PDP’s basic member who was elected to Lok Sabha from Central Kashmir in 2014 elections after defeating Dr Farooq Abdullah, Tariq Hameed Karra remained a very vocal member against his own party. He has earlier been a minister as well. Off late, however, Karra was feeling choked in his party, a situation that continued in the era of Ms Mehbooba Mufti as Chief Minister. He has remained a harsh critic of the alliance and finally he quit as a party member and an MP, perhaps creating history as no MP has earlier resigned so far. Kashmir Life is reproducing the entire speech that Karra made on September 15, 2016
In the outset, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences, grief and sympathy to the families:
- Who lost their loved ones to the naked brutality of security forces.
- Whose children got blinded and permanently incapacitated.
- Whose wards were critically injured.
- Whose wards have been arrested and subsequently slapped with PSA
All this has exposed the tall claims of Government of India and State Government regarding their democratic character.”
Since decades now, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has been witnessing turbulent conditions, though with spells of deceptive calm, which has virtually shaken Trust and Confidence of the people in general and vallietes in particular. In this despair situation, it was realized that a Regional alternative which could act as a buffer between State and the Centre to reclaim the lost dignity and honour of its people was imperative.
It was in this pursuit, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party was floated on 28th of July 1999. Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, led this party from the front as its President, Ms Mehbooba Mufti and Mr Muzaffar Hussain Beig, its Vice-Presidents and myself (Tariq Hameed Karra) as its General Secretary. The launch of this new Political dispensation was on the premise to work as facilitators rather than collaborators or obstructionists for the permanent, peaceful and everlasting resolution of Kashmir issue, to give a healing touch to the bruised psyche of the oppressed, suppressed and repressed majority of the State’s population, to work whole heartedly for the honourable return of our Pandit brethren, to give a transparent, responsible and responsive, rather than a reactionary governance to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, to safeguard and strengthen the distinct identity of Jammu and Kashmir, as enshrined in the Constitution of India and to seek remedial measures for the injustices meted out to the State by way of Indus Water Treaty.
It was this holistic and comprehensive peoples friendly Agenda which guided the decisions of the party from time to time, which in turn became a Political Philosophy of the masses in general, due to which the Party got an overwhelming support of the masses in a very short span of time. 2014 Parliamentary election results stand testimony to that, whereby all the three Parliamentary seats in the valley were bagged by PDP.
General elections of 2014 seemingly changed the Political discourse of our State. But at the same time it had very visibly changed the discourse of the Indian Polity as well. As Country’s masses in majority had subscribed to radicalization and divisive Politics by voting BJP into power. Same year people in Jammu and Kashmir reiterated their resolve for a change in the State by voting PDP as the single largest Party for which the stage was set by the earlier results of General Elections in the State.
Next three months proved to have changed the Political fate of the State once again, for a very ugly turn in waiting. Though having internal disagreements, an unsigned loosely knit and sanning clarity, “Agenda of Alliance” was cobbled with diametrically opposite, RSS driven BJP, despite the fact, we had been vociferously canvassing against RSS and BJP’s “No hidden agenda” with regard to contentious issues of Jammu and Kashmir.PDP in very unequivocal words sought vote for its candidates to refrain BJP from the corridors of power, lest it would decimate our distinctive political, constitutional, cultural, administrative and even religious identity as the only Muslim majority state in India. The seeds of deceit, discontent and betrayal got sown in the hearts and minds of the people that very day when PDP got into alliance with BJP and formed the government thus becoming facilitators for the fascist design of RSS towards fulfillment of their long cherished dream of Hinduisation of the Muslim Majority State by stabbing its own Values and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed rightly said, that it was unification of North pole and South pole, as that can happen only on the day of judgment.
Having realized the repercussions of getting into and continuing with, this unnatural and unethical alliance, I immediately started requesting and warning both Mufti Sahab as well as Mehbooba Ji about the likely dangerous consequences and pressed for the course correction or even the realignment of secular forces. But nobody paid any heed to my sincere efforts to save the people, as well as, the party from the forth coming dangerous events, which I could foresee. I was even mocked at times by the political novices, controlling the Party today. There was no consonance between the coalition partners. Whatever was agreed, to be done, was not done. And whatever was agreed, not to be done, was done. May it be contesting validity of Article 370 and challenging Article 35A, of Constitution of India, Issue of the State Flag, Issue regarding banning beef, burning of two innocent Kashmiri truckers at Udhampur, harassing and lynching of Kashmiri students studying in different States, Dadri lynching of Akhlaq Khan, Himachal episode on beef, Haryana CM’s inflammatory statement against Muslims, rabid statements of Sakshi Maharaj, Sadhvi Niranjana Jyoti, Sadhvi Prachi, Giriraj Singh, raking up of alleged forced Hindu migration from Muslim dominated Kariana town in UP, forced feeding of Muslim Manager of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, while he was fasting, beating of MLA Langate, Er Rasheed, open refusal of our State’s BJP Minister to accept a Muslim as a District SP, dis-empowerment of majority of Muslim officers/officials by way of replacing them by non Muslims in BJP won Muslim majority Assembly Segments, unabated hate mongering about Kashmiris in general by certain self proclaimed, hyper nationalist electronic media, Issue for preparing ground for Uniform Civil Code in India, and very recently filing of a PIL in supreme court regarding banning the Muslim ritual of animal sacrificing on Eid ul Azha had a direct bearing on the Psyche of majority community of the State which created fears and apprehensions among Muslims. All these factors further cemented the fears in the minds of people about ill designs of RSS governed BJP and anger against PDP for the facilitation provided to them, which resulted into fast growing alienation. Here it is in place to mention that within six months of Mufti Sahab’s rule, I had very openly cautioned him that what RSS could not achieve in sixty years, they have been able to achieve within six months in our State, especially in Kashmir Valley. I cautioned him about opening of offices by BJP and likes in the valley and even the Shakhas by RSS in the fringe areas of the valley. But my word of caution was responded by Mehbooba Ji by saying that India is a free country and nobody can be stopped by anybody from opening their offices anywhere.
