In a tense atmosphere whereby protests are mounting against the atrocity committed on the innocent young Asifa Bano in Jammu, the CM of occupied Kashmir had the temerity to equate such protests as signifying the united spirit of sympathy exhibited by all Indians without realising that Muslim and Hindu opinion are at a great divergence about the issue.
The Muslims considered the inhuman treatment meted out to the little girl in Jammu as a deliberate ploy to eject them from Jammu whereas the Hindu opinion clearly absolved the perpetrators of this heinous crime and puts blame on Gujjars of Jammu for encroaching upon land against the law.
Mehbooba Mufti did not have the guts to stand up to the strong communal bias of her coalition partner BJP and did not have the courage to chastise two Hindu BJP ministers of her cabinet for participating in Hindu Ekta Manch that was organised to protest against the arrest of Hindus accused in Asifa murder case. The two ministers very aggressively sent their resignations to BJP which forwarded them to Mehbooba to save her face.
On the other hand she promptly sacked her cabinet colleague Finance Minister Haseeb Darbu for the ‘crime’ of stating that Kashmir was not a political issue but is full of social problems that need to be addressed right away. What Drabu, a former journalist, mentioned was very mild in comparison to the vitriol often witnessed in the diatribes of RRS-inspired BJP that speaks volumes about the dominance of Hindutva principles overtaking moderate political opinion in India.
PDP-BJP coalition government in Kashmir whose 25 ministers include 14 Muslims and 11 Hindus is hardly cognisant of the actual feelings of the Kashmiris who have stood up against its openly communal attitude. If the proceedings of Ekta Manch are a guideline to the intensity of communalism unleashed by Modi regime in India then Kashmiris clearly are not left with any option but to secede.
Mehbooba Mufti also is completely unmindful of the fact that Asifa incident was the result of a deliberate communal intention to clear-off Muslims from Jammu and Asifa’s murder was to convey to them that their even their children are not safe. The atrocity clearly reveals a pre-designed mindset that has aggravated communal relations in the valley. Unfortunately, the union government of Narendra Modi is in cahoots with the aggressive designs of Hindu extremist opinion that abhors presence of Muslims inhabitants of the country.
To add fuel to the incessant insurgency in Kashmir the Modi government extols performance of security forces in the valley. Plans are afoot to provide them more weapons and ammunition so that they can more effectively quell the insurgency. That such a policy is deeply resented by Muslims of Kashmir holds no value in the eyes of the communalists.
Mehboob Mufti’s PDP alliance with BJP has made her unable to see the truth for herself. She knows that the three decades old insurgency in Kashmir has no solution within the Indian polity but she is rendered blind by the power she currently enjoys and does not realise that her office is dependent upon the whims of BJP.
Mehbooba Mufti is off course the product of slavish culture which her father Mufti Saeed followed to attain and then remain in power. She knows that her party was voted to office to restrain BJP from making further inroads in the state but she has turned a blind eye to the fact after assuming her high office.. She daily observes excesses of the Indian army unleashed on hapless Kashmiri citizens but never utters a word against them.
The insurgency in the state is incrementally increasing as is evident by the massive turnouts in burial of freedom-fighters martyred by security forces. It is very open to any observer that Kashmiris will not agree to any solution offered by Indian Union and will surely one day succeed in their freedom struggle.
Much more truthful and prudent than her sister is Tassaduq Mufti, her brother who is Tourism Minister in her cabinet and his observations represent the general opinion of a cross-section of Kashmiris. He categorically states that although the coalition is in control of the state but it is not trusted in the valley at all. He considers the hard line adopted by India in Kashmir as the obstacle that could only be removed with the blood of the Kashmiris.
Kashmir is gradually inching towards a stage where the Indian government will be unable to overcome the collective resistance of the Kashmiris and will have to one day budge against the forceful show of their increased alienation. How long will it take is anybody’s guess.
Muhammad Rafique is associated with trade and industry