What will it take for the PDP to assert itself against the BJP?

By Usmaan Khurshid 
A Muslim man was lynched to death in India but the Jammu and Kashmir chief minister does not bat an eyelid.  A few days later a teenage Kashmiri is burnt to death by Hindutva forces. Since the Narendra Modi government took over New Delhi, Hindutva forces have unleashed their terror on every minority of India. Today in India no minority community feels safe. Yet Mufti Sayeed says that he has found a “bright spot” in India!
While the Indian Muslim man was killed on alleged rumours of consuming beef, the Kashmiri teenager was burnt to death simply because he was a Muslim and a Kashmiri. Even though Mufti condemned the Dadri murder but at the same time he lauded Sheikh Abdullah’s decision to join India rather than a Muslim Pakistan! The same Mufti who was lionised before coming to power is mewing before the BJP. His supporters had hoped that he will tame the BJP the same way he tamed Congress during his previous term.
In the assembly elections, Mufti had asked voters to vote for him and keep away the rightwing BJP from coming to power.  He along with his daughter vehemently denied, during election rallies, that they will join hands with the BJP. Post elections they betrayed their voters and joined hands with the same party against which they asked people to vote! No PDP member protested against this volte-face. No one resigned. Even after the murder of a teenager, the PDP continues to stick with the BJP. The lust for power has shown voters that the PDP is no different from National Conference. While the latter always stayed aloof from people the former continues to stoop before the rightwing party. The party that boasts of many intellectual faces and brains has showed no spine before the BJP.
The murder of a Kashmir youth in Udhampur didn’t rankle anyone in the party. There was no murmur of protest. There was no uproar from the largest pro-India party against this dastardly act. No PDP legislator threatened to quit for this murder. It was only when pro-freedom camps called for a strike and protests that the accused were arrested. In Kashmir minor boys arrested for allegedly throwing stones on troops are slapped with murder charges. And then the same party connives with law and makes them their polling agents on the promise that once in power all charges will be withdrawn against them. It never happens.
The PDP has taken its voters for granted. They think that the hatred against the NC is such that voters will forgive them time and again. Or is it that New Delhi decides who comes to power in Kashmir? It is up to voters in the next elections to decide this party’s fate; but what about those intellectuals who asked people to vote for the PDP and keep the BJP away from Kashmir. Where are they? What answers do they have for being the partners in crime for the PDP?
—The author is a student in the department of law, Kashmir University.