Gone are those days when Farooq Abdullah and son Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti and others of her ilk would blackmail and threaten New Delhi day and night and high-powered delegations from New Delhi would immediately visit the over-pampered Srinagar to hold talks with them and discuss what should New Delhi do to conciliate the so-called alienated Kashmiri Muslims. Things have changed.
Much water has flown down the Yamuna River post-August 4, 2019. The powers-that-be in South and North Blocks have finally concluded that what their predecessors did too and in Jammu and Kashmir after October 26, 1947, was against the paramount national interest.
The history of betrayals is very long and painful.
So much so, they have on occasions more than one publicly stated that the grant of special status through Article 370 and Article 35A to Jammu and Kashmir only subverted democratic processes; promoted separatism, terrorism and corruption; caused inter-regional tensions; hurt Jammu and Ladakh; resulted in under-development; and created widespread discontent and dissatisfaction among all except three families and those close to them. Not just this, they repeatedly asserted post-August 5, 2019 that special status to Jammu and Kashmir through Articles 35A and 370 only helped Pakistan keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. To be more precise, they rejected with contempt the Nehru line – a line based on the concept of incremental concessions to the blackmailers and calculated to pampering those in Jammu and Kashmir who invariably vouched for “meaningful and result-oriented talks with Pakistan’, suggesting that Jammu and Kashmir was a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.
Who doesn’t know the rabble-rousers Abdullahs, the Muftis, the Sozs, and even the Azad’s, who at regular intervals suggested that Jammu and Kashmir were not bilateral, but a trilateral issue between India, Pakistan, and Kashmir? Ghulam Nabi Azad as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister had openly vouched for a regime under which India and Pakistan will jointly manage “Jammu and Kashmir waters, power projects, agriculture, environment, forestry, tourism and sericulture”. And he had made this controversial and unsettling suggestion in Jammu University on March 29, 2006, a day after late Governor, General SK Sinha, had bemoaned that “the Government of India has virtually stopped calling Jammu and Kashmir as an integral part of India”. And, who is not aware of what the then Union Minister of Water Resources Saif-ud-Din Soz had said at about the same time. He had openly endorsed the Hurriyat Conference’s outrageous suggestion for trilateral dialogue between India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir. He repeatedly talked of “New Delhi-Srinagar axis, Islamabad-New Delhi axis and Islamabad-Srinagar axis”.
The Governor has asked: “How can you have a dialogue with someone who said there will be no one to hold the national tricolor and what kind of legitimacy does Mehbooba have as a politician?
The history of betrayals is very long and painful. Suffice it to say that those who were termed as “mainstream leaders” in Kashmir left no stone unturned to muddy the Indian waters in Kashmir and create a dangerous situation. The policy-planners and think-tanks in the South and North Blocks now know all this and they now talk about New Jammu and Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about it in and outside India. Home Minister Amit Shah talks about it wherever he goes. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also been roaring and warning the enemies to reform themselves failing which action will be taken against them. External Affairs Minister Jaishankar has been explaining away 24X7 New Delhi’s stand on Pakistan, terror, Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Article 370 and Article 35A without mincing words. Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has also been making optimum use of available opportunities to speak on New Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and what the Narendra Modi Government thinks about them. That’s why this writer says that much water has flown down the Yamuna River.
However, it is candid Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik who has explained in details the concept of New Jammu and Kashmir. He has declared that there will be no dialogue with “mainstream’ political parties or separatists but only with the civil society members. “There will be no dialogue with the mainstream political parties or the separatists while the line of Hurriyat Conference has no meaning in Naya Jammu and Kashmir and Naya Bharat,” he has said.
In fact, the Governor has asked: “How can you have a dialogue with someone who said there will be no one to hold the national tricolor and what kind of legitimacy does Mehbooba have as a politician? “She got only 2 percent votes in her own home town of Bijbehara,” he has also said.
Not just this. The Governor has warned Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah that they will not do anything that had the potential of disturbing peace. He has even gone to the extent of saying that his government will not mind opening fire if they tried to take law of the land in their own hands. “Even if she (Mehbooba Mufti) or Omar Abdullah march with 20 or 50 people and threaten to burn Raj Bhawan, we will be forced to open fire,” he has said. “You all want dead bodies. Mehbooba Madam, who is an expert in shedding tears and reaching homes even before deaths have taken place, had said there would be no one to hold the national tricolor but the mainstream political parties have been rejected,” he has further said while exposing the former Chief Minister, currently under detention.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.