Barely two months after he was garlanded on becoming state tourism minister, Tasaduq Mufti has set himself apart. The power makes ambitious breed of politicians rebel against their own constituency, commitments and pledges—in Kashmir case. But Mehbooba Mufti’s brother, it looks, does not fit in that mould. Tasaduq feels that pangs of conscience are too strong to be silenced. So on a fresh stead, purged of all the past ugly—regional leadership is afflicted with– he pulls a different from himself. The incorruptible in him has encouraged him to speak louder and in terribly honest tune. Perhaps he is the only voice in the whole sold lot where ministerial portfolio does not swoon him to shut his eyes from all that is happening around.
‘ I am not going to be quiet and act as if I am unmoved by the tragedy that is unfolding at ground level, just because I am part of the government’, Tasaduq declares his resolve in a signature tune of his own. The pain of loss of lives, destruction of properties and the sense of insecurity is heavily impacting him. He seems ashamed of the deceitful politics his own party has played on the people. He is aghast of his party breaching the trust of people and miserably and shamefully ending up with, what he says, ‘partnership in crime’. He thinks his party played fraud on people’s mandate. On the ever-growing disconnect between the government and the people, Tasaduq says whereas this government exhibits its “sense of belonging” for the transformers, toilets and pot-holes, it has ‘no word of sympathy to offer to a hurt, alienated people’. He rightly says that what Delhi government needed was departure from its old shenanigans and desist from buying time and instead take a credible political initiative. That requires sincerity and he admits that is missing. He bemoans at Delhi’s adherence to ‘ Shylockian politics’ falsely believing money can buy Kashmiris into Indian loop. Asking Delhi to hold talks with the genuine stake-holders to settle long-standing Kashmir issue that has held hostage the future of subcontinent, Tasaduq said it is time Delhi ‘ give up its obstinacy and recognize the problem at hand, de-escalate tension, resume the political process’.
This kind of bold assertion from a minister is rarely heard of. Especially when the man is from the group Delhi pampered and nourished to act as levers and pawns at times of crises. From whatever he has said in his interview to Indian Express, there is hardly anything that does not square with the hard facts on the ground. Given the politics of duplicity these kind of parties have perfected the art of, such a behavior was expected from a man losing power. And he takes to India bashing, picking the left overs from the resistance camp. This is the time when persons like Tsaduq get inducted in the cabinet to hold tight the embrace with the Establishment and in lieu get all the privileges, perks, fortunes that power entails. But the kind of words he clothed his feelings with speaks of a revolt, more in his own self less in his party. And he makes us believe that he has opted to the call of conscience. The post-statement anti climax not being registered till now, as we often witness when these kind of plain talking raises eye brows in corridors of power, we have to take them at the face value—a cry from Tasaduq’s heart. So here are we standing up to salute the man for his candid expression. He has stood apart, putting up immense courage.
This all said and done, however, we register a caveat. If words do not match with the action, the man loses both the face and the halo. The face that glittered with the inner voice and the halo that attracted attention, even applause. Even a layman will ask if PDP and BJP are, as you say, partners of crime, how come you are a part of this coalition of crime? You feast together, breathe together. What you are doing with the camp, you see—and make a billboard of the same —have lost the trust of the people and have given them nothing but death and destruction. If, as you say, coalition makes you feel ‘awkward and discomfort’ how you live with it? Why the venom is missing the mark? Why don’t you resign from the government that, by its very nature and for all practical purposes, culls all you hold dearer? Why you prefer coalition politics at the cost of your suffocation? Was it then just for a brief stint you allowed your conscience to wake up. And after judging the reward such a call fetches in materialistic scales, you again chose to live with your sedated conscience. In defence you can say that a pebble from you cannot make a material change, but at least it would have helped you to regain your soul intact and your body not marred into obnoxious split of north and south pole. This would have given your bearing a dignity and aura of righteousness. That you again got back to your own fort of political double-speak should not surprise us all. You cannot go against your bearing.