The ongoing crisis in Kashmir has given rise to two questions: Is India on the brink of losing Kashmir? And, is governor’s rule imminent in Kashmir? There are few things that we must consider before answering these questions: First, the PDP-BJP coalition has failed in the state. It is being seen as “eternal betrayal” by many since the PDP had contested the election on an anti-BJP plank.
Second, as far as the Agenda of Alliance (AoA) of the coalition is concerned, the BJP’s side of bargain of AoA is being implemented in letter and spirit, while the PDP’s side has been thrown out.
Third, while the BJP has consolidated and added supporters to its vote bank, the PDP is losing ground.
Fourth, governor’s rule can be imposed any time in Jammu and Kashmir as New Delhi thinks that the PDP is tarnishing its image nationally by mishandling the situation in Valley.
Moreover, India will have a new president by mid-July. If a BJP ideologue moves to Rashtrapati Bhavan and if governor’s rule is imposed in Kashmir, it will be a direct rule of the BJP in Kashmir.
As far as the equation between the two coalition partners is concerned, the ball is fairly rolling in BJP’s favour.
The PDP needs to take few steps immediately to remain relevant in Kashmir.
First, they must push for initiating dialogue with the Hurriyat and Pakistan.
Second, Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik must be freed and allowed to hold public meetings so that Kashmiris remain answerable and there is no anarchy on the streets.
Third, the government must book all erring officers responsible for any kind of misconduct in Kashmir.
Fourth, Mehbooba must stop playing into the hands of her coalition partners and security command.
That Mehbooba is powerless is evident from this incident: On April 24, she chaired the PDP’s core group meeting. One of the main highlights of the meeting was the rising tensions between the government and the Army after the registration of an FIR against the forces for tying a youth to vehicle and parading him through 12 villages.
Sources said Mehbooba told the core group that she had to talk to the director general of police twice to get an FIR against the Army registered.
This amply shows where power rests in the state.
Daanish Bin Nabi is op-ed editor, Rising Kashmir
The views expressed are personal