At the inaugural ceremony of a medical college in Anantnag on Sunday, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti exhibited the traits of a colonized mind. Her speech was a demonstration of the behavior riven with the contradictions of a comprador politician, who is attempting to assert independence in front of the colonizer, but ultimately ends up reinforcing the slavishness. The CM addressed India’s health minister JP Nadda and complained that Indian media outlets have been highlighting only what she sees as the negative aspects of contemporary Kashmir: protesters waving IS flags, etc, not the achievements of Kashmiri boys and girls in education and other fields. This is a half-truth. Actually, it is the Indian media that celebrate a Kashmiri youth’s success in IAS examination, like assembly elections, as the ultimate sign of Kashmiri consent for Indian rule. It is the Indian media, which ensure that a slight increase in the number of tourists in Kashmir is broadcast as the end of the anti-India rebellion and ‘return of normalcy’. What they don’t show is — and what Mehbooba at one time championed — are the stories of brutality inflicted on Kashmiris and how the dissent is muzzled brutally. They do not show thousands of people attending the funerals of militants or helping them during gunfights with government forces.
And why does Mehbooba eschew the fact that her father and his predecessors had to actually request the Indian media not to mistake tourist footfall with normalcy lest ‘it invokes militants to attack’. Isn’t this the reason why local tourism authorities do not reveal to the media the number of tourist arrivals? It is only a colonized mind that would invoke the success of a couple of boys and girls to assert something positive about her own people. It is like the besieged Muslims of India reveling in the success of a few youths in school or civil service examinations, forgetting that a Muslim had been the first education minister of India and three Muslims had been the country’s presidents. Similar success stories from Dalit and other oppressed communities in India are written about in the media to cover up the millennia-old crimes against these people.
Rather than parading the success of a few Kashmiris in Indian civil services examinations as a success, Mehbooba should actually bemoan the fact as a sign of impoverishment. Because while a Kashmiri village boy had scored second place in IAS earlier also, the state’s prime minister had been downgraded to a chief minister.