Toppling Game In Kashmir
By Raja Jaikrishan
27 June, 2010
Not a day passes when one or two youth don’t get killed in the Kashmir valley. Some of them are angry demonstrators, others members of militant outfits or security forces.
These boys dare the paramilitary with violent protest and in retaliation the forces open fire and the boys get killed.
This flare- up has perturbed and agitated Chief Minister Omar Farooq .He has blamed the Opposition parties for engineering ‘trouble “ to topple his government.
Engineering demonstrations for destabilizing the government of the day with the help of the separatists is not new to the valley.
PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the first to start the demonstrations for the resolution of the Kashmir question around the time initiatives were taken to restart the stalled talks.
The PDP says the chief minister has lost the moral right to rule the state. The Mirwaiz has asked Mr Abdullah to ‘admit your failure and step down’.
The former home minister knows it well that when the para-military opens fire at over-confident mob, it shoots to kill. The death of a demonstrator triggers off another demonstration and the cycle continues.
Sensing this destabilization game Governor N.N Vohra has called senior CRPF officers to Raj Bhavan. He is reported to have advised them to exercise restraint while dealing with the stone-throwing crowds.
The pursuits of power made the Mufti quit the Congress and float the People’s Democratic Party. He allied with the Congress and became the chief minister. The tenuous relationship broke midway and the Amarnath land transfer row broke. The elections that followed brought Omar Abdullaha to power. Now the Mufti is at the toppling game.
The Chief Minister has been lobbying hard to replace the Armed Forces Special Powers Act with a humane law. Union Home Minister has also given an assurance in this regard. If this happens the secessionist will gloat over it .The sea of demonstrators will get a free run .The lawlessness will make it a fit case for President’s rule –a conducive atmosphere for the Mufti to bid for power.
The culture of quotas, concessions and permits has worked against the inclusive growth. This approach has ensured easy access to subsistence and created space for the appeased majority to keep the bogey of secessionism alive. Insecurity caused by the Indo-Pak wars has fomented communal, regional and secessionists aspirations.
The successive chief ministers made use of the secessionists’ unrest to either get more funds from the Centre alibi for development (read to line their pockets). And the out of power politicians use the real or perceived discrimination against the communities to topple the governments. The Hindu communalists’ agitation of 1967 was used by out-of power Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad to topple the GM Sadiq government.
It were Plebiscite Front leaders (The Sheikh was in detention outside the state) who restrained the enraged population from turning violent following the communal speeches of Hindu Sabha And JanSangh leaders during the agitation.
According to MJ Akbar, the politics of mix and match started by Farooq Abdullaha also became victim of the ambition of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the then Pradesh Congress chief. He sabotaged the alliance to realize his ambition of becoming the chief minister. Late GM Shah defected from the National Conference for the same reason.
The most adventurous alliance was the double Farooq phenomenon. Dr Farooq Abdullah formed an alliance with the then Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq. It was literally and metaphorically the coming together of the lion and the goat. Dr Farooq’s National Conference being lion and the Mirwaiz’s Awami Action Committee the goat.
The alliance brought the National Conference to power and gave free run to the secessionist fringe. It was during this period the clergy from Ashareas school replaced the syncretism of Kashmir. It was a major shift from Islam tempered by the teachings of Shiekh-ul- Alam Shiekh Nurudeenwali and Lalded to dogmatists and fatalists.
The ascendancy of Taliban in Afghanistan, courtesy the USA, spilled over to Kashmir. Besides terrorizing the cowered Pandits the Wahabi Taliban reduced the shrine of Sheikh-ul- Alam to ashes. It goes to the credit of vast majority of Muslims that they helped the Pandits to make good their escape.
The two decades of death and destruction has achieved the purge of Pandits and turned the Kashmir into another communal question.