Kashmir Conspiracy J&K’s tryst with the 3rd front

Ashish Kaul
When democratic stakes are made on social media platforms, Governor is believed to have cited lack of manpower in Raj Bhawan and the great dance of democracy is pinned to a sole Fax machine then we sure are talking about the travesty of governance in Jammu & Kashmir. Ever since the ‘Kashmir Conspiracy case’ filed by the then Govt. of Kashmir and the Investigations Department of Govt. of India against Sheikh Abdullah, Mirza Afzal Baigh and 22 others in 1958 that saw the great Sheikh behind bars for over a decade; to the cinematic dissolution of the State Assembly by the Governor yesterday – Jammu & Kashmir finds itself caught in a time loop. The message is clear; Government of India has not learned even the first leaf of the great Kashmir story.
The modern History of Kashmir began at the dawn of early 1947 in the backdrop of horrific and treacherous Kabaili raids. That was the time of secularism at its peak in modern Kashmir post the horrors of ethnic cleansing. In a time that saw millions butchered in the name of India Pakistan partition and religion, Kashmir was the Felix Asia – the light of Asia with Muslims with wooden staffs, sickles and whatever they could find – maintaining vigil across Srinagar in the name of peace and Hindu Muslim brotherhood. It was the great Sherwani who paid the price of being crucified because he misled the Pakistani Army mixed with the tribals to ensure safety of Kashmiris without any prejudice of caste and religion. It was eventually the massacre of Jammu that perhaps had set a flawed understanding and a narrow perspective to what eventually became the Kashmir Problem. Ever since 1947, the central leadership has been imposing a non-Kashmiri agenda on the valley and the political experts who have zero understanding of Kashmir have compounded the problem. Irrespective of Nehruvian ideologists or the present day Government, they has erred beyond redemption in having people with no understating of the great history of Kashmir, furthermore appointing people who depended on people who themselves had or have no knowledge of Kashmir. No one has ever recognized that Jammu & Kashmir is a set of 4 radically distinct geo-socio-political regions with almost nothing in common. This is explained by the steadfast failure of ‘Politics of Numbers’ that all Central Governments have adopted ever since the great Kashmir conspiracy case that had to be dismissed in the name of sanity.
These failures have created a need for the third front with many names and Sajjad Lone as a front runner. Third front has been the flavor of the season due to landslide BJP victory across the Indian planes. New Delhi is a shining example of how the shift from traditional political ideologies to ‘something new and radical’. Arvind Kejriwal is a reflection and a representative of a silent voter that believes they have been wronged; otherwise how is it possible that the strongest ever Government with the strongest ever Prime Minister could not twice capitalize chances to form Government in New Delhi. I believe this is the emergence of a brave new India led by youth. India is the youngest Nation with over 70 percent population under 32. Kashmir in particular has a incredible youth population; about 60 Lac youth in the age group of 10 to 24 and an astounding healthy sex ratio of roughly 980 females to 1000 males. That’s among the healthiest social order anywhere. More so, these are adults who reason, they question and they are not afraid to digress. This is a silent majority that have seen continuance of dynastic and appeasement rule in one form or the other. Youth now is more educated, aware, lives in a Global village and understands the politics of numbers and compulsions.
I believe successive Central Governments have pushed Kashmir to the precipice of a transformation and hence a third front will pave way for a brave new Kashmir that will be led by the youth of Kashmir. Furthermore, it is time that Central Governments realize that you can’t run or govern Kashmir from a Jammu, Ladakh or New Delhi perspective. What works for Poonch, Rajouri, PirPanjal regions, Leh and Ladakh, Jammu does not work for Kashmir and more so leaders turned masters and advisors not thorough with Vedic Kashmir can never help resolve Kashmir. Last eight years have been a testimony that Kashmir has time and again been failed by no one but leaders. I empathize with Omar Abdulla when he said in the Press Conference that Kashmir has been destroyed – I also sympathise with him that he did not have the courage to accept the responsibility himself. Same is true for the Mufti’s – they remain unapologetic about their failed governance. In the same breath, I also feel sorry for the Governor for apparently towing a line that is convenient to the Centre’s ideology of a Number game. I very much doubt that it is the Governors role to police, investigate and assume – there are constitutional bodies for that. While the BJP leadership may have averted an imminent threat but in the longterm they have pushed Kashmir back by another 50 years. Failure in Ladakh is a reflection of how uneducated Central Governments have been about the state. Whereas, the Hindutva may appear to be a driving force to many but I don’t think that is the truth.
The so called Saffron agenda has not delivered on anything so far; lets leave Ayodhya aside, they have neither delivered on 370, nor 35 and neither on UT status for Ladakh region – which some say due to continuance of appeasement for the Muslim majority of the state. From a state perspective, in my opinion, Jammu has been the worst sufferer; forever collapsing public infrastructure and governance is a clear reflection of that. The once glorious city of Jammu is a pile of garbage heap, nonexistent roads, uncivilized driving and Darbar – Jammu clearly is bursting from seams. Kashmir in particular needs a brave and a bold new regime that will not hesitate to accept previous failures and come forth clean and say we all will wipe out the slate clean and work in restoring an understanding, peace and above all Kashmiriyat which will take care of everything else.
(The author is an eminent media personality)


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