The collaborators

The traits of double-speak and hypocrisy lie in their genes. This is central to their politicking. In fact this is the only ‘constituency’ that Indian mainstream politicians have zealously remained committed with and answerable to. Every one here knows what kind of horoscope is hung on their necks. And by which ‘Star’. In this counterfeit version of politics they keep swapping their beings. From a demoniac in power, suddenly evolve a benign opposite. This is as plain as to tell apart dazzling daylight from pitch-black darkness. But the spin doctors, marauding as ‘spokespersons’— that these crass opportunists have hired—are bold enough to interpret, even glorify, their betrayals, sell outs, traitorousness and deceptions as excellent feats. Brazen-faced they even are in denial mode of what their purse-holders themselves don’t dare to deny.

While it is true that on matters related to Kashmir Delhi rulers wield absolute powers and Srinagar dispensation just count ‘ inconsequential’ (as rightly said by Ajaz-ul Haque in his Write Hand column last week), nevertheless people at the helm of affairs have the power to defend State of JK against various onslaughts from Delhi. That despite our State enjoying parallel sovereignty the ‘ elected representatives’ here have been reduced to pygmies and assembly to municipality has not only imperialist design behind, it has the complicity from these politicians. ‘ The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves, that we are underlings.’ ( Shakespeare). All along these underlings and ear-rings of Durbar have bartered larger interests of people for their own selfish interests. Banking on peoples’ amnesia they think people would have forgotten their days of suppression and deception. Thus they sport fresh stripes that suit the dominant pro-resistance narrative.

NC denies any role it had in hanging Afzal Guru. Its spokesperson, Junaid Matto, says that blaming Omer Abdullah, that time chief minister, for the Guru’s execution is ‘unfair’. That time Junaid was spokesman of some other party whose chief would wear Kashmir Nationalism on his sleeves and would berate both the regional parties NC and PDP for their ‘ theatrical politics’ and their ‘complicity’ in Afzal’s hanging. From the last couple of years he has taken the job of laundering NC leadership of its ugly and treacherous role visa- vis Kashmiri and struggle for right to self determination, it once championed (Does the third Gen ‘cub’ of the Abdullah dynasty know three thousand people were martyred during the 22 years of Plebiscite movement NC spearheaded from 1953 to 1975).

Even many Indian legal luminaries and civil liberty upholders believe that Afzal never had proper legal representation, he was not given fair trial and there were procedural flaws in the case and there was no circumstantial evidence against him. Still he was convicted, what Indian apex court reasoned ‘ to satisfy the collective conscience of the Indian society’. Before Afzal there were dozens in the death row awaiting execution. Unlike Afzal, Rajiv Gandhi’s killers admitted the guilt, but Jai Lalita’s intervention through assembly earned the reprieve for the killers. Engineer Rashid tabled the resolution, but both Omer in government and Mufti Sayed in Opposition, on Delhi’s directive, leagued together to foil the attempt.

Their duplicity exposed their feigned empathy with the victim. Reacting to execution, Omar said he did not know about it until previous evening ,that is 12 hours before Afzal was hanged. But the lie was nailed by The Hindustan Times (10 February, 2013). It in its report said that Omar has been told 10 days before the Kashmiri leader was sent to gallows. The report said that S K Shinday ( the then Home Minister) called Abdullah at 8 pm on Feb 8 and conveyed him the impending news, ‘ Who jo hum ne baat ki thi, who kal subhah hogi’(what we discussed before, tomorrow morning it will be put in action). Before this political execution, Omar held series of meetings with Indian leadership including Shinday. On his return from Delhi he suspended internet, gagged press and imprisoned resistance leadership across the valley. NC is knee deep in the kill. Remember what Omar tweeted on Ajmal Qasab’s execution: ‘If this can be done in secrecy, others could be done as well’. Even Omar had stressed, as NC spokesman would remember, Afzal’s execution would have ‘ greater consequences if executed in summer months’. The intent behind is self- explanatory.

To prove allegiance to the Durbar, Farooq Abdullah, who was then a Union Minister, hailed the Afzal’s judicial murder and called it ‘ closed chapter which followed due process of law.’ In contrary Omar shed crocodile tears and draped in mourning. How are the two opposite positions compatible in the same party?

While Farooq Abdullah signed death warrant of Maqbool Bhat when Bhat was in Tihar jail, Omar, keeping alive family’s tradition, rejected application of Afzal to be shifted to Srinagar jail from Tihar. In July 2010 Afzal wished to be closer to his family and had written to Director General Prison New Delhi to transfer him to Central jail Srinagar. His appeal was subsequently sent to JK government which stubbornly turned it down. In Feb 2011, Omar shamelessly declared he never received such an application. That makes us tear through their seemingly mourning robes they have put on Feb 9. When they were not in favor of Afzal’s shift to homeland Jail, how could they have sought, much less pursued, his clemency? NC was part of UPA government in Delhi and also in power at Srinagar, so how could they escape from owning the blame of being partner in Afzal’s hanging.

In ‘slaying or sparing’ these bunch of politicians are inconsequential, we know. But they become consequential in having the guilt share willingly which otherwise rests and should rest on Delhi’s shoulders alone. Second, they provide a fig-leaf of legitimacy for whatever undemocratic, unconstitutional and brutal is done on Kashmir.
Irked at Mehbooba’s double-speak who had at that time roared that ‘we would not have let this happen if we were in power’, the NC’s present spokesman had yelled at both the parties in these words: ‘It is classical of two monkeys taunting each other for the redness of their rears.’( GK, 26 Feb, 2013). How, we ask, the ‘redness’ in one has now disappeared and by which therapy? Or, in between negotiating the transition he himself has become colour blind!