JAMMU: In Kashmir, the musical-chair game being played by Peoples’ Democratic Party and National Conference is not confined to ‘grabbing’ power alone but it involves scoring points over each other also. And, in this cat race, the two so-called mainstream parties generally end up in finding themselves placed on both sides of the fence. However, it doesn’t matter to any of the two as long as the hope and scope for scaling the ladder to power remains alive for them.
National Conference is up in arms against booking of an Imam under Public Safety Act for leading funeral prayers of a slain terrorist in South Kashmir recently. The party, which till March this year, was leading a constitutionally elected government in Jammu and Kashmir, has not found any remedy in the State Constitution to lodge its protest against the Mufti Mohammed Sayeed led government. But instead, it has invoked Article 17 of International Humanitarian Law, saying the government stands exposed for ‘disregarding religious sentiments of people’. Not going into merits of the argument, the accusation unfolds the harsh fact of the mainstream parties taking sides and changing their roles with ease. There is nothing new in the Kashmir centric parties in leveling charges against each other. They are used to doing so as per situations.
The fierce speech and scathing attack made by PDP President Mehbooba Mufti, in her capacity as Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly on October 1, 2013, against the National Conference led government, over the alleged killing of two persons in Shopian on 7th September that year, still reminds how politicians keep playing to the gallery. She had told the National Conference leadership, “You have already made it (Kashmir) a colony of India and we don’t know what you would be making it further…we have to decide whether we will behave like a ‘colony’ or should we work for the people”.
Do they-the PDP and the NC-really work for the people? This is a question for people of the Valley to ponder over. And while going into the crux of this question, they will eventually find as to who stands for whom. The answer cannot be in affirmative for both.
The contradictions within the mainstream partners are so galore that when Omar Abdullah became a junior minister in Atal Behari Vajpayee government or its nominee was appointed as Deputy Mayor of the Jammu Municipal Corporation, the PDP cried sell out. And, now that the PDP has aligned with BJP to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir, the NC is terming it as a betrayal.
Kashmir has undergone a phase of turbulence. The sense of insecurity (due to machinations of lackeys sponsored by Pakistan) and uncertainty (essentially due to its so-called leadership), a crop of opportunists in both-the self styled mainstream camp and the separatists’ amalgam-have mushroomed and flourished in the past two and half decades. It has become a vicious circle, which ostensibly has no end. Exploiting people’s sentiments has become an avocation for both. More the mainstream parties exploit the sentiments of people, more likely they will find themselves eligible for power. Similarly, more the spirit of secessionism is generated in the Valley, more funds would percolate down from Pakistan to sustain separatists’ movement. The people of the Valley have become raw-material for this organized industry, the anthem of which is to get going by ‘beating and bashing’ India to optimum.
The two incidents of Kulgam Imam and Shopian killings are just isolated instances how the Kashmir sentiment is being exploited. The mainstream parties change their roles as per obtaining situations. When out of power, they are ace critics and when in it they become the stooges to other one very conveniently. The separatists do the worse. They have been instrumental in facilitating the merchants of death from across the border to rehabilitate grave yards. The Valley of Paradise is dotted with ‘Martyrs Graveyards’.
The irony of Kashmir is that most of its mainstream leaders are actually soft secessionists, who have never allowed nationalism to grow. They keep on generating suspicion and giving alibis to anti-national activities to derive more from New Delhi. They keep on changing colours as per situations. When grapes taste sweet they become rulers and once these turn sour, they transform into separatists. They are smart guys who have made their castles at the cost of public good. Kashmir is a partnership enterprise of separatists and pseudo nationalists, which is not profitable either for the Valley people or for the domain of India.
Justifying acts of anti-national elements, like those glamourising terror, proves beyond doubt that at end of the day the secessionists and pseudo nationalists are the same with only difference of latter running with the hare and hunting with hounds.
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