Political Escape Route

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Almost every day one or two politicians are switching loyalties from one party to another in Jammu and Kashmir. Looks like the season of defection is at its peak. People caught in quagmire are blaming or cursing one camp or the other.

People’s Democratic Party is at the front of this brunt and God knows how many more politicians are on the prowl to jump onto another bandwagon of a party which they think has a chance to win the next elections, though it has been proved time and again that Kashmir voting hardly counts for the Centre, whether it is ruled by BJP or the Congress. In fact, J&K seems only to be managed by farce elections.

Kashmir has become a very complex place. It has in fact become the worst nightmare for every leader from Pt Nehru to Narendra Modi, those solely responsible for ousting or toppling elected governments, creating more suspicion and more mistrust among masses.

Majority on the ground believe that any government installed or elected, operate by the remote control of the Centre, that paves way for more episodes of killing innocents which has been going on unabated for the last three decades.

People have almost accepted it now wholeheartedly that whosoever comes to power in J&K or is installed, the killing spree will continue until Kashmir Valley remains infested by more than

seven Lakh security personnel with a “license to kill” under Special Powers Act (AFSPA). This hardly has any impact on our political clan or on those who are “switch crawling”. They are busy in weighing the options of another portfolio in another promising dispensation, come what may.

Politics is a process of possibilities. However, it is the other way round here and has become one of the worst experiments in J&K where its murkiness has left every sane person wondering why, after seven decades of accession, nobody trusts India, its political class or the mainstream in the state.  Courtesy of those main political parties that have taken every voter for granted and used them as tools to further their grip on power. Not a single policy was framed in the past to bring relief to the worst sufferers of the ongoing turmoil, be it victims of Kunan Poshpora or half-widows or the completion of investigations in civilian killings, disappearances or release of prisoners languishing in jails for twenty years, which they always promise during electioneering. Even the funniest thing is when they promise people to get J&K resolved according to peoples’ aspirations. As if the aspirations are to get them more integrated in India, scrap Art 370, make women’s property rights controversial or accommodate West Pakistan refugees. And, many gullible people believe them and vote for them.

My perception about politics was never good. Yet, we all fish in troubled waters.

The fact is you never get whiff of what is happening inside the power corridors. The leaders try hard to keep you away from the meetings to policies to decisions. The door keeps open only to few favourites. Alliance with the party, despised earlier and voters begged to keep this right-wing party at bay or the adjustment of relatives in different establishments is the sole prerogative of few chosen ones. Rest of the party is like crowd only pulled together as and when required.

No doubt, the coalition governments have their own compulsions and complexities, especially when the alliance partners are two extremes. Still the governments in J&K have never stood up against the human rights violations or fake encounters or harassments. They behave like poodles of the central administration.  Issues relating to women and their safety or the strengthening of social or economic institutions have no relevance in the power corridors. Another joke of “self-rule mantra” or “autonomy” which gets deliberately buried under the huge debris of appeasement to centre do reverberate in times of elections.

 We always curse Dogra Maharaja for our misery or beggary or slavery but I believe he wouldn’t have been as callous and ruthless as our politicians are today.  They have no regard for their party members, no concern for voters and no relief for masses. They are always looking for ways to accommodate their own clan in every office, business or project.

 Since partition, our political system has evolved in a very dubious manner which has got free hand to sell people every time in return for their political fortunes. And, it is still on….

True, every political party has problems and every political worker cannot be pleased all the time. But, the callousness and the brazenness of the political leaders is that they embrace them only at the time of voting and then treat them like beggars. This is what has created chaos and split in PDP which has not only let down its long-time members but has never bothered to listen to the issues of a worker who has invested his youth and fortune in the party.

 Many prominent and small time workers are leaving the party in droves and finding their space in other political outfits whose leaders I think are no better than the Maharajas. At least, they think they can now breathe…….

One of the leaders of troubled party was recently reported as saying in the party meeting, ” anybody wants to leave, do so and I am not stopping you”. This tells volumes about the arrogance which has not mellowed down yet. So, why shouldn’t other members leave, and the sooner the better.

 Political leaders need to understand that the “ala karey wangun Karry, bub karey lolo” era has gone by. Time has changed and you are not Maharaja any more.

In the present complicated digital world, where mind-reading to future planning is being done by Google, you cannot hide your arrogance from the party to people. In a flash of a second, it captures the attention of millions. Without taking every small worker into confidence and valuing his/her opinion, the party cannot survive on anybody’s arrogance or incompetence.

 PDP’s chaotic split is a lesson for other parties as well. Unless you give space to worker and listen to his/her ideas, you will soon become history as has happened with your other clans in the past.

I am not surprised to see workers leaving their party but I am truly surprised to see the party leadership of different clans still surrounded by a few favourites in Maharajah style.

PDP leadership should at least have a courtesy to reach out to its voters who in return were rewarded with dozens of coffins every day. It must apologise to people for creating the “epidemic of dead eyes” and explain to them who were the “few favourites” involved in ill-conceived political decision making meetings that have become the reason for the current volatile situation, total wipe-out of the party and the discrediting of “tainted” entire mainstream politics.

And, we have accepted the fact that the Indian leadership will never learn, understand or win Kashmir.

 

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