In a sensitive state like J&K where six lac precious lives have been lost since 1947 and the final settlement of the political dispute is yet to come, a stable government should always be the first choice. Omar Abdullah rightly asked people not to give a fractured mandate in upcoming assembly elections. Before asking masses to give his party overwhelming mandate he is morally duty bound to introspect and answer what happened to the previous huge mandates which his party got from time to time. In fact only party which got an absolute or even two-thirds majority in any election till 2002 has been none other than NC. After Indra Abdullah accord, in all the three general elections to state assembly in – 1977, 1983 and 1987 – NC got two-thirds majority.
I have been constantly of the opinion that NC had always a strong base and hold and even in much talked 1987 elections Kashmiris voted for NC. Unfortunately from 1975to 1990 party couldn’t restore the autonomy which it publically promise and even in Indra Abdullah accord there is no such agreement or assurance. After Kashmiris took up arms NC again participated in 1996 elections, even against the wishes of its own cadres, as New Delhi was running out of options. However, party promised again restoration of autonomy as it’s main objective without realising that sacrifices of Kashmiri’s deserve implementation of UN resolutions, not restoration of autonomy.
Political analysts were always of the opinion that autonomy slogan is nothing but New Delhi’s prescription to dilute and confuse the Kashmir cause. Still a small minority within J&K were of the opinion that if NC gets autonomy restored it may prove a step in the right direction for the ultimate resolution, but nothing happened and NC went on making new promises only to break old ones. People felt further let down creating a political vacuum. NC often cries victim saying that PDP was the creation of New Delhi to weaken NC, dividing the mandate of Kashmiris.
Respectfully one can ask NC leaders if they thought J&K as their colony; shouldn’t it be always left to the wisdom of masses to make the better choice. One wonders what NC has been accusing New Delhi of, PDP is accusing of the same when other smaller political parties are launched in J&K. It is ironical that those who always acted as proxies of New Delhi, talk about sentiments, sacrifices, and aspiration of Kashmiri people. Should every individual surrender and sacrifice his self-respect and legitimate opinion only because it makes betrayal difficult for NC and PDP.
Had NC implemented even one tenth of its promises it would not have been reduced to 15 seats from 58 seats. It is for Omar Abdullah and his team to answer that who divided Kashmiris and why. Those who believe in their words, and have a conviction, don’t need authentication from New Delhi and Islamabad; they always derive strength from the masses and their own conscience. Omar Abdullah has thrown the ball in people’s court and now people should decide if they believe supporting NC is remedy to their sufferings. If they still hold the opinion that both NC and PDP are responsible for their miseries, It is a golden opportunity to uproot both of them.
A leadership by the people, for the people and of the people must emerge that should dare to tell New Delhi that enough is enough, and the only way to bring peace, not only to J&K but the entire sub-continent, is to give Kashmiris the right to self-determination on both side of LOC.
Let us give up beaten tracks and stop disgracing our own self respect further.