BJP policy on Kashmir crystallizing

By K.N. Pandita

In his opening remarks when the BJP national president was to address a large gathering of Jammu intellectuals and political activist, Dr. Jitendra Singh, MOS in PMO made an aphorismic expression. He said, “Kashmir is the nucleus of BJP”. The remark carries more meaning than what meets the eye.

Valley law and order situation has deteriorated in recent months. Jihadi Infiltrations bids have increased; more attacks are made on security forces. Policemen are attacked and gunned down in their homes and anti-India and anti-army public demonstrations have become a routine. Law and order in the state is dragged to the verge of collapse.

This is akin to violent civil disobedience given great media hype by local and Pakistani press. Sections of pro-Jihadi Indian press have not lagged behind.

April 9 bye-election to assembly seats was marred by widespread violence. In his election campaign for Srinagar Parliamentary seat, Farooq Abdullah, NC stalwart freely and openly used Islamic card to garner votes by whipping up communal passions among the valley majority. He succeeded.

In his long political career Farooq Abdullah has used Islamic card openly for the first time. He did not campaign for any substantial development of the State; he has only one point agenda of ousting PDP from power.

Many commentators have joined their voice with Farooq that Mehbooba Mufti’s government has failed to deliver the goods and should be dismissed. Dismissal of the coalition government and imposition of Governor’s rule has become the talk of the day.

Close Kashmir watchers were diffident from day one whether the incompatible coalition partners will succeed to deliver. PDP was born out of the womb of militancy in Kashmir. Prior to 2002 Mehbooba Mufti spoke the same language which Farooq spoke on the eve of parliamentary election in Srinagar. In 2002 it was PDP that fraternized with Jamat-i Islami and in 2016-17 it is NC which took over that mantle.

Therefore ouster of Mehbooba is not in the hands of either Farooq or BJP government in New Delhi. It is in the hands of Jamaat-i Islami of Kashmir.

The more recent camaraderie which Jamaat has ironed out with NC is a force to be reckoned with. The question which BJP must consider with all seriousness is whether it goes in the interests of the nation to remove the buffer that exists today between the seditionists and the Indian State in Kashmir.

To imagine that NC, after replacing PDP rule, will be able to deliver the way it should in the interests of the State is a far-fetched dream. Of course, the only advantage from this shift of power will be the manifest success of the classical imperialistic theory of divide and rule.

Governor’s rule is no solution to the depressing scenario. In fact, the Governor cannot be expected to be effective when entire administrative structure is radicalized and alienated at their choosing. A Governor succeeds only with dedicated and not partisan bureaucracy.

Therefore the sensible thing to do would be to lessen pressure on Mehbooba Mufti, impress upon her to neutralise the extremist elements with whom she had unwittingly fraternized in pre-2002 electing campaigns and garner for her the cumulative support of pro-nationalist elements in the valley and outside.

However, on the other hand, Mehbooba cannot make any meaningful gain or win any support to her party and regime by insisting on holding talks with the seditionists in Kashmir. She has to remember that in wider national interests, Modi government has to remain steadfast to his no talk policy. He has not only the compulsion of dealing with the seditionists with an iron fist but has also to weaken and neutralise the pressure which Trump administration indicated would exercise on India in regard to Kashmir issue.

In other words, Modi government has to accelerate the blitzkrieg against Pakistan’s malicious propaganda on international platforms. Our lobbyists at the UN Human Rights Council are weak and perhaps imbecile. A stiff stand on Kashmir at this juncture is also a signal to China who, in tandem with Pakistan, could be contemplating another Naxalbari movement in Kashmir.

In final analysis, strengthening and solidifying a buffer is much more in national interests then dismantling it and leaving the space open for jihadist ideology. Farooq Abdullah may be in the habit of making different statements at different places and different times but he is struggling more for the survival of dynastic rule than for any other agenda in Kashmir. For this purpose he badly needs the support of JI. Therefore, he will continue to move around under Z security provided by the GOI and he will go on applauding stone pelting youth for their “self defence tactics”. This is his path to perpetuation of dynastic rule.

BJP has nothing to glorify itself for having got a foothold in Kashmir valley. Its presence as partners in the coalition has been farcical. It’s MLs and Ministers have spent past three years in vying with one another in proving their servility to the valley leadership forgetting that they are anchored in Jammu region and their future survival is closely connected to their performance and delivery in Jammu, which, unfortunately, has been dismal and disappointing. They have not been even able to eradicate the decades old discrimination syndrome against Jammu in almost all walks of life. The message conveyed to them in the recent visit of the party national president is a stern warning that they are not just docile partners sheepishly surrendering to parochial and regionalism of valley leadership to keep them glued to power but have to deliver. This message is very subtly and succinctly conveyed in the aphorismic expression of Dr. Jitendra Singh that “J&K is nucleus of BJP”.

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