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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: abdulruff
Full Name: Dr.Abdul Ruff Colachal
User since: 15/Mar/2008
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END OF FREEDOM STRUGGLE IN KASHMIR?

 

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL

_____________

 

 

 

Future and  present life of Kashmir Muslims  are being dictated by some scrupless section of Jammu Kashmir, Pakistan and India.  As a result,  in the force of uncontrollable  currents and developments, Kashmiris are at a crossroads.

 

 

True Kashmiris in Jammu Kashmir are now disappointed as their valuable votes have been rendered useless by their political leaders and central government.

 

 

Jammu Kashmir is now under President’s rule and Governor assumes real power in the state, officially.  President Pranab Mukherjee approved the recommendation of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra as deadlock continued in the State over formation of the new government after voters handed a fractured verdict in assembly elections.

According to latest reports, the J&K Governor N N Vohra had written to the Indian President about the continuing political impasse in the state. He has suggested several options, including Governor’s Rule.

Neither the Governor nor Indian government waited for deadline of January 19 given to JK parties for formation of government in JK.

Caretaker Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had requested the Governor to relieve him of his duties. After the hung verdict in assembly polls on December 23, the State has not witnessed installation of a newly elected government on account of hung verdict and talks remaining elusive between the PDP and the BJP.

Though the PDP and the BJP have been in talks over the last fortnight, an agreement has proved elusive. One section within the BJP believes that the party will benefit from being in government while another feels that the ideological differences with the PDP over CM and Deputy CM for a Hindu cannot be bridged. The PDP, too, is split with many of its members and constituents uneasy about an alliance with a party which they perceive as “anti- Muslim”. But a substantial section within the PDP is keen to form government and believes that a tie-up with the BJP will ensure benefits, including a smooth flow of funds from the Centre for the state’s development. The BJP said it was keeping all options open, including Governor’s Rule.

It is now clear that either Kashmiri parties have been denied permission by Indian government to form a government without the participation of BJP, or Kashmiri parties have chosen themselves to be treacherous to Kashmiri voters.

The PDP could have easily formed a government with the help of National Conference that has offered unconditional support for the PDP. However, the most viable option in JK suggested by the governor and New Delhi was a PDP-BJP government. While the numbers of both parties comfortably add up to well over a majority, the attempt to form a partnership though has been a tortuous one. One of the known hurdles is the ideological differences between the two parties, especially on the issue of Article 370 of the Constitution of India which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The scrapping, or at least revision, of Article 370 has always been high on the BJP’s agenda. In this election it strategically chose to keep the issue on the backburner, preferring instead to focus on development. This makes it somewhat easier for the BJP and the PDP to get together.

Clearly, BJP does not want development in JK if the party does not rule Kashmir.

Another obstacle is the issue of chief ministership. While the PDP believes that it should have the chief minister’s chair since it is the single largest party, the BJP has been pushing for a rotation system with the chief ministership being shared between the two parties. This is not an unusual arrangement and there is a precedent in J&K itself when Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, the chief patron of the PDP, shared chief ministership  with the Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad. Under the agreement, Sayeed was CM from 2002-2005 and Azad from 2005-2008. Since the BJP has known Hindutva agenda for Kashmir valley, the  PDP refused agree for a Hindu CM or Deputy CM.

True, BJP performed far better than in the 2008 elections where it won only 11 seats but anti-corruption mood tilted verdict to BJP’s advantage this time.  The continuing hold of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the electorate was a factor in the BJP’s impressive showing in the Hindu-dominated seats.  But the BJP failed in its much-publicised goal of ‘Mission 44’ — achieving a majority on its own in J&K.

Incidentally, Jammu region had the highest voter turnout which possibly helped the BJP.

Generally speaking, a rotation agreement makes good sense due to the arithmetic of the electoral verdict but the Hindutva agenda of BJP puzzles Kashmiri Muslims.  The PDP and the BJP enjoy a geographical majority in Kashmir and Jammu regions respectively, with the BJP having won 25 of the 37 seats in Jammu and the PDP 25 of the 46 seats in Kashmir.

 

In contrast, the BJP could not open its account in the Kashmir Valley winning only 2.2% of the vote there. This is despite the BJP giving 40% of its tickets to Muslims in the state. However, for the first time a Muslim candidate, Abdul  Gani Kohli, won on a BJP ticket.

Kohli won from the Kalakote constituency in the Muslim-majority Rajouri district in Jammu. In Ladakh, too, the BJP performed poorly being unable to win any of the four seats in the region where alone Congress made its mark. .

In fact, the BJP’s overall vote share in J&K fell by over nine percentage points from 32.4% in the 2014 parliamentary elections going to show that state elections do not always mirror the national polls.

 

Despite good performance by Muslim parties in Kashmir, lack of unity among Muslims was evident. While the BJP was able to consolidate the Hindu vote in Jammu, the Muslim vote was divided in Kashmir. The PDP, the NC and the Congress all vied for the Muslim vote preventing the PDP from fully capitalising on the anti-incumbency sentiments against the outgoing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his NC party. Despite anti-incumbency and the effect of the floods that ravaged the state not long before the elections, the NC did not do as badly as expected winning nearly 21% of the vote and managed to keep the PDP’s tally down. Given the circumstances, the Congress too did reasonably well winning 12 seats, five fewer than what it had won in 2008.

 

Clearly, the winner of Jammu Kashmir in recently held assembly poll is neither PDP nor NC but BJP. In fact, Indian BJP government has won the polls held in Jammu Kashmir recently that produced hung assembly and a split mindset among Kashmiri parties.  BJP won because notwithstanding a majority in the assembly the Kashmiri parties could not agree to form a government, offering chances for BJP to indirectly rule JK.

Maybe,  JK  governor and  BJP would try to  coerce the PDP to come to term with  Hindutva agenda and form a joint government some time later. It is quite possible another poll is looming large in JK.  And, as usual, the separatist Hurriyat parties would not contest the poll unless Pakistan asks them to change their approach tactfully. . .

True Kashmiris stand betrayed!  They know all talks about freedom are bogus and pure deceit. India, Pakistan and Kashmiri parties play a sort of joint politics to fool the Kashmiri people. Those Kashmiris who live abroad also do not seek sovereignty but favors from Pakistan and India.  Business is the essence of their brand politics too.

They have got innocent Kashmiri Muslims killed by Indian forces in encounters, both real and fake ones; they have betrayed the Kashmiris with doublespeak and mischief. .

 

As it stands, the present clueless status of Kashmiri Muslims will

remain almost forever, although the  freedom-sovereignty   road for

Kashmiris cannot be said to be closed once for all. .

 

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