Why is Tariq Karra Speaking Against his Party?


Plain Speak or Double Speak

MP Tariq Hameed Karra said the alliance between the PDP and the BJP has proved detrimental for not only to PDP’s interests, but the interest of the state as a whole. In a  strong critique of his party’s alliance with right-wing BJP, Karra has asserted that the coalition government in the state has “failed miserably” on all fronts.  He has also said that RSS has successfully made inroads into Kashmir, a place they could only dream about till now, only because of the BJP-PDP alliance.

These are startling revelations lent more poignancy by the fact that Karra is a senior  and even founding member of the PDP. While Karra is stating the obvious , but what is intriguing is why is he saying this?

There are basically two theories doing the rounds about Karra’s serial denunciation of his party. One is that there is dissension in the ranks of the PDP. Grist to the mill of this theory is lent by speculation regarding sending Karra and Muzaffar Beg to the Centre; it is asserted that Beg and Karra, being senior most members of the party would have wanted a more activist and senior roles for themselves in the state and that they could have become power centers in themselves.; Political prudence then suggested to expunge these two leaders and exclude them from the state. Hence their candidature for contesting the Parliamentary elections.  In this schema, Karra’s assertions are those of an alienated and disgruntled leader who vents out in and though the media.

This theory, however, does not hold water in the eyes of many.

It is asserted that if Karra indeed is disgruntled and alienated, then the most effective way of making a statement and articulating his protest is to quit. That is, the man should resign and cease to be a Member of the Parliament. According to the proponents of this theory, Karra is playing the ‘fall guy’ for the PDP. It is asserted that Karra is in a ‘wink wink, nod nod’ relationship with his party and party honchos. Here, what Karra is doing is playing to the gallery by articulating public sentiment. The agenda here is to earn brownie points: Karra plays the fall guy and the victim and gains accolades from the public. Another reading is that Karra is used by the party as a sounding board to the BJP.

Either way, even if benefit of doubt is given to Karra,  Kashmiris are being made fools. Karra’s rhetoric would have had substance and punch, if he would resign or his utterances would have had an impact on his party and the coalition with the BJP. The PDP or the BJP do not appear to be in a hurry to disturb the apple cart in J&K. This marriage of convenience will not get distracted by the singular mission of each party- power for the PDP and power plus consolidation for the BJP. In the end then, Karra’s assertions, whatever his motivations,  and if effectiveness is used as a benchmark to gauge impact, amount to false rhetoric meant to befuddle the masses- another theme that has been the bane and theme of Kashmir’s politics-historically as well as contemporarily.


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