As if all this was not enough, the visible governance failure in both the stints of the present dispensation in the hands of Political Novices, Political Toddlers and Political Paratroopers added to the fast growing alienation. Their arrogant, irresponsive, insensitive and egoistic approach towards the basic needs and normal governance issues of the people on day to day basis alongwith certain unfriendly and unpopular decision forced people to resort to agitations. May it be decisions regarding Rehbar e Taleem teachers, National Food Security Bill, Sainik Colonies, Migrant colonies, employment policy, unachievable and unachieved Budget promises, all added to the simmering unrest. On top of it rampant corruption, blatant nepotism, dis-empowering and arm twisting of its own MLA’s compounded the governance deficit.
Furthermore, the Central Government’s non cooperative and hagemonial attitude towards the State, very inhuman and criminal delay in releasing the funds on account of relief to the flood victims, biased approach and attitude towards the students selected and sent for higher studies on Prime Minister’s Scholarship Programme, blatant refusal in Parliament for returning the Power Projects on the plea of legal and financial involvement, refusal to repeal AFSPA, again in Parliament fully exposed BJP and RSS for their fascist designs towards Kashmir.
Prime Minister Modi’s hand twisting attitude and imperialistic methods towards Kashmir issue and issues of Kashmir added fuel to the fire. His criminal silence on all Socio-Political and other sensitive and contentious issues concerning the State of Jammu and Kashmir, even during the present upraisal have been further angering the people time and again. He lulls into a make belief world that by blaming only Pakistan he has succeeded in identifying the real cause. He firmly believes that minus Pakistan there will be no Jammu and Kashmir problem. To my understanding it is self defeating and not a smart move even in favour of India. All in all, two years down the line, Mr Modi is in the job of pushing the Country towards Hinduisation. By doing so, he is undermining the Indian Nationalism, which has liberal space and place for diversity built into it. Though he could not convert his Machivillian and Jingoistic promises made by him during General Elections even to the people of Ladakh and Jammu into reality, but one must give devil his due for converting highly publicized “Incredible India into Intolerant India”.
Coming to the State Government there is a popular perception all over, that its agenda is increasingly being set neither in Srinagar nor even in Jammu, but somewhere else. The other impression amongst the people about it in Kashmir valley, Chenab and Pir Panchal areas is that BJP has been true to its Political ideology, while the PDP has lost the plot. Moreover, it is strongly felt by the people that the Politico economic compromises made by PDP in the form of entering into alliance with RSS backed BJP has been too much of a price to pay for, and they are accusing PDP of having blood on its hands. While attempting to unify North Pole with South Pole, the coalition, in my opinion, has failed miserably in bringing the gaps between regions and religions. Infact, the alliance has widened these gaps.
All these months I am being put to endless questions by people in general and PDP workers in particular who feel threatened and insecure in today’s situation, that:
- What happened to the philosophy of battle of ideas, which has turned into battle against ideas today?
- What happened to the Party’s slogan of “Grenade se na goli se, baat banaygi boli se”?
- What happened to the promise of engaging Hurriyat leadership with Government of India?
- What happened to the assurance of bringing India and Pakistan closer?
- What happened to the formula of self rule?
- What happened to the promise of bringing the Power Projects back?
- What happened to the promise of getting AFSPA repealed?
- What happened to the promise of dropping Public Safety Act?
They further question me:
- Why was PDP in the past, protesting on streets against civilian killings when it is on the same path today?
- Why was PDP in the past protesting for not allowing Friday congregations in Jamia Masjid, when the same is being done even today and even beyond that by not allowing congregational prayers on Eid-ul-Azha?
- Why was PDP in the past protesting for the continued arrest of Hurriyat leaders, which is again an unabated practice today?
