FRAGRANCE OF IDEAS
Finally, the ‘third Hurriyat’ has taken a birth in the safe and secured environs of Gupkar circle, the privileged enclave of the super-privileged ones in the Kashmir valley. It happened soon after the release of most of the leaders and activists of the political parties from their detention who had threatened of dire consequences in case Article 370 was abolished. They preferred to call it the People's Alliance instead of Gupkar Alliance and have been also nicknamed as "Gupkaris" by several sections of the society.
The People's Alliance is seemingly more an alliance of leaders than of the people, who have already shown their distaste of it ab initio. They also call it ‘Gupkar Gang’ or ‘platform of unemployed politicians’ who always would, otherwise, like to be in power by hook or by crook. The best example of their ambition is reflected by the Chairman of the alliance, Farooq Abdullah, who in several statements during the last four decades expressed his clear intent to be with the ruling party at the centre and thus be a part of the government directly and indirectly. But this time the circumstances took a serious turn unheard and unprecedented, which none from the Gupkaris ever dreamt or imagined.
The most visible in the news are either the Abdullahs or the Muftis, as usual. They had a monopoly all along on the public discourse, though out of way, due to their position in the corridors of power. They didn't allow anyone else to take their position whether in power or out of power. All the past three generations have their own experiences about these rulers for the last seven decades.
Hardly had the dust settled caused due to the infamous China remarks of the Chairman of the ‘third Huriyat’ that the Vice Chairperson of the Alliance, Mehbooba Mufti, raised a new storm by speaking venom against the national flag, parliament of India, parliamentarians, duly elected Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of a State like UP. It rationally speaks that the Kashmir centric so-called mainstream leaders don't want to be aware of the ground realities in the valley, not to speak of the entire Jammu and Kashmir. Additionally, they are talking about the Union Territory of Ladakh which celebrated the realization of their decades old aspirations on 5-6 August, 2019.
What happened in Jammu division and the then Ladakh region of the erstwhile state in August 2019 is probably like a nightmare for the Gupkaris. A large section of population within the valley also celebrated the events on 5/6 August last year. Fortunately for this author, who was in the valley from 10th to 15th of August 2019, and who visited nine districts of the valley except Shopian, the experiences were really strange but stark. There was an overwhelming sentiment among the people to try the detained leaders for their loot and embezzlement of public money. Almost everyone in the valley expressed his or her happiness over these leaders being detained subject to their open, transparent and result-oriented trials.
The then Lt. Governor, Satya Pal Malik had made big inroads into the minds of the people when he spoke about the corrupt deals of these leaders openly and freely. He never missed any chance to speak his mind and made it known to the people at large that the leaders in charge of the power games were virtually the same people who were also In charge of the loot, frauds and scams. The Jammu and Kashmir Bank scam and distribution of loans, Roshni Act loot of government lands and Cricket fraudulent spending were his pet topics besides indeed the backyard entry of the leaders' blue eyed people into public institutions in the state without any fear of public outcry.
He would also place instances to prove that unaccounted for investments were made by the politicians of the ruling parties to create huge assets and bank balances in and outside India all these past several decades. Unfortunately, for the detained leaders and activists, they remained oblivious of the hard realities on the ground in the newly created Union Territory. They are also ignorant about the last one and a half year developments on national and international front and love to live in their own make believe world with the notion that they can move mountains and rocks.
One of their vocal family person & Alliance partner, Muzzafar Shah was candid enough to accept before a TV journalist the other day that he had no guns or tanks to take on the government or the party they have to fight against. But all of them were quick to say that they bank upon the Supreme Court judgement as if the judgement was going to be written by someone amongst them. If the Gupkaris are so sure and hopeful of the judgment they await, then they should have waited for it and not made a political capital out of it, without any tangible outcome. In the political phraseology, it is said that 'the strong political parties run for power and the weak among them go for unity'. Truly so, the best example here is readily available at Gupkar.
The outrageous and the most irritating statements recently by the Vice Chairperson of the Alliance might cost her many dear things besides the recognition of the party. The family feudalism, money and power don't generally grant astuteness or political maturity to any one for granted. It needs a long spell of life to learn and unlearn the hard lessons of life. The two youngest former Chief Ministers of the erstwhile state of J&K, junior Abdullah and the junior Mufti created a flutter even during the Amarnath Land Agitation as well in 2008. The Gupkaris seem to get into the same trap again with Abdullahs and Muftis in front. Unfortunate for the younger ones, the octogenarian Abdullah also seems to have lost his way since 2014 when he said loudly and publicly that 'those who would vote for Modi should get drowned in the sea'.
Mehbooba seems to have taken up from where Farooq Abdullah left. Both have caused a serious damage to themselves, the Alliance and also to the people of Kashmir as a whole within the nook and corner of the country. This was evident when the Chairman of the Gupkaris, in his remarks publicly, sought to 'clarify' that 'they are not anti-India but are against the BJP'. But it is too late, to be fare enough, the damage is done and done heavily.
PDP office in Jammu was virtually seized by the agitated young men and women all these days who wanted to hoist the national flag on it and they were successful too in their endeavour. Lots and lots of people from Kupwara to Banihal and from Madhavpur to Poonch organised Tiranga rallies on this 26th October on the Accession Day. The remarks of Mehbooba triggered a sort of "reverse patriotism" among the masses throughout the UT. Those of her generals in Jammu division who resigned from the party have openly disassociated themselves from the erroneous statements of their party President.
Sajjad Lone, one more organ of the family feudalism in the politics in Kashmir and a former minister, could not make any impact whatsoever. His one and a half year old remarks about Omar Abdullah are doing rounds on social media prominently. His new spokesman-ship might get ‘inspiration’ from his earlier stint as a part of the extremist and separatist quagmire.
The exit of Syed Geelani and almost of Moulvi Umer Farooq paves way for the senior most leader Farooq Abdullah to lead the ‘third Huriyat’ on a rough and tough track that has almost everyone against it in the country, so is true about the valley as well. The communist symbolic presence in Kashmir is also visible in the melodrama in their special appearances only; while the Congress kept itself away from such a heavy and lethal baggage, after due thought.
The protests against Farooq and Mehbooba in Jammu region were spontaneous and overwhelming. It is absurd even to think of any tangible positive outcome in Jammu in favour of them. There is a strong sentiment against the Gupkaris in general there, and Ladakh is already feeling at home without the interference of politicians from Kashmir valley. Moreover, they ratified their stand once again through their verdict in the Leh Council election results on this Monday. The Gupkar Alliance or the People's Alliance partners need to know that the political space for the libtards and the so-called secular politicians has shrunk to a large extent all over India.
The legislative business on 5-6 August, 2019 in regard to Jammu and Kashmir was approved by a whooping majority of 370:70 in the Lok Sabha and with 2/3rd majority in the Rajya Sabha where BJP doesn't enjoy even a simple majority. While it is enough to understand the roughness and toughness of the track that the ‘third Huriyat’ has chosen for itself, it is also a signal to note the direction of the political wind in the country.
The people in the valley with their past and recent experiences have to make a choice, between death and destruction on the one hand and peace and development on the other hand. They need no advices; however, caution, as always, is an important key.