 Indira- Skeikh Accord.
Government of India opened its coffers and without creating a system of effective checks and balances, it wanted to placate NC lest it raise any provocative statements which could undermine the interests of the country. Hence a demon was created who asked for more and threatened to devour the hand which fed him. Came Congress and it too could not tell the people that the reality was, that the accession to India was final. As the local leadership wanted to be seen on the both sides of the fence, it didn’t act nor did it infuse a sense of India in the valley. When terror was introduced into the Valley, at the behest of Pakistan and so called mainstream politicians, it changed the narrative of the politics and brought the real face of these politicians to the fore. This is precisely the reason, why so called mainstream politicians, including the towering of them all, Dr Farooq Abdullah are patting the shoulders of stone pelters and praising such elements who have waged war against the country. Recently, he called them heroes fighting for Azadi. This has not happened for the first time or at the spur of the moment, which even if happened, cannot be condoned because Dr Farooq has taken oath on the Constitution of the country, not once but many times to safeguard the unity of India. The parliamentary bye elections to Srinagar and Anantnag Constituencies are to be held soon and in the wake of these elections, again a strange war of words has started taking place between Congress- NC on one side and PDP-BJP on the other.
NC says, it is to save Kashmir that PDP-BJP is to be defeated; Congress through the mouth of Tariq Hamid Karra, says those who fight the Opposition candidates are Mujhahids. Another salvo is fired and it is now said that Islam is in danger. The poor man of Jammu and Ladakh witnesses this unfolding with amazement and fright. The truth is that geographically Kashmir is a small part of the present Jammu and Kashmir. Population wise too, there is no such overwhelming difference between the population of Kashmir Valley on one side and Jammu together with Ladakh on the other. The matter of fact is that the people of Jammu and Ladakh have been held hostage to Kashmir centric politics. Despite these pivotal factors, what Kashmir centric politicians and their cohorts from the Rahul Gandhi Headquarters (Congress) seek to project is wrong and inimical to the interests of the State as a whole. The results of the bye elections, for Srinagar or Anantnag might go to any party but the way slogans like Mujhahids or Islam in danger are raised it will in the long run alienate the people of Jammu and Ladakh, who have always stood rock solid behind the interests of the nation. These politicians forget that Jammu gave them shelter, when they were being killed by those very elements, whom they, now want to pester and mollify. Tragedy with these politicians is that they want to be seen on both sides. They desire to open roads with Pakistan when that country, everyday opens fire and pushes terrorists in our side. These politicians also see that it is interest of Islam only which needs to be safeguarded, although their slogans are self defeating in the long run.
Sadly, in Jammu, despite great political support given to BJP there is a sense of despair when even developmental issues are sought to be diluted. One example is Tawi Lake Project which is yet to be a reality. Many old Jammuites were mighty happy at the prospect of seeing this lake in their lifetime have sorrowfully passed away. Traffic woes are big, roads and development promise is not being carried forward. This is the difference between Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu craves for development, which it is not getting and unfortunately Kashmir is portrayed as if it is a place where Islam is in danger. Is it not an open invitation for ISIS to enter whose flags are already being hurled in the Valley?
Jammu has to be wary on another front. New slogans are being raised. Chenab Valley and Pirpanchal are two dangerous ploys to dilute the character of Jammu region. Some Kashmir centric politicians will take these slogans more vigorously. It is the sagacity of BJP and other nationalist parties to see through the game and devise effective measures, otherwise a genuine voice will be soon heard and that will be- Hindus in danger in Jammu and Kashmir. These wily politicians need to understand that politics is about strengthening all the three regions of the State and above all the interests of the nation.
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