Social media is abuzz with most uncharitable remarks; one of these denoting BJP as Bahut Jaleel Party (sic).
JAMMU: Jammu BJP is undergoing a nightmarish phase of its existence in the Hindu heartland of Muslim dominated Jammu and Kashmir State ever since it bartered core of its philosophy for a couple of insignificant berths in the coalition ministry led by Mufti Sayeed. The hardcore supporters had accepted the surprise decision to align with bête noire PDP just for the reason that ‘polarised’ Civil Secretariat will have a little bit saffron semblance, which is rightly or wrongly, perceived as Hindu presence. The discriminated and subjugated Jammu people had nurtured a hope that even if largesse would not be bestowed upon them by the BJP, their interests too will not be compromised or jeopradised. The patriotic forces were happy that there would be checks and balances on the administration and the tendencies of siding with the other side, at various levels, may get eschewed. However, nothing of the sort happened. The hopes were bellied and the people of Jammu felt deeply betrayed. This betrayal took the manifestation of agitation, which paralysed life in this part of the State for the past six days.
What has essentially gone wrong with the BJP which got unprecedented three parliamentary and 25 Assembly seats in successive elections in 2014? True that the Narendra Modi wave had swept the Hindu belt, like other parts of the country, but there was an element of anger against mainstream parties like PDP and NC besides the Congress, which Jammu people perceived as highly Kashmir centric. This important factor, together with Modi charisma, got BJP support from surprise quarters. In these phenomenal elections, the people of Jammu, cutting party lines, put their weight behind the BJP in the hope to see some sort of change. The gloom and disappointment, however, was waiting for them to come. Ironically, this came the very first day, when Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed, flanked by his overawed deputy Nirmal Singh, showered all the praises for Pakistan, terrorists and secessionists, for making the election process successful. Subsequent events, like release of Masarat Alam, provision of space to Hurriyat by permitting a mega reception rally for Syed Ali Shah Geelani, allowing chronic secessionists to meet Pakistan High Commissioner in New Delhi, issuance of circular for strict adherence to use of the State Flag, alongside the Tricolor-a subtle diktat to BJP ministers-and latest but not the least, hijacking of AIIMS from Jammu to Kashmir are part of the brief history, scripted to shame the saffron outfit. Assertion by the Deputy Chief Minister that “no power on earth can snatch AIIMS from Kashmir” served as salt on the wound of Jammu psyche.
The past five months of BJP partnered Coalition Government has proven that the dispensation is no different from earlier arrangements between power-broking Congress, National Conference and the PDP. In fact, the BJP turned out as the meekest ever Jammu side, which played like a puppet into the hands of Kashmir centric PDP. The BJP ministers might have benefitted by playing worse type of second fiddle to their Srinagar master, the Jammu psyche has taken a nose dive, which is why the heroes of yesterday are perceived as villains of the Duggar land. This perception gained ground on the day one when BJP felt pangs of aligning with and submitting to PDP.
A party that rose from scratches to zenith at the strength of mass support is now finding itself amid worse type of wilderness. The BJP ministers are feeling more comfortable in Srinagar confines than in Jammu, where they have become persona non grata for not only betraying trust of people but failing them on even basic essential needs. Their emergence in power corridors has manifested as doom for the Jammu region, which is presenting an orphaned look, given the dilapidated condition of the utility sectors and deprivation on all fronts. The public anger has risen so much that the BJP leaders are finding themselves encaged in their homes; they just can’t venture out. The most popular destination of the Sangh Parivar in the winter capital has turned out as a fortress with security personnel guarding it round the clock to avert public wrath. This is anti-climax of a party which is subject to choicest invectives, courtesy the AIIMS issue. The dejection and frustration took such a toll of the BJP that it went whole hog to unleash misinformation campaign and character assassination of those spearheading the AIIMS movement. The end provocation was the claim made by BJP on Whatsapp two days ago that the Jammu Bandh had been called off. Sadly, the disinformation entailed a most uncharitable remark about the once revered political party. A post on Whatsapp denoted BJP as Bahut Jaleel Party (sic).
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