A letter to Rajnath Singh, Home Minister, Republic of India

Shri Rajnath Ji:

You came, you didn’t see, and you left!
But who cares? As long as the ongoing Amarnath yatra, your only operational obsession in Kashmir, is plying smooth, you are as happy as the Smiling Buddha.
Regardless of the merit of your visit, if at all there was one, you created history of sorts, at least I believe so. Well, not exactly the way Advani Ji created in Ayodhya or Modi Ji in Gujarat. In Kashmir that sort of history is, I believe still a few years away, though I must give credit to Mehbooba Ji for already lab-testing the Gujarat model on your behalf and that too by employing our very own and indigenous Jammu and Kashmir Police.
But history you did create. When I heard you first time uttering that twin syllable sound, ‘Caas Meer’, I thought you were referring to some long-lost cousin of Ama Mir, that political chef de partie, renowned for his ‘hand-crafted’ recipes of disaster. I still remember him for trying to redesign several of our natural landscapes into tamed disaster zones to attract credulous go-getters.
Coming back to ‘Caas Meer’, it took me a while to get the hang of your rendition. Only after I was able to shake off my predetermined biases that I noticed you were being guilty of concocting a phonetic aberration of a disputed entity that is of course an atoot ang.
For several hundred years, Kashmir and its subjects have been subjected to indignities and manipulations.  Concocting and manipulating everything – animate or inanimate – has been the only objective consistency of New Delhi in Jamoo and Caas Meer. In this vein, your attempt to sully the very name that you call the crown, even if reluctantly, is, therefore, not unique. But it was in a bad taste. At the time when your boys under the symbolic command of Mehbooba Ji are busy fighting the ruthless and highly trained ISI agents on the streets, your untrained vocal chords can create an unwelcome distraction that might dampen the morale of these valiant souls.
Mohoday Mantri Ji:
My temptation to agree with whatever you say is palpable, given your determination to win us over and all the arguments about us through whatever means. This shows your commitment under the ambit of ‘insaniyat’ and ‘jamhooriyat’. I must hasten to add all your means are legitimate, within the constitution and, of course ‘non-lethal’.
The rest is fine, as you heard from the dozens of PDP workers who were ferried in undamaged ambulances to meet you at different fortified safe zones. I heard apart from inquiring about the management of yatris and Kashmiri Pandits, you did drop hints about your amazement at Mehbooba Ji’s tears being in the news or the news. I must tell you this is all ruckus created by the discredited National Conference in collaboration with the dreaded ISI. Since ISI is involved in all sorts of nasty things, you must ignore this as bum fluff. The fact is Mehbooba Ji is so very overwhelmed by the love shown to her by her besieged subjects that she just can’t help to show her gratitude by allowing her howl flow down her cheeks.
I am stopping here as I can hear ‘hum kya chahtay’ crowds at a distance. I must take cover before a non-lethal pellet gun gets hold of me.

Yours non-lethally,
Murtaza Shibli

 
—The writer is a journalist, author, and communications an d security specialist. He lives between London, Lahore and Srinagar, Kashmir, where he is currently stuck. Twitter: @murtaza_shibli

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