Buying Time

Buying Time
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The Jammu and Kashmir administration, in the aftermath of the crescendo and cascading protests over the brutal and bestial Kathua rape murder case and their impact on politics in the region, by merely sacking ministers from their cabinet posts, and not by doing anything substantive, has merely bought time for itself. In essence then, what appears to have been done is to paper over the apparent fissures in the coalition, all for the sake of the longevity of the Government. This, in turn, appears to suggest that government longevity and formation in Jammu and Kashmir becomes an end in itself, no matter what the nature of conditions, political or otherwise here. By removing the ministers in contention, and saving the government, powers that be have merely doused the issues of the day and the swelling anger thereof. But, as deteriorating conditions across the length and breadth of Jammu and Kashmir suggests that this, to repeat, is a time buying tactic. However, it is not clear what “time buying” would achieve, except for maintenance of power, for a while. Politics and conditions in Kashmir have become toxic. Government longevity will do nothing to alter these conditions, unless and until a total review of assumptions and approaches is undertaken. However, the review also might not amount to much, given the intensity of forces that have been unleashed. One aspect of these is the alliance between the BJP and the PDP. But, as pointed out, this is just one aspect or facet of the overall condition which has, over time, come to be defined by staggering complexities. The approach adopted to deal with these complexities has been more in the nature of a reflex, that of containment and management, by powers that be. In the final analysis, everything, or almost everything, that pertains to the politics and overall conditions in Jammu and Kashmir, flow from the conflict in and over Kashmir. Unless and until, there is a fuller realization of this, any facile approaches to deal with Kashmir will flounder on the rocks of reality. The need of the hour in terms of Jammu and Kashmir is then to gain a grounded perspective informed by sobriety and prudence, that takes into account all facets and dimensions and adopts an even more grounded and realistic approach to deal with the festering issues. Power and power politics thereof are the least of these.

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