This Blog provides an insight on the Kashmir-issue, India and Pakistan. The articles on this Blog can be best described as thought-provoking. The articles thrive to trigger debate about the miseries enslaved Kashmiris are facing and discuss also possible solutions to this long standing conflict. It also aims to convince readers why Independent Kashmir is the best solution for all parties involved.

jkdlp

jkdlp

Friday, June 20, 2014

NC’s obduracy and Farooq’s misfortune...

Tell the Truth, or someone else will tell it for you” (Stephanie Klein)

Whenever an individual or a party perpetrates oppression on its own people, God Almighty sends down his wrath on them. Humiliation is their fate.


Having ousted Maharaja Hari Singh, Sheikh Abdullah‘s dynasty and National Conference considered Kashmir as their private fief leaving her people economically and educationally retarded. They suppressed and stifled their political.  Ironically those imposing boycott of elections on people overtly subject the nation to the designs of National Conference and Congress combine.

Four months from now Assembly elections will be held.  Recently concluded parliamentary elections have wrecked vengeance on the Congress party all over India for corruption, lawlessness and divisive politics. The NC could not win even one out of three parliamentary seats in the valley. Three times elected Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah had to suffer crushing defeat at the hands of a novice from PDP namely Hamid Karra  who won with a lead of 42 thousand votes.

Apart from this, both the parliamentary seats of Anantnag and Baramulla, hitherto in the hands of NC, have been wrested by PDP candidates. Mahbooba Mufti defeated her rival Mahboob Beg by a margin of more than 65 thousand votes, and in Baramulla constituency, Muzaffar Beg of PDP defeated his rival Sharif-ud-Din Shark by a margin of 25 thousand votes.

The defeat of Farooq Abdullah is a bitter lesson for the Sheikh dynasty and the NC. Its roots are in their wrong doings and anti-people policy.  Farooq’s rejection by the electorate is a signal that his political fate is sealed.

NC and its top leadership are frantically trying to retrieve their damaged political credibility. Gimmicks like raising the retirement age of government employees and teachers up by two years are not going to bring dividends. When the employees kept demanding extension in age limit during past five years of NC rule, all they got were baton charges, arrests, incarceration and water cannon.

Farooq Abdullah’s bait of providing employment to one lakh candidates is an act in desperation. People don’t trust his word.  About 70 per cent recruitments made recently in J&K Bank, were of blue-eyed candidates of the Finance Minister, Chief Minister and the acting Chairman of J&K Bank, a lackey.

Dispassionate survey will show that 80 per cent of recruits have connections with either Congress or NC. For ordinary people with no political clout, there are lathi charge, jail and incarceration.

Power rests with people. I have my logic for opposing calls for boycott of elections. We have made tremendous sacrifices and we may have to make more. The goal is still elusive.  The system gives us the right to throw out oppressive regimes exploiting our resources for personal aggrandizement. We can throw them out through the force of ballot and bring in more capable and responsive representatives to govern. Taking part in polls does not mean surrendering our aspirations or the struggle for freedom. Boycott legitimizes oppressive tendency. Ironically those who have fought election in earlier days give the boycott call and repeat the practice of Plebiscite Front.


Boycotting election means giving space to the ruling class to grab political power and eliminate sincere candidates. Boycott calls goes in their favour not against. Therefore boycott call is more lethal than the gun because it helps oppressive, tyrannical and dishonest leaders to become the arbiters of people’s destiny.

Lok Sabha elections have proved that people are not bereft of political consciousness. People have made the Sheikh dynasty and NC understand that they are not the undisputed masters of Kashmiri nation and their land.

NC is now feeling the pain arising from the cries of stone throwers put behind the jails. This is the only region of the world where bullets are fired at stone pelting urchins. Now NC leaders and its stooges are swearing by their love for Kashmir. They make all sorts of right or wrong announcements for the betterment of people. But people will not be misled any more.
In order to bring more awareness to the people, we shall be doing the post-mortem of the deeds of NC and its leadership in this article: 

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, Chowdhury Abbas, Allah Rakha Sagar, Hamidullah Khan and others founded the All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference.  Impressed by the nationalistic spirit of the Indian National Congress, and in view of his growing friendship with it, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah changed it into National Conference in 1939. Muslim Conference continued to exist under the leadership of late Chowdhury Abbas and Allah Rakha Sagar. On the one hand Sheikh Abdullah raised the slogan of Quit Kashmir in 1946 and on the other he wrote from his prison letters of his loyalty to the Maharaja of Kashmir.

British India was divided but a decision about the State of Jammu and Kashmir remained in limbo. The Maharaja wanted to keep his State independent and self ruled. That is why he offered standstill agreement to both the dominions. Pakistan had accepted it.

