But, who are the dacoits?

Shiban Khaibri

The people of Jammu and Kashmir would like to know all about those ”dacoits” who snatched “our flag” as complained recently by the former Chief Minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and the President of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti. Who were those dacoits, their composition, the manner of barging into the place where “our flag” was kept and how they “snatched” it and more importantly, what they were going to do with that. Common sense with the dacoits as well as those who feel robbed point to the uses and gains of such snatching indulged in by any type of dacoits , be they Highwaymen, robbers, bandits, raiders, muggers and the like. Of what use shall the snatched ”our flag” be to the said dacoits, is the moot question.
Before this new find of Mehbooba Ji was going to be further elaborated and dissected, can there be any other state in the country where most of its political leaders would dish out contradictory statements, offensive and sectarian statements, divisive and anti national statements and even laughable ones and keep on changing stances from time to time as we unfortunately have been witnessing since Pakistan invaded the then state of Jammu and Kashmir treacherously by sending unbridled herds of its regulars disguised as Qabayalies in October 1947. Inconsistency and unpredictability coupled with dissonances have been galore on the political canvas of this part of the country, confusing the people and making easy and virtually a cake walk for our belligerent neighbour afflicted with religious frenzy to create mischief, troubles and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Exploiting religious feelings, sowing seeds of doubts and fears, feigning some sort of special identity to be always under danger and other such tantrums from the political ”Rehnumas” have been the bane of the troubles troubling this troubled constituent of the country. Using uncouth, inflammatory , inciting and derogatory remarks by political leaders who having served the Parliament as its members and having held covetous political and administrative posts smacks of there being much more behind than meets the ordinary eye.
Let us define and decipher the ” dacoits” referred to by the Kashmiri leader. They are perhaps the Members of the Parliament whom the countrymen, under a proper and duly adopted constitution elect to make laws, amend laws, annul laws and rule the country. Since it is the Parliamentary form of Government that rules the country , the majority political party always rules but the participation of the opposition members is no less important as they are the watch and ward persons of the Government criticising, suggesting , proposing and even rejecting certain decisions of the government which again is what the constitution enshrines and enjoins upon them but the majority vote always prevails. Second most important aspect is that a government is a continuous entity which cannot stop or cease to function even for a minute denoting it to be a regular entity irrespective of which party was in power. Hence, a Parliament which chose to appoint Late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed as its Home Minister is the same Parliament which decided about one flag, one constitution and one set of laws for Jammu and Kashmir also . How can they be called as ”dacoits”?
It is the same constitution , same type of government dictated by the provisions of the constitution which gave Rs.80000 crore as massive developmental package to Jammu and Kashmir for opening of IIT, IIM and AIIMs and developing Highways , power generation, irrigation projects, drinking water, and for reviving those projects which for decades were lying defunct and shelved due to sheer incompetence and mismanagement of ”various hues” and absence of accountability and transparency. Special public outreach programmes – we saw for the first time – to know about the progress of these projects. Dacoits cannot do it , obviously not . Public outreach programmes comprise taking on an average more than 50 central schemes to all the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The tragedy is that the then State Governments from 2014 to 2018, spent only 37% of the whooping package of Rs.80000 crore , dacoits did not tell them to go so slow. Now, let a bit of calculations , very brief, be made in a spirit of business like to see how the “dacoits” behaved just during the past 16 years irrespective of whichever Government at the centre .
Despite having only 1% of the country’s population, Jammu and Kashmir (state) received 10 percent of all Central grants given to states during 2000- 2016 while a state like Uttar Pradesh with 13 percent of the country’s population received only 8.2 percent of such grants. Let stark facts be put before the public, in other words it means each and every person in Jammu and Kashmir received as much as Rs.92000 during the period as against just Rs.4300 per person in Utter Pradesh. CAG report of 2014 and 2015 in respect of Jammu and Kashmir finances, where it mentions about “serious financial irregularities” and pendency of inspection ”reports” and observations cannot be brushed aside or put under the carpet. How was “our flag” going to respond to all this is very important.
Moreover, why should Jammu and Kashmir have a separate flag? What benefits were reaped by a common Kashmiri or a Jammuite or a Ladakhi with “our flag” that with its departure, each one of the residents has been put to some grave disadvantage ? What is the logic behind having two flags, once it is principally agreed that Jammu and Kashmir was also an integral part of India just like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal or Punjab etc, and why should there be two constitutions unless it is a constant and perpetual reminder of ”things being conditional, optional and negotiable” which by the accession were settled on Oct 26, 1947 for ever. The plea that in 1947 “we took the decision based on what was promised to us and which was now snatched” smacked of nothing but keeping the pot of Kashmir boiling that it was unsettled or partially settled or as is frequently argued to be yet ”finally ” decided ”taking all stakeholders on board”.
Again, linking Jammu and Kashmir going with India in 1947 in which was instrumental its rightful Ruler Maharaja Hari Singh , no mention is there or any condition of special provision or incorporating a provision in the constitution which ”guaranteed” though on purely and neatly on temporary basis, an Article about conferring special status on Jammu and Kashmir. Why are such distortions even now spread and what was the purpose behind it ? Going down the memory lane, it was seven years after the accession , say in 1954 when this article bearing the status of “Temporary and Transitional ” was drafted by virtue of which Jammu and Kashmir was allowed to have its own flag, own constitution and autonomy over internal administration. However, how long can a provision , a temporary arrangement and a transitional understanding be deemed to last ? The simple answer could be 10 years , at best ten more , say 20 years and what rationale is there in urging for its continuance beyond 70 years unless extraneous considerations were weighing very high . The argument that the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir alone was authorised for recommending for its abrogation is as misleading as is taking the refuge under that condition since the Constituent Assembly was dissolved intentionally without keeping a due date notified for its abrogation and accordingly proceeded further in the matter.
Sheer common sense and discretion demand a limit to temporariness and no inelasticity so far as transitoriness were concerned . Some line had to be drawn by someone governing the country and a decision taken to bid farewell to this special status, via- annulment of Article 370. Leadership of both the NC and the PDP now keep on invoking the constitution of India and the “promises made with us” fearing that the greatest ”power” in their hands whilst in power and even outside – that of milking and cornering New Delhi , if not blackmailing it , had gone for ever. Things appear more difficult to them as there being no apparent or obscure mass support to the created hullabaloo by these leaders from any of the three regions of the erstwhile state , frustration and anger were reminiscent in their provocative rhetoric.
Attempts to drill waves of fears and doubts in the people are frantically made so that a new movement or a new shape to the virtual defunct Hurriyat ”Tehreek” got sprouted. May these leaders feel that the people of Jammu and Kashmir , especially in the valley, are sick , fatigued and fed up with the three decades long violence, spilling of innocents’ blood, hounding and ousting the entire ethic community – the indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir – the Kashmiri Pandits whose fate continues to be perilously hanging in the balance, loss of precious lives , business and property and now want to taste a long period of peace, tranquillity and development , please do not rake up issues of inconsequence and which are outdated and stale. Enough is very enough , now, much water flown down the Veth (Jehlum) cannot be put in reverse gear . That is simply impossible.