Optics as the end!

Optics as the end!

Almost three months have passed since the death of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the beginning of a seemingly wrenching haggling by his successor designate Mehbooba Mufti to assume the mantle of Jammu and Kashmir state’s chief minister. A lot of water has flown under the Abdullah Bridge since. In the hope of reclaiming a ‘lost constituency’ due to its alliance with the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the PDP projected itself fighting for some undefined ‘confidence building measures’, return of a couple of power projects to the state and extracting a repeat promise of implementing the Agenda of Alliance, that ‘sacred document’ the two parties thought would bridge their ideological divide. Of course none of these things the PDP hoped would help it recover from the initial fall are seemingly coming through. But it is in the air that a government of the ideologically poles apart parties would soon take the seat of power again. The BJP has made it as clear as was possible that the right wing party was not going to entertain any of the demands (none of which were ever made public) put forth by the PDP for agreeing to stay in the coalition. However, what appears to have re-clicked their alliance is the meeting between Mehbooba and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. Apart from the optics of that meeting, used by the PDP chief for emanating some positivity, nothing that held the alliance partners from re-forming government in the state has changed. Not that it was possible to expect that anything substantial that would in any measure assuage public sentiment in Kashmir would have happened. But it is good after all that the PDP has finally realised that whatever the state of a territory, a government is needed for managing day-to-day public affairs. Although many believe that the state administration is efficient in many matters under the Governor, a government run by political parties expands avenues of public access to services only the state establishment can deliver. Cheers for the PDP if that is what has finally motivated its leadership to accept that a party predisposed to one side of the conflict over sovereignty cannot even begin to realise any rhetoric posing outside the matters of running the affairs of the State. So, let us hope when the next government is upon us it will focus on making the civic life of the citizens smooth to the extent possible for it and refrain from grandiose posturing.