Jammu & Kashmir state reeled under two political fault lines for the last seven long decades – the pro-Pakistan fault line and the pro-India fault line. The results are quite in front of us, while the biggest casualty of the last seventy years has been Kashmir. In our meeting on the last Wednesday when we discussed the subject of the two fault lines, it was observed that the pro-India fault line was more vicious than the pro-Pakistan fault line. That is the fact of the political history of Kashmir.
This particular line which assumed the centre stage all seven decades so far was involved in all illegal and unlawful acts under the cover of legal, credible and lawful umbrella. It used to justify every wrong as right since it had the levers of power in its own hand. On the contrary, the pro-Pak fault line used the "voice & valour" of people to justify its wrongs. Its ideologues, leaders and managers made it sure that the fire they ignited did not engulf their homes and estates. They ensured everything that would guarantee safety and security, education and career, future and prosperity of their own kith and kins. Rightful they were to do so, but it was done at a cost. The cost that their followers paid and paid it heavily and are paying continuously.
The only similarity that brought the two fault lines at par or together in Kashmir was their technical knowhow and professional expertise to use (or misuse) the moneys those trickled into Kashmir, legally and illegally for the last several decades. There were failures indeed on behalf of the government of India. But those failures were 'smartly' maneuvered by the political and bureaucratic bosses with the typical phraseology as "done in the national interest". Their 'national interest' has remained undiscussed, undefined and undisclosed till date.
Surprisingly for most of the people in Jammu and Kashmir state, this was always kept away from their knowledge that the moneys that were brought into the state were funneled wrongly and brazenly throughout. There are available evidences and witnesses of the fact that the bureaucrats, top officers of the government of India including those of Banks, Insurance companies and Corporations on their deputations and postings in Jammu & Kashmir state and especially in Kashmir valley would be oriented to learn methods of frauds and deceits to amass public wealth at the cost of the people of the state. On the completion of their tenure in the state, it would take them weeks and months to shift their belongings in the state to their new place of postings outside the state. In addition to their swelled prosperity, they would also take their "degrees of corruption" along with for further exploration and advance research in the subject. The masters of corruption especially in the Kashmir valley had the cherished support, connivance and blessings of both the political fault lines. The words like honesty, simplicity and integrity were limited to books and initial lessons of language in the schools and colleges.
Death, destruction, mayhem, rapes, stone-pelting, kidnappings, extortion, radicalization and extremism were all put on the garments of politics and politicking mixed with a blend of religious fundamentalism. Criticism or Opposition to such a scenario even by the so-called mainstream would be recognized as the astounding blasphemy only a couple of years back. The people of Jammu and Kashmir may find themselves fortunate with the advent of Modi era that the expositions and disclosures, investigations and probes have become a possibility in public life after a recess of long seven decades with the latest three decades of highly orchestrated time span. Skeletons are out and are expected to unearth more and more with the passage of time.
Politics is not the stagnant water of a pool or a pond, it is verily a flowing river. Its dimensions and dynamics are self governed. As Alfred Lord Tennyson said about the river, so can be said about the politics, "For men may come and men may go, But I go for ever". Truly so, politics does not accept vacuum or gaps. It has a tendency like flowing water to fill in the gaps and make its own way. Moreover, if hurdles are put in between, the river makes its way and at its own choice. The gross and crass failure of the two political fault lines lead us to test and trust a new political line, that ensures probity in nature, honesty in intent, integrity in content and transparency and accountability in character.
There is absolutely no need to hoodwink the public opinion nor there is need to commit to deceit and fraud. Prosperity is possible through rightful means and rightful conduct. Religion need not be used to achieve political podiums or balconies. The Mandate 2019 throughout various geographies in India proved beyond doubt that people respect and revere those who keep them in their priority list and work for them with a mission. Kashmir needs to light the alternate lamp that has potential to erase the darkness of the last three decades that inflicted “ethnic cleansing” of the Pandits, death of one hundred thousand people in the state and an uncertain future for all and sundry.
When there is a dark night behind you, one thing is sure, the next morning is going to bring a bounty of light with it. Forces that might like the darkness to extend have little in their own hands now. The order of the day is to find the best suited line that might not be called the third political fault line in near or distant future.
The people in Jammu and Kashmir need to be told in no uncertain terms that past is past and cannot be repeated. Nobody needs to be promised anything that is impossible and unjustified. In case, someone promised a wrong, it needs to be clarified that there are no takers to carry that wrong in a false narrative that "wrong was right".
It was a fraud to tell people since 1947 that there was a conditional accession. It was a deceit to propound that a Muslim majority state in India had a right to go to Pakistan. It was immoral also to ask for something that was coined as Independence, since it had no constitutional or political justification. Morally, politically, constitutionally, historically and realistically all these "promises" were tantamount to befooling the people wittingly and unwittingly.
India is not only a reality but Modi has also assumed to be the fact of history. The political third line is a simple line to follow where unconditional nationalism, welfare of the general public, transparency and accountability are the four immediate pillars to support the aspirations of the people of the state with commitment and promise for the future.
We will discuss the other important dimensions of the Third line elaborately and in an interactive way on the next Wednesday. Till then, please take care.