The skills of our political parties in wooing the masses to political rallies amidst all odds and tribulations at times intrigues and baffles even the seasoned think tanks of politics in India. After celebrating its 19th Rising Day in Kashmir province, the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party managed another mammoth rally in Jammu province. People from all walks of life and spaces of Jammu region made a bee line to this rally and many people could be seen standing and listening to speakers at this function.
Before I embark upon the analysis and thorough understanding, I believe the ethics demand to first and foremost extend a congratulatory note to the chief coordinator of J&K PDP, Jenab Hamid Choudhary for his exceptional team management and organizing skills. Imagine the hot and humid conditions took a toll upon the party mentor who was seemingly uncomfortable for a while just standing for 25 odd minutes. In the light of such horrible climatic conditions, Mr Choudhary surely deserves praises and applauds for such a mass gathering. He proved to the party what commitment and sincere efforts can yield. Even though the odds are heavily loaded against J&K PDP for failing to complete its full term of governance, arrogance and corruption of its elected members, lost connect with grass root workers and masses, Kashmir centric politics and above all the climatic conditions of Jammu Region, Hamid Choudhary bridged every odd with his human resources skills and connect with the masses.
Coming to the role and speech of speakers in general, most of the speakers were seen defending the decision of Lt Mufti Mohammad Sayeed entering into the alliance with a right wing political party through multiple analogies. Most of them probably drew some inspiration from the same proverbial ‘Cup of Poison’ which their mentor and current party president highlighted in her speech at the rally held in Kashmir. One promising thing which we see through the speeches of these leaders reflects through their unbiased and totalitarian outreach for all the issues miring the state of Jammu and Kashmir, something which was found missing in their preceding rally at Srinagar. This is a promising sign for a party like PDP which desires to be back in power with a majority and the patrons of this political outfit must take a heed from its Jammu based leadership to tailor and chalk out a future course of action. The manner in which all the speakers and leaders of PDP lauded and cherished their chief patron and founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and expressed their unequivocal support to their current patron and President Ms Mufti, offered an understanding that any threat of division in party needs to be purely attributed to its Kashmir based cadre. Jammu based cadre spoke in one voice and unison over various aspects of development and peace, which forms the basic tenants of any democratic dispensation.
It seemed Ms Mufti while speaking on the occasion was in the same mode from where she left it in Kashmir Rally. As she completed her ritualistic gestures of extending thankfulness to the party workers and general masses, she trained her guns again at the Centre blaming it choosing puppet governments in Jammu and Kashmir. Though through her speech she gave an impression that this thought emanates from masses, but she forgot that the onus lies on the main stream political parties of state to correct these wrong notions. Ms Mufti must understand that if a lie is told hundred times, it appears to be true, and it is her responsibility to correct all such notions which further delineates the masses of Kashmir from India. Such discourse has already led this state to chaos and bloodshed and it must stop coming from the top echelons, else the day might not be far when people will stop trusting main stream political parties of state.
While delivering her speech Ms Mufti repeated and vehemently upheld the successes of her government during Vajpayee era claiming it was then at the behest of Lt Mufti Sayeed that ample and considerable progress was made in establishing peace in the state of J&K. However, she ought to know the efforts of peace and amity have always been explored and stringent efforts made by Government of India ever since Independence and merger of J&K with Indian Dominion. The main stream politicians in Jammu and Kashmir must know the aggressor and threat to peace in Kashmir has always come from Pakistan and it is Pakistan which has always defeated all honest and sincere diplomatic exercises by India. Pakistan has been doing mere lip service and never walks the talk for reason best known to us all. In the light of this truthful scenario, the politicians of our state who have always been advocating, nay, rather threatening India to enter into a dialogue at all costs with Pakistan must understand the role of Pakistan in unleashing the waves of bloodshed through armed insurgency. Ms Mufti does acknowledge that Musharaf had promised to stop the use of Pakistani Territory by armed mercenaries at the behest of Vajpayee, or Modi’s visit to Pakistan at the behest of PDP, much against the wishes of policy circles and general masses. It is pertinent that she must further apply herself to the larger understanding of the repeated failures of all peace movements or diplomatic ties by India. It is pertinent that she and all the politicians of Jammu and Kashmir who often indulge in arm twisting India over talks with Pakistan enter into some rightful thinking free from any biases or political mavericks and maneuverings if they are truthful and sincere to the cause of Jammu and Kashmir.
One of the biggest challenges for the main stream politicians in this state is to bridge the divide amongst all three regions, and allocation of resources on equitable basis. J&K PDP president Ms Mufti seemingly failed to offer a convincing assurance to masses at rally about her unbiased stand and equal treatment of all the three regions. Needless to say that the regional divide or the perception of a regional divide is equally rooted in the psyche of Jammu and Ladakh regions as the notions of puppet governments in the mindset of Kashmiri. At one end Ms Mufti goes ahead to defend the mind set of Kashmiris and at the other minces words about a perception in Jammu region.
Jammu region hold the key to any future prospects of J&K Peoples Democratic Party and it cannot ignore the mundane and basic issue of this region. The burden of a failed coalition looming large on PDP burdens it to seek more innovative ways and means of holding its flock together and resurrect itself at the grass root level. Kashmir Centric politics is not going to pay the necessary dividends now, and it is time this party falls back to the principles and ideals of its prime mentor and founder.