Published On: Thu, Feb 12th, 2015

Srinagar to learn from Delhi

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By Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani –

The exit polls on Saturday Delhi elections have pitched the three year old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) launched in November 2012 as one to cross the halfway mark in the 70-member Delhi Assembly and form government on its own. In 3 years it has emerged with a strong cadre among all classes and all ages. AAP does not have any country or the world community at its back. It is still marching on and continues to define its merit and relevance against Modi wave and Obama advantage granted to BJP Government.

It has many lessons for Kashmiri political parties based in Srinagar. Hurriyat and other mainstream parties have lessons to draw from Delhi elections. Hurriyat was formally launched on 31 July 1993 with a much broader support and distinguished merit. Pakistan offered full political, moral and diplomatic support. 57 other Muslim countries and the UN (international community) remained at its side. It is over 22 years and the Kashmiri leadership does not have a cadre like AAP or seems anywhere near its defined goal.

Mainstream political parties in particular PDP in Srinagar which has pitched for an alliance with BJP to have a stable Government, necessary for development in Jammu and Kashmir has been proved wrong by an electorate in Delhi. AAP has focussed on development without corruption for the Delhi people and people seem to have trusted this slogan. AAP has to deal with the BJP led federal Government and it seems that AAP leadership and the electorate in Delhi are politically conscious and honest.

In a federation the federating units need not have a carbon copy Government (like one in the Centre) to ensure development and their due share in the common budget. Delhi has voted for AAP and against BJP. It has exploded the myth which is being drummed by PDP as a reason for alliance with BJP. This criterion could not be applied in Kashmir because the State is not a federating unit. It has acceded on a temporary basis and has not merged into the union. The temporary accession is pending adjudication at the UN.

Delhi elections may have added more problems for PDP, than it would have earlier hoped to solve. PDP has been mesmerising the people that it had been working on its own terms and conditions and would not sell out in any manner against the interests of the people. Knowing the sensitivities of Kashmir politics and the apparatus that runs Kashmir affairs from Delhi, it does not convince political scientist or a Kashmir watcher, that Governor’s rule would have been contemplated by Delhi without a behind the curtain ‘yes’ from PDP.

This argument that BJP had a PDP yes could be sustained on two counts. Firstly, PDP had the options and an unconditional offer to form a Government and if it desired it could have barricaded the use of article 92 favouring the Governor’s intervention as an agent of the Centre. Secondly, PDP had campaigned to keep BJP out from the Valley and people had rejected BJP. Therefore, it could have easily raised the scare crow of remaining loyal to Valley voter and turning its back on facilitating a short tenure of BJP rule through article 92 or a full share by forming an alliance.

PDP has been on the indoor political race track with BJP all along. Its undeniable evidence has surfaced in PDP and BJP co-operation in the Rajya Sabha seat sharing in Jammu and Kashmir. Credit goes to NC and independent candidates who have voted for Ghulam Nabi Azad and assured his re-election. It may be a different story that Jammu and Kashmir, Valley in particular, has never profited from its representation in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha all these years. These representations have turned infertile for the people of Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir representatives in the two houses in the Indian Parliament are inaccessible for the common man and woman and at the same time a history of debates reveals that these members have not represented the interest of the people. It is a shame that these members are disciplined by the rules retained in the A4 size files of the agencies in Delhi. The report planted in a section of the Kashmir press is a music to our ears and in fact a creditable step taken by Government of India, that it had given clear instructions to all intelligence agencies not to interfere in the election process for Rajya Sabha in Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar has to learn a lesson from AAP and Delhi elections. The first one is that faith can move the mountains and people are an instrument of change. This instrument of change should be much sharper in Kashmir. Delhi electorate could not be fooled by or intimidated by Modi Juggernaut and BJP election war machinery that marched on the streets and appeared on TV screens of Delhi. AAP through its commitment and programme was able to trust in its ability to be able to stop the Modi juggernaut and meet BJP penny for penny and word for word. On the contrary Srinagar and its streets were not as intimidated as we saw in Delhi. The Modi hype created by the secret agencies, desiring to install a communal administration and push their agenda has been buried in Delhi politics.

