SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir former Chief Minister and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah said that he is struggling with the question of whether he should continue in politics or not. He has reveale4d that he has no easy answers and has a lot of doubts, journalist Karan Thapar wrote in a brief write-up in The Wire after conducting his interview.
Omar’s sensational remarks came during an interview with Thapar in which Omar bares his soul and reveals self-doubts, loss of motivation and the fact that he is struggling with the question of whether he should continue in politics saying he is jaded and de-motivated.
“It’s not an easy question to answer. It’s not a question that I have an emphatic answer. The fact that I have doubts about the answer is an answer in itself,” Omar said when asked whether he wants to continue in politics.
“I find it very difficult to motivate myself. I have lost motivation. A certain light inside may not have been switched off but it’s a lot dimmer. I have never been like this,” The Wire quoted Omar as having said, adding he is struggling with the question of whether he should continue in politics.
He said he has no easy answers and has lot of doubts.
In the interview, Omar has said that it’s not easy to reconcile with what was done to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, when the Central Government had withdrawn special status of J&K and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
“I’m finding current realities lot more difficult. It’s not easy to reconcile with what was done to Jammu and Kashmir 16 or 18 months back. It’s not the question of some persons being detained and released after a few months. It’s the injustice that has been done to Jammu and Kashmir. It’s difficult to come to terms to that,’’ Omar said in an emotional 40 minutes interview.
He added that he had never been like this.
“I’m not that enthusiastic as was 18 months ago,’’ he asserted.
“In the past year and a half, I feel deeply jaded and disappointed today. I wasn’t this person before August 5, 2019. I find far more difficult to motivate myself to do basic political activities today which wasn’t the case one and a half year back. It doesn’t fill me with any enthusiasm. I’m deeply de-motivated,’’ Omar said.
Asked how the people of Kashmir react if Narendra Modi is to stay in power, the former Chief Minister observed that there is the same degree of alarm and worry among the people of Kashmir as is among the people who didn’t vote for him (Modi).
“Modi is elected with 34 or 35 percent vote. There is a sizeable chunk that doesn’t vote for him. People of Kashmir have similar views as rest of population in the country which doesn’t vote for Modi. There is fair degree of concern,” he said in an interview.
Omar asserted that not only the people of Kashmir but sizeable population in India including the majority community have concerns over what’s happening in the country.
“I still have faith in the Supreme Court of India,” he said. But he is also anguished, he adds, at the “court’s ‘complete, inexplicable and mind-boggling’ lack of urgency” in dealing with petitions challenging the Government’s action in Kashmir.
Referring to the Chief Justice of India’s statement that the apex court can always set the clock back if it chooses to, Abdullah asks, “How will the Court turn the clock back? Will things not have become a fait accompli?”
Adding that the Government fails to recognize the anger and unhappiness of the people, he says that most Kashmiris do not expect to get justice from this government, which they fear and distrust. A section of the people was always against India, he points out, and says that their number has grown and so has the number of youngsters joining militancy.
“The person who went into the detention centre on the 5th of August 2019 is not the person who came out…I always believed in what I was doing. I believed what I was doing was right. Now I don’t know where I am at the moment”.
Omar Abdullah accepted that his response to what has happened in Kashmir after August 2019 and the doubts in his mind about both his future, both political and personal, are very different to the fighting spirit shown by his father when The Wire interviewed Farooq Abdullah in September 2020. “We’re different people”, he said. “He has 30 years more of experience. I’m 50 and believe that I still have two decades ahead to do something with my life.”
Speaking to The Wire about the Abdullah family, which have been accused by the BJP and even by the Prime Minister of not just mis-governance but of loot and making money at the cost of the Kashmiri people, Omar said: “Honestly I have long given up the urge to prove my patriotism. I know who I am and what I stand for. How often do I have to keep proclaiming it?”
Talking about his personal predicament, Omar said: “I will never be Indian enough for a section of the media. On the other hand, for a section of Kashmiris I’m not Kashmiri enough. I fall between two stools. However, I’m reconciled to that. I don’t aspire to acceptance. I have learnt to be true to myself.”
Speaking about how Muslims are treated in India, when Omar was asked if they feel like second class citizens, he replied: “That’s a reality. There is not doubt on that.”
Speaking of himself, Omar Abdullah said that he has not personally experienced prejudice but added “my place in society is not typical of Muslims in India”.