Of Masrat Alam Drama And Beyond
By Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat
12 March, 2015
I think of the days when Mufti Mohammad Syed, with the support of Congress forged an alliance with Congress and formed a coalition government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2002. Mufti Mohammad Syed, assumed the charge as sixth Chief Minister (CM) of the state. His “healing touch” policy and “self rule” slogan were hot and blistering topics of discussions and debates. But this was confined to a particular section or class of society, the class of political pundits and analysts. Masses at general were unable and ineffectual to comprehend politically moot, contextually vague, philosophically rich and diplomatic fruitful shibboleths. Thus people at general were upstaged from PDP- Congress coalition government. However, this aloofness and detachment was very short lived. Mufti Syed, started to ride the mind and psyche of masses with his diplomatic and tactful policies and programmes. Tightening the noose of Special Task Force (STF) and Ikhwan (pro- Indian gun men) and making them almost toothless tiger bestowed people a sigh of relief from long repression and suppression. The policy of fast track recruitment kept people especially “educated” lot busy in competition and rivalry. The programme of demolition and deconstruction or what officially was named as beautification drive occupied the head of people and kept them concerned of themselves.Mufti and Company practiced Macaulian and Kautlian politics in the state of Jammu and Kashmir and beautifully understood the context in which he was practicing it. Though people in the state were not threaten or rumored of foreign attack or aggression to avoid any kind of revolt, revolution and resentment as pledged by Macaulay and Kautlya. But the mind and psyche of people were engaged and occupied with policies like, fast track recruitment, and“healing touch” and programmes like deconstruction and reconstruction. This resulted loose of “separatist” grip over the masses. People were hardly giving any heed to “separatist” strike and boycott call even there used to lukewarm response to Geelani’s, strike and boycott calls until Amarnath Land Sell out ( Amarnath Land Row) was brought out and exposed.
Again Mufti Mohammad Syed, has forged an alliance, an alliance with “ideologically different political party”, about which Mufti Syed, himself said, it is a bond between North Pole and South Pole. With the support of BJP, Mufti Mohammad Syed, formed a coalition government and took again the charge as Chief Minister’s of the state. From the very first day (March,1),Mufti assumed charge of his office, he stoked a controversy by “ praising” militants, separatists and Pakistan for allowing conducive atmosphere for polls in the state. This according to many was a deliberate and calculated move on the part of Mufti. He designed to win the favour and sentiments of people of valley, who are said to be “angry” with PDP over government formation with BJP.
The issue and controversy was yet to cool down that the political tsunami stormed in the state rather whole country with the release of Masrat Alam, (a separatist leader), echoes of which were heard in both the houses of Indian Parliament. Opposition parties demanded suspension of Mufti government and pressed BJP for withdrawal of support to PDP. The main “opposition” party in the State NC calculated it wrong and reacted very childish. Following the legacy of his ancestors Omer Abdullah (Ex- Chief Minister and President of NC) could not hold his nerve and experienced verbal diarrhea. Without wasting any second twitter Chief Minister (Name ascribed by Nietizens to Omer Abdullah) logged in to his twitter account and tweeted “Yes, my Govt detained Masrat Alam & we kept him out of circulation”. Omer did not face only wrath of netizens but masses at general condemned his verbal diarrhea. It raised question marks on the role of law and judiciary in the state. This did not slip the tarnished image of Omer further but gave Mufti Syed, an ample opportunity to score politically especially in the valley.
Despite the fact that Mufti had no direct role in the release of Alam, he exploited the political immaturity and pettiness of Omer and credited PDP for the release of Alam, by taking responsibility on his own shoulders. According to letter written on February 4, almost a month before Mufti Syed was sworn as Chief Minister of the state, Jammu and Kashmir Home Department wrote to District Magistrate Jammu, that an order to detain Alam, under Public Safety Act had become void. In response to the letter District Magistrate Jammu wrote to the police that preventive detention of Alam, had “not been approved by the government” and he (Alam) should be released. So what is the role of Mufti Syed in the release of Alam? One thing is certain and sure that Mufti Syed succeeded once again to sit on heads of masses and ride on the direction he wishes them to hinge on. At bus stops, shops, markets, colleges, trains, hospitals, parks, or other public places no matter whether people are in talk (sitting) or walk they are engaged and occupied in political discourse.
The things are being repeated and replayed what was performed and played seven years back when Mufti Syed forged a coaliation government with Congress. The formation of coalition government and occupation of public mind resulted transfer of forest land (called sell out by many), God knows better what is being cooked and fudged behind the scene. Masrat Alam’s row just seems a drama scripted by some hidden and veiled writers with Modi, (Prime Minister of India) Rajnath, (Home Minister) and Mufti Syed,(Chief Minister) as important characters. The drama has been played with Mufti’s role as survivor, Avatar, and Messiah for the people of Kashmir and sensational with PM Modi’s remarks “I share the opposition’s aakrosh (anger)”. While as Rajnath Singh, has attempted a new twist to the drama by asking a written report from the state government. The beginning of the drama is so sensational and twisting; God knows what would be the end.
Dr. Fayaz Ahmad Bhat,is a student of Sociology, social activist, teaches Sociology at Degree College, Banihal, Jammu and Kashmir, India
Comments are moderated