Hobnobbing Hurriyat: Compulsion or conviction of Congress
JAMMU: The pseudo secular and the so-called mainstream political parties in Kashmir are either in a state of desperation or as a matter of conviction their true faces are coming to fore with elections to the Legislative Assembly coming nearer. A day before, Peoples Democratic Party took extreme posturing vis a vis BJP’s ‘communal contours’ with specific thrust on painting the Government of India in dark for all ‘troubles’ in the Valley and today Indian National Congress offered an olive branch to Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar’s Hurriyat Conference to remain relevant in the upcoming elections as the party sees its rout imminent.
Begging Hurriyat of withdrawing or ‘rethinking’ over the election boycott call, Congress has raised the bogey of BJP making inroads in the Valley if people are stopped from proceeding towards booths. The Congress has perhaps forgotten that India is a democracy and Kashmir being inalienable part of it has to grow as a democratic entity. How come BJP’s emergence in the Valley will be threat to, what Congress is attempting to make out, Kashmir’s special character?
They say coming events cast their shadows before. This holds good for the mainstream parties which are showing signs of fatigue well before plunging into elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
A senior Congress functionary has expressed apprehensions about BJP making inroads in the Valley, after its grand performance in the parliamentary elections, with the connivance of some ‘so-called nationalist elements’. Is it to suggest that Congress alone is nationalist and credentials of all other outfits, read mainstream, are doubtful? If so, what is common or meeting ground between Congress and Hurriyat Conference, which is anti-national and pro-Pakistan from top to bottom. It has been Congress run governments at the Centre that have messed up things in the Valley, bringing it to the morass it has been for the past two and half decades.
Entry of BJP into the Valley should have been welcomed by those beating their chests, saying Kashmir is integral part of India. If there is acceptance to BJP in Kashmir, it should be alarming for those who want to secede from India or crave for Azadi. The emergence of parties like BJP means changing scenario in the Valley, which was being pushed to radicalisation by Pakistan, ISI and other anti-national actors active in the sub-continent. The so-called mainstream parties should rise above petty party politics and view the changing trend with optimism. If they remain mired in power politics then their joining hands with chronic secessionists should not surprise anyone. The people of the Valley are not naïve to the fact how the hard-core secessionists are supporting the so called mainstream political outfits, either by engineering boycott or supporting actively in the rural belts. Now the time tested game since 1996 is going out of their hands. They are feeling the heat of change and, therefore, their acts should be seen more as signs of frustration rather than their love for making the people to vote.
They say coming events cast their shadows before. This holds good for the mainstream parties which are showing signs of fatigue well before plunging into elections. The Congress and National Conference have started questioning the timing of elections. They want these to be conducted in October or November, fearing foul play. This is just an alibi to their imminent defeat at the hands of the people who have made up their mind to teach a lesson to the so-called mainstream parties. Congress President Saif-ud-Din Soz has been more candid in his assertion, saying, “We know Mr Modi may have some political designs in Jammu and Kashmir but all of us are prepared and alert to counter those designs. The ECI should remain steadfast with its democratic principles and should take all political parties in the State on board before announcing any dates for upcoming elections.”
By creating an iota of suspicion over the fairness of polls, the Congress is, in fact, providing a lever into the hands of anti-national elements who will trumpet it in full volume. The Congress should understand seriousness of its assertions, keeping in view national interest in a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir. They should not find out alibis to imminent defeat in the wake of turn coats from their within fast changing fences to enrich BJP.