RSS Calls PDP-BJP Alliance a 'Historic Opportunity'

NEW DELHI: The ideological parent of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- the Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has hailed as a "historic opportunity”, the entry of the BJP into Jammu and Kashmir as a governing ally. 

An editorial in the RSS mouthpiece- ‘Organiser’, quoted lines from a letter written by Shyama Prasad Mookerjee- the founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh to India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1953, “If India’s Constitution is good enough for the rest of India, why should it not be acceptable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir…’ It said, the BJP-PDP alliance in J&K will help the state join the national mainstream. 

The RSS editorial says, that running the government for the first time in J&K would be a tightrope walk for the new allies. “Though running this government will be a tightrope walk, especially for the PDP, if interests of the people of J&K are kept in mind, this will be a historic opportunity.” However, it said, “The most important outcome of this reconciliation between BJP and PDP is that the state of Jammu-Kashmir is joining the national mainstream.” 

Keeping away from pressures of separatist tendencies, focusing completely on development and providing transparency in governance will be key in this regard, the ‘Organiser’ said. 

Referring to the fundamental differences in the standpoints of the two parties on major issues affecting the state that they propose to run together, the RSS alluded to likely expectations from third parties that the coalition may fail. “They are also hoping that this alliance further strains the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir on communal lines”, the editorial said. Crucially, the BJP has won all its 25 seats in the mainly Hindu Jammu, while PDP got its 28 seats in the Muslim majority Valley. 

The editorial acknowledges that “the stated positions of both BJP and PDP on crucial issues may be the reason behind that. If we analyse this political development carefully, it is a historic moment for the State and India.”

The article also says, the government formation is groundbreaking in many ways as “there is competition within the 'secular' camp to term this historic moment as a mere "realpolitik or politics of convenience”.

The editorial said till recently, nobody would imagine a nationalist force like BJP to be a major stake holder in the power dynamics of the state, and BJP now is not only occupying the political centerstage but “the state which has been a victim of personal and political blunders is also brought to the nationalist discourse.”

It said that for the first time ever, regional imbalances in the state discriminatory towards Jammu and Ladakh is set to be corrected. “The issues related to rehabilitation of West Pak refugees and Kashmiri Pandits will also get importance through this alliance,” it said.

“J&K joining the mainstream political agenda is a real tribute to the first martyr of independent India, Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, who always insisted on complete integration of J&K with the Indian Union," the article said, invoking the memory of the man who died in Kashmir, as a detainee on 23 June 1953 after opposing Article 370 and insisting that "Ek desh mein do Vidhan, do Pradhan aur Do Nishan nahi challenge" (A single country can't have two constitutions, two prime ministers, and two National Emblems). The formation of the present government in J&K should be seen in the light of Mookerjee’s vision to integrate the state with the rest of India, the Organiser said.  

Till now, regional parties of the state had been gaining space in Delhi but the ruling party democratically occupying space in the state is significant, the RSS publication said. “Resultantly, like other parts of India rather than communal aspirations or caste dynamics, development and governance has gained the thrust in the politics of this turbulent state,” it said.

It further stated that BJP-PDP coming together, keeping aside their ideological differences, is another important development in this regard, as this has sidelined the dynastic and personality based politics of Congress and National Conference, who it alleged had manipulated the sentiments of people for their personal gains.

Observing that the youth of J&K whose aspirations are as high as any other youth of India will be relieved from the clutches of poverty and alienation, the RSS magazine said, in the long run this was the only way to address and nullify the inhibitions of people in a few districts of the Kashmir Valley.

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