Is Modi Govt Doing a Political Swivel On J&K?

File photo of PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah

Srinagar: The Modi government could be doing a political swivel on J&K. Else why has it made a soft outreach to the leaders it once derided as “the Gupkar gang (working) with foreign powers… to subvert the Valley”? according to one of India’s foremost political scientists. He said this in the backdrop of the latest initiative by the BJP led government on Kashmir.

“The first call was made to the most estranged and recalcitrant adversary, Mehbooba Mufti, whose uncle was also simultaneously released from incarceration – almost as if the rulers wanted to underline their new mood of appeasement. I guess the government finds itself in the vortex of a complex political algorithm, Raghav Bahl, Editor-in-Chief wrote in an opinion piece for The Quint.

“There is an aggressive China, armed to the teeth and staring us down across a treacherous 4000-km border from north to east. Then America is planning to hand over Afghanistan to the Taliban, creating a new dread in our northwest neighbourhood. On top of all this is an assertive Joe Biden administration, gently-but-firmly reading the riot act on human rights” Bhal wrote.

He went on saying, “Finally, two years of a strong-arm administration, directly controlled by the Union government, may have alienated and hardened local attitudes. So, the peace overture to Pakistan could have been the first impact of this algorithm”.

Hailing the initiative from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bahl however hastened to add that the follow-through will have to be honest and substantial, much beyond a mere gesture.

Advocating restoration of full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir “not the abridged version that has been crafted in Delhi”, Bhal suggested broad based delimitation exercise with inputs from everybody, including its detractors so that a free and fair election is held which will lead to the installation of a government that is accepted as “legitimate” in the (Kashmir) Valley.

He said if all of these things were to happen, in a politically honest and visible manner, Prime Minister Modi would win back a chunk of his currently diminished international acclaim.

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