Prime Minister’s controversial Kashmir visit
by Hari Om on 31 Oct 2009 4 Comments

There are moments in history when wrong decisions are taken… the effects of which are felt later.” Who said this? Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Where did he make this candid comment? In Kashmir, while inaugurating the 18-kilometer-long Anantnag-Qazigund rail link on October 27.

And, did he rally mean what he said? No. He meant something more alarming; something which could be legitimately construed as highly dangerous and separatist and religious bigot-friendly. These are harsh words. Unfortunately, what the Prime Minister did in Kashmir doesn’t warrant good and kind words. For what he said in Kashmir was like the custodian of the State subverting the State itself.       

This is no exaggeration. It is a hard fact. Undoubtedly, the Prime Minister has made the prevailing confusion in Jammu & Kashmir worse confounded. It was expected that the Prime Minister would contest his Home Minister’s contention that “Jammu & Kashmir is a political problem” and not allow Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to talk nonsense in his presence.

But the Prime Minister didn’t do so. He did not contest the Home Minister’s unwarranted formulation on the nature of problem in Jammu & Kashmir. Instead, he allowed Omar Abdullah to go several steps further, thus sending a clear message that his views are no different from those of P Chidambaram and Omar Abdullah. In fact, he negated his own noble assertion.

What did Omar Abdullah say in the presence of the Prime Minister? He, among several other controversial things, said: “No doubt the liberal funding of the central government has changed the developmental scenario here (read the small Kashmir Valley), but let me tell you (read Prime Minister) that it is not an economic problem and it has to be addressed politically. My government will try everything possible to help the dialogue process so that tears from the eyes of the people (read the protagonists of Kashmiri Muslim identity politics) are wiped out”. What Omar Abdullah said was what the Kashmiri separatists, without any exception, and their mentor, Islamabad, have been saying since decades to hoodwink the international community and enlist its support for the communal cause.

That the Prime Minister listened to the Chief Minister very attentively and patiently as if the latter was showering praises on Indian democracy, Indian Constitution and Indian liberal ethos, and that he did nothing whatever to interrupt the votary of an Islamic republic on the territory of the Indian Republic, only indicated the Prime minister’s resolve to throw all eggs in the separatists’ and extremists’ basket. But that was not all. The Prime Minister himself reciprocated the Chief Minister’s anti-India and pro-separatist gesture when he pleased his audience gathered at the venue of the inaugural function saying, “his government is more than willing to discuss the political and economic aspects of problem”.

The Prime Minister should have snubbed the Chief Minister there and then. He should have frankly told the Chief Minister and others of his ilk, including the protagonist of perverted self-rule, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who was also present on the dais, that they must behave, failing which action would be taken against them and that he would not tolerate any foul play or any attempt designed to dilute the Indian sovereignty in Kashmir or implement pernicious and regressive exclusivist ideology. He should have questioned the Chief Minister and others of his ilk there and then, saying that it is the Kashmiri-speaking Sunnis who have not only been ruling Kashmir since October 1947, but have also established their stranglehold over Jammu and Ladakh and converted both these regions into Kashmir’s colonies and swamped all the political, administrative, economic and technical and professional institutions. (Kashmiri-speaking Sunnis constitute approximately 22 percent of the State’s population.)

But no, the Prime Minister would not do that. On the contrary, he, like the Congress chief and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, would shower all praises on Omar Abdullah and others of his ilk, who have been working overtime to subvert the institution of the Indian State and enforce their primitive ideology and who have converted the Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly into a “den of intrigues”.

On the contrary, the Prime Minister would also ask not to read too much in what the All-Party Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said in London only the other day and say “angry persons do say such things”. What did the Mirwaiz say in London? He (attacked India, eulogized the terrorist and fast-crumbling Pakistan and) justified the role of the gun in the ongoing separatist movement in Kashmir.

That was what our Prime Minister did in Kashmir. No comment on what he said about Pakistan, as everyone now knows that Islamabad has welcomed our Prime Minister’s remarks, saying whatever he has said is consistent with the Sharm-el-Sheikh joint-statement.

Now the question to be asked is: What is the main opposition party, the BJP, doing to counter the controversial activities of the custodians of the Indian State in Kashmir and controvert their baneful influence on the Indian polity? This is indeed a very difficult question.

However, don’t say that the BJP national leaders have no time to meddle or take on the Congress because they are busy setting their own house in order; because they are in a state of mourning; because the party’s humiliating defeat in the general election and in the recent assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh has drawn away their inspiration. The causes are deeper.                      

The author is Chair Professor, Gulab Singh Chair, Jammu University, Jammu


User Comments Post a Comment
Comments are free. However, comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate material will be removed from the site. Readers may report abuse at
Post a Comment

Back to Top