The Abdication of Politics

The Abdication of Politics

It is curious how the “mainstream” parties of Jammu and Kashmir have essentially abdicated or even forsaken their agendas. This is perhaps best reflected in their political philosophies and practices. It may be pointed out here that political philosophies are markedly different from political rhetoric. Essentially and pared down to the bone, “mainstream” politics has become merely an arena for rhetorical grand standing which, in turn, is reflected in the parties’ approach towards Parliamentary by polls in the Kashmir division of the state. There really is no issue that either the PDP or the NC can take to the people; all they can do and are doing is indulging in rhetoric. This assumes significance at a time when the BJP and the Sangh Parivar juggernaut is on a roll in India. After UP elections, the far right party will soon have a majority in the Upper House of the Indian Parliament. With this, the BJP can tale recourse to legislative activism which would very well include abrogation of Article 370 and a fuller assimilation of Jammu and Kashmir with the Indian Union. If and when this happens, the mainstream parties could be left as road kill especially in Kashmir. But, against conventional assessments, it is not merely Delhi that would be to be blamed but mainstream parties themselves. Instead of regional articulation, the mainstream parties , have over time, become extensions of Delhi. It might not be far- fetched to hold that they have become Delhi’s proxies in Jammu and Kashmir- something reflected in Mehbooba Mufti’s assertion, the other day, stating that, “Modi ji is a man of calibre and guts.  We hope he will solve all issues in order to achieve peace in the sub-continent. The agenda of our party is people’s agenda. Water, electricity and roads aren’t the only issues we face. There are much larger human issues which need to be addressed”. While there is a hint embedded in this garbled statement- which reflects , among other things, that the mainstream politicians cannot really call a spade a spade- the real message is how dependent the “mainstream” has become on Delhi. This is the state of affairs in terms of “mainstream” politics in Kashmir. It is in crisis. But the crisis is going to deepen with the passage of time as the BJP rolls out and enacts its respective agendas, across time and space. What then will the “mainstream” parties do? Given the dependency and abdication of real politics, the answer is anyone’s guess.

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