JAMMU: Loss of power has taken real toll of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress. None of its leaders, either in Kashmir or in Jammu have reacted to the brutal lynching of a police officer in Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, even as the nation is under a spell of deep shock and anguish. Despite Rahul Gandhi reacting from somewhere beyond the seven seas, the Pradesh Congress leaders are so detached from the affairs in the Valley that they are refusing to take cue from their Vice President.
Understandably, the Kashmir Congress leaders are maintaining silence over the barbaric incident, apparently to avert the wrath of chronic separatists like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq but what has happened to the Jammu based leaders. Always on toes to issue statements in order to remain in the newsprint, they have preferred to turn a blind eye to what happened during the night of Shabe-e-Qader in the heart of Srinagar city. This incident had unfolded vistas of opportunities for the rejected Congress to re-create and carve out its lost place again by cornering arch rivals BJP in failing on the law and order front in Kashmir that is directly involved with national security. They have missed the bus.
Why is it so that Jammu Congress leaders keep always toeing the line of their Kashmiri masters? Haven’t they have their own independent opinion on men and matters? Would they have reacted similarly and mutely had they been in power? The answers to these are simple. All along during past nearly seven decades, the Congress leaders from the Jammu region, with honourable exception of very few, have played ‘His Master’s Voice’, which is why they have refused to grow politically.
The situation in the Valley post-lynching warranted severest condemnation and reaction by the Jammu Congress, for it being the only opposition notwithstanding limited number of seats in the assembly. The incident is a warning about menacing growth of radicalism that has touched alarming proportions. Since the menace of Wahabisim is fast spreading in the Jammu region as well due to influx of unwarranted elements, Rohingya Muslims included, the Congress does not feel the urgency of its pivotal role in containing it. Is it because of the ‘appeasement mind-set’ that the Congress is taking cautious steps even in condemning the most barbarous acts?
Time stands testimony to the fact that the Congress has shown immense tolerance to the acts of violence unleashed by terrorists during past twenty-seven years. Its leaders have been discreet in condemning the terror incidents like Prankote, Raghunath Temple, Jammu Railway Station, to speak very few, perhaps with the notion that any such reaction will annoy a particular segment of society that constitutes its traditional vote bank. However, the Jammu Congressmen should realise that by not taking calls on pivotal issues pertaining to national security, it is taking the risk of being shelved to dustbin by the patriotic people of Jammu forever. The Congress will have to take a call, given the dynamics of the situation wherein fundamentalism is fast growing and taking the Jammu region in its grip.
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