After BJP leaders’ visit to Kashmir as part of the all-party delegation, the BJP has slightly nuanced its position on the state.
Its hardline views vis-à-vis separatism and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act remains, but it has been tempered by an emphasis on a healing touch to the common man. The BJP believes that some leaders’ visits to separatists like Syed Ali Shah Geelani only worked to legitimise them and undermine the image of the Indian state, and that while separatists need to be actively countered, it is the common man who needs to be engaged. “In normal circumstances, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Geelani are just Friday speakers with little relevance,” a senior BJP leader said, adding, “When the government dithers amid unrest, their stature goes up. Azadi then becomes a realisable thing for many...”