Power Blues

Power Blues

The National Conference has called upon the Government of India(GoI) to start immediate engagement with the Hurriyat leadership and the Government of Pakistan instead of imposing curbs on media, mosques and madrassas as announced in an advisory by the government’s home ministry. The party also said that army chief’s recent statement on handling protesters can prove detrimental for peace in Jammu & Kashmir. On the face of it, there is nothing exceptionable about the party’s statement but it is in its premise that the rub lies. The obvious reasons upon which the statement is based upon are the impending parliamentary by- elections to be held in Kashmir. The NC is, in an attempt, to connect with the people, before the election,  is playing to the gallery. Whether there will be any impact of the party’s is beside the point. What is significant is that almost all “mainstream” political parties play to the gallery and indulge in pandering for the sake of power. They sing one tune when out of power and a totally different one when in power. The sad part is that people in Kashmir repeatedly and serially have fallen for these political stratagems. A case in point is the PDP’s “soft separatism” idea which turned out to be a mere bogey. Yet again some people fell for what they assumed to be the “middle path” over Kashmir. The same, even though in a different way,  is now being attempted by the NC.  Political sloganeering and pandering to the sentiment in Kashmir has been employed as a means to an end in Kashmir. The end , in this case, in power. There appears to be a double dynamic involved here. One is that, to come to power, mainstream political players, feel that people are important- to an extent. But to retain and latch onto power, these very parties hold Delhi to be their core constituency. The dichotomy that this entails apparently makes “mainstream” parties neither here nor there. But, when it comes to crunch time, the name of the game is to please Delhi. People then are only pandered to and then forgotten. The same happens when it comes to the dispute over Kashmir.. There is then a conflict ecology in Kashmir which draws in all into its tentacles. There is an irony here. Amidst   these flips and flops, the mainstream also becomes a stakeholder in the Kashmir dispute even though for self serving purposes

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