Mehbooba has most delicate state to govern

Published at June 04, 2016 12:27 AM 0Comment(s)503views

It is the strength of Kashmiriyat ethos that has stood the alien socio-cultural way of life being thrust on them by the radical elements


Mehbooba has most delicate state to govern

Ashok Bhan

Jammu Kashmir is the most delicate state in the Union of India. It requires to be handled with great care, and with regard to every nuance of every political development. Deciding about the fate of the state and Kashmir in particular by Government of India without taking on board all the stake holders and without due deliberation amounts to behave as a bull would in a China shop.

Jammu Kashmir State consisted of its distinct entities in five separate regions with nothing common with each other. The hill areas of Gilgit, Baltistan and Skardu and the Punjabi-speaking areas of Muzzaffarabad etc; are with Pakistan and part of which is bartered away to China. 

In Indian part of the State, there are three divisions namely Hindu dominated Jammu; Muslim dominated Kashmir and Buddhist and Shia dominated Ladakh region.

India integrated these diverse divisions as the mosaic of different ethnic, religious and tribal groups and united these together in a culture of mutual tolerance and creative interaction as a plural and democratic State.

Unfortunately, it has got engulfed in the worst phase of militancy, intolerance and distortion by the self-serving myths of competing political interests.

In the present times unlike past, Kashmir used to enjoyed the glory of rich civilizational plural ethos popularly known Kashmiriyat all over the world, the situation in Kashmir is; the radical elements have greater appeal and appeal of Pakistan which was noticeably very weak has all of sudden become strong.

Despite that still the craving and longing for the strengthening of Kashmiri sub-nationalism Kashmiriyat is gaining ground in view of the realization, that after death and destruction unleashed by Pakistan since 1989, the huge sufferings of the people of all sections and almost a generation in the graveyards that evicting India from Kashmir is humanly impossible and there are no takers for such agenda at geo-political levels.

Kashmiri population at the societal level has the great sense and understanding that Pakistan and separatism have failed them and brought about only death and destruction and colossal socio-economic miseries thereby it is a veining phenomenon.

It appears from the current orchestrated socio-political narrative that the aborigine natives the Kashmiri Pandits, whose roots are engraved in the soil of Kashmir for more than 5000 years and are longing to return home are not welcome-home even after being hounded out of Kashmir by the actors and agents of death and destruction through killings and using all the dirty tricks and disinformation.

The Pandits are forced to live in exile for last 26 years. Kashmiri separatist leadership Mirwaiz, Yasin Malik and Syed Ali Gilani, who are known to have little love for each other and have a history of under cutting each other, surprisingly have struck a chord of so called unity on the issue of opposing the return of natives who were forced to leave by militants through targeted and death and destruction inflicted.

What an irony and height of intolerance, describe the peace loving Kashmiris?

Kashmir society is in deep suffering, almost a generation is in graveyards, yet the separatists, negative and anti-democratic leadership is not being made answerable for failing the Kashmiris.

Instead of promoting a positive political process they are hell bent to further distort the glorious history of Kashmir and pursue divisive agenda for their own political aggrandizement, fearing their irrelevance in due course of time.

To effectively blunt and reject the resurgence of such intolerant and hate agenda, the peace loving Kashmiris have a democratic choice to rise to the occasion and stand up for peace and development of plural Kashmir and also to protect the Kashmir’s distinct entity within the larger entity of Union of India and the subcontinent.

It is the strength of Kashmiriyat ethos that has stood the alien socio-cultural way of life being thrust on them by the radical elements. Kashmiris as a society deserve salutation once again to stand up for its historical glory that has forced the Separatists and the mainstreamers to welcome the native Kashmiris at least in the public domain through their statements.

Even the Pandits arguably favour mixed and secured settlements in the long run. Mirwaiz Umar in his media interviews is trying to come up as Kashmiriyat representative as that has been his family tradition as well.

After long spell of militancy, despondency, death, destruction and cynicism the 2014 elections in Jammu Kashmir had brought in hope of democracy and aspiration of economic well being in the people, and particularly the youth of Kashmir valley – that they would benefit from the democratic polity, the economic development and progress promised Prime Minister Narendra Modiji to the aspiring young India, after his massive election victory in the country. 

The youth of Kashmir in particular got inspired and joined the mainstream agenda by a larger participation in the elections. 

People decided to give peace and positive economic development agenda a priority and through their large participation in the elections, braved boycott calls of anti-democratic elements and defeated all the incumbent ministers and the previous government. 

Such was the fervor of hope and positive participation.

It was expected, after the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) coalition government, that it would follow a policy of containment, to limit and scale down the violence and open a peace process with inclusive political discourse and also bring in the economic prosperity through uniform and sustained development and open up avenues of employment for the youth. 

The government rose to the power behind these expectations of the people.

At the time of the swearing in ceremony of the government, the galaxy of tall BJP leaders and the PM Narendra Modiji flew in to greet and welcome Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as Chief Minister, and his team. 

But, unfortunately, the bonhomie of swearing in evaporated immediately. Late Mufti Sahab unwittingly though did a mistake by praising Pakistan and the Hurriyat for the success in the elections.

BJP is said to have aligned with late Mufti Sahab primarily for his acknowledged nationalist credentials. This conscious or unconscious mistake cost him dear.

