When it comes to Kashmir, the difference between the BJP and any other political group in India is that the former chooses to do openly what the others implemented using deceit and doublespeak. The PDP was, by most accounts, created to cut the NC to size. That objective having been more than achieved, the PDP has dropped its gloves, and masks. In allying with the BJP it has become like the BJP, conveniently forgetting its lofty mantras like ‘self-rule’. The alliance’s common programme of governing J&K, that ‘agenda of alliance’ became more sacred than its own supposed founding principles.
On Thursday, during her first public appearance in Kashmir after taking over as CM, Mehbooba Mufti laid it all bare. She chose to forget the conditions of the former princely state’s disputed accession to the Indian union, and equated the fascist RSS with a political party like the Congress and the BJP. At the same time, the CM also appeared to give vent to her own Islamophobic condescension by referring to violence in places like Syria and Iraq which were invaded, occupied and destroyed by that alliance led by the US, on false grounds. The CM’s references to what was happening in the Muslim world betray the basic understanding of current international affairs.
Mehbooba though conceded that instead of any ‘positives’ she counted – a fading secularism among them – all that the Indian state has inflicted upon Kashmir was “rigged elections, guns and crackdowns.” Yet, she said accession with India had benefited Kashmir! In what ways, one wonders!
Mehbooba, by forgetting, appeared to justify killing of a hundred thousand Kashmiris in India’s military campaign in the state during the last 26 years alone. She also chose to conveniently forget that one in every five Kashmiris has undergone torture at the hands of government forces. Thousands of unmarked graves remain scattered all over Kashmir’s landscape, uninvestigated because India, according its own officials, does not possess the capacity to undertake forensic investigations into the graves which are believed to contain bodies of some of the tens of thousands of Kashmiris who disappeared in the custody of Indian forces. Being a woman herself, how could the CM not even remember untold sexual violence inflicted on her compatriots, to mention just a layer of ‘gains’ to Kashmir its accession to the Indian union has brought upon a hapless people? If Mehbooba genuinely believes that her party’s alliance with the BJP was to ensure the interests of her people were secured, that can be done first and foremost by demanding justice for the people of Kashmir, not by forgetting the crimes committed against them.