- Why was PDP in the past protesting at its highest pitch against the use of Pellet Guns, when the PDP Govt. use the more lethal variant of same pellet gun for killing, blinding and injuring endless unarmed protestors?
- Why was PDP in the past protesting for arresting the stone pelting youth because they have been driven to wall, when today’s Govt. in chair has surpassed the number of arrests made previously in the same situation?
- Why was PDP in the past protesting for slamming Public Safety Act on Hurriyat leaders and the protesting youth, when the same practice is being adhered to by the government today?
- Why was PDP very vociferously advocating the just causes of employees rights, when today’s PDP Govt. has left no stone unturned to crush the employees rights?
- Why was PDP shouting hoarse in the past about rampant corruption and blatant nepotism, when today’s PDP Govt. has broken all previous records of such corruption and nepotism?
- Why was PDP in the past protesting against Governments employment policy, when a more exploitative and non people’s friendly employment policy was approved by the PDP Govt.?
My head would go down in shame on all these questions, as I have no explanation to offer to these just queries.
NOW COMING TO MYSELF
I have relentlessly toiled for building PDP’s house, brick by brick from the very first day of its formation. I was of the firm opinion that between the ideology of separatism on one side and hyper nationalistic forces in the state on other side, people in Jammu and Kashmir badly needed a space to breathe politically between the two. PDP till March 2015 had played its role as a Political buffer and a saviour of all kinds of rights of the people. But today in the present tragic circumstances when the people of my homeland are being subjugated to the highest degree of brutalities by a party which was floated to safeguard the life, property, honour, dignity, self respect and their political aspirations, made a turn around and treated its subjects much worst than the Natzi forces. I feel that still continuing with them would be equally subscribing to their administratively inhuman and politically unethical blunders. Though, everybody knows and it is on record that I had been warning the PDP leadership as well the people of the State for the dire consequences emanating from this unethical, diametrically opposite, temperamentally unacceptable and practically self seeking opportunist alliance for over sixteen months now, with a hope that a day would come, when they would give a heed to my request of seeking course correction. I was very forcefully consistent on it so that PDP’s “Buffer Character” could be saved which had blood and sweat of thousands of dedicated and selfless workers in it, who in the present dispensation are completely marginalized in the party set-up by the new entrants and paratroopers. Though PDP’s base was fast eroding with every passing day in these sixteen months, I still continued with my sincere efforts of saving PDP and the people both, as I didn’t want to be seen someone destabilizing his own house. But I must admit, I failed in this endevour.
But due to the antithesis, insensitive, irresponsible and irresponsive attitude and the phraseology adopted by PDP and its leadership has drastically made me upset, rendered me helpless and shaken my conscience. Every single day Kashmiris are being butchered, fathers carrying coffins of their young loved ones, hundreds being blinded, and thousands being injured. The number of injured is out numbering hospital capacities and the number of arrested is outnumbering lockups. Kashmiri blood is being spilled on walls, lanes and drains of the valley. For the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, people of Kashmir were forced not to offer Eid prayers. Certain shrines and Grand Mosque were even locked. My apprehension that by PDP’s facilitation RSS backed BJP would even impose RELIGIOUS INGRESSION stands unfortunately vindicated today. Though I was all along feeling suffocated due to PDP’s alliance with RSS backed BJP, my conscience was shaken during the last two months especially, due to PDP’s newly acquired avatar during the present upheaval by the treatment meted out in the hands of Central and State Government especially by PDP. My conscience cannot take it any longer. My heart is bleeding and my soul is crying for the people of my homeland. Hence taking a call of my conscience and as a mark of protest on moral grounds against the brutal policies of BJP at center and State Govt.’s complete sell-out and surrender before them, I have decided to disassociate myself from the primary membership of People’s Democratic Party and from the membership of Parliament to which I was elected from Srinagar Parliamentary Constituency in 2014 on PDP ticket. In this regard, I shall be forwarding my resignation letter to the Hon’ble Speaker of the Parliament as well. Today the Central and State Governments policies of unabated genocide in the worst form of inhuman brutality, continued denial mode towards the dangerous ground realities, their insensitive and adhocist approach towards Kashmir issue and for their continued blatant and open policy of dealing with Kashmiris by way of Oppressive, Repressive and Suppressive majors are other reasons for registering my protest.
In the end, I am leaving it to the conscience of all other Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, to decide whether they would like to side with their helpless people or let this bloodshed continue perpetrated by RSS driven BJP and facilitated by PDP. Furthermore, I would handfoldedly request the aforementioned public representatives that we are placed at a very critical juncture and by remaining silent would be equivalent to facilitate the fascist forces for more death and destruction and decimation of our distinct identity. I am sure, their following my pursuit would be an elemental stumbling block for the fascist forces to realize their evil designs. It would also attract the attention of all other forums that matter to uphold the Universal human values and human rights.
(Tariq Hameed Karra)
15th September 2016
Thqnk u sir if all the politicians of kashmir do the same thing then there is no longer time to get the independence from india