Published On: Mon, Mar 9th, 2015

Politics of action and Politics of word

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

It should be everyone’s dream to live in a society which makes an effort to be somewhat different than to what it was a day before. It is even more important to be living in a society which accepts the merits of an expressed dissent and remains prepared to correct itself. There is no point in waking up to the same routine and returning to the husk of yesterday. I had planned to examine the merits of CMP in today’s column. However, events are taking over the currency of topics and I had to defer this examination again.

The PDP-BJP alliance has not been taken very kindly by the common man in the valley and every analyst worth his or her salt has expressed an opinion. These opinions in aggregate remain adverse. One thing that differentiates PDP leadership, in this case, Mufti Sayeed from Hurriyat, NC, Congress, Communist party and others is his proven maturity and ability to ingress.

PDP took time and did not rush into any verbal or unidentifiable programme of common interest with BJP. One may have different interpretations of various elements and the manner in which these issues have been inked; there could be no criticism of the fact that PDP had the vision and ability to cause a written political agreement with BJP. The erring party in the alliance could easily be held accountable and taken to a third party for arbitration. The moral compass to which BJP is tied in the written programme can’t allow it to be expressly seen to default or breach. Any such breach by BJP would have serious repercussions in India, in Pakistan, in the valley and at all levels against BJP. If BJP errs, PDP would emerge as a favourite of all.

It is the merit of this written agreement that PDP was able to accredit Hurriyat, militants and Pakistan for a good turnout in the elections and endure the attack from NC and various elements in Indian politics. Mufti Sayeed did not stop at the politics of ‘word’ but started moving into a politics of ‘action’. The release of Muslim Conference chairman Masarat Alam from jail after four years of detention is a wise decision. Politically, Mehbooba Mufti may, out of compulsion or on the basis of her understanding, call it a ‘healing’ touch; in real world it is restoration of liberty of a person.

NC chief is miles away from a rational politics and respect for liberty, when he has tried to use Masarat Alam’s release as a one up against PDP. He has called the detention a prize detention and it is a shame to ridicule the release. A detention for four years, in fact for the full term of NC is a crime against a citizen.

We know PDP would not be able to get us stars. It is equally true that it can force a change by using its valley-based position and as a partner in the CMP. The first and foremost step should be ordering the police to return to their stations and cautioning the agencies to reconcile with the fact that they are operating in a disputed State and do not have to act as Gulliver’s in Lilliput. The loss of human life, the unprecedented violations o human rights, placing leaderships under house arrests and managing peace through the police and agency work, is no answer to the woes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

PDP should not forget and it needs to be helped by us (including Hurriyat) to this extent (if not to an all extents) that her partner in CMP is able to understand that it is a Muslim man and a woman in the valley who is subjected to death in custody, torture, disappearance, loss of liberty, rape and all manner of violation of human rights. There is a clear divide that the army, the police, the agencies and non Kashmiri political parties and the Kashmiri Pandits all target the Kashmiri Muslim as a ‘dreaded militant’, a ‘stone pelter’, an ‘anti-State’, a ‘Pakistani agent’ and the other communities in particular the Kashmiri Pandits have made hay while the sun shined in Srinagar, Jammu and Delhi. BJP and other such parties have outsourced the department of loyalty and trust to some Kashmiri Pandits.

NC and Congress need to learn and act gracefully, that it is not the question of them being out of governance but it is a question of defending the ‘life’, ‘property’ and ‘honour’ of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and to be more precise the Muslims in the valley. People have voted for PDP and BJP and both are committed to a CMP. Let us make genuine efforts to ensure that the alliance in general and PDP in particular is able to start moving into a political action.

Hurriyat in particular and other parties in general who have a self-sustained claim of representing the sentiments of the people, need to learn from the documented politics of PDP. They have to move from a politics of ‘word’ into a politics of ‘action’ as well. It is unfortunate that Hurriyat, JKLF and others who had a few rounds of talks with Indian Government (BJP) in the past failed to ink an agenda in writing as PDP did in structuring a CMP. Hurriyat, JKLF or others who had dialogue with the Government of India have nothing to show to Kashmiri people or the international community. There is no evidence to prove that they had the desired preparedness and ability required on the day.

One can say that PDP in CMP is transparent and documented for an external examination. Hurriyat on the contrary has remained egoistic, non-democratic and non-transparent in all her dealings during the dialogue. It has nothing to show as a breach by the Indian Government. In any future dialogue with the Government of India, Hurriyat and other parties, have nothing in writing and can’t blame Delhi for any breach.
PDP should be criticised and not to the point that it hurts our own people in the Valley. It should be encouraged to maximise the good of the people embedded in the CMP and cautioned not to hurt the jurisprudence of the Kashmir dispute for any party interest. It should not turn insensitive to the fact that the State is currently split into three Kashmir administrations on both sides of LoC. Hurriyat at the same time should not be allowed to disintegrate but it should not be trusted without merit. At this point in time Hurriyat has failed to bounce back on the platform to administer a politics of ‘action’.

Time does not stand still and Hurriyat and others alike have to re-visit the merits and demerits of their politics of 25 years since 1990. It is evident that unless the politicians who claim to be representing the ‘aspirations’ and ‘sentiments’ (which they may not) have a system like AAP, PDP, BJP and other political parties, there is no point in trusting their political vision or sincerity. It is unfortunate that Hurriyat and other parties, have cascaded from a position of moral and political heights to low levels of street politicking, aimed to occupy newspaper space in competition. If the politics of press statements and the common routine continues any further, people of Kashmir have a right to re-visit their trust and start examining Hurriyat and other like parties at all levels.

Release of Masarat Alam is a welcome step in the interests of human rights (respect for liberty). There should be a due compensation for detaining a person for four years and similar compensation should be charged against the police budget for the detention of many others. Taking a dissenting citizen out of circulation may be an easy way out for police. It is a crime and we should loath it. Masarat Alam’s release should follow up with other releases of all political prisoners in the State and those held outside the State. Jammu and Kashmir police has to redress itself with a burden of responsibility and refrain from a position that “Any direction coming from the government would be looked into and would be worked out.” Kashmir should not be outsourced to police or the agencies. Judge all politicians on their ‘action’ and not on their ‘word’. PDP-BJP have a CMP. We hope that Hurriyat and other parties do not lag behind on a documented programme.

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