The two parties which were like North Pole and South Pole came together but why?
Shamsher Chandel, Opinion@The Hushpost: Politics is the art of the possible. And BJP has mastered it well. When in 2014 it supported People’s Democratic Party, political analyst for Kashmir affairs Gowhar Geelani had called it an unholy alliance. But the reason attributed to this ‘unholy alliance’ by the newly-weds coalition partner was that since BJP had won most of the seats from Jammu-Ladakh region and PDP from Kashmir, the two parties were the natural heirs to power. Despite the fact that BJP is a Hindu right-wing party and PDP is soft on separatists, the two North and the South Poles, as then Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had called it then, came together.
Muftis suspended Kashmir resolution the PDP way & enjoyed the temporariness of power, as comes with life
Obviously, it was opportunism at play by both, PDP’s more and BJP’s less. PDP has always said that they want to involve all stakeholders so why did they come together? PDP headed by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed probably thought of suspending Kashmir resolution the PDP way and enjoy the temporariness of power as comes with life. Mufti did, in fact, for life. And then came his daughter Mehbooba Mufti, who too enjoyed the temporariness of power till BJP pulled the plug. After all, life is such and people who live by the moment are the wisest as was the father-daughter Muftis, who didn’t refuse what came free. BJP has known and lived with the coalition like a child grows out of his mother’s lap and into his wife’s arms. And that’s how it mastered this difficult art of strange political enamour and then sudden goodbye kiss? In fact, after winning 2 seats in 1984 General Elections, they started out in troubled waters when BJP supported a rickety coalition comprising Janata Dal in 1989, which strangely had the Left parties as part of the alliance. And when everyone was worried about Mandal agitation, they rode out of the coalition and said goodbye on a Ram Mandir Rath. The fact that they started out in troubled waters, 30 years down the line they know how to fish in them. In Punjab, they have had Akalis as alliance partners, is a well-known fact, who once were sympathisers of Khalistani terrorists. But that is an academic point. For now, the focus is Kashmir. 2019 elections are nearing and the Kashmir cow could give a lot of milk.
BJP doesn’t want to win Kashmir right away, they don’t want to lose Jammu & India
PDP wanted healing touch for Kashmiris, BJP would like Kashmiris to believe that they stood by PDP’s healing touch when Army and security personnel were wounded killed at the hands of stone-pelters and terrorists. Now BJP has cleverly fluctuated its position at the right time with appropriate period left to tackle Kashmir the BJP way. Even as the TV debates to analyse the aftermath of the BJP-PDP divorce was on, security forces had killed two terrorists at Tral. Is this metaphoric of the immediate future of Kashmir? The larger picture it presents is that BJP doesn’t want to win Kashmir right away. For now, they don’t’ want to lose Jammu and India. As far as Kashmir is concerned, it goes to the Army in the most unbridled manner possible. Most of the Indian voters do not mind it. And that perfectly suits BJP.
BJP has full one year and its time starts now
BJP has full one year to handle Kashmir and address through it the question that is close to their heart, the question of nationalism, which is the mother of all TV, facebook and twitter debates and subsequently garner votes. We may never know if BJP will be successful at it. Perhaps voters will comprehend, discuss and debate and then decide whether BJP has successfully tackled the issue.
For now, Kashmir is in tatters, PDP’s far-sighted resolution of Kashmir by involving all stakeholders including India and Pakistan and National Conference talking about greater autonomy of the pre-1953 kind, and BJP saying that terror and talks cannot go hand in hand, Kashmir is living moment to moment, minute to minute, sunrise to sunset and then plunges into the same darkness it has seen in the past, it has lived with, died with and incarnated into time and time again.