NC, PDP, PC, CMI and other independents could have considered to join in with Hurriyat (including JKLF and MC), for a strong common drive to educate people of Kashmir about the disputed status of the State and about the need of a different narrative to meet BJP penny for penny and word for word. If Delhi electorate could defend its interest in corruption free development on the strengths of its own narrative, at variance with the BJP narrative, there was nothing to demoralise the people of Kashmir.

Kashmiris are a people described at the United Nations as people of legend, with a song and a story. The stories emerging from PDP camp that only ‘father and daughter’ take decisions in the party, could have been addressed by making private and neutral inputs to the party at various levels and by cautioning them that Kashmiris could not be arrayed for any further sacrifice. After election and after taking oath the elected people remain under double restraint popular and constitutional. They are relevant as long as they carry and retain the peoples’ trust. Although there is no law in Kashmir to recall an elected member, a new beginning could be made by charging against an erring candidate and bringing a petition against him or her.

It is time that PDP in particular (and other political parties in general) which is working on a CMP with BJP and which as part of this deal has secured two slots in the Rajya Sabha, should consider without further loss of time a CMP with all political parties which were part of united Hurriyat on 31 July 1993 and with all other political parties which qualify as identified at the 285th meeting of the UN Security Council on 19 April 1948.

According to this “The Government of the State shall forthwith be reconstituted so as to give equal representation to each major political group in the State, viz, the National Conference, the Muslim Conference and the Azad Kashmir – which will each be invited to designate an equal number of responsible representatives to constitute a Council of Ministers. This Council of Ministers may choose one of its members to act as President, but in the allocation of the portfolios it will be guided by the advice of the Commission”.

It is important that Hurriyat (united as in July 1993), NC, PDP, Azad Kashmir (including GB) and other parties as appropriate start interaction to install a Government envisaged by the UN for the disputed State at Srinagar. India and Pakistan could facilitate the formation. Common people shall have to regroup and take on the responsibility as the instrument of change.

Srinagar to learn from Delhi

Dr. Syed Nazir Gilani

The exit polls on Saturday Delhi elections have pitched the three year old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)  launched in November 2012 as one to cross the halfway mark in the 70-member Delhi Assembly and form government on its own. In 3 years it has emerged with a strong cadre among all classes and all ages. AAP does not have any country or the world community at its back. It is still marching on and continues to define its merit and relevance against Modi wave and Obama advantage granted to BJP Government.

It has many lessons for Kashmiri political parties based in Srinagar. Hurriyat and other mainstream parties have lessons to draw from Delhi elections. Hurriyat was formally launched on 31 July 1993 with a much broader support and distinguished merit. Pakistan offered full political, moral and diplomatic support. 57 other Muslim countries and the UN (international community) remained at its side. It is over 22 years and the Kashmiri leadership does not have a cadre like AAP or seems anywhere near its defined goal.

Mainstream political parties in particular PDP in Srinagar which has pitched for an alliance with BJP to have a stable Government, necessary for development in Jammu and Kashmir has been proved wrong by an electorate in Delhi. AAP has focussed on development without corruption for the Delhi people and people seem to have trusted this slogan. AAP has to deal with the BJP led federal Government and it seems that AAP leadership and the electorate in Delhi are politically conscious and honest.

In a federation the federating units need not have a carbon copy Government (like one in the Centre) to ensure development and their due share in the common budget. Delhi has voted for AAP and against BJP.  It has exploded the myth which is being drummed by PDP as a reason for alliance with BJP. This criterion could not be applied in Kashmir because the State is not a federating unit. It has acceded on a temporary basis and has not merged into the union. The temporary accession is pending adjudication at the UN.

Delhi elections may have added more problems for PDP, than it would have earlier hoped to solve. PDP has been mesmerising the people that it had been working on its own terms and conditions and would not sell out in any manner against the interests of the people. Knowing the sensitivities of Kashmir politics and the apparatus that runs Kashmir affairs from Delhi, it does not convince political scientist or a Kashmir watcher, that Governor’s rule would have been contemplated by Delhi without a behind the curtain ‘yes’ from PDP.

