Soon after Mehbooba Mufti asserted the need for talks or broadly a dialogue, Nirmal Singh stated that ,” that resistance leaders should dissociate themselves from the “ongoing violence” to create a conductive atmosphere for dialogue. Dialogue cannot he held at gunpoint
“Talks cannot be held at gunpoint”, added Singh. While Singh’s assertions either suggest self serving canards or an assessment that is at odd with reality given the disconnect between it and the real, existing condition(s) on the ground, so to speak, the real import of his assertions amount to undercut Mehbooba. This then means that politically speaking, there is a split in the BJP-PDP coalition and administration thereof. From the perspective of the politics of the state, it all adds up and points to a condition where the “two speed administration” might not do much in terms of the resolution of the conflict in Kashmir. The divergence between two components and their respective approaches is almost inevitable. The NC- Congress coalition was also hobbled by similar discrepancies and divergences but these are more pronounced in the case of the BJP and the PDP. The two coalition partners are like chalk and cheese- one purports to represent and aggregate regional aspirations and the other is a far right Hindu nationalist party that seeks the subsumption of Jammu and Kashmir through assimilation into the Indian Union. But, regardless of this fundamental reality, the two parties entered into a coalition. If the differences between the two are wide (or even unbridgeable), and there is a split (ideological and ideational) in the coalition, why does the administration still stand is the nagging question? The answer might lie in power politics and government. For the PDP, given Kashmir’s slide since last year and the unpopularity of the party, there really is no choice but to stick to the government as a power political player. Insofar as the BJP is concerned, it has obtained a foothold in Kashmir which it would not want to give up. The power political dynamic holds for the BJP too. In the final analysis, power politics and its problems thereof might not matter much. But what is problematic and an issue in terms of the fractionalization of politics in Jammu and Kashmir is its implications and consequences on conflict resolution. This, as of now, seems like a distant prospect which means conflict prolongation of the conflict. Alas!