The regional parties that have formed the ‘Gupkar Alliance’, which include the long entrenched National Conference and PDP, are doing their best to incite the ordinary public of J&K towards violence. Ensconced safely behind high level security provided by the government, the leaders of these parties are cynically uncaring of what increased violence would unleash upon the common person. They have, for long, blackmailed the Centre into granting them almost total control over the former state, extending political power to personal wealth. Now that their bluff has been called, with the Modi Government acting upon the premise that the people of J&K are basically Indians, their frustrations are being voiced in a number of ways, which can only be described as anti-national and treasonous.
They would like it very much if they are locked away or have cases filed against them, as that gives them the opportunity to project it as ‘human rights violations’ on the international stage. It would be better, therefore, if they are disqualified from contesting elections. It would be a hard choice for them, then, as they would have to make a choice between enjoying the privileges of office and being out in the cold altogether. Thus far, they have profited greatly by planting a foot on each side of the controversy. Consider the comments by former CM Mehbooba Mufti on refusing to respect the National Flag, or the one by MP Farooq Abdullah seeking China’s help in regaining Article 370 status. Should they be allowed to contest for posts that require upholding of the Indian Constitution? Or, do they have the birthright to be Indian at their convenience?
The people of J&K have the right to benefit from all provisions and freedoms of the Indian Constitution. They are not obliged in any way to suffer conditions that limit these rights, particularly the disempowered sections such as women, Scheduled Castes and Tribes, displaced persons, etc. It is a sorry fact that none of these ‘leaders’ shed a single tear for the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits. That fact alone reveals the entire agenda of these political families.
Home Minister Amit Shah is absolutely right in questioning the Congress Party whether it supports overt and covert agendas of the Gupkar Alliance. Being a family proprietorship like the PDP and NC, does it empathise with their plight, or does the spirit of the freedom struggle still remain? Will it succumb again to the pernicious argument that divided India once before? It must decide, so that the voters of India can decide.