Mufti Mantra

 Mohammad Ahseem

Even though PDP and BJP ultimately did manage to pull a deal to form a government in the state, the ideological polarization among the coalition partners can bring in aversion any future moment of time. The divergent and extreme ideological moorings of the coalition partners are more manifest and realistic than the coalition itself. Given the fact that critical questions like revocation of AFSPA, settlement of WPRs, future of Article 370, release of jailed separatists etc. stare the coalition in its face, the government would have to answer some tough questions in the coming days. And chances seem to be rife that the two members would pull in opposing direction on any of the critical issues.

It all started within moments after the coalition deal was signed when Mufti thanked militants and Pakistan for allowing a peaceful election in the state. The statement indeed reflected the reality on ground but it nonetheless was a rebuttal of BJP’s long term stand on Kashmir. The statement reflected the implicit power structures in the state and in fact it was the first attempt on the part of incumbent CM to liven-up the Kashmir debate. Next, came an advisory to the security agencies operating on ground, to display a human face. This too was a loaded statement full of political connotations. Human rights violations, highhandedness, rampant use of “lawless laws” and disregard for humanity have been the definition of security agencies operating in Kashmir in the reports and findings of International human rights organization. It might be aimed at creating an ambience for the revocation of AFSPA, and may be bringing in changes in the present form of PSA, if not anything else. Mufti has been credited for putting an end to the Ikhwan era and this time too he seems serious.

BJP has its own predispositions and it did manifest its stand. On the eve of oath taking ceremony, the garlanding of Hari Singh’s portrait and singing of Vande Matram did show its resolve to give a tough fight to its coalition partner on the ideological front. Even though the gestures are symbolic in nature yet the members might have received a dictate from RSS or party high command. If you have a separatist agenda to pursue we too can harp the Hindutva tune.

From a comparative perspective, so far PDP has managed to agitate BJP’s think tank on a couple of occasions, and BJP has been left with nothing substantial. While PDP seems to be making its own rules in the governance of the state, BJP has to follow a tight-rope walk laid by the party high command.

Mufti a shrewd politician, of course, intends to end his innings on a separatist stroke. Finally the grand old man seems to have gained the insight to end the sufferings of common masses. The stage is all set for this pied piper of Kashmir to play the tune of masses. Definitely in a mood to win the hearts of common Kashmiri Mufti wants to die a martyr. Will he be the second Baba-e-Qoum of Kashmir remains to be seen?


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