Delhi’s veiled ‘Kashmir cell’

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By: Fida Iqbal
After uprising of 1931, the year 1947 changed the political landscape of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmir in particular experienced much of political drama and maneuvering. Like the rest of the sub-continent emancipated people and their leadership in Kashmir enjoyed their freedom. But, this freedom was short lived which lasted a brief period of few years. In 1953 the political canvas of Kashmir got not only disfigured but completely redone with brute strokes of political betrayal. Our saviors and co-fighters in the battle of empowerment overnight resorted to political machination, robbing legitimate political setup in Kashmir of its leadership and authority. Irrespective of political fate of individuals the coup de théâtre on 8th of August 1953 deprived whole Kashmiri nation of its freedom to manage their future.
Political and ideological differences apart, no sensible entity can deny the fact that post 1953, every political dispensation in Kashmir was pushed to work in choked and restricted atmosphere. Every time political strings were strengthened around the political leadership of Kashmir with a view to pull them at will. And for this orchestration many political actors from Kashmir were roped in and hired against huge costs beyond their comprehensions and imagination. These nonentities in political circles of Kashmir were the easy targets of brazen luring by central leadership from time to time. Overnight, unfamiliar political creatures became powerbrokers with enormous clout to influence not only the fate of legitimate political leadership of Kashmir but distorted the future prospects of political empowerment of people of Kashmir. Thus, an un-notified and undeclared ‘Kashmir cell’ got born in the corridors of power in New Delhi and this cell is working even today with complete impunity. Unfortunately, for last six decades secreted ‘Kashmir cell’ with its confusing acts, is not only damaging the interests of the people of Kashmir but further alienating the Kashmiris from Indian mainstream.
In 1953 Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah was deposed as prime minister of Kashmir and put behind the bars for no fault of either people of Kashmir or for that matter Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah himself. On the advice of few nonentities posing as Kashmir experts and analyzing their suggestion through the prism of national interests a legitimate government was overthrown, pushing Kashmir to the chaotic political oblivions for almost two decades. The alienation factor of 1953 jolt to the foundations of emancipated political bedrock of Kashmir can be felt even now, after more than five decades. Even powerful political leaders like Sheikh Abdullah were pushed to political compromise and complaisance by plotting of these people. In 1975 the robed Sheikh Abdullah was paid back in the same currency at the behest of these people; the only losers were the people of Kashmir and their political aspirations were compromised.
It is a long history of deception, orchestration and maneuvering and will require hundreds of pages to describe the pain and treachery inflicted on Kashmir and its people. After inception of coalition system of governance in Kashmir at the onset of the present century the ‘Kashmir think tank’ had gone into hibernation or may have chosen to keep a low profile and would only take care of its own interests of survival and subsistence. This hibernation did not last long and instead of misleading the New Delhi this nefarious syndicate activated itstentacles within the state and threw many surprises in the states political arena. Political rags to riches, vice versa and many other surprises were definitely coordinated by such elements. To concise a very long story; the latest visit of Shri Makhan Lal Fotedaar (the lesser known political entity and better known for his trouble making) stirred the murky political waters of Kashmir. Again New Delhi sought services of veiled ‘Kashmir cell’ stalwart to convey its intensions to present chief minister Omar Abdullah (interestingly, the grandson of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah).
 Present legislative assembly has a clear mandate to govern the state and look after the welfare of state and its people and no one denies this fact, not even the political rivals of present dispensation. It is immaterial who is heading the present government because right now in the system of governance in vogue, leader derives power from the people represented by elected members. So, Omar Abdullah has a mandate to look after the state and its people and his mandate is surely restricted to the present four walls of the state. Mr.Omar Abdullah is himself firm on this stand and has many times reiterated that his mandate is restricted to governance only, but he will put in extra efforts to facilitate resolution of vexed Kashmir issue to the satisfaction of every stake holder. From day one Omar Abdullah is struggling hard to restore order in the state and hopefully this summer he is able to convince people to listen to his passionate and catchy appeal, ‘you give me one peaceful summer———————’. In the middle of this atmosphere of peace and better sense Mr. Fotedaar landed from somewhere to fulfill his unending wishes of never making any system of governance in Kashmir to work in peace and without any pressure. This unique technique of integration by resorting to covert means of weakening legitimate governments is unheard of, in any civilized society.
Undoubtedly, local governance and vexed Kashmir problem are two different issues and require separate approach and mandate for resolution. Until the broader Kashmir issue is addressed by the concerned to the satisfaction of all, particularly people of Kashmir, we should not sit as mute spectators to watch the maneuvered highhandedness of few. These self styled Kashmir experts are doing no good to their mother land and are surely creating a willful wedge between people of Kashmir and rest of the country, who otherwise want to live in harmony in any case. In a democracy only legislature, executive and judiciary can decide the fate of people because they are empowered, not these go-betweens who have got no locus standi. Delivering ambiguity and creating confusion will only weaken the system of governance, putting already disheartened people to more trouble.
 Central leadership in Delhi and the congress think tank in particular should come to terms with change in political system and mechanism of the whole country and particularly they should introspect more on developing political scenario in Kashmir. Instead of relying on raw advice and utterances of few nonentities they should listen to the political voice of people of Kashmir. Much water has flown down the beautiful rivers of Kashmir, so has the political situation changed radically. What was applicable (by the deceptive standards of veiled ‘Kashmir cell’) in 1953 and onwards is not practically relevant today.
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