A lot of commentary has been written about what the entry of BJP in the power corridors in Kashmir has meant for the politics in the state and what role the leading coalition partner, the PDP has in it. There is a near unanimity in the view that after the last state elections the direction and slant of politics has radically changed. The dominance BJP and its affiliates over politics and power appears to be producing more silence and ideological compliance than politics.
Recently, the chief minister the top driver of PDP called a meeting of the party workers at her residence in Srinagar. What happened there was read by many as the core political agenda the party aspires to follow in the coming days. The chief minister, apart from talking about sports etc. appealed to her party workers from all across the Kashmir valley to work for peace, and in return she would have the prime minister visit and create jobs for the youth in tourism sector. This was perhaps the principle message she had for her party rank and file!
The meeting represented a skewed relationship between the ground situation inside Kashmir and politics. Remember the PDP came into being on the promise of finding a resolution or a solution to the dispute over Kashmir articulated by its ‘vision document’ of self-rule etc. One and half stint in power, never fully on its own strength, and that ‘ideal’ appears to have been long forgotten or even given up by the party leadership. Just as the ground has been heating up clearly for the re-energised demand of a Kashmir solution, the politics appears to going in the reverse direction which is laden by failures. The PDP’s own politics has moved from one about the resolution of the dispute over Kashmir to one of replacing the all pervasive cry for political and human rights by a promise of jobs.
The PDP itself in the past has articulated that Kashmir is not just about absence of human rights but an issue of a historic political aspiration it had initially appeared set out to find a way to meet. It is a travesty that the party has become agreeable to replacing its own idea of establishing political rights with the imaginary ‘sop’ of jobs to the youth. To many it appears as a poor replacement of the politics of National Conference that the PDP had set out to counter.