Tuesday, 3 March 2015

For Modi in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, Best is the Enemy of Good.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the swearing-in ceremony of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, at Jammu University, in Jammu and Kashmir on March 01, 2015.

On a rainy Sunday in March, as BJP Cadre and supporters watched in trepidation, Mufti of PDP, was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

That the top leadership of BJP, in characteristic secrecy, kitchen cabinet huddle, left its rank and file, and voters out to dry, without any communication, did not help with acute discomfort, as long cherished precepts, of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the Sangh and RSS, on Article 370, lay asunder.

Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley, Amit Shah, and point man, Ram Madhav after a high decibel election campaign, which included, the smearing of Indian Army for Islamist populism,  could not manage a simple media statement.

Add to this information vacuum, out came Mufti, in his oath taking presser, with signature mealy mouthed, soft separatism, and 'my freedom fighter, your terrorist', sanctimony.

The BJP is yet to make the psychological leap from Opposition to Government, and most imminent crises are neither anticipated or preempted by a PMO still hungover from the paralysis of the UPA years. The sullen, resentful bureaucracy, once untouchable, suddenly seeing increasing prosecution and public shaming, has no skin in the game. 

The inability to comprehend, orient, and engage a crisis, in the backdrop of hostile media remains the bane of this 9 month old Government. The inability to induct and make new talent quickly productive in skills that the Government of India needs today, is further exacerbated with entry barriers created by inbred organisation dogma of the BJP, its ideological parent in the Sangh, including RSS and others.

For the many Indians, who saw Modi as someone who could do no wrong, the sheen and halo was off. The disbelief of seeing the narrative slide back to pre1990 Pakistan sponsored Islamist carnage, denying the sacrifice of the Army, Security Forces, and the Police, and the silent return to democracy by Kashmiri people, all jarred the patriotic and nationalist Indian. 

The Indian Army, the patron saint and saviour of Kashmir in Floods, Disaster or Pakistan sponsored Terrorism stands wronged by Narendra Modi and Arun Jaitley in Machhil and Budgam. It is ironic that men who were not born, and who have in no way contributed to the effort of keeping Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the Indian Union, were given a free hand to tar, what they didn't help build, or nurture, sometimes with blood, privation and sacrifice.

The silent threat of Mufti as head of the Unified Command, to AFSPA, the enabling provision of Indian Army's presence in Islamist insurgency wracked Kashmir Valley, made the same patriotic India, feel prone to blackmail. A nation held hostage to Narendra Modi led BJP's dalliance with the PDP.

Everyone who was seeing the return of Kashmir from the brink, Srinagar back to normalcy and rule of law, wrested back on the sacrifice on the funeral pyres of hundred Indian Army Officers, soldiers, policemen, wanted to know what had happened for the Modi led BJP, to enter into such an unholy alliance as a junior partner?

It is in the election numbers. That's what happened. Best is the enemy of good. 

Politics is the art of the possible is a terrible cliche but this is the only acceptable solution in the current Constitution framework. Short of partitioning Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh along religious lines, given the polarisation of Hindu Jammu, Islamist Srinagar, and Buddhist Ladakh, that is!

Mufti and Mehbooba and the rest of the PDP will run amok for a while with signature Islamist haitoba, and Pakistani hooting, but they have too many chestnuts in the fire, to not consider certainty of consequences. 

That this Coalition shreds long held notions of nationalism, and of the Jan Sangh, RSS, and BJP, cuts the other way for senior Coalition partner, PDP too. 

And, that PDP - NC, or PDP - Congress, or any other combinations did not crystallise, bares the reality of family Kleptocracy, as superior to Wahhabi Islam, in Kashmir too.
It is in this constrained, junior partner coalition, the BJP will have to work, so people of Jammu, Kashmiri Pandits and Ladakh get their due. How this will play out or not, and end in divorce, is not a new story. 

We see the same running with the hares and hunting with the hounds in Shiv Sena Coalition, albeit as a senior partner. Having said that, despite recent allegations on Haseeb Drabu secular credentials for J&K Bank' Hindu staff, he is a fine Economist, and can help the State towards economic growth and development. If equitable Governance and Development return to Kashmir, it could well become the proverbial heaven on earth, from the frigid security barricades, concertina coil, pillbox pockmarked, scorched land it is today. Maybe peace deserves such a chance.

Push comes to shove, the BJP can always dump the PDP Coalition, if the rabble rousing of Mufti and progeny became a persistent political hot potato. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and maybe it is destined for Modi to be backstabbed like Vajpayee was, but maybe the coming difficult six years, will be the miracle Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh deserves.

One must remember what Coalition breakdown, and ensuing Governor's rule means. India will not, can not, must not recognise the two nation theory, and for all the smear campaigns run against the BJP, it is Modi, like Vajpayee, who can dare to dream on the strength of the majority mandate, India pining for change and governance, gave him. 

First do no harm, after that it is Ram(BJP) bharose, and we are fine if PDP, says it as Inshahallah. Anybody who tries to predict the future here based on the past, is full of it. What will happen, will, but ideological mores, are more revealed in ideological punditry, media and those tempted by rank opportunism.

Waqt dekho, waqt ki dhaar dekho. To the Congress, allied minority appeasement votebank, and usual suspects in the media, happy rabble rousing!

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