Entire political landscape in the State changed with the attack of the tribesmen on Kashmir in 1947 and the uprising in Gilgit-Baltistan. The Maharaja of J&K appealed to the Viceroy (later on Governor General) of India, Lord Mountbatten, for military assistance. India predicated the request with the condition of accession. In response the Maharaja signed accession with India on three subjects, namely defense, currency and foreign affairs. Indian troops landed in Srinagar into the on 27 October 1948.

On Nehru’s behest Sheikh Abdullah was released and made Administrator. He was also called Wazir-e Azam or Prime Minister. NC activists were also armed and the Sheikh formed Kashmir Militia.

In the election of 1951, NC grabbed all the 75 seats in the assembly without any contest. The contestants were not allowed to fill their nomination papers or were pressurized to withdraw from opposing NC candidate.

From 1948 to 1953 National Conference unleashed oppression against supporters of Pakistani ideology and opposed NC or those who talked about democracy. It was owing to his oppressive policy that many people migrated to Pakistan. Stuffing the mouth of the adversary with hot potatoes was the torturing instrument with the NC at that time. They used to drag their adversaries and political opponents out of their homes.

The Sheikh developed differences with Pandit Nehru in 1953 as a result of which he was dismissed as Prime Minister and sent to the prison. National Conference and the government both were grabbed by Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad and his associates.  Sheikh Abdullah and Mirza Afzal Beg founded the Plebiscite Front and raised the slogan of plebiscite following the UN Security Council Resolutions. India interned Sheikh Abdullah, Afzal Beg and some more of their colleagues. The entire body of National Conference led by Bakhshi Ghulam Muhammad sat cozily in the lap of India.  National Conference was converted into Indian National Congress in 1965.

Surprisingly till 1953, the same National Conference targeted Pakistani supporters and opponents of NC’s policy for all out oppression. But after the arrest of Sheikh Abdullah on 8-9 August 1953 the same activists of NC unfurled green Pakistani flags, raised slogans of Pakistan zindabad and demonstrated rock salt as the symbol of Pakistan.

No doubt the Sheikh was a charismatic personality. His voice was mesmerizing and despite his high rhetoric of secularism, he would open his public speech with recitation from the Holy Book. People madly rushed to attend his rallies. He was not a shrine worshiper, and in fact subscribed to the ideology of Ahle - Hadith. Nevertheless, he made Hazratbal shrine a platform for the propagation of his political objectives.

The present structure of Dargah Hazratbal was raised under the instructions of Sheikh Sahib. He had raised donations for it. He also initiated the policy of social boycott (tarki-mawalat) against the Congress party activists. He would not allow Congressmen take water from his water taps.

But suddenly in 1975, there happened Sheikh-Indira Accord. Congress had a majority in the Assembly and in the light of this Accord the Congress members made Sheikh Abdullah the chief minister and Afzal Beg as deputy chief minister. Interestingly the same Congress members in the Assembly who voted for Sheikh Abdullah and Afzal Beg had been earlier declared by Sheikh Abdullah as the “worms of a dirty drain”. He had forgotten his social boycott against them and denying them water from his tap.

This reminds me of an incident of those days. A poor neighbor in our locality was denied water from the tap as he was considered pro-Congress. But my mother, a courageous person, came out and carried water to his house through an additional pipe from our own water tap. She often said,”To deny water is an evil deed, the deed of Yazidis and I do not want to stand before Allah as one in the row of Yezidis.”

At that time, there was not a single member of Sheikh’s party in the Assembly. It will be reminded that Z.A. Bhutto had given a call for strike against Indira-Abdullah Accord, which was largely responded by the people but after some days when Sheikh Sahib returned from Delhi to Kashmir, same people came out to give him a rousing welcome. Press reported that a crowd of over a million people had come out on the streets of Srinagar to receive him.

Soon differences appeared between the Sheikh and the Congress party. He dissolved the assembly and sounded the siren of 1977 elections. People returned him to power for next five years with thumping majority. After 22 years of hobnobbing with Plebiscite slogan, the Sheikh said “that was wandering in the wilderness”.

A number of Kashmiri youth sacrificed their precious lives during those twenty-two years. Not one but two generations of Kashmiris have suffered uncertainty and indecision. During these twenty-two years, Sheikh Sahib had become the lighthouse for the people of Kashmir. The slogan of man in the street was “ Alleh kare wangan kare bab kare bab kare” meaning whatever he wants to do he is authorized to do as he is the father of the nation.

One wishes he had not signed the Accord with Indira. The real confusion that has haunted Kashmiris is the twenty-two year long struