Yasir Altaf Zargar
The word ‘chutzpah’ which was not famous in Kashmir till yesterday is quite common now. The credit goes to Vishal and Basharat Peer’s “Haider” that made it familiar. Everyday a new chutzpah unfolds. Those who were supporting National Conference till yesterday are now supporting Peoples Democratic Party. Along with leaders, people in Kashmir create chutzpah on every next day.
Some say they will die for Syed Ali Geelani, but they will also vote for the party which they want to see in power. Those who were chanting Aazadi slogans till yesterday are seen shouting political slogans today. Every common man is taking part in formation of chutzpah itself.
Kashmir has a tumultuous political history. The region has always witnessed a chutzpah during elections. Contestants of political parties are seen blaming each other for devastating Kashmir. Promises like revocation of AFSPA, employment, 24 hours electricity, development in rural areas and many, many things during election campaigning.
Omar Abdullah’s chutzpah: “Thank goodness some of this deadwood my father had accumulated is clearing itself out.” He further tweeted, “My only regret –two wasted MLC seats for 6 years.” He seems to be angry, closing doors for Mehboob Beg in party. He also blame PDP of giving mandate to corrupt “whether it is timber smugglers or people involved in ration or fertilizer scams, all are contesting on PDP ticket”. He also accused Sajjad Lone of ganging up with BJP for allegedly end special status of state.
Hina Bhat’s chutzpah: “I will pick up gun if the party abrogates article 370.” Well, this particular lip service from the dentist-turned-politician who wants to extract “sick tooth” of Kashmir might be an election stunt, but she surely knows the art: how to feed the fourth estate. Her chutzpah, however, continued when she called the ruling NC as a “den of dacoits” and the opposition PDP as a “party of brokers”. But Dr Hina, your history comes in the way of my memory. Weren’t you dad also the leader of a “den of dacoits”? Now, that’s what they call: foot in mouth!
Sajjad Lone’s chutzpah: In 2008, Sajjad with a copy of Quran in his hand swearing up and down, bashing Geelani remorselessly and denying having hand in elections held under Indian control. A few months after, he contested his first election. “Come and take single inch of land in Kashmir,” he once said in TV program. But today, he is calling Kashmir an integral part of India. He is also redefining his own chutzpah.
PDP’s chutzpah: “We will lead wave for change like Modi did in India.” They even accuse NC of corruption, killings and all that is needed to paint one black. But by opening the party door for tainted people is their glaring chutzpah. Those who are responsible for cold-blooded murder in Kashmir are welcomed by PDP.
BJP’s chutzpah: The party seems to be giving ticket to every third person. In BJP election rallies words like “InshAllah” are used to motivate people, a worst joke BJP making with people. They say, their saffron in green valley is itself a big chutzpah!
The last one is chutzpah by people. They say they vote for roti, kapada and makaan. Nobody is against these things, but what is surprising to see: if they vote for change, then why they chant pro-freedom slogans post-polls.
People waiting in long queues to cast vote for their party of choice is itself a chutzpah. But the biggest chutzpah remains: those who were goons till yesterday are politicians today.
(Yasir Altaf Zargar is a writer and Security Analyst from Srinagar. He tweets as @zargaryasir.)