More loyal than the king

Farooq Abdullah has always tried to project himself as more Indian than the Indians. However, little does he know that his esteemed father, Sher-e-Kashmir

Ram Rattan Chatterjee is a political activist from West Bengal. He has worked extensively on Kashmir and has compiled two books. He upholds the right to self determination of the people of Jammu Kashmir. One day he had an encounter with a ‘Kashmiri Indian’ in a newspaper office. He was not happy with Chatterjee’s book in which he had exposed the tall claims of Indian democracy and pluralism. He defended India much to Chatterjee’s surprise and annoyance. He finally responds, “Look here, you are an Indian by virtue of controversial instrument of accession. That means you have been an Indian for six decades only. I have been an Indian for centuries. I know India better than you.” The ‘Kashmiri Indian’ tried to be more Indian than the Indians and had to eat a humble pie.

Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah also exceeded his limits time and again. It is believed he advised Nehru to look towards USSR rather than USA. He went to the UNO to defend India’s case. He went against the tide and tied the knot with New Delhi. But, the Indians never trusted him. In 1953 he was dethroned and arrested for his “Pakistan connections.”  Similarly, Dr Farooq Abdullah has also been crossing limits to project himself as more Indian than the Indians.  The former Chief Minister and Indian Minister for Renewable Energy has once again behaved as India’s external affairs minister. Addressing media persons after a function held for commemorating the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, Farooq ruled out talks with Pakistan unless the persons responsible for Mumbai attacks were punished.  As a matter of principle such statement can either be issued by the prime minister or the external affairs minister. But who can stop Dr Farooq when he gets going?  

Farooq’s irresponsible and uncalled for statement has come at a time when every saner element in the sub-continent is worried about peace and exercises utmost caution while commenting on Indo-Pak ties. Even the flamboyant Hurriyat leadership known for India bashing has exercised restraint. In a statement issued last week, the chairman of the Hurriyat Conference urged India and Pakistan to exercise caution to avoid war.

 Even the Indian Premier League tried its best to do the much needed damage control through the stars following last week’s fiasco. This clearly indicates that government of India wants to go against Pakistan to a certain limit and definitely to a point of no return.

 At track II level, hectic efforts are on to prevent yet another war between the two neighbours. The Times of India and Jung Group of Newspapers have launched a campaign for peace. The campaign has evoked very good response in both the countries.

Pro- Indian Peoples democratic party (PDP) president, Mahbooba Mufti stressed need for resuming dialogue with Pakistan. “Shying away from dialogue will not help. Dialogue alone can solve the problems and usher in an era of peace and tranquillity in the region”, she said while addressing her central executive committee at Jammu today. The committee also passed a resolution seeking immediate resumption of dialogue with Pakistan.

Dr Farooq’s son, Omar Abdullah, who now runs the conflict ridden state, has been issuing sensible statements. He understands the gravity of the situation and acts accordingly. This clearly indicates that Omar has a better understanding of the Kashmir issue than his father.

While addressing a public gathering at Rafiabad in Baramulla district on February 2, Omar Abdullah said he will try his best to get New Delhi and Islamabad on the negotiating table. “We have kept the doors of dialogue open. There are no pre-conditions to talks. If the separatists want to talk about freedom, accession to Pakistan or autonomy, they are welcome”, he said.  

Omar admitted that the youth had resorted to violence for a political settlement of Jammu Kashmir dispute. “I know the youth have not resorted to guns for Bijli, Pani and Sadak. They are interested in resolution of the Kashmir dispute”, he said.

Omar also suggested a rail link between Srinagar-Muzaffarabad to improve relations across the LoC.

But Dr Farooq is a different person. He has been desperately trying to project himself as a staunch Indian from the very beginning. Little does he know that even his esteemed father was never accepted as an Indian by India. They suspected him all the time. The Intelligence Bureau people kept strict vigil on him. Dr Farooq is not Sher-e-Kashmir and hence not that important for India. His tirade against Pakistan, therefore, makes no sense especially at this crucial juncture when Indians themselves want good relations with Pakistan.   

Political commentators believe that Dr Farooq suffers from what they call behavioural problem. When he is in power, he ventures into areas where angels fear to tread and talks sense when out of power.  During his 6-year rule Farooq talked endlessly against Pakistan. He acted more as external affairs minister of India then Chief Minister of Jammu Kashmir. He cursed Pakistan, threatened it with dire consequences and repeatedly urged New Delhi to wage war against what he called `the enemy’. Fortunately nobody took him seriously in New Delhi or Islamabad and the sub-continent remained by and large peaceful.

And, then 6-year long wait for power had a nice effect on his nerves. He thanked Pakistan and Hizbul Mujahideen for ensuring smooth and peaceful assembly elections. Surprisingly nobody took cognizance of this statement in India. Farooq said what no Indian would ever say. He conveyed that it was Pakistan and Hizbul Mujahideen and not the security agencies that ensured peaceful elections in Jammu Kashmir.  

But after enjoying power for one year, Farooq is again at his best. Yet another paper missile has been fired towards Pakistan. Hopefully and as usual it will miss the target.

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