Echoing ‘soft-separatism’

‘The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool—Stephan King .New Delhi is communal and nearly colonial when parties like NC and PDP, pledging loyalty to ‘regional aspirations’ are not in power and ‘ secular and democratic’ if enjoying power. This ambivalent attitude, love and hate behavior, might have worked and enthralled the co- actors of cruel deception some time before but now it has expired in effect. The long haul of persecution this land has gone through have enabled its brave hearts to judge people of all slogans. There is no one the scales of public scrutiny has not weighed and accounted for.

They know they have lost the trust of the people they once enjoyed. Now the political leadership of the National Conference is trying to pinch some kind of affiliation and proximity with the narrative of the time. Since the time the BJP preferred to share space with NC’s regional rival, the loss of power is making NC sleepless. But it knows the marriage of convenience that held the PDP and BJP in tight embrace leaves no hope for the NC to seduce BJP over PDP. To play to public sentiments and cast itself in a role opposite to that in power is thus her compulsion—like the PDP that peddled diluted form of ‘separatism’ while in opposition to garner people’s support. Pro-Indian politicians have no qualms in indulging in this kind of squalid politicking . They are under the illusion that people are too naïve and their memory is too short to go through their tricks.

Last year when Farooq Abdullah contested parliamentary seat from the Srinagar constituency, he was no stranger to heart-beats of the people. Though three-time chief minister’s every body follicle has roots dug in Indianness, and he flaunts that proudly, but when the chameleon in him strikes the alarm he casts that slough terribly fast. He seems to echo the voice of the very forces NC in power would show no mercy in crushing them down. Last year he openly asked his party workers to support Hurriyat Conference, even appealed Hurriyat leaders not get divided. ‘We stand with you and not against you. Be united and take this (freedom) movement forward’, Farooq Abdullah, accompanied by his son former chief minister Omer Abdullah, said at the mausoleum of his father’s 111st birth anniversary. (GK, December 2, 2016). In a complete reverse to his statements where jails and bullets were the only effective remedy Farooq longed for and relied on to rid Kashmir of militancy, he said: ‘ Kashmir youth are sacrificing lives for Aazadi’ ( GK, February 25, 2017). In another speech he said, ‘Kashmir youth are throwing stones and giving their lives not for tourism but for resolution of Kashmir that is acceptable to people’( GK, April 6, 1917). Just a few days back, senior Abdullah asked India ‘not treat Kashmiris as slaves’( GK, 8 April).

Stating that economic packages, grants and aids are no substitute to nation’s honor and dignity, he , addressing a gathering at Rajouri said ‘India cannot buy us with money even if they build golden roads’. Omar Abdullah, a shrewd politician, has all his guns for PDP and talks in guarded language. On 3 April on his microblogging website twitter, Omar took a jibe at Mehbooba-led coalition government over its disallowing Syed Ali Geelani for offering funeral prayers in absentia for local militants and civilians killed in South Kashmir’s Shopian district last week.

Omar also posted a picture of police not allowing Geelani. NC’s other leaders are not wanting in ‘expressing profound grief’ over prevailing situation in Kashmir and ‘extend their condolences’ to families of civilians killed. On ‘January 27 civilian killings in Shopian Omar asked chief minister Mehbooba Mufti to ‘take stern action’ against killers as she heads Unified Head Quarters. That very question can be directed at him when he was chief minister during the 2010 mass unrest and he too presided over the 123 killings. His government called youth drug addicts and criminals.

These are a few examples out of a clutch of such ‘daring deeds’ NC leadership feels proud of. But alas, all this kind of machismo it has reserved for the time it is in Opposition. What stares at the face of Delhi-loyalist parties is the deepening realization that in prevailing situation they are conceding more and more political space to resistance camp. So mouthing such kind of statements on part of NC is a calculated strategy, to reach out to the people who they feel are cut off because of its not jelling with their sentiments and abusing the trust they reposed on them. Wary of this growing anger and hatred NC believes it can still retrieve the lost credibility if at odd occasions it dresses in the robes of a resistant leader and talks in language that would draw out tridents from Indian media, Delhi and Nagpur. That situational urgency demands a face that wears shame as courage to mud plaster the past ugly and mind of a prankster to crack jokes when the time is of mourning. Farooq Abdullah, NC thinks, is gift for them and able to pull a come-back for the party that has since long lost its worth and verve. And he seems not exhausted of playing the role he often plays that cunningly, deceptively. From what we have quoted above, if names were not disclosed, readers would have thought Farooq has emerged in the avatar of Geelani.

One is stunned at their ‘brave’ demeanor. They lack courage to face people in their constituencies. And that drills holes in their ‘representative character’ and reduces their political stature to naught. Autonomy and Self Rule, as they say, fall within the ambit of Indian Constitution and are suggested achievable. But beyond lip exercise, it has not went down their gullet. For the past many decades they are in power but their every stint in power ends in widening the wound of betrayal and consolidating the status quo. They have no leverage to force New Delhi concede their demands. They have never made any honest effort, let alone struggle, to force any flexibility from Delhi.

They are accomplices in the fraud committed on us. Even if Delhi is forced to come on negotiating table and make some compromise, it will be because of the investment of common people and resistance camp. The autonomy or self rule slogans the NC and PDP leadership mean and use as massaging aids for their vocal chords.