There can’t be better climax to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship programme ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ than an ace India basher in Kashmir Asiya Andrabi figuring as a role model. After becoming official, every ‘Beti’ will have to emulate the spirit of the icon, which ironically wants India to dismantle in bits and pieces; who takes pride in trampling Tiranga and unfurling Pakistani flag amid singing Pakistani Tarana; who vows to fight Indian soldiers; who hails the Mujahids who spill blood of Indian jawans in mountains and plains of the Valley to satiate their thirst for Azadi.
With 56 inch chest, Modi would not have thought even in wildest of his dreams that the issue he made main plank of historic 2014 elections could meet such a horrendous end that his own government would be a party to eulogizing terror supporter to share the space in huge hoarding with Mother Teresa, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, tennis star Sania Mirza and Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi among others. The BJP’s ‘role model’ is currently in jail under Public Safety Act for her separatist activities. She has several cases registered against her including some for hoisting Pakistani flag on August 14 and March 23 — the Independence Day and National Day of Pakistan, respectively. One wonders how the prosecutors of PDP-BJP government would pursue cases against their ‘role-model’ during the judicial dispensation. Apart from being the BJP’s role model, Asia Andrabi is pro-Pakistan chief of ‘Dukhtaran-e-Millat’ (daughters of the nation) organisation.
Can the BJP provide any alibi to the poster that appeared in south Kashmir, depicting Asia Andrabi with Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti among others? If the BJP pretends ignorance then it has no moral right to be in the government and if it admits to be a party to the poster then they will have to make lot of explanation, not in Jammu but in the entire nation, for being the hyper nationalists and champions of the national cause. The BJP has proven that for remaining glued to power, it can go to any extent, even beyond the Congress and other so-called mainstream parties in Kashmir.
The Kashmir mainstream including the Congress, have always shown sympathy towards the separatists’ cause, which is why they are known as soft-separatists in the Valley. In fact, they take pride in being called pro-separatist because that serves their purpose to have better of both the worlds. Now the BJP is emulating the spirit to remain relevant to Kashmir politics.
Ironically, the Pradesh Congress has sought clarification from the PDP-BJP Government over the issue. But what were its ministers in the Omar Abdullah led National Conference-Congress dispensation doing when in 2011 Asia Andrabi tasted the warm hospitality and care extended by the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, Srinagar in terms of convalescing in one of the two VIP rooms with a team of doctors having been constituted by the newly appointed director to monitor her health services. This was done on the recommendation of hardcore hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani. In which capacity, the Congress will have to give the explanation.
In 2013, the BJP’s latest role-model Asia Andrabi had issued an open threat to Kashmir based Buddhists, warning them of “prompt action in case ‘communal Buddhists’ continued to oppress the helpless Muslims in Zanskar”. It was not difficult to decipher what she meant by prompt action and what the situation could be if zealots and ruffians had taken cue from the veiled threat of the veiled woman. Provocation for her venom against peace loving Buddhists was their alleged boycott of the Muslim community in Zanskar after conversion of some Buddhists to Islam.
She had not stopped there. She had reminded Buddhists that it was not Burma but Jammu and Kashmir where Muslims live in majority.
Again in 2013, Asia Andrabi had told Pakistan’s visiting External Affairs Advisor Sartaj Aziz that ‘Kashmiris will not talk to India until Kashmir is treated as a disputed territory and the present movement-say terrorism-will be taken to its logical conclusion.’ The new role model considers terrorism as best weapon to achieve political objectives.
The BJP will have to make lot of explaining to its core constituency of Jammu in general and the nation in particular as to where it stands on terrorism in Kashmir because it is signatory to the Agenda of Alliance with the PDP, which says, “There will be no issues over carving out a huge space for ace separatists and chronic secessionists”. Is the inclusion of Asia Andrabi as role model a step towards realizing ‘Agenda of Alliance’?
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper