Of CM’s speech and a neglected land called Sopore…..
From embattled (I mean political embattlement only), neglected and discriminated Sopore Chief Minister Omar Abdullah accused separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani of daydreaming and exploiting people in the name of freedom and self-determination. After a pretty long period Mr. Abdullah bothered to visit Sopore to fulfill his long pending desire—to address people of Sopore in their own land. The wish came true but only to counteract the political stand of SAS Geelani. At Maharajpora Sopore addressing and cautioning the people Omar said, “It was my desire to address you here and make you aware of the losses you and your progeny are being subjected to negative politics and I ask you to rise to the occasion and decide for yourself to make your destiny bright and prosperous”. Maharajpora, where from Omar Abdullah tried to tackle Geelani has a history of its own. Maharajpora had the distinction of having Kashmir’s first mechanized food processing plant set up by visionary Abdul Samad Pandith in early fifties along with several of his industrial and business ventures in Sopore. And then at the height of armed struggle Maharajpora was hub of resistance movement—almost beyond the control of administration for several years. Anyways, daydreaming charge was defended by Geelani and his team by firing salvos of counter political accusation from his well fortified Hyderpora office cum residence. Interestingly, both Geelani and Omar trained their guns against each other on the shoulders of people of Sopore.
Accused of being nerve center of dissent, Sopore has suffered a lot on all fronts. Fighting spurious pesticides and administrative indifference it’s much talked about horticulture sector which sustained the economy of this whole area even in most turbulent times runs exclusively by cultivators toiling hard with their sweat and blood. Deficient in basic infrastructure Sopore has lost its assets to administrations apathy and discrimination. The historic College ground that once had the distinction of hosting prestigious football tournaments in valley and serve as only recreational place for people of Sopore is almost in ruins. Waular previously Asia’s prominent fresh water Lake is dying because of neglect and encroachments. Prestigious Sopore bypass road is yet in the process of making even after several deadlines. The one time beautiful Sopore Dak bunglow with unique architecture has been turned into a political cesspool for scheming politicians. This is what Sopore has lost and gained!
The political fate of Sopore had always been pathetic—discriminated and abandoned. For the last more than two decades the conventional politics of Sopore has virtually been leased out to fly-by-night vagabonds who are always on prowl to fleece gullible people and exploit political confusion in Sopore. These patronized politicians exploiting Geelani factor to their advantage accomplishing the task of maligning Sopore and tarnishing the image of its people with ease at the behest of their masters sitting behind apparently velvety screen of abuse and exploitation. The politics of Sopore has turned so murky that no sensible persons will ever try to indulge into it.
Hopefully, my words will not be construed as joining the voices with Omar Abdullah against some particular political ideology and doctrine. But, yes people of Sopore should introspect and counter the stigmatic accusation of so-called mainstream political gangs and should also find a way to come out of this gloomy political dilemma. Sopore has to fight back to its economic glory and political wisdom.