Why Gupkaris demand return to Status Quo

Brig Anil Gupta (retd)
It’s surprising that how blatantly Abdullahs and Muftis continue to pedal lies and sell the false narrative that “Despite being a Muslim majority state, we decided to join India.” The historical fact is that J&K was a princely state. The decision to join either India or Pakistan was left solely to the Ruler of the State and the subjects had no say in that. Subjects had the choice to migrate to the country of their choice.
As claimed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah that it was due to Gandhi ji that “we decided to stay with India” is also an afterthought. The fact is that Sheikh Abdullah felt unsafe in front of other Muslim leaders of J&K who were much taller than him in stature. He knew his ambition of being a ruler can never be fulfilled if he also migrated to Pakistan, which was then emerging as a nation of feudal lords.
Sheikh in order to fulfil his ambition of ruling Kashmir after overthrowing the Dogra Maharaja with active support of Nehru cleverly decided to raise his own political party, raised a cadre of loyalists and developed close friendship with Nehru. He succeeded in overthrowing the Maharaja through deceit.
He thereafter started to unfold his real intention of becoming the sole ruler of J&K with total disdain for any opposition. He prompted his cadre to promote his ambition through slogans like Ek Rahnuma-Sher-e-Kashmir, Ek Jammat-National Conference, Ek Jhanda-Hal” (One Leader-Sheikh Abdullah, One Party-National Conference, One Flag-Plough-NC’s flag), thereby undermining the authority of the government of India yet the GOI failed to understand his ambition and kept ignoring and supporting his authoritarian behaviour leading to exclusivity and discrimination ignoring the people of the other two regions: Jammu and Ladakh. To ensure his ambition is not curtailed or nipped in the bud, he ensured inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution of India and signing of Delhi Declaration which ultimately led to unconstitutional inclusion of Article 35A clandestinely. His greed for power and pelf as well as desire to promote his family rule is magnified by his subsequent actions, to which history is the witness.
Thus, it is evident that whatever Abdullahs and others did was to safeguard and promote their family rule rather than for the welfare of all the people of J&K. He believed in exclusivity and so do his successors who pretend to be secular. Radicalisation, separatism, terrorism and safeguarding family interests is their agenda.
Many loyalists of Sheikh parted ways with him or his party at different times mainly to promote the interests of their own families and for nothing more or less. These families fought with each other bitterly by floating their own political parties including some of them promoting Pakistan’s interests by dancing to the tunes of ISI and anti – India lobby in that country. However, they all continued to amass wealth by misusing liberal funding from India, manipulations, land grabbing and later via the Roshni Scheme. The rules and statutes were made in the State only to be kept in the statute books and were flouted with impunity by the privileged families. The common masses got nothing but occasional doles which made them more dependent on these families.
As these tunnel visioned valley based parties wanted wider acceptability, they decided to expand into the other two regions of the state. Unfortunately, there was no dearth of pliable people who willingly joined them with intent to curry favours, thus ignoring the interests of the common masses. A narrative was built that the Kashmiri leaders were all in all and were there to rule for ever. For the other two regions to survive there was no option but to support them. Despite blatant discriminations, the people of these two regions continued to suffer in silence while their representatives remained mum for fear of losing favour of their Kashmiri leaders.
The Kashmiri leadership never imagined even in their wildest of dreams that one day they would become irrelevant non-entities in the same territory which they nurtured as their fiefdom till 05 August 2019 happened.
Post 05 August 2019, they forgot all their differences and once again came together under the umbrella of Gupkar Alliance in order to fight for restoration of status quo so that they can continue to promote their family interests. They also realised that without power in their hands they will not be able to continue with their authoritative style of functioning without bothering for rules and accountability. What else can be the reason for the State having no Anti- Corruption Bureau or remaining out of the purview of Comptroller and Auditor General of India prior to its reorganisation in 2019?
Their struggle for restoration of pre – 05 August 2019 status is determined by the same greed and intent which the senior Abdullah nurtured in 1948.
By bringing in the issue of Plebiscite, Farooq Abdullah is again trying to build a false narrative hiding the facts from the people. Plebiscite as per the United Nations Resolution 47 and 80 was conditional and the conditions for the same were never complied by the occupier Pakistan. In any case, where is the need of Plebiscite when the choice existed for those who wanted to migrate to Pakistan and be treated there as “Mohajirs” for generations. The reality is that a few who exercised that choice returned to the Indian side after the 65 and 71 wars after being humiliated by the Pak authorities.
The hankering for assembly elections by the Gupkaris is motivated by self-interest and not the interest of the masses. Emotional exploitation of the masses and polarization are their time tested tools for electoral victory which they hope to exploit yet again. But the ultimate agenda remains the same ,i.e., Radicalisation, separatism, terrorism and safeguarding the family interests.
(The author is a Jammu based veteran, political commentator, security and strategic analyst)