Mufti on the back foot …barrage of Delhi bouncers has PDP ducking

India is on a roll in World Cup 2015, so is Delhi Sarkar vis-à-vis PDP. Delhi in 2015 translates into Modi’s India with BJP in toe. In India, it is not unusual for drummers and cheer leaders to equate the nation with its leaders—didn’t DK Barooha say, “India is Indira”? Team India is winning from impossible positions. On a day I jot these lines, India chasing Zimbabwe’s 287 were four wickets down with 70 odd on the board. Dhoni and Raina pulled it off, as India remain unbeaten while cruising into quarter finals. The high note seems to have rubbed on the Indian establishment—the political executive and across the board in parliament. The barrage of Delhi bouncers is making PDP duck and cringe. 

Mufti Muhammad Sayeed could not but be batting on a sticky wicket, clearly on the back-foot. Given the straitjacketed power structure, it cannot be otherwise, whatever the pretensions to contrary. Praising cross border actors and JK resistance formations for allowing sweet conduct of the poll, or release of Masrat Alam are PR exercises, politically unsubstantial, without dividends. However, even the unsubstantial was scoffed at as unwanted bravado. Prem Shankar Jha in a column makes an excuse, relating that fumbling English caused an avoidable misunderstanding. Put in Jha’s idiom, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in Urdu meant to say that cross border interference of yesteryears was put on hold this time around, hence the sweet Indian poll did not taste sour. As the heat in the parliament turned into a furnace, the fire was doused by putting the release in Governor’s kitty. No offence meant, blame your Governor’s rule. No more releases promised without looping in the partner in coalition. Translated in power equation paradigm, it means, North Block located MHA. 

Cometh the Nishan [the flag] last outpost of special status. What should have been an innocuous reminder by General Department to honour the state flag ended in a roll-back. Being a constitutional requirement mattered the least for cultural nationalistic take of Ek Pradhan, Ek Vidhan and Ek Nishan. Hence, yet another turnabout was imperative. The designed power structure dictated it. Ek Pradhan stands accomplished decades back by active collaboration of a political formation that had Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in fold. Ek Vidhan is almost a done job with mauling of separate JK constitution. It has been overridden time and again. No one can spell the mauling better than AG Noorani. And he does it too often to escape notice. Poor Nishan! How long would it hold, given the blowing winds, only future could spell? PDP has none to blame but its own refusal to come out of its grove and fence its formation by home grown support. Instead, it chose to invest in sectors, where dividends could not be but the returns it is getting with every passing day. 

In JK election, BJP lost fair and square in Kashmir, and in Ladakh. BJP tally was restricted mostly to two and a half districts in plains. The total tally was just a shade over the half way mark of much hyped 44plus. The desired tally included Arun Jaitley’s five lotuses from the vale. It could not pocket even one, in spite of high geared campaign. The precarious placing—the clear BJP loss was converted into victory as PDP chickened out of a regional alliance and opted to partner cultural nationalists. Pleas of wide sections of citizenry, of civil society formations were unheeded. Mufti Muhammad Sayeed held back no punches, as he stated, “It is no option”. Translated, it means Kashmir centricity is no option, it relates clearly that safeguard of partisan interests remains the goal. It means that a joint stand to defend Kashmir’s interests is off the table, an option ruled out. It may not be taken to mean that NC is any better. In their heyday, they held the cultural nationalists is as tight an embrace as PDP. That the autonomy resolution passed in JK legislature was binned, mattered the least. The return was a junior ministry in Vajpayee led regime, encircled in brand name, ‘Insaniyat’. 

How ‘Insani’ was ‘Insaniyat’ or the humanitarian mask of cultural nationalism? In Agra, in 2001, the roll back before commitment of any sort would get beyond the set goals of Indian establishment was as glaring as sunlight [Azhar-e-Min’ul’Shams] vis-a-vis ‘K’ dispute. It does not get beyond status quoist agenda. Writ large on the wall remains, ‘Clock cannot be turned back’. It holds, be it the secularist Congress or the cultural nationalistic Sangh Parivar. There is hardly any place for pinning any hopes on recent regional lap of Indian foreign secretary. Or, even remotely seeing it as Mufti prodding, as some of the drummers make it out. It could hardly be construed as a step forward in conflict resolution. India’s regional goal remains 3 T’s—Trade, Tariff, Transit. Tariff to ease trade and transit without hassles is an ideal regional goal, provided the goal is set with consensus on conflict resolution. The consensus eludes SAARC. It remains light years away from what EU or ASEAN spell. Subcontinental spin doctors are not getting it to spell right. There is hardly hope they ever would in a subcontinent of hiking defence budgets and abject poverty. 

Yaar Zinda, Sohbat Baqi [Reunion is subordinate to survival]