Prof Hari Om
Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah on September 23 again crossed the red line to muddy Indian waters in Kashmir – den of break-India and essentially sectarian politics. This time not to placate Pakistan, source of inspiration of Jihadists and terrorists of all varieties, but to befriend China at the cost of Kashmiri Muslims themselves whom, he claimed, he represented.Besides, the rebellious Farooq Abdullah, among other things, vehemently opposed the idea of a Hindu or Hindus entering Kashmir and settling there, pitched for unity with Mehbooba Mufti, reiterated his atrocious Gupkar resolve, strove to tell that Kashmiri Muslims were treated worse than the brutes and made several other provocative statements, coupled with a threat that Kashmiri Muslims will come out in tens of lakhs if PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah didn’t kneel.The upshot of his whole interview that he gave to a website was: We will prefer Chinese rule if New Delhi failed to restore J&K to the pre-August 5, 2019 position and fulfill the separatist urges of Kashmiri people professing a particular faith.What exactly did Farooq Abdullah say while pitching for accession with China? He reiterated that “Kashmiris (read Muslims) didn’t feel Indian and they would rather have the Chinese rule them”. Clearly, he rejected the democratic Indian political system. Obviously, he expressed his willingness to suffer in China like the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Province suffer. Chinese barbarities perpetrated on Uyghur Muslims are known the world over. These include ‘mass surveillance, arbitrary arrest, forced labour, detention camps, torture, murder and rape’. Reports emanating from UNHRC etc also talk about ‘destroyed mosques, confiscated Qurans, forbidden Halal diets and banned fasting during the month of Ramadan’.It’s for Kashmiri Muslims to come out and say if they endorse or not endorse what Farooq Abdullah said. However, there are elements in Kashmir who have been pinning faith in the intolerant Chinese Communist regime since years now for reasons not really difficult to fathom. So far, we have not seen any statement from Kashmir that was even mildly critical of China and denounced even indirectly the Chinese’ Uyghur policy.Anyway, one thing was crystal clear: Farooq Abdullah, who got status, enjoyed power for years in J&K and at the Centre and led a luxurious life, has no love lost for India in general and Hindus in particular. His unambiguous statement ‘the new domicile law is intended to flood the Valley with Hindus and create a Hindu majority and this has further embittered the Kashmiri people’clears all the cobwebs of confusion and indicates the kind of exclusivist ideology that he believes in, advocates and seeks to apply in J&K if New Delhi agreed to return J&K to the pre-August 5, 2019 position. It’s noteworthy that he bitterly opposed the idea of Hindus settling in Kashmir, which till 1339 was 100 per cent non-Muslim and which became 100 per cent non-Hindu under his nose and administration and that his own ancestors had renounced Sanatan Dharma to escape their physical liquidation and avoid migration from Kashmir.Politically dishonest as he was, Farooq Abdullah described Kashmiri Muslims ‘as slaves who were being treated like second class citizens’. His father Sheikh Abdullah also used to use the same language against the Dogra rule between 1932 and 1946. Farooq Abdullah’s statement deserves no reflection. Suffice it to say that Kashmiri Muslim leadership dominated and controlled secretariat, legislature, economic and financial institutions, trade, commerce, transport and industry, social and nation-building institutions like schools, colleges and universities and professional institutions like medical and engineering and agricultural universities, job sector, recruitment agencies like Service Selection Board and PSC and exploited to the hilt Jammu’s natural resources – water, green gold and minerals – and so on and so forth for 71 long years.The fact of the matter is that not one Kashmiri till date has died of hunger and cold and not one Kashmiri is without a house. The truth is that per capita meat consumption and per capita expenditure on woolen clothing in Kashmir is highest in the country. The whole truth is that Kashmiri Muslims hold almost 4 lakh out of 4.5 lakh position in the government and semi-government establishments. The reality is that thousands Kashmiri Muslim students are studying outside J&K with the Government of India providing them almost 100 per cent financial assistance. The fact is that it’s the people of Jammu province who were treated by Kashmiri leadership as third grade subjects whose life was not one of political and economic aspirations but of penury.Farooq Abdullah talked about the need for unity between NC and the PDP of Mehbooba Mufti, hurled a threat that Kashmiri Muslims will come out in millions and Gupkar declaration. There was nothing new in what he said. Threat and blackmail have been an integral part of the Kashmiri politics since 1947. The only difference is that now New Delhi, unlike in the past, doesn’t give any weight and credence to their politics of threat and blackmail. As for his talk of friendship with the PDP, they already were one as far as their attitude to Indian Constitution, Indian laws, Indian institutions, including Army and Indian rupees was concerned. And who doesn’t know that the NC, PDP and other Kashmir-based and Valley-centric parties always worked in unison in the assembly and the council and outside. What they did to recapture secretariat and power on December 21, 2018 is still too fresh to be forgotten.Farooq Abdullah’s fulminations and India-bashing are a blessing in disguise for the people of Jammu province. These would surely help them get the status of statehood like Ladakhi Buddhists got UT status for Ladakh. But this is not the issue under scrutiny at the moment. The issues under scrutiny are Farooq Abdullah’s revolt, threat, naked communalism and hatred for Hindus and the BJP’s deep slumber. The BJP is responsible for the subversive activities of Farooq Abdullah and ilk in Kashmir and outside. Had the BJP acted the day Farooq Abdullah made highly provocative statements after his release from detention in March, things would not have deteriorated to the extent they have. By not acting on time, the BJP only advertently or inadvertently encouraged Farooq Abdullah to say what he said. Indeed, the BJP is hurting the national cause in J&K and it doesn’t augur well.I conclude by saying that Farooq Abdullah’s statement that peace will return in Kashmir once Article 370 and Article 35A are restored and J&K is given full state status is just laughable. Was there peace in Kashmir before August 5, 2019 or between 1947 and 2019 or between 1846 and 2019? No. And all must underline it.
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