Omar Abdullah


Omar Abdullah was a miffed man on India’s 67 Independence Day. Apparently pinched by Kishtwar flare up, the third generation Abdullah delivered fiery speech, aimed at addressing the larger secular constituency and accused right-wingers of complete duplicity barely a year ahead of the new polls.

“I was once asked why J&K people think themselves different from the rest of the country and away from the mainstream,” Omar said. “Then, I had no answers. Now I have got the reply by witnessing the approach and treatment shown by these national leaders regarding Kishtwar incident.”

While presiding over I-day function in Srinagar’s Bakshi Stadium, the United Kingdom born chief minister of J&K presented figures of communal clashes between Hindu and Muslim in 2012, and questioned India’s concern over these incidents. “This is the duplicity in your approach and this makes the difference. This is why people of J&K think they are different from rest of India. It is you who make them to think like this,” he said.

The 11th and the youngest chief minister of the J&K hit at the principal plank that ring-wingers have used since 1947 on Kashmir. “Integration between the people of J&K and the rest of the country cannot be achieved through provisions of law but when you show same concern and extend same treatment to the state which you do for rest of the country,” Omar suggested.

Omar Abdullah is aware of how the right-wingers think and act on Kashmir. His first training as a minister took place in Atal Behari Vajpayee led government when he was inducted on October 13, 1999 as MoS Commerce and Industry. Later on July 22, 2001 Omar became the poster boy of Vajpayee’s External affairs Ministry. Omar resigned later in October 2002 after his party lost in elections.

While all the parties in J&K (including Kashmir valley and even separatists) were concerned, the BJP was seen running the show. Omar said “these elements” exploited the situation.  “They circulated Burmese photographs in the name of Kishtwar to put entire state up in flames,” Omar stated.

It was BJP’s activism that cost dear to Omar government. His deputy in the home ministry Sajjad A Kichloo had to put in his papers to pave way for fair investigations. District administration has completely been overhauled and a new system of compensation has been forced on the state apparatus.

Omar’s latest speech had bearings of his passionate speech during Lok Sabha vote of confidence on July 22, 2008, which was praised by almost all quarters, and even won him fans on the internet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -Bilal Handoo


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