Editorial: The Durbar factor

Darbar move is a tradition that is rooted in history. It is one of the few good traditions that has been carried on unabated. The Mughal kings used to shift their administration to Kashmir to escape the sweltering heat in North India.

They would take the Pooch-Shopian route to reach Kashmir. That is how the road connecting south Kashmir to Pooch became to be called the Mughal Road. The road remained operational for many decades.

The Mughals build beautiful resting places along the route called Sarais. When the British sold Kashmir to Dogra rulers they continued the tradition of traveling to Kashmir in peak summers.

The Maharaja and his entourage would operate from Kashmir and carry out the governance from the beautiful and calm surroundings of Kashmir. This helped Kashmir. In the winters, the Maharaja returned to Jammu and carried out governance from the temple city. This way both the regions of the state benefited.

The annual Darbar Move thus continued till 1947. After the Maharaja acceded to India, the new dispensation continued the tradition. The Darbar serves the interests of both the regions. When the government shifts to Srinagar, some ministers continue to stay put in Jammu and vice -versa.

But some BJP legislators have now suggested that the Darbar should be permanently shifted to Jammu. The legislators have said Kashmir is going through unrest which hampers the smooth functioning of the government. The suggestion seems politically motivated.

The BJP must not force such a plan on the Mehbooba Mufti led PDP-BJP government as it not only would create more resentment against the PDP but also fan the fires of civil discord on ground.

The BJP is trying to pander to its constituency but this will only widen the gulf between the two regions. The PDP should guard against such move by the BJP as it will further erode its support base in Kashmir. And also alienate the people in Kashmir. The tradition of Darbar is one of balance between the two regions and it should not be distributed for politically motivated agendas.

The need of the hour is to ensure order in Kashmir, and not exploit the situation for vote bank politics. Kashmir is going through one of the most difficult times in its history and prudence demands all the stake holders should pool in their energies to rescue the state from the throes of hopelessness.

It high time to rise above petty politics and work towards restoring peace for the betterment of all the citizens of the state.

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