The verdict is out. The sons have failed to shine and dynasties have hit the dust. Both the Congress and its local sidekick, theNational Conference, have been trounced and how! Of course elections may not mean much to the Kashmiri people, and it would be silly to take seriously the defeat of one party and the gains of another, whether locally or at the national level. But then it is not the win that the people of Kashmir will celebrate but the defeat which parodies the fact that in Kashmir it is boycott rather than participation that usually acts as the electoral game-changer. Even those to whom elections mean nothingwill nevertheless find some degree of satisfaction that the party with arrogance as hallmark has been made to eat humble pie. What is bound to be even more satisfying is the fact that this party’s much-flaunted live-in relationship (liaisons of the political sort being too ephemeral to be termed marriages, even of the convenient sort!) with the Congress did not help at all. If anything,the combined dead weight of these two parties in tight embrace seems to have hastened their drowning.
The collapse was expected considering that gilt and paint may give a healthy appearance to a rotten edifice, they can’t actually support or keep it standing up. Corruption has been a prominent feature of these dynastic parties but their distinguishing characteristic has been their sheer hubris, which ultimately did them in The wins of the successful parties may or may not be well-deserved but there can be no second thoughts about these defeats being much more that just desserts. For instance, how insulting would it have been if the same fellow who describes the people he is supposed to be representing asmaha chor had managed to win again, even because a majority of these people had rejected the electoral process? The fact is that this buffoonery, the only thing this individual is known for, too is rooted in callousness and arrogance which makes its expression an act of vicious hostility, albeit in disguise.
Then again, take the various statements of the son who is ruling over the Kashmiri masses in a manner which is mainly about keeping them on a tight leash. Rather than trying to woo the masses to vote for his party he actually goes on to issue a threat,more or less, that those who do not vote cannot expect him to be accountable to them, thereby effectively converting two-thirds of the population which did not vote into outlaws. Of course it is a different matter altogether that the whole population of this place is an outlawed one, considering that the laws of the land are more hostile than protective for them.
This particular son may have been highly visible on twitter but outside of virtual reality he has been largely characterized by a phenomenal disconnect with the people whom he was supposed to being leading and representing. And what is more, the man and his party had nothing to offer, having failed on the bijli, pani, sadak front it did not even attempt to bring up ‘development’ and other similar yarns this time around. Instead this party tried to fall back on the age-old trick of trying to cash in on the insecurities of the masses by crying wolf. But the ruse failed, as it does in the original fable, and for the same reason too – people weren’t buying the fiction any more. Brazen fiction too, made so by the fact that the same fellow who did not bother to resign when Gujarat happened to Muslims was now raising the same spectre to garner support for himself and his allies.
The other son, the one at the national level that is, too suffers from an inborn inability to connect with the masses,notwithstanding his carefully choreographed special appearances in dalit hovels. Moreover, while he may have tried to project an entirely different image, the arrogance has peeped through the studied façade of gentility on quite a few occasions. His act of trashing the ordinance on convicted politicians may have been intended as an ingenuous act to win over people but it came through more as an act of brash disregard of even a semblance of democracy within the party. In the latest instance his skipping the farewell dinner for the PM may have been intended as an expression of disdain for the man who was being used as a proxy and is now being used as the fall guy to explain the sorry state that the party finds itself in, but that too boomeranged on him.
All said and done, for the people of Kashmir the choices available may have been between the devil and the deep blue sea, but at least, for a brief moment, they can savour the pleasure of seeing the devil bite the dust.