Satwant Singh Rissam
Last week more than 30 Kashmir-centric leaders were shifted from Centaur hotel to MLA hostel by Jammu & Kashmir administration in Srinagar. Now this new development has many connotations and one is that the Centre Government is still not in a mood to release out these leaders soon. This is also becoming an emotional nightmare for friends and family members of all these detained leaders. In fact, it has created a worrisome situation in the entire Jammu and Kashmir and triggered some social pressure too. In the social circles of Jammu & Kashmir, especially Jammu region, the debate has started as to what was lost and what was gained after centre reorganized Jammu & Kashmir on 5th August this year. On this all, BJP appears firm that this step is a sign of upcoming positive situation in the Jammu and Kashmir. However, I believe shutting eyes to all these new building narratives in Jammu post 5th August isn’t good for the BJP led Centre Government. Moreover, by answering everything in the name of law and order problems to Jammuites won’t take them far. Besides, it is in total an adventurism added with political emotion and this may give rise to new shape of politics in Jammu as was witnessed decades back in Kashmir.
It was known from the beginning that taking any extreme step on Jammu and Kashmir would pose serious problems. So by keeping three former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state of J&K into preventive custody for almost four months is not solution of the problem. Initially, it was believed that these leaders will be set free within a few weeks but it has not happened. Their detention appears to have been prolonged may be because these leaders might be continuing to remain rigid with their demands. After being shifted from a hotel to a hostel there is possibility that they could further be shifted to jails if the government wants to pressurize them on its own terms. I think all these leaders have to realize that situation has entirely changed for Jammu and Kashmir under the Indian constitution and undoing it won’t be easy for any political party. These leaders now onwards cannot formulate the terms on their own, for dealing with the Centre Government which is already devising methods to defend its step on Jammu and Kashmir with every passing day.
Of all what has happened since 5th August the biggest problem is the political vacuum which has been created in Jammu and Kashmir. I feel the hardened stance adopted by BJP won’t dilute soon and if Kashmiri leaders don’t show flexibility then they may have to spend more months in the confinement. It is all because these conditions totally suit the working of the BJP led Centre Government. Since the days of Satyapal Malik, the Central Government has made it clear that all those who challenge the centre government won’t be tolerated and all doors of talks with them are closed. For me, the leaders in Kashmir especially of mainstream political parties are now left with very few options. They all have to re-strategize if they want to remain relevant in the politics of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and take on BJP in the political circles of Jammu and Kashmir. The best example for all of them is the newly formed Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in the Maharashtra.
Presently, the country is being run on the spirit of nationalism and keeping all such leaders under detention who oppose BJP helps BJP politically. So clearly for its own political interest BJP won’t shy to keep all these leaders in jails. In the new Jammu and Kashmir the political system has changed with the end of special status, so it is clear that politicians too have to change in order to survive. All leaders here in Jammu and Kashmir have to mend their ways and run with the national mainstream to take on BJP which has shattered their political interests.
If they don’t end the conventional methods then jail terms won’t end. The BJP is politically claiming whole of Jammu and Kashmir and it’s high time for these politicians to come out to end the political crisis in this part of the democratic country.
(The views of the author are personal)
Satwant Singh Rissam