Is the ruling alliance divided?

By K.N. Pandita

The hypocrisy of workable alliance between NC and Congress in the State is exposed by the aftermath of Afzal Guru’s execution.

Not only the PDP and its allies on opposition benches, even some of the NC ruling party members did not hide their sympathy with “Afzal guru Sahib”. To some of them he was a “martyr” along with Maqbul Bhat.

They demand that mortal remains, not only of Afzal Guru but also of Maqbul Bhat “Sahib” be returned to their families.

To the Chief Minister also, the return of mortal remains of “Afzal Guru Sahib” is justified.  

Now that Afzal and Maqbul and others of their fold have become “Sahibs” and “martyrs” to state political leaders, what then is the definition of a “terrorist” in their lexicon?

The Parliament, provoked by inconsiderate resolution of the Pakistan National Assembly (Parliament), retaliated immediately by passing unanimous resolutions in both houses of the Parliament condemning Pakistan’s interference in India’s internal matters and reiterating that Pok was integral part of the Indian Union and India would take it back. 

The entire issue is about Kashmir. The State Assembly is in session. It was logical for the Assembly to move a resolution in endorsement of the Parliament’s resolution on Kashmir. But nothing of the sort has been tabled. The majority in the assembly declined to move a motion to that effect. BJP, NPP and their allies protested, even vehemently, but to no avail.

If the assembly was not in session, the obvious Jammu – Kashmir divide would not have been reflected so palpably and hypocrisy of unity would have not have been exposed blatantly. But that has happened, and that is the reality or what we call the ground situation.

On the issue of return of mortal remains of Guru, fissures have very prominently appeared between the NC and its Congress ally. This also exposes the hypocrisy of alliance. It shows only one thing: that the stakeholders have no moral constraints and want to remain in power by hook or by crook. Will the masses of people in the State in general and Kashmir valley in particular understand the phenomenon and denounce it?

Onwards of execution of Guru, the State Assembly has become a venue not for important and crucial debates on the developmental plans and programmes of the State but for hurling all conceive bale abuses on Indian State. Even it is accused of communal propensities. One independent member has taken it upon himself to turn debate on issues, all and sundry, to humiliating and abusing Indian State. The Speaker allows him his harangues, the opposition enjoys the vitriolic and the treasury benches sit as dumb found cattle not reacting, not demonstrating any sensitivity to national interests. Ambivalence par excellence.

There is Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh divide: there is NC-Congress divide, there is Jammu BJP-Congress divide, there is BJP-BJP divide, and there is NC-PDP divide. That is the ground reality. But within this spectrum, there is complete unity and understanding among the ruling coalition and the valley-based opposition in castigating the country, abusing and deriding Indian State. Thus we find nationalist NPP, BJP and their allies alienated and almost sidelined despite their most vociferous outbursts in the assembly. They are handicapped by being in minority. Will the Jammu electorate understand how it lets not only regional but also national interests get subverted and jeopardized?

What progress can the State make under this deep and multi-faceted divide? Where is the national mainstream? Our developmental plans become victims of politics, our future prosperity is made a hostage to personal aggrandizement, and our security is threatened by disunity and subversion. We have enemies inside the house which we want to build with the sweat of our brow.

J&K Assembly has committed contempt of court by opening a debate on the verdict of the Supreme Court.  By challenging the authority of the Supreme Court in the assembly, the members have challenged the very constitution of India by virtue of which they have become members or ministers. This is treason and sedition and in any patriotic country, this was cognizable under law.

The attacker of the Indian Parliament is a hero in the eyes of Kashmir leadership, in the true spirit of the axiom that one man’s terrorist is another man’s hero. If Afzal Guru and others are heroes for “having fought the freedom fight of Kashmiris”, and the ruling group endorses it covertly, the people would vey much like that the coalition government shuns hypocrisy and comes out in open to reflect the demand of the people of severing relations with the Indian Union.

The State Assembly is not willing to counter Pakistan’s insolence by passing a resolution against that country’s unwanted interference in our matters. The Assembly is not willing to endorse the resolution of the Parliament that rejects Pakistani resolution on Kashmir. What then does the ruling group mean to do with the situation?  Has it any moral authority to remain in driver’s seat? It is fighting against its own house, setting its own house on fire and obstructing the fire extinguishers to douse the flames.

The die is cast and the cards so far concealed from the gaze of the world are now openly placed on the table. India is steadily losing grip on Kashmir because the proxies from among the locals that ran New Delhi’s errand for nearly six decades and more, have changed horses in midstream.

Execution of Guru has, at least, fully exposed the hypocrisy that shrouded relations between the Indian Union and the State. The immediate reaction of the deepening divide reverberated in the voice of a Jammu MLA who said on the floor of the house that if the situation continued as it was, he and his cohorts would plead for separation of Jammu.

Let us not become panicky with the word “separation”. This is a struggle between nationalist and anti-nationalist forces. New Delhi is feeling much more nervous than the ruling coalition in the State. The six-decade long status quo, maintained at great peril and demolition of ethical trappings is falling apart. Jammu and Ladakh nationalist elements have been crying hoarse all these decades about the fragility of “unity” of three regions because of supervening discriminatory course of action of the Srinagar ruling elite. The hollow slogan of “unity in diversity” of the State is impious as well as immoral. Ultimate solution of this perplexing situation lies in the hands of Jammu. There was a time when Congress leadership labeled Praja Parishad movement as communal and parochial. Six decades later history has vindicated movement’s stand.

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