Politics of competitive secessionism
On January 7, 2023, the president of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) and former Congress J&K CM, Ghulam Nabi Azad, yet again crossed the line. In effect, he exposed himself to the hilt and established in unambiguous terms that his views on J&K were as dangerous as they were unsettling and fundamentally communal and that he and other Kashmiri Muslim leaders were on the same page as far as J&K’s political future is concerned. The case in point is what he said in Srinagar, Kashmir, that day while addressing people at a party function.
Azad, who quit Congress last year to grind his own political axe and who is an ethnic Kashmiri, among other controversial things, said: “Our people (read Muslims in Kashmir) are living in an atmosphere of fear. When will someone be arrested, no one knows; when will people’s land, building, or house be snatched, there is no guarantee. No leader or political party raises a voice against it. So, I left everything to come here…I have come here after seeing your miseries, your troubles”.
Whom Azad referred to? Obviously, he referred to security forces involved in anti-terror operations, break-India elements, including over-ground workers of terror outfits, and anti-India outfits, including the banned Jamaat-e-Islami, and their illegal properties. Indeed, Azad took recourse to politics of competitive secessionism and communalism in a most brazen manner to demonstrate his subversive credentials and establish his foothold in what is now a 100% non-Hindu region, Kashmir.
There is no fundamental difference between the ideology of Azad and the ideology other Kashmir-based politicians profess and advocate without mincing words. It could be seen from what Azad, Congress of Sonia Gandhi, National Conference (NC) of Abdullahs, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference (PC) of Sajad Lone, and J&K Apni Party (JKAP) of Altaf Bukhari have been standing for and religiously working for.
Azad not only vouches for special status for J&K on the score of religion but also vouches for a mechanism that empowers Pakistan to exercise co-equal powers with India in J&K in such vital spheres as “water, power, agriculture, sericulture, forestry, tourism, and environment”. And he openly advocated this subversive doctrine at the University of Jammu way back in 2006. As for the Congress, it is the mother of all ills afflicting the nation in Kashmir for decades and the nation herself. It took the first step in 1947 itself to drive J&K away from India with a view to preserving, protecting, and promoting further fissiparous tendencies in Kashmir and appeasing and arming with absolute and unbridled legislative and executive powers the ardent believers in the concept that Kashmiri Muslims were a race apart. The watchword and battle cry of the Abdullahs, including Farooq Abdullah, his brother Mustafa Kamal and his son Omar Abdullah, is the restoration of pre-1953 politico-constitutional status or greater autonomy, bordering on virtual sovereignty, or semi-independent status. This is their immediate goal. The ultimate objective is complete separation from India with or without the support of Pakistan and China. Mehbooba Mufti, who along with her father late Mufti Sayeed, founded PDP in 1999, stands for self-rule and supra-state measures – shared sovereignty, Indo-Pak joint-control on J&K, demilitarization, porous borders, and dual currency. As for Lone and Bukhari (former ideologue of PDP and Muftis’ right-hand man), the former considers Kashmiri Muslims a nation and believes that separate “nationhood” for them is “achievable”, the latter also treads the path other Kashmiri politicians have been treading using the same idiom but in a different manner. He is also considered New Delhi’s man and his party is called “the king’s party”.
Hatred for things Indian
The whole truth is that all these Kashmiri leaders and Kashmir-based outfits, who are termed as “mainstream” by a section of compromised national media, anti-India international media, and the entire “secular” class in India, hate things Indian. Their constituency is the same and they hate the Indian Constitution, the Indian flag, Indian institutions, including the institution of the army, and Indian laws, including the land laws. They are all votaries of dual citizenship that empowers Kashmiri Muslims to exercise all rights all over India and prevents all the non-Kashmiris, barring Rohingyas, Bangladeshis, and Pakistanis, from exercising any right whatsoever anywhere in J&K. They dismiss the non-Kashmiris as foreigners and a threat to what former Union HM and FM P Chidambaram call “unique” identity of Kashmir. Besides, they consider the office of the CM as the sole preserve of Kashmir and Kashmiri Muslims. So much so, they denounce the delimitation commission that divided Jammu into 43 territorial constituencies, as opposed to 47 constituencies into which it divided Kashmir, and oppose the election laws which for the first time empowered Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan living in Jammu since their migration in 1947 to vote in the assembly elections.
To be more precise, all the Kashmir-based and Valley-centric outfits, including Congress, have been taking recourse to politics of secessionism and communalism to protect its support base in Kashmir. Their goal is the same; their modus operandi is the same; and they operate jointly and from different political forms at the same time to achieve their ultimate objective. Did they not denounce with one voice August 5, 2019, as a “black day” because that day the Narendra Modi Government read down seditious Article 370, abrogated discriminatory and illegal Article 35A and divided J&K into two Union Territories (UTs), UT of J&K and UT of Ladakh? They did. And ever since then, they have been with one voice accusing the Modi government of breaking all the “solemn promises and commitments”, “murdering the constitution”, “subverting federal polity” and hatching one conspiracy after another to change Kashmir’s demography.
Coming back to Azad, he was the same person for whom PM Modi got extremely emotional in Rajya Sabha (RS) on February 9, 2021, during a farewell to him. “Ghulam Nabi Azad was not only concerned about his party but also about the country and the House,” PM Modi had said, and added that “he will continue to take the advice of veteran Congress leader”. He was the same Azad on whom the Modi government conferred the Padma Bhushan award on March 21, 2022, in the “field of Public Affairs”. He was also the same Azad who as J&K CM (Nov 2005-July 2008) left no stone unturned to muddy the Indian waters in Kashmir; accord dangerous respectability to separatists; outrage the Hindu sensitivities during the Amarnath land row days and destroy Jammu province socially, economically and politically to further empower the already rather powerful Kashmir; and entered Rajya Sabha in February 2015 with the support of supporters of terrorists like Afzal Guru.
Both PM Modi’s tears for Azad and the Padma Bhushan award to him had sprung big surprises. And, for Azad-watchers like me, both events continue to remain a big mystery even today.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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There is no mystery. It is all an attempt to get TRP in the eyes of the “secular” media and the liberals. No one trusts Azad.
NO mystery. Too much reading into news / events. Politicians like cinema actors can act at will for political gains like actors do for money & fame.