Has the worst happened or it is to follow?
It is almost seven decades now that Kashmir dispute stands looming more monstrously than any other conflict in the subcontinent, influencing the whole socio-political dynamics in the entire region. Earlier several wars, both overt and covert, were fought on this issue but now the new political genre is using it as a tool in their political game plan. Since 1931 when Kashmir politics came to lime light, Kashmir and its people have experienced many political ups and downs. After 1947 the fate of Kashmir cast by the indecisive Maharaja, egoistic Kashmiri leadership and more unfortunately the brewing sense of over-possession regarding Kashmir within the mind and psyche of Jawaharlal Nehru became more vulnerable to manipulative politics , particularly that of India and Pakistan.
For the last more than a decade Indian politics has become more Kashmir centric. Every major political party extracted maximum out of this conflict and secured their vote bank. With the arrival of invigorated BJP regime at centre, that too with complex personality like Nariender Modi on the wheels, Kashmir issue is becoming assuredly irrelevant. The most vital aspect of existing politics in India is governed by ‘Pakistan Bashing’ and unfortunately road to this malicious political doctrine runs through Kashmir. Under such charged atmosphere Kashmir issue is bound to get influenced adversely. The recent pullout of Indian leadership from scheduled India Pakistan foreign secretary level talks over a trivial issue of separatist leaders meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner is a prelude to a paradigm shift in present government’s policy regarding peaceful resolution of Kashmir conflict and relations with Pakistan in the best interest of people of the region. Hurriyat leadership meeting Pakistani representatives on Indian soil is not new. Earlier, at several occasions a wide spectrum of Kashmiri politicians was invited to such meetings. No doubt, it is the exclusive right of present government, its leadership and its political ideologues to revisit or change policies on such vital issues. But such change has to be practical and in the best interest of the people of this nation. Getting political mileage and earning brownie points with prospective electoral expansions in mind is not only bad in taste but smacks of murkier political intentions of present political dispensation. The rollback of Kashmir policy and shocking push-back from Modi Sarkar is so severe that hardliners like Syed Ali Shah Gilani had to reconsider his earlier stand on unification of Hurriyat and its leadership. Better late than never, it is nice to hear that Geelani has initiated the unity move. The earlier standstill policy of Hurriyat leadership (Geelani in particular) was an egoistic stand influenced by the narcissist mindset of almost every Hurriyat leader. Modi made them all to lick their wounds and think positively.
BJPs game plan to exploit Kashmir issue to strengthen and promote its political ideology and poll prospects looks very absurd in contemporary political scenario, but is working, and obviously bound to create confusion. Kashmir and its people have experienced very bad politics during the last several decades but it seems the coming days will be worst. Voices of political hatred against Kashmiris are not new but the nastiest of political abhorrence is demand for a political leadership based on religion. Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, the architect of Indian constitution would not have imagined even in his wildest dreams that one day such voices will make rounds in the political allays of his beloved nation. I think no sensible fellow will (and should not) oppose the chief minister-ship of a particular sect or religion after due process of law, but espousing procedure of political and religious exploitation to install one is not only unconstitutional but unethical. In a civilized society anyone who speaks against the provisions of the constitution or exploits any of its articles for his own interests will be prosecuted and punished, but here in the garb of politicking even constitution is not spared.
At present in a triangular situation where arrogance of Indian political leadership is at its peak; Kashmiri politics not only divided but battered and one of the important stake holders of Kashmir conflict—Pakistan indecisive on all fronts: the Kashmiri people, their land and their fate stands exposed to worst form of exploitation and on the crossroads of inconclusiveness. Only Almighty knows— wo subah kab aayegi.