The ’joke of the decade’

By K.N. Pandita

By and large people get the government they deserve, goes the adage. First I thought only a sadist said it. Now I see there is a method in madness.

The coalition between the “two poles”, as a stakeholder had once put it, appeared a big joke to the sadists when it came about. Coalitionists tried to give their detractors a lie. They invented wobbled logic to convince others that they were right. For example, they hurled another cliché that ‘politics is the game of possible.’ Hence the people got the government they deserved.

We can discuss the ‘possible’. For public consumption, alleged lust for power can be neutralized by feigned nationalism. How that is brought about is the trick of the trade.

As coalition partner, BJP has been lying incredibly low. Except for ceremonial existence as power-sharer, it has not only left the field but actually abandoned it to PDP. It is a stupendous exercise of sharing power but abandoning responsibility.

With the source of irritation hibernating for the time being, PDP finds that its tight-rope walk may not take it anywhere. For example, Masarat Alam’s re-arrest, dogging IS/Pak flag wavers in the valley, rounding up saboteurs who planned disruption of telecom connectivity and lately, sluggish and tentative handling of Sopore murders, are all contrary to the expectations of hawks in the party.

Interestingly, the chief of the party, who is usually more vocal than necessary on serious as well as mundane issues, has maintained mysterious silence on these happenings. She is waiting impatiently to be catapulted to the ministerial berth at the centre.

BJP’s low keynote politics as coalition partner, has hastened the widening of a fissure within the PDP. The hawks in the party have clinched Home Minister’s 1667 crore rupee relief offer as the beating stick.

Interestingly, it is not anyone from party’s ministerial or assembly cadres who has let out the steam; the whip has been cracked by its sitting senior Parliamentarian. His words are echoed not by party members but by a selected section among the civil society and the business class.

The charges levelled by the PDP senior MP, Mr. Karra, go beyond the frame of the relief offer, and touch on a wide spectrum of issues and parameters of relationship between the Union and the State of Jammu and Kashmir as seen by PDP hawks.

He has built a case of centre discriminating against “Kashmir” and not other two regions of the State. Surprisingly, he has stretched the charge of discrimination to the basics of centre’s Kashmir policy. He exudes sympathy for the preceding NC-Congress coalition government, which, according to his logic, was also made a victim of discsrimination. In this way, he has tried to hammer out common complaint of PDP, NC and Congress against the Centre/BJP.

The fissure within PDP is more distinct in the comment of Chairman of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries that, “It is unfortunate and surprising that the state finance minister comes in media and expresses satisfaction over the announcement of the package.” So far, the State Finance Minister has not responded.

PDP MP has brought a litany of charges against NDA purporting to portray India not only discriminative but also selfishly oppressive to the people of Kashmir. He has strongly advocated for breaking the coalition, indirectly saying that PDP has lost people’s trust.

The MP has cited examples of Nepal, Uttarakhand and Ladakh to strengthen his contention that the NDA government at the Centre has adopted discriminative stance in regard to Kashmir. It is for the Home Ministry to remove the doubts which Kashmir MP has ventilated. But we hope Mufti Sayeed is not using his MP as his mouthpiece for what he wants to convey to the Centre. After all in politics everything is possible, particularly in politics that is devoid of moral trapping and ideological strings

However, we have noted that no one from among the seniors of PDP in or outside the government has repudiated MP Karra’s extravaganza. The office bearers have chosen to remain silent and not react.

As long as there is no reaction and repudiation of Karra’s statement by his party colleagues in and outside the government, people will take it for granted that PDP is seriously thinking of quitting the government. If that is the only option, obviously PDP after its withdrawal will bring the onus of break down to the doorsteps of BJP.

In this fluid political scenario, BJP can no more remain a mute spectator to the fast changing moods. It has to come out of its cocoon and play a timely role.

BJP needs to take stock of things in wider political perspective. It must not loose sight of how Pakistan is reacting to the situation in Kashmir. The seizure of huge quantities of arms and ammunition from different parts of the State in both regions of Kashmir and Jammu, increasing graph of attempts of infiltration across the border, Pakistani National Assembly’s recent condemnation resolution against India and irresponsible statements of Pakistan’s present or former military hawks obliquely referring to nuclear power cannot leave it complacent with its policy of political hibernation in Kashmir. Should BJP remain indifferent to the awakening call?

In all probability, in addition to the resolution of its National Assembly, Pakistan will react animatedly to India’s recent military action in Myanmar choosing its time and place. India’s action has scratched Pakistan army’s Bangladesh wounds, and ISI, for its survival cannot afford to pocket the insult. The place it will choose is obviously Kashmir and the time is now.

BJP must not forget that its initial feet-dragging on AIIMS issue has damaged its credibility within its prime constituency. Fragility of damage-controlling act is reflected in protestors unusually soliciting a written undertaking. For BJP, there is a warning of sorts that it should not take Jammu for a ride nor shall it own to be the source of “joke of the decade”.

Find on en.wikipedia:

  • Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP Indian People’s Party; abbr. BJP) is one of the two major parties in the Indian political system, along with the Indian National Congress … The BJP is a right-wing party,[4][8] with close ideological and organisational links to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh …; /See also; /External Links;
  • Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party PDP is a state political party in Jammu and Kashmir, India …; /Official Wensite;
  • Lok Sabha (English: House of the People) is the lower house of India’s Bicameral-Parliament …; /See also; /External Links;
  • Rajya Sabha is the upper house of the Parliament of India …; /External Links;
  • Jammu and Kashmir is a state in northern India. It is located mostly in the Himalayan mountains, and shares a border with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab to the south. Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, and the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistani-controlled territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan in the west and northwest respectively. The state has special autonomy under Article 370 of the Indian constitution …; /See also; /External Links;
  • Kashmir and Jammu (princely state) was, from 1846 until 1952, a princely state in the British Empire in India …; /See also;
  • Princely state (also called native state (legally) or Indian state) was a nominally sovereign[1] entity of India during the British Raj that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by a local ruler under a form of indirect rule,[2] subject to a subsidiary alliance and the suzerainty or paramountcy of the British Crown …; /See also; /External Links;
  • Indian National Congress INC also commonly called the Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is one of the largest and oldest democratically-operating political parties in the world …; /See also; /External Links;
  • National Democratic Alliance (India) NDA is a centre-right[1] coalition of political parties in India. At the time of its formation in 1998, it was led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) …; /See also; /External Links;
  • Crore A crore … is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to ten million (10,000,000; in scientific notation: 107), which is written in these regions as 1,00,00,000 with the local style of digit group separators. It is equal to a hundred lakh (a lakh is equal to one hundred thousand and is written as 1,00,000). It is widely used in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. The Indian numbering system is used when writing Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Nepali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam …; /See also.

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