JK polls — ‘issue’ or ‘non-issue’

This is the time to see the difference



His silence and assertions, both matter. His position  and restlessness lends him the centrality in the militant leadership to be heard and taken note of.  So when Syed Sallahudin has recently opened his mind on the elections, he means something serious. 

 The Hizb supremo has asked Huryat leadership to ‘unanimously decide whether  polls held in JK should be termed an issue or non-issue’. He also urged them to ‘deliberate on merit and argument the relevance of elections’. Both points speak  of an urgency. And to avoid ‘confusion’ they need to be addressed dispassionately and without any hangover. 

 To be honest this is a bold statement in the context of the political stagnation we have fixated ourselves in since decades. And the UJC Chairman deserves admiration for asking for a rethink on what we call as election boycott.  A nation besieged has to wake up to newer challenges.   

 This is an issue that has a strong bearing on the collective destiny of Kashmir. Browse through the pages of history, accession of state was manipulated by resorting to this ‘democratic exercise’. Then they stole away our  autonomy using the same tactic. Why should this issue be robbed of its seriousness when everything of our  people and territory is closely knitted to it. On it hinges our  identity, individuality, demography, our  ‘main-streaming’ (read assimilation) and our  survival.  All those barriers we thought, and were assured,  would hold the  onslaught of aggressive nationalism. If we today are caught in whirlpool and hemmed in  from all sides, it is because of the camouflage of this ‘democratic’ facelift. 

  Pity  those who seek gratification in denouncing elections as ‘non-issue’. That one-time tongue lashing provide them the luxury of sitting on the fence,  cross-legged. Shouting the fatwa from chimney tops  they try to whittle down the all-important significance of the elections from the future-molding status to that of addressing mere ‘local issues’ . This strange and confusing  approach is pregnant with all kind of perils vis-a -vis the movement and future of the state. It is a go-ahead signal for the common people and facilitate, indirectly, all the pro-Indian forces fill the law-making bodies and thereby consolidate the Indian control. Ventriloquists are thus helped to fatten on the ‘non-issue’  and come reenergized to bite the naïve rudderless from the same treacherous hole.

 One wonders what for the ‘leaders’ are?  To quick-fix themselves as by-standers and witness all  sort of machinations ensnaring us , remaining indifferent. Or, they have to lead from the front, act as beacons and clear the cob-webs of misunderstanding. Letting people grapple in darkness when so vital an issue is laced with their destiny reflects intellectual imbecility of the’ leaders’. That  stance makes them forfeit their  leadership claim. The ballot insensitivity reeks of double standard. For an average person  it is not difficult to grab the kernel. This duality keeps him mulling: When for Sultans in  Delhi  and their puppets in Kashmir polls are not just an endorsement of public mandate, like that witnessed in other states of India,  but also, rather more importantly,  a strong tool for  strangulating Kashmir in its hold through engaging assembly, how can elections get  degenerated to just ‘civic amenities’ accommodation. Poll process is a non- issue for us, why issue for the state. Why the state machinery is let loose on those who try to educate aam admi  of its far-reaching  implications’? Delhi knows where its shoe pinches. And who in their escapism and hibernation  facilitate its efforts  of selling the queues to the international market.

 Had polls in KASHMIR remained confined to the bijlee, sadak,  pani like daily problems and not directly hyphenated with the larger question, these observations would have carried some weight. But that plain-speaking  from Durbar is put on hold till the  kill in the assembly. Oh Great God, how our naivety is exploited to the last drop of our blood and that cunningly! And we are yet to wake up to break the cocoon we have blinded ourselves in. 
  Leaving entire political space wide open for political parties, whose complicity in