Some politicians in Kashmir tend to be smart enough. They are liberal in making observations, which keep liberally changing with changed situations. Believe National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah, the people in Kashmir do not feel and do not want to be Indian at this moment. “They would rather be ruled by the Chinese”, he guesses without spelling out whether he himself, like the other Kashmiris, too feels so. It is typical style of the so-called Kashmir mainstream to be more loyal to the king at times and to bully New Delhi most of the time, especially when out of power corridors. Kashmir politics is unique in more than one way. Apart from being murkier than the murky waters of Dal Lake, it changes colours more frequently than chameleon. The tagline ‘mainstream’ distinguishes it from the politics of separatism, as it, unlike the latter, is prone to scale the ladder of power with ease. Otherwise, there is no fundamental difference between the two. When out of power, mainstream politicians are no different than separatists. In fact, they become more vocal and vociferous than the secessionists and take even dangerous overtures by jumping all the demarcation lines. The Valley people still remember Farooq Abdullah vouching for hot pursuit against terror camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir immediately after coming to power in 1996. He would even go to the extent of dismantling these camps by use of force. And when his party was forced to occupy opposite benches in the Legislative Assembly, he started questioning the capability and capacity of the Indian Army to defend the people of Valley from terrorists. He is on record having said, “How much can the Army defend us? Even if the entire Indian Army comes here (Kashmir) even then they will not be able to defend us against the terrorists.” It is irony of Kashmir that its political class pursues a quite different line when in power and once out of it they see no merit in what the nation has been doing for this part of the country and rightly so. Though irrelevant for the people of Kashmir, these mainstream leaders keep hunting for grey areas to score a point over the adversaries in politics in general and New Delhi in particular. In fact, when it comes to nailing the Indian state they remain on the same page and show immense degree of convergence despite huge divergence in their political ideologies.
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