Politics in Kashmir has always been a cesspool. Cutting across party affiliation and ideologies, the political elites of Kashmir continue to milk the so-called conflict. There is little hope that the filth in Kashmir politics shall be removed any time soon. The damming fact is that the culture of corruption here had the patronage of New Delhi. For decades, the state was literally dysfunctional. The political elites prospered at the cost of the Kashmir society.
For decades, our political class has also perfected the art of double speak. I remember that in 2004, I wrote that in a conflict-ridden region like Kashmir, politics is subservient to external but invisible forces.
On July 24, Prime Minister Modi chaired the meeting with the political leaders of Kashmir at his residence in New Delhi. About an hour before the meeting, India’s premier spy agency intercepted a conversation of Mehbooba Mufti with a top handler in Pakistan. According to highly placed sources, Mehbooba was told that the least she could do in the all party meeting with Prime Minister Modi was that she should stress for dialogue with Pakistan. “Forget about demand for restoration of Article 370 or statehood. Ask for dialogue with Pakistan,” Mehbooba was reportedly advised by the caller.
This brings to the fore the murky politics in Kashmir. I stand vindicated on what I stated in my first book, K File: The Conspiracy of Silence. I had written: Nothing is indigenous in Kashmir – neither the narratives nor the slogans.
Mehbooba’s unabated rant is not what the drawing room thinkers in New Delhi and elsewhere claim it to be. It is not the reflection of the general mood or any representation of the sentiment of the people. Mehbooba is now a Pakistan stooge hell bent upon creating problems for the people of Kashmir. Unfortunately her political opponents outside PAGD lack the will or the courage to stop her rant. New Delhi also seems to be divided on how to deal with her. Mehbooba has friends in the establishment who defend her actions and advise the government that no action must be initiated against her.