This argument that BJP had a PDP yes could be sustained on two counts. Firstly, PDP had the options and an unconditional offer to form a Government and if it desired it could have barricaded the use of article 92 favouring the Governor’s intervention as an agent of the Centre. Secondly, PDP had campaigned to keep BJP out from the Valley and people had rejected BJP. Therefore, it could have easily raised the scare crow of remaining loyal to Valley voter and turning its back on facilitating a short tenure of BJP rule through article 92 or a full share by forming an alliance.

PDP has been on the indoor political race track with BJP all along. Its undeniable evidence has surfaced in PDP and BJP co-operation in the Rajya Sabha seat sharing in Jammu and Kashmir. Credit goes to NC and independent candidates who have voted for Ghulam Nabi Azad and assured his re-election. It may be a different story that Jammu and Kashmir, Valley in particular, has never profited from its representation in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha all these years. These representations have turned infertile for the people of Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir representatives in the two houses in the Indian Parliament are inaccessible for the common man and woman and at the same time a history of debates reveals that these members have not represented the interest of the people. It is a shame that these members are disciplined by the rules retained in the A4 size files of the agencies in Delhi. The report planted in a section of the Kashmir press is a music to our ears and in fact a creditable step taken by Government of India, that it had given clear instructions to all intelligence agencies not to interfere in the election process for Rajya Sabha in Jammu and Kashmir.

Srinagar has to learn a lesson from AAP and Delhi elections. The first one is that faith can move the mountains and people are an instrument of change. This instrument of change should be much sharper in Kashmir. Delhi electorate could not be fooled by or intimidated by Modi Juggernaut and BJP election war machinery that marched on the streets and appeared on TV screens of Delhi. AAP through its commitment and programme was able to trust in its ability to be able to stop the Modi juggernaut and meet BJP penny for penny and word for word. On the contrary Srinagar and its streets were not as intimidated as we saw in Delhi. The Modi hype created by the secret agencies, desiring to install a communal administration and push their agenda has been buried in Delhi politics.

NC, PDP, PC, CMI and other independents could have considered to join in with Hurriyat (including JKLF and MC), for a strong common drive to educate people of Kashmir about the disputed status of the State and about the need of a different narrative to meet BJP penny for penny and word for word. If Delhi electorate could defend its interest in corruption free development on the strengths of its own narrative, at variance with the BJP narrative, there was nothing to demoralise the people of Kashmir.

Kashmiris are a people described at the United Nations as people of legend, with a song and a story. The stories emerging from PDP camp that only ‘father and daughter’ take decisions in the party, could have been addressed by making private and neutral inputs to the party at various levels and by cautioning them that Kashmiris could not be arrayed for any further sacrifice. After election and after taking oath the elected people remain under double restraint popular and constitutional. They are relevant as long as they carry and retain the peoples’ trust. Although there is no law in Kashmir to recall an elected member, a new beginning could be made by charging against an erring candidate and bringing a petition against him or her.

It is time that PDP in particular (and other political parties in general) which is working on a CMP with BJP and which as part of this deal has secured two slots in the Rajya Sabha, should consider without further loss of time a CMP with all political parties which were part of united Hurriyat on 31 July 1993 and with all other political parties which qualify as identified at the 285th meeting of the UN Security Council on 19 April 1948.

According to this “The Government of the State shall forthwith be reconstituted so as to give equal representation to each major political group in the State, viz, the National Conference, the Muslim Conference and the Azad Kashmir – which will each be invited to designate an equal number of responsible representatives to constitute a Council of Ministers. This Council of Ministers may choose one of its members to act as President, but in the allocation of the portfolios it will be guided by the advice of the Commission”.

It is important that Hurriyat (united as in July 1993), NC, PDP, Azad Kashmir (including GB) and other parties as appropriate start interaction to install a Government envisaged by the UN for the disputed State at Srinagar. India and Pakistan could facilitate the formation.  Common people shall have to regroup and take on the responsibility as the instrument of change.


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