Smeared and smudged, dispirited and disappointed, humiliated and harassed, exposed and exhumed, lampooned and lambasted, trashed and trivialized, ridiculed and rattled, plummeted and perforated; thus gets scripted the misery of the flock of politicians who have pawned their conscience to rulers in New Delhi. The covers that for so long blanketed their behind the scene activism from the public gaze and scrutiny have blown apart in one go. The bunker raj has prevailed over the people’s mandate. Not only the privileged political class have lost both its place and face value, the entire project democracy, Delhi invests so heavily in selling it out, is hemorrhaged off its impact and utility. PDP leader and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig, having a grasp of the fallout bemoans; ‘General Singh has caused more damage in a single day than the ISI had done in decades of its subversive work’.
The Monday unanimous resolution JK assembly adopted calling Delhi to conduct a time bound probe into payoff allegations to legislatures is a damage control exercise aimed to save acknowledged cronies of Delhi from further ignominy. It is a calculated move to fend off the swathing criticism directed at the “sanctity” of ballot and ‘representative’ character the “honorable” ministers and MLAs and MLCs hold onto their sleeves.
The disclosures made by the former Army Chief, General VK Singh about politicians in Kashmir being on the army payroll since 1947 for ‘nationalistic work and maintaining peace in the state’ has made it emphatically clear that army in Kashmir is deeply entrenched in the decision making apparatus. The long ques outside the polling booths and hot discussions and yelling out on floor of the House might have all tempting attraction of a distant drum beatings (dour kai doal sahavnei hotey hein), yet in the “sacred” confinements the very opposite of peoples’ mandate stares right into the face which makes the entire democratic process stinky. The all-pervasive and domineering authority of the army and a string of intelligence agencies with octopus claws spread all around provides an insight as who in real sense rules Kashmir.
It was for ‘nationalistic work’ that army was put at ‘stand by position’ and kept ‘alert’ when Sheikh Abdullah was ousted from power and imprisoned. So it was when both Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad were insulted at war room meeting. The highly infamous Ikhwan was created as private militia by the army to counter insurgency and its leader Kuka Parray and some other renegades whose hands were drenched in the blood of innocent people were sent to Kashmir assembly and legislative council. The killers wore democratic robes and people thronged the booths. In a land where against every nine persons you have one gun-totting cop, democracy sets its own SOPs (Standard Operation Procedures), plants its own Trojan Horses and creates its own titles and expressions (Agitational terrorism Sadbhavnas).
Omar Abdullah moving the above mentioned resolution said in the assembly that they owe their gratitude to army for helping them to restore democracy in Kashmir. All pro-accession groups bank upon security forces for survival. The nexus between security grid and their politicians is close-knitted and all-pronouncing. It is a symbiotic association where both get benefited. Security forces plough the field and the rest is cared by the power-lust politicians. Against every kill, you have hundreds of legislatures to wash the guilt off the shoulders of the forces that enjoy impunity from legal action. After all, how AFSPA and democracy are reconcilable with each other? Democracy stands for peace and tranquility, for according respect to political dissent and freedom of expression and providing space to your political opponents. Who squeezes this ‘comfort’ democracy provides and at whose behest? Who zips their mouths when huge land grab by army takes place across Kashmir, when Tosa Maidan’s 3000 Kanal land still held by army is not gravitating them to people’s side?
Imagine a civilian ‘elected’ chief minister heading the Unified Headquarters that comprises army, paramilitary forces, police and various intelligence agencies. Still when in his state a civilian falls victim to AFSPA-intoxicated personnel, he is only left to mourn and cry? On the other hand, his civilian authority is sold as forces compliance to civilian rule. No one can be fooled by the antics the ruling class and the opposition play with the people of Kashmir. They are running with the hare and hunting with the hound. General’s ‘startling revelations’ have cemented the hypocratic and crass opportunistic approach of pro-establishment forces.
It defies logic to approach Delhi for conducting a probe. When have New Delhi and Security Grid not worked in tandem with each other? In fact, whatever has happened in Kashmir has happened at the directives of New Delhi. The blue print is prepared in Delhi and contours of policies are authored there, the ‘logical conclusion’ is left for the security apparatus. In the ‘national interests’, this resolution too will be trashed to dust bin the same way autonomy resolution was done away with. Since these representatives remain glued to power, intrinsic weakness Delhi is aware of, it will not take long for the dust to settle down. And why should Omar as head of the Unified Headquarters not press for revealing the names General has held to his bosom?
Ghulam Hassan Mir is a little cog in the big machinery where oligarchies like Sheikh and Mufti dynasties continue to act as flagship projects. NC should not drap herself in mourning clothes. After all it is hyphenated to Congress and all know Congress run government in Delhi and in Kashmir too.