BJP in dilemma

Rajan Gandhi
Another attack another outrage another round of rhetoric and jingoism but in reality this suicide bomber attack on CRPF convoy has not gone well with the masses of India especially BJP vote bank. PM Modi and his team has been successful till now in putting all controversial issues like Ram Mandir, Article 370, Article 35A or any other issue which was very much part of their 2014 manifesto but was put on back burner , no more a matter of concern for them till BJP lost two UP parliamentary by-elections and more recently loss of three states, two big one Rajasthan and Madhya Pardesh, to Congress which brought the whole BJP to their senses as till then they have not lost any state election till Karnataka but even this loss they treated as one odd loss . All these victories throughout first four years made them too arrogant with a feeling that Indian public is still mesmerized by their ‘jumallas’ despite demonetization and GST but as they say every good thing has to end some day but unfortunately this happened just after conclusion of last Parliament Session when PM Modi has successfully blunted the opposition attack on him specifically on Rafale which got punctured after CAG report. But the loss of these 44+ CRPF jawans has done more damage than anything else.
Coming to our own state where BJP rode on anti Kashmir sentiments along with giving patriotic dreams like abolishing article 370 and 35 A but after a failed Mission 44+ but still getting dream 25 MLAs BJP got it all wrong and aligned with PDP with a specific AoA, Agenda of Alliance which put Article 370 and Article 35A to dustbin and all together different appeasement started as if being part of Jammu and Kashmir Government was more important than any nationalistic viewpoint. Thousands of stone-pelters were released after permission from Home Ministry, FIRs got registered against army personnel despite AFSPA very much applicable in our state after consultation with Defence Ministry, strategic bunkers were removed like at Handwara, army/para military/ CRPF were restrained to act against stone-pelters during operations against terrorists, use of pellet guns was stopped, video of jawan heckled by Kashmiris went viral and never ever so much was done to demoralize our valiant forces who despite all these were fighting for safeguarding the interests of our country. While all this was happening in Kashmir even Jammu was not spared as Nuashera, Sunderbani , Rasana, Kathua and CM order on to police not to act against Tribal encroachers of state land speaks about the intent of PDP led Government. Despite all these concessions by BJP, CM Mehbooba was Super CM talking directly to PM or HM and rest all were nothing, just reduced to yes men of hers. During last year’s Ramzan she insisted for ceasefire and BJP bowed to her wishes and ultimately the Centre announced suspension of operations on May 17 – the first day of Ramzan. It was an attempt on part of the Centre to prepare conducive environment in the Kashmir Valley for peace. But the official data of the MHA show that terror attacks saw over 100 per cent rise during Ramzan. Around 25 terror-related incidents took place in Jammu and Kashmir during the preceding month – April 17 – May 16 before ceasefire announcement. This increased to 66 during the period of ceasefire – May 17 – June 13.The terror incidents included 22 cases of grenade attacks and another 23 cases of indiscriminate firing by the militants. The period also saw attacks on civilians and killings of noted journalist Shujaat Bukhari and Indian Army jawan Aurangzeb, who was abducted while he was on his way home for Eid and shot dead. The separatists also did not support the Centre’s unilateral ceasefire move and continued to stoke fire. The incidents of stone pelting, however, saw decline during this period. But videos did do rounds on social media showing security forces coming under attacks unprovoked by a group of stone pelters, who draw support from separatists.
All these happenings were too much for BJP which ultimately pulled the rug and Governor’s rule was imposed. Mehbooba Mufti opposed what she called “muscular policy” of the Centre against terrorism in Kashmir Valley and BJP saw her policy as “soft separatism” that impeded anti-terror operations but the public was forced to bear the brunt of this alliance of North and South poles. The Centre was under pressure for taking “exemplary” action against the militants in the aftermath of the twin killings of Bukhari and Aurangzeb. The pressure reflected in Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to the home of killed jawan Aurangzeb within hours of President Ram Nath Kovind giving assent to Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir. Replacement of CS, DGP among many others, like successful completion of Panchayat and Local Bodies election despite the fact that elections for Anantnag parliamentary constituency were never held during the last 4 years since Mehbooba became CM under the pretext of security but Farooq Abdullah became MP despite only 7.14 percent polling. NIA raids were also carried out with much fanfare but no net results, despite clinching proofs nothing was done against top Hurriyat cadre and obviously all fizzled out with the passage of time. Central interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma was also appointed but this move too became irrelevant with the passage of time. In between all this all development works were grounded never to take off till imposition of President’s rule.
So practically speaking BJP wasted these precious five years and ultimately after Pathankot, Uri and now Pulwama there are no takers for the BJP’s soft policy towards Kashmir. Blow hot blow cold, all carrots no stick are few timeless sayings but BJP has learnt it a hard way around. There is already allegation that a “soft” BJP-led Government in 1999 helped lay the “foundation of terrorism” in the entire world by releasing three dreaded terrorists following hijacking of an Indian Airlines plane including Azhar Masood now Chief of JeM, Jaish E Mohammad, who founded it in 2000, carried out Parliament attack in 2001, Mumbai attack in 2008, Pathankot airbase attack in 2016 , Uri attack in 2016 and now Pulwama attack. More disheartening is the fact that India has been unable to even get this Masood Azhar nominated as Global terrorist as time and again it has been blocked by China in UN.
This horrible terror attack in Pulwama has been carefully planned by anti India and anti Modi forces with a perfect timing as Modi Government has been left with no other option than to act in the shortest possible time as election dates are to be announced soon as such there is a window of merely of 30 to 45 days within which they need to plan something spectacular, a major one in order to show “avenge”. This has to be politically decisive for Modi’s re-election. The pressure to avenge is immense but a democratic government has limited options. A total war in a very short time is bound to have military, international and economic outfalls of catastrophic levels as a hurriedly planned war can result into a disaster for an attacker as any war needs at least six months of planning and preparation. In current scenario, politically Modi doesn’t have that window. Second option to go for another surgical strike also needs a careful planning of weeks again but time is not enough as with the resultant major casualties, if any, in such a strike will bring glees to faces of anti Modi politicians and off course anti Indian forces of all kinds. Third option, as demanded or wished by large number on radical nationalists, angry common citizens or instigating politicians is to go for stringent measures in Kashmir, go after Hurriyat, politicians and anyone or everyone who has supported the terror groups and separatists ever. Well, very fine to say but Indian capacity to carry out black operations had been rendered to almost zero in past three decades and it takes almost similar time to build a reliable one. Modi only has democratic forces to support him. So which Army officer, IAS or IPS will he chose to carry out such black ops? Have we forgotten about Gujarat, Ishrat Jahan or Sohrabuddin cases? Have we forgotten about IPS’s like Sanjeev Bhatt and Rajiv Kumar?
As such with limited options it seems BJP has been caught in a web of its own. With dozens of those martyred belonging to Hindi heartland, place of their own vote bank it’s not going to be easy for BJP to counter this anger of public, it seems at least not this time. Coming to our own state once again like 2008 Shri Amarnath agitation once again people of Jammu are on streets, anger is visible and no tangible action means direct impact on coming elections. Power of democracy is like this only, when Congress was in power BJP used to say enough not done but when you got 300 plus you also did nothing except ‘ ninda, ghor ninda or kadi ninda’ , but remember this lip service of ninda is not going to give you seats in bulk this time. You have to act and act decisively.