A Lurid Fantasy and a Sterile Déjà vu

A Lurid Fantasy and a Sterile Déjà vu

The dictionary defines the word “hubris” as excessive pride or defiance, which ultimately leads to nemesis. And, hubris defines the Bhartiya Janata Party’s overall approach, especially toward(s) Kashmir. This finds an eloquent expression in the BJP’s assertion that Kashmir will be “Hurriyat free” by 2022. On the face of it, this assertion bears ridicule and mockery given its facetious and rather frivolous nature. However, a cold and rational dissection of the assertion suggests that the BJP , if it all, understands Kashmir, it does so through the prism and lens of power and power politics thereof. This flat and arid understanding and thereby approach to Kashmir flounders on the rocks of reality. The modern history of Kashmir is an eloquent testimony to the failure of a power political approach towards it. The major components of this approach have been political manipulation(s) underpinned by coercion. Right from the quisling Bakshi’s volte face and then attempted undermining of political sentiment in Kashmir to Sheikh Abdullah’s twists and turns, the fundamental reality of Kashmir has been that political sentiment here has never really been squelched. The apogee of this sentiment, sought to be crushed by powers that be, was and is reflected by the political spectrum and amalgam which goes under the general label of the Hurriyat Conference. Having said this, things in Kashmir have moved in such a direction that the street is also the arbiter of politics here. All this is overlaid by that fact that political sentiment in Kashmir has only grown stronger with the passage of time and it has a cross generational component to it. How and where the BJP can crush this sentiment and its representatives can only fall in the realm of imagination or even fantasy. In the final analysis, what is needed is a clear recognition of the fact that there is conflict in and over Kashmir and this needs to be resolved. The nature of this resolution neither lies in sterile and merely rhetorical calls for “autonomy” nor so called “ self rule”. The autonomy theme, in the nature of a derivative discourse of the National Conference’s tepid and apathetic politics oriented towards power and the quest for power is almost a mirror image of the PDP’s “self rule” bogey. Both have been used as rhetorical and discursive artifices to befuddle the masses and then ride to power on the back of people. The real issue in Kashmir is neither autonomy nor self rule; it is actually the conflict which remains and abiding feature of the blighted valley. But , the so called “mainstream” has nothing to offer by way of the resolution of the conflict. All that they offer is patronage obscured by rhetorical sloganeering. Patronage works but only upto a point. What was, has been and is real is the political sentiment in Kashmir. Hubris and political subterfuges and trickery can do nothing to either undercut or demean it.

 

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