Introspect and adopt restorative measures…
Over a period political canvas in the entire subcontinent has changed drastically and in Kashmir this change has been more radical than any other part of the region. Because of dispute and conflict Kashmir politics has become so fluid that it is pretty difficult to predict any likely political equation. Both external and internal happenings and developments significantly influence Kashmir politics. During the last more than six decades political front in Kashmir has been dominated by a particular political dynasty. Shifting from nationalistic political stance to traditional political stand almost three generations of this dynasty have tasted exciting power and are desperate to remain clung to power at whichever enormity of manipulation.
However, recent parliamentary elections in Jammu and Kashmir changed the arrangement and balance of politics in the state; particularly, within Kashmir valley it was beyond anybody’s imagination. Unexpected and swift are the appropriate words that sum-up the recent political shift (rather a coup) on conventional political front. Undoubtedly, parliamentary elections by any standard are no pointers to predict or anticipate future political trend or outcome, but yes these elections have created a panicky situation within the political class: most disturbed being the political opportunists and the turncoats. After abolition of autocratic rule in 1947 a new class of politicians dominated Kashmir politics and at that stage under the influence of patriotic euphoria interests of the downtrodden and the exploited common people was the only agenda. Integrity and loyalty were the only attributes that would explore a politician out of a humble sole irrespective of his status and stature. During the last six decades many modest souls of most humble background dominated state’s political arena for decades. Some of them are holding the fort even today, but unfortunately now with a radically changed mindset and diminishing levels of integrity they have become politically redundant. Undeniably, a hopeless shift in Kashmir politics and political thinking! Humble teachers and virtuous intellectuals who would once shape the contours of state’s politics are presently neck deep in trading politics against power and personal interests. Politicians who would once prefer a traditional woolen coat and skull cap of honesty and integrity over silk suits—the trademarks of corruption are no more the same honest and honorable community leaders but prefer to be known as facilitators of plunder and saviors of self-styled elite.
As I mentioned earlier recent elections have created panic and most of the political class want to be on the right side of the political fence and secure their positions. Traditional politicians and powerful opportunists apart, now a different class of people have developed epidemic fascination for power through politics. Bureaucrats, trade union leaders, industrialists, professionals are a new class of people who are attracted to political power. In a democracy every citizen has a right to choose or change his profession and the only benchmarks are integrity and commitment towards inspiring cause of welfare of Aam Admi (common man). Unfortunately, the present sets of people who are attracted to politics and are preferred darling of every political outfit have no standing on the scale of righteousness. Most of the bureaucrats under prevailing administrative confusion relish unlimited power during their tenure and get hooked to power. They cannot afford remaining away from power. Same is the case with other opportunists. So, politics is the only greener pasture where they can explore possibilities of unbridled power. That is why a good chunk of retired sycophantic bureaucrats and self-styled trade union leaders start grooming themselves much ahead of their formal departure from active service. Knowing the tricks of the political trade while working in close proximity of politicians these ‘Babus’ are well versed with political manipulation and know the right time and right political place to be in.
Present political scenario that has emerged out of anti-incumbency wave against a particular political dispensation has created a fertile political pasture. Every opportunist and sycophant stands in the beeline to have their share of power from this prospective political goldmine. And interestingly, the elated political party under the influence of sweeping victory has opened the floodgates for every Tom Dick and Harry. Inebriated under the influence of electoral triumph and brighter prospects of power the political party and its leadership are unable to differentiate between over-ambitious monsters and the humble politicians. In this scheming political atmosphere, where does the ‘Gareeb Kashmiri’ fit? The emerging potential political dispensation and its leadership should introspect and adopt restorative measures or otherwise should keep the recent political drubbing in mind and be ready for their share of thrashing..