The Candid Confession!
October 10, 2018
Last week the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik made some candid confessions of New Delhi’s failure in the troubling border state. Malik after assuming the charge of state in August this year has been extensively reaching out to the media and talking on issues ranging from the appalling developmental situation of state to intractable political situation, although he managed to stay away from any controversy so far.
He made last week a candid confession that India committed grave mistakes in handling Kashmir and invariably became a pariah at its own land. He talked of a common narrative that India is ‘occupier’ of the state which never acceded to the country permanently.
When New Delhi decided to replace the ace administrator of state NN Vohra after his long 10 years of services to the state, the common belief amid the air in the state was BJP will stall its own man in Jammu and Kashmir as Vohra’s successor who will percolate the BJP ideology and push the state further to the volatility where the militancy is at its highest level.
However, Malik proved a different man though he is dialogically a BJP man.
At couple of occasions since August he rebuffed the BJP politicians and the party for their irresponsible remarks and termed it their political compulsion.
Back in the Kashmir which remains volatile most of the times and is politically a very sensitive place his functioning is quietly monitored by the opponents in which so far he is successfully sailing through.
As he admitted that New Delhi made mistakes in handling Kashmir, in Kashmir he was first rebuffed by the senior separatist Syed Ali Geelani who said that it was not just mishandling, in fact India “manhandled” it.
Geelani who previously also contested the elections from Sopore constituency three times and later turned the hard core separatist is accusing India of gross human rights violations in Kashmir.
He fights the Indian rule politically and wants Kashmir’s merger to Pakistan for which he says resolutions are placed in United Nations. India terms them obsolete.
The biggest mistake India committed in Kashmir was when it backed the National Conference to rig the elections in 1987 which set the trigger for the massive armed rebellion in Kashmir against India’s rule.
The Congress which was in power in New Delhi never admits it officially though hundreds of Kashmiris who participated in the democratic process later crossed to Pakistan for arms training to topple Indian rule from Kashmir.
While this insurgency continues to stay in Kashmir even after three decades a common Kashmiri is yet to believe in the democratic institutions of the country.
The faith in the democracy eroded and the India is yet to restore it.
So the views of Malik cannot be brushed aside easily and New Delhi must ponder over it seriously and make all efforts to bridge the gap.
Malik apparently seems trying hard to normalize the situation in Kashmir and his remarks could well be gauged into the right perspective of assuring full defence to special status of state.
“There is nothing to worry about”. “It is possible that we have not kept the promises made at that time but I guarantee that on 370 and 35A, and I have faith in the Indian judiciary, there is nothing to worry about.”
Malik infact cleared the air on the perception that there is no defence from state to defend the law in the apex court and suggested that its hearing shall be deferred until the new elected government is in place to defend it.
As the muscle power in Kashmir apparently has failed to eliminate the militancy, the soft position exhibited by Malik endorses that New Delhi is trying to reach out to the estranged class people in state.
However, the important task he carried right now is to convince the local mainstream parties including National Conferee and PDP which are on loggerheads with New Delhi and boycotted the Panchayat and ULB polls for New Delhi’s inexplicable position on the Article 35 A.
He in fact directly insisted both the parties to reconsider their decision of not contesting the elections while assuring that no harm will be conceded to article 35 A.
Why Malik Speaks Soft Not New Delhi?
A question here crops up that why Malik is speaking the language which is expected directly from New Delhi.
New Delhi is consistently maintaining the tough position on Kashmir which it sells across the country to garner the support.
Even in last four and a half years BJP has been acting tough on militancy in Kashmir and even lost the friends in mainstream politics.
While it is heading for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in country and any soft language on Kashmir situation may have serious bearings on its poll prospectus, it is also fact that it cannot achieve the targets in Kashmir with its consistent tough policy.
So it must have assigned Malik to reach out to the people in Kashmir which may have been reasons for India’s democracy to survive here.