Last week, when the leaders from Kashmir’s separatist lobby met the Pakistan High Commissioner in context to the India-Pakistan foreign Secretaries meet. Indian Government made their point clear, “Stop taking to Kashmiri’s”. The much awaited meeting between the foreign secretaries was hence cancelled. There had been quite an exchange of fire on border as well, but then the only point which made to the list of betrayals was Kashmiri being talked to. Exchange of fire is easy; talking to separatist ideology is difficult.
To read between the lines, the BJP led NDA had set their eyes on elections, when they decided to cancel the meet, to be held later this year for the J&K State assembly. Quite high on the success they achieved in Parliamentary elections, they have started their 44+ campaign in the state. Never before have the state elections been such a celebrated event in context of the campaigning, the political parties have taken to. The use of social media as well has been taken seriously and is being employed for the electoral gains. Political parties like Peoples Democratic Party even sought volunteers to run their digital campaign. Elections seem to have charged the environment. Even the national party like BJP is not behind in claiming the Chief Ministership of the state.
Kashmir seems to have come a long way from the times, when New Delhi (synonym for the government running affairs at the centre) along with all its agencies working overtly as well as covertly, to install government – which would last for couple years – to the times when they themselves want to form the government .
One theory which is doing rounds these days is the seriousness of BJP to form the government in the state. Having done well in parliamentary elections in Jammu and Ladakh, it looks quite possible. But to form the government they would need a few seats from the valley as well. As few newspapers reported, BJP is eyeing ‘five seats’ in the valley which has had a presence of Kashmiri pandits who are now scattered all over north India. Efforts are being made to enrol KPs to give the party a boost. Considering the election boycott call given by the separatist leadership, they would not need many votes.
This theory is being propagated by one and all, including the mainstream political parties. For having a BJP’s Chief Minister in the state sends shivers through the spine. It would eventually mean, changing the demography of the state. Amit shah has already made it clear; they want a Hindu to become the CM. The regional mainstreamers are counting on this theory as well. They are sure, if people believe this; they could use it as an excuse and ask people to vote in huge numbers to defeat the polarising parties.
A common Kashmiri is in a fix. He isn’t sure what to do. He is being told, if he votes it would be the betrayal to the ‘Kashmir Cause’ and if he doesn’t, he would be responsible for wrapping Kashmir in gift paper and handing it over to the polarising party.
The decision might not be easy but definitely would be worth waiting for!
Columnist can be emailed at email@example.com