Tried and Tested

Indianising sounds a little more general than Hindutvising, and may be sangh pari­var rhetoric toned down for the specific needs of Jammu and Kashmir. Since the bandwagon is yet to cross the Jawahar Tunnel, speech-making can be counted on to pay obei­sance to its stated objectives of akhand bharat, and submission of all to an overarching concept of culture and history now making sure inroads into the academia. The Pir Panjal ranges have a magical tendency to transform political pro­nouncements from the defiant to the sheepish, and the Lakhanpur crossing the mod­erating influence of moulding it further to capitulation. But this is on the way south. It has not been tried on the way up north.

Some in what was once the Kashmir leadership are often said to have used a forked tongue to beguile the masses at home and to keep distant mentors in an undisturbed state of mind with­out so much as go­ing red in the face – a hallowed tradi­tion scrupulously followed by succes­sors. Street wisdom and commentary has often marvelled at srinagar mein ek baat, jammu mein doosri, aur dilli mein teesri. Forked tongues would be too handicapped for a feat more suited to a three-pronged implement, particu­larly with martial connotations.

Old-timers are bound to recall a Congress Prime Minister the sangh parivar grudgingly calls a rare nationalist in a party of appeasers, and her regular references to Jammu Kashmir Ki Teen Ikaaiyaan, meaning Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. Though the phrase was meant as much to keep local nationalist sentiments on a leash as to placate implacable majoritarian pressures in Delhi, its underlying importance for whatever powers-that-be has been brought to the fore once again. The slogan is different in words, and only in the initial stage, but suf­ficient to provide room for later maneuvering.