Wednesday, May 3, 2017

BJP’s Lost Opportunity in Jammu and Kashmir

Let the dust of media frenzy, hyperbole and jingoism settle down in TV studios. Let our electronic media get free after mindlessly indulging in meaningless debates after every Indian soldier dies. Let the hyper nationalistic (read: pseudo nationalistic) slogan shouting end. Wake me up when all this ends. We all will be woken up once either the ruling party or the opposition announces its candidate for that could be our next President of India. Snap! The news cycle will change. All the deaths of soldiers and the turmoil of Jammu and Kashmir will be forgotten and the screams and cries of the families of martyrs will cease to echo in our hearts and minds.

I am not writing this blog to again talk about media vitiating the atmosphere or the ruling party endangering our National Security paradigm. I have written enough of the latter, in my previous write-ups and any level headed thinking individual will agree with my assessment. I am not a strategic expert or a foreign policy pundit who would give you ten pointers on “How-India-should-deal-with-terrorism” and so on. I follow as much news and events from the very same sources as the readers who are reading this blog. (Or may be less) I am certainly going to ask some tough questions to the establishment.

In my humble opinion, RSS and the BJP are deliberately ruining the state of Jammu and Kashmir – the only minority dominated state of India, in order to win votes in the rest of the country. They are deliberately creating conditions in the state, especially in the valley, so that they are able to show to the rest of India- how “tough” they are in dealing with a certain religious identity. The BJP which is born, brought up, nurtured and rests on the edifice of religious fissures is using all means to make a point to the rest of majority dominated India, that it can ruin the happiness of a minority dominated state.

The political fortunes of BJP have always risen when it creates conditions of division between communities- we have seen that in the past with the Babri Masjid demolition and in Gujarat 2002. We are now witnessing this in Jammu and Kashmir. This time the politics is not so overt. It is more nuanced and more subtle- dipped in ‘nationalism’.

The earlier incidents of the unrest in Jawaharlal Nehru University and the recent unrest in Delhi University which leverages its germination to Kashmiri separatism, gives credence to this kind of propaganda politics.

The BJP will never take to task the real Pakistani backed separatists in Jammu and Kashmir, will never prosecute them, will never jail them (no superficial house arrests please) because they want the flame of Kashmiri separatism to burn and show to the rest of India two politically important aspects.

First, the Jammu and Kashmir problem is a baggage of the Congress party and is a legacy issue which they are inheriting. They forget that, Jammu and Kashmir during the Congress led UPA regime has been the most peaceful in the past 70 years.

Secondly, they want to project, that the problem of Jammu and Kashmir is a religious one- not a political one. That is why no eyebrows are raised when the valley sees ISIS or Pakistani flags being openly displayed in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.

There is no doubt that since last July, Jammu and Kashmir has seen lot. Be it chaos and violence after the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani, or the raising of ISIS flags in the heart of Srinagar. Be it the burning of schools or be it the spate of bank robberies. Be it the abysmal percentage of voting in the Srinagar by poll or the cancellation of Anantnag bypoll, from where the Chief Minister’s brother was fighting elections. Be it the radicalization of young stone pelters and luring them by anti-national separatists or be it the visuals of school girls throwing stones at security forces.

Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed the worst of the times, alienation is increasing. And the only National Force, which could have saved the situation in the state was the Bharatiya Janata Party, is using the state as a bait to attract more majority votes from the Hindi heartland. I may be completely wrong in my assessment, and may be trashed for jumping to such a conclusion. But even my baiters cannot deny that the situation is grim and the BJP is solely responsible for such a sad and terrible state of affairs.

Jammu and Kashmir is an inseparable part of India, and I have no two doubts about that. May be people will question my limited knowledge about the state, and may be they will be correct to do that- But I strongly feel that the Narendra Modi Government has miserably lost the trust of people of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Indictment from own

Jammu and Kashmir CM, Mehbooba Mufti met the Prime Minister recently, and urged to follow the footsteps of Vajpayee  with respect to dialogue in the state Her statement is a strong indictment of PM’s Kashmir Policy and shows that the BJP-PDP has miserably failed in the last 2 years. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are bearing the brunt of the policy paralysis of the BJP-PDP Government in the past 2 years.

His “Jamhooriyat, Insaniyat and Kashmiriyat” is only an empty slogan and nothing concrete has happened in terms of development and peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP’s In-charge of Jammu and Kashmir, Ram Madhav in a recent interview accepted that the BJP-PDP Government has failed in its responsibility to maintain peace in the state.

Lip service through delegations

A year ago, an All Party Parliamentary delegation went to Jammu and Kashmir to talk to citizens, but the Centre has not followed it up with any concrete action.

The much hyped Yashwant Sinha report which was prepared by meeting separatist leader Syed Shah Geelani has been again put in cold storage, with the Centre distancing itself from the same.

Alliance continues to dither and speak in contradictory voices

Purely opportunistic alliance between BJP-PDP has neither an ideological foundation nor a purpose other than a pure lust for power. Leaders from both sides give contradictory statements to divert attention and befool and then share the power together.

Senior PDP members recently accused the BJP of acting against the Agenda of Alliance following the national party’s leaders justifying use of force to control violence.

While referring to the controversy over CRPF jawans using a human shield, BJP leader Ram Madhav had said, “everything is fair in love and war.” Chander Prakash Ganga, Minister in the Mehabooba Mufti Government, had justified use of bullets against stone-pelters. “If Kashmiris are perceived as enemies and anti-nationals, why did BJP agree in principle for an Agenda of Alliance?

BJP unfortunately seems shying away from its responsibility as coalition partner on the ground,” Minister for Education Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari asked. He alleged that Madhav’s remarks were aimed at legitimising human right violations.

Earlier, when terrorist Burhan Wani was killed, Deputy CM , Nirmal Singh, had said that the incident was an accident, which was in direct contraction to what happened.

Congress ensured peace

When the Congress Government came to power in Jammu and Kashmir – during UPA- It inherited a legacy of massive unrest, violence and a culture of stone pelting- During those 10 years, the Congress ensured a new paradigm of democracy and dialogue upto the Gram Panchayat level as also job opportunities for the youth by launching Skill Development programmes like Udaan. Congress Vice President,  Rahul Gandhi had taken a delegation of India Inc to Jammu and Kashmir and several schemes were started. Therefore, the Congress could ensure lasting peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP- the national party has failed us

Since May, 2014, India has lost more than 200 Jawans and 91 civilians in terror incidents in the state. This is almost double the count when Congress-UPA was in power. 1343 ceasefire violations have taken place and 12 direct attacks on our Army, Air Force and security establishment have taken place. The people of India elected the BJP because it was perceived as a stronger deterrent to such mayhem, but unfortunately, due to its political thirst of power, it has failed the people’s mandate and endangered National Security.

It is an unwritten convention in Jammu and Kashmir politics, that a national party plays an important role in the formation of the Government, so that India’s core interests remain intact. BJP has miserably faltered on that count.