A staggering silence is making much noise in a place where politics has always been at the heart of every deafening discourse. Even the only vocal politician in Kashmir is warning New Delhi about the prevailing silence being sold as peace. But beyond this rhetoric, the region has already drifted towards the new extreme.
Countless caveats apart, the systematic silence of the once vibrant political camp is being termed as one of the feats of Delhi in the post-abrogation period. If they can’t be part of solution, they won’t be allowed to be part of the problem anymore, is how some shore-up officials treat their bygone masters now.
This conviction amid the rattling flash-trigger is paving way to the old system. The growing boots on ground, for instance, have again become a working solution for Kashmir situation. This is unlike how some former Indian politicians would bat for the resolution for south Asia’s peace and progress.
But previous pacts and policies seem to have lost their significance for the present lot driven by the offensive defence strategy. The aim appears to dismantle the political investment of the traditional parties like Congress, and their ‘Hand’ holding in Kashmir. In this Kashmir integration project, even the former Czars of Gupkar have become rudderless ships despite taking turns to pitch their patriotism.
The entire emphasis in the shifting sands of the valley is perceptively on a particular philosophy. The very nature of it even makes diehards appear “anti-national elements”. It evokes the case of Sheikhdom rendered puny by those in whose praise he once sang ballads.
In this backdrop, the silence statement of the former home minister of India’s daughter makes one believe that it’s a long winter for Kashmir’s frozen politics. Ice, it seems, is likely to take time to break.
Amid this freeze frame, new allegiance and alliances appear more about posturing, than for posterity. Some of these antediluvian permutations and combinations have failed to fill the void and vacuum on the ground. They’ve rather festered the already festering wound. The classic Bakshi-Sadiq-Qasim case is the biggest proof of it.
Despite the brazen constitutional toying during the trioka’s time in office, the Kashmir problem only propelled. It finally took Delhi’s captive ally to strike some semblance. And years later, even that supposed trump card failed, when the lingering problem became explosive.
Some political pundits even profess that had the political discord manageable with some strict pen-pushing and probing apparatus, then it would have long rested in peace, especially during Jagmohan’s juggernaut period.
But Delhi had to eventually call the man Jagmohan dethroned in the murky January of 1990, and reinstall him as the chief of beleaguered politics in Kashmir six years later.
The lingering nature of the problem even proved this engagement futile in the face of street reckoning. The very polemics of it shifted Kashmir’s frosty politics towards the other side. Making it a taboo is clearly losing a side with a say. It took an old man to calm a sentimental sea in not-so-distant seething summer.
In absence of such politics now, the government of India has lost the other side after dismantling the so-called middle-ground of Kashmir politics. No wonder a certain Gandhi would term it as the biggest blunder while deconstructing the “healing touch” politics of Kashmir.
And now, the political void is either being capitalized by a clown cheered as “lion”, or a class of carpetbaggers competing with the already outdone class. In either case, it’s a comedy of errors played to the gallery.
But in the garb of this gimmick, efforts are purportedly afoot to pave way to the first Hindu chief minister of the only Muslim majority state of India, with the support of so-called Sadiqs and Qasims of “Naya Kashmir”.
Ishita Sen is the Associate Professor teaching Journalism and Mass Communication in UIMS (University Institute of Media Studies) at Chandigarh University.
- Views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Himalayan Post.