To make up on the mistakes and his passion for promised smart governance despite his fragile health Mufti Sahab was busy meeting the aggrieved and needy sections and also met a representative team of exiled Kashmiri Pandits in Delhi along with Ram Madav, late Mufti Sahab was assuring to the Pandits.

“He burnt his candle from both the ends and unfortunately his end came soon.”

The disappointment in the people had already set in, lack of governance, broken promises, intra-regional conflict, the pernicious propaganda biz of fringe elements and contradictions – both, political and ideological within the government – contributed for the despair and disappointment of people that prevailed after Mufti Sahab death.

It took a while for Mehbooba Mufti to take a call for stepping in the shoes of her illustrious father to become the chief Minister and commit to carry forward her father’s dreams.

Now Ms Mehbooba is heading the government, the durbar of governance has shifted to summer capital Srinagar. The five civilian killings including a promising cricketer have aggravated the people. The separatists are hell bent to fail Ms Mehbooba, they accuse her of facilitating the entry of rightwing RSS-BJP ideological moorings into Kashmir to promote their divisive agenda and fear the change of demographic profile of Kashmir by forcing to create secured habitats for the state subject ex-army personal. They oppose the return of Kashmiri Pandits to Kashmir their homeland in separate townships even after 26 years of the exile but pretend welcome in the composite enclaves. They have forged so called unity for these two issues, to hoodwink the peace loving people, the Hartal is the smokescreen.

They don’t wish to give peace and peaceful life of Kashmiris a chance fearing their irrelevance therefore resurgence of intolerance and violence is the product of so called brand of their new socio-political narrative which is a serious cause of great concern to peace loving citizens and the civil society.

The revival of militant activity in the state and elsewhere is a serious issue and a grim reminder to all concerned that the militant outfits are still present and active to strike anytime and anywhere.

The public support to militancy had considerably reduced but it has not disappeared.

The phenomenon of terror, panic and disinformation is back in Kashmir. Security scenario, inwardly is not very assuring. Darker clouds of uncertainty are on the horizon. The militancy is on the rise. Huge participation in the funerals of the slain militants is worrying and disappointing. It reflects the people subtle if not the express support to the revival of militancy.

The time ahead for the first ever astute and passionate woman Chief Minister seems to be tough, not only because of the challenges of the separatists but also for the huge expectations of the youth and the people in general.

She is still grappling and grasping the nuances of good governance and it is hoped she delivers to the best of her political and administrative abilities in due course.

Her visit to Handwara, the speech in the legislature and commitment to the peace and development agenda manifests her passion and direction she wants the government to move in.

Jammu Kashmir deserves special attention and support from the PM and his team and also from the political spectrum of all the parties.

To defeat the enemies of people, the civil society has to once again rise to the occasion and defend the peace process and development agenda with a caveat that the government must ensure that the fruits of development reach out to every deserving citizen. 

The elections and the subsequent formation of PDP-BJP coalition government has thrown up very limited choice. People have to accept it and make it deliver.

I wish to convey to my fellow Kashmiris that Modiji as PM has still three years to go, he can address the Kashmiri aspirations, at least keep the window open. 

The State and the country are worried and concerned about the current political, economic and security affairs of the State.

I strongly feel as more time pass the trust between the two major partners PDP and BJP is bound to reach to new heights. The PDP has colossal burden to further strengthen itself. If the coalition fails which is being attempted by the enemies of Kashmir it would be the dark day for democracy in the State and betrayal of people’s votes.

 

There may have been teething problems both political and ideological between PDP and BJP and with the central government for quite some time in the past but in the changed context those must be sorted out from time to time by rising above party interests by both parties.

Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, has time and again flagged the promises of hope, peace, co-existence and a massive economic development. While people are anxiously waiting for economic welfare of the people, eyes are also set on the PM Modiji to act as a tall leader of the country for promoting peace process through meaningful dialogue and invite all the stakeholders and substantially provide financial aid to the State. 

It is expected that PM Modiji will recall his assurance reiterated in his speech during the campaigning of assembly election of 2014 that “He will talk to every section including the Kashmiri Pandits within the ambit of Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat”.

The most important issue to timely deal with is the issue of migrant Kashmiri Pandits. Their current phase is leading towards the most calamitous misfortune. They are longing to return to their homeland. This illustrious community is disintegrating fast and the rootlessness is colossally traumatising. 

It is now or never syndrome.

There has to be a concrete plan and decision to facilitate their secured, dignified return and rehabilitation. Without the physical presence of Pandits in Kashmir, it is incomplete as a civilization and a society.

With them being in Kashmir the peace is bound to return and political turmoil to gradually end that would always be in the interests of Kashmir in particular and a positive reflection on the people of the State.

The intra-regional cohesion is in jeopardy and balance of power and resources within the three regions of the State has questionable imbalance that needs to be set right by Ms Mehbooba.

The gulf between Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi needs to be bridged. Jammu and Kashmir regions are on different orbits rather than part of the same State.

The political uncertainty in the State has become part of grand militant strategy. The political leadership has to take a call that State does not slip back into the olden abyss.

Therefore the leadership in Delhi and Srinagar has to be on the same page to work together with focus on the affairs of the State rather than their own predispositions.

Author can be mailed at ashokbhan@rediffmail.com

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