Uncertainty Dogs Kashmir
SRINAGAR: It is not for the first time that there is an uncertainty about not only the ultimate fate of this land but even about its day to day governance. This always happens when a ship is set on an uncharted course without any definite goal.
It is like a ship sailing from a port to port without an ultimate destination. Probably, the main problem in putting the ship on a definite course is the captain’s uncertainty about the ultimate goal and the delusions about the way to reach that destination. Almost all our leaders start with the declaration of achieving a place of dignity and honour for the people but end up trying to keep their own “dignity” and “honour” intact leaving the common people in the lurch. Is it because they are not sure of the ultimate goal and develop doubts about achieving that or it is because of the fatigue and tiredness of the struggle? An important question which needs to be debated.
Mufti Sahib had started his political career in the Indian National Congress but ended up by pioneering his own party the People’s Democratic Party. He had declared that Kashmir’s emancipation was possible through Indo-Pak rapprochement and for that he had propagated “self-rule”. During his first tenure he did work for and achieve a breakthrough in starting cross LOC travel and trade. However, it did not grow as expected and remained a stagnant measure.
The second coming appeared a total compromise especially after propagating against Hindutva through the Valley, and then virtually embracing the same. The delusion was that by aligning with the party ruling at the centre, he will at least be able to bring succour to the people devastated by the worst flood in the century. However, after getting a bear hug, he was totally let down by the other party! The meeting of the North and the South Pole did not work as he had hoped and expected.
Now his daughter, Mehbooba Mufti faces the same dilemma! Some people have opined that she stands at the crossroads of history. There have been umpteen rumours as well as suggestions about what she intends to do or should do. Most of these have been put forth without anybody actually speaking to her! According to some if she ditches the BJP and formulates some other combination probably with the Congress party, she will regain lost popularity in the Valley.
On the other hand some insist that by backing out of the alliance with the BJP she will be targeted by the central government, with a massive cut in funds sorely needed for post-floods restoration and rehabilitation. So in essence she is placed between the Devil and the Deep Sea. And from this arises the third argument, to go back to the people for a fresh mandate.
If one analyses truly the situation of the mainstream regional parties, they can at best look at good governance which has been missing now for a long time. The question of the mainstream parties having any say in the ultimate solution of the basic political problem is a delusion suffered by the leaders of all these parties. They need to accept the fact that they are at the pleasure of whomsoever is at the helm in Delhi which considers Kashmir to have been settled once for and all.
In these circumstances, the best bet is to let Delhi govern the state on its own through Governor’s and President’s rule. No political party can then be blamed for at least the lack of governance.
On the contrary Delhi will have to undertake a massive construction and rehabilitation programme without any political interference to gain some support of the local people whose main interest at the moment is rehabilitation, restoration and prevention of future calamities.