Mir Shahid Majeed
The alliance with PDP always came in the friction of opposition and Modi government especially during recent past
Indian polity is based on Democratic pattern where people choose the government through universal adult franchise. Not only is the central government framed through people’s choice but the Constitution mandates nip and tuck pattern for states of union as well. Moreover the polity of country is dominated by miniscule national level parties alongside mushrooming growth of regional players.
After the watershed 1967 elections which lead to breakup of Congress system or one party dominance, country not only witnessed growth of other players in field but the arrival of coalition form of government. In this pattern two or more than two parties form an alliance either pre poll or post poll and claim majority in assembly. The condition of Constitutional majority is equalised and thus alliance government comes into being. Although Kashmir governs on the basis of its own Constitution but the national parties aren’t barred to contest here. Means to say PDP and BJP alliance was framed on same style to run state government machinery.
The recent breakup might have been surprise for political actors of PDP but the majority of commoners saw it an action of theoretic. PDP is a regional political party with majority of its support base in Kashmir while as BJP is a dominant political party at national level. Prior to this BJP wasn’t on the scene of state polity. Neither was it able to sit in the government not even able to manage a handsome share in 88 seat legislative assembly. Modi wave and the conservative mania of time was very well utilised in the Jammu region to emerge as dominant force even upto the deciding factor in government formation. The performance of PDP in Kashmir was dominant among NC and INC, therefore breaking the past norm of regional party alliance evolved as Hobson’s choice before Late Mufti Syed.
People’s Democratic party established in late 1990’s is based on regional aims and aspirations. With goal of local self rule or autonomy and sympathetic feeling towards Local Kashmiris, PDP succeeded in covering maximum areal extent especially in rural areas. The strategy of sympathy towards hardliners of Kashmiri movement took it deeper into society and attracted allegiance from wide social context.
The rural spatial extent in Kashmir is occupied by supporters of PDP. They derive a massive support base and cadres of party from villages of Kashmir. It’s not that PDP is not performing in urban areas but rural strategy works more in its favour. On the other side BJP is a national party whose former Jana Sangh ideology is no more hidden. This party is deriving its support from Sangh Parivar whose present example is Rashtriya Swamy Sevak Sangh. The majority of leaders are erstwhile hardliners of this ideology. They hold the rigid and deep conservation nationalist stance. The Hindutva is being patronised at every fora.
The projection of Narendra Modi in 2014 turned the tide in favour of BJP and helped in its government formation. This wave not only siphoned away INC of its share at national level but majority of states are controlled by BJP in isolation or in alliance. At broader perspective the alliance of BJP and PDP was therefore based on antagonistic ideological beliefs. Now when the alliance is obviously a thing of past, BBC correspondent report really mentioned the breakup sudden but expected from last 1 year. It further mentions the BJP’s decision as Snake waiting at the mouth of hole to bite the enemy. And the deteriorated atmosphere in Kashmir with ceasefire friction came to rescue of ailing national party. But why BJP took decision in such a hurry?
There are numerous factors responsible for withdrawal of support. It’s of all Modi Wave is waning. The steam of 2014 is obviously a thing of past. The hype of deep conservatism doesn’t last long. The performance of Modi government is going to face a bitter test for any further support. Bihar state assembly elections, Gujarat weakness, Karnataka failure and recent miserable performance in UP by elections have spoken about Modi government. Whether movement rests on decline or Modi succeeds in re-emergence is not known yet but the events are indicating a decline in support base.
Although there are several reasons behind such failures but the consistent criticism of Kashmir policy by opponents has shared the causative component. The alliance with PDP always came in the friction of opposition and Modi government especially during recent past. The ceasefire and the sustained killing of army soldiers was described as failure. Therefore to curb the continued failure in by elections the decision was necessity. After all a national party with national ambitions can’t wait to see the PDP coalition eroding its mass support.
Secondly the continued opposite stand on certain sensitive issues lead to continuous suspicion between partners. From the initial days of Alliance the conditions of Kashmir especially after 2016 cracked the Common fence between coalition partners. After thorough deliberation they managed some common understanding but the Kashmir cause and continuously deteriorating law and order usually stood them at opposite poles.
While the operation all out was having state government backing but the cold stance of PDP especially in case of civilian casualties at times created tension in connected string. All this in one place the issue of prisoners’ especially stone pelters and the common mercy at times was severely criticised in BJP party. But the narrative was changed to extreme end by Asifa Case. It left a deep scar because the internal structure of BJP party came under threat. The involvement of two prominent Ministers of Cabinet from BJP took opposite stand while demanding CBI inquiry. This episode leads to reorganization of BJP side in the Cabinet. Had state been only concern the Asifa episode was right opportunity to withdraw support.
Thirdly the ceasefire issued during month of Ramazan ul Mubarak perturbed the mutual understanding. The overall law and order improved because of cease ops. It’s to be mentioned here that Mehbooba Mufti took a hard task in hand while pleading for ceasefire because majority of local BJP leaders opposed such a move.
This notion improved prospect of PDP to some extent but the embarrassment faced by BJP at national level for the killing of soldier Aurangzeb and intermittent grenade attacks disturbed the whole party complex. Any extension despite the request of CM was turned down.
The whole story of sudden announcement is shrouded in the loss of BJP at national level to regain the glory and fight elections in MP and Rajasthan without emergence Kashmir as failure. The arrival of Nirmala Sitaraman to soldiers home is manifestation of such dreams. The practice isn’t habitable as the killing of Lt Umer Fayaz of Kashmir wasn’t followed by visit of Manohar Parrikar. In short the politics prevailed over political stance at local level. While the government fell down local people aren’t pathetic to overall situation.
The Human rights council in recent report mentioned the human rights violations of Kashmir and asked about its investigation. The trend is on with day today deterioration of law and order. With all on one side the Kashmir police top cop accepted the rising of anti militancy operations due to Governor Rule. Leaving the political dimension, commoners aren’t hopeful of any dramatic change.
Concluded to say that polity of Kashmir seems in crisis but the law and order is facing resurgent crisis. Post 2016 period witnessed an upsurge in the civilian casualties during encounters. Whether during or post encounter youth of valley is facing the severe restrictions in day today life. Education is in crisis, economy is getting from bad to worse. Tourists are not ready to spare a visit.
The internet remains under permanent gag for weeks which prohibits the e commerce and e education of valley. On the other side of story the continued rise in domestic support of militancy is dubbed as dangerous trend. Highly qualified youth ranging from 12th to PHD have taken to reigns of militancy. Engineers, Doctors, Moulvi’s are turning militant. The radicalism is on peak in southern part of the valley.
Therefore the administrative mechanism hardly matters in day today activities of common people who aspire peace and stability. The repeated human rights violation has shrunk the space for habitability. At times local officials refuse to serve in South on pretext of sustained disturbances. The people of Kashmir aren’t waiting for any government formation or the continual of Governor rule but all they wish to see is the peace and bliss cladding the valley in near future. The day when pellet shelling, and firing leaves for world of ghosts. Whole Kashmir awaits resolution of main dispute to return to normalcy in quick possible time so that a loss of life and property comes to an end. Let’s hope and pray for better future tomorrow.
Writer Shahid Majeed Mir hails from Misribehak Machil Kupwara and can be reached at email@example.com
This Article Earlier Published in Print Edition of ‘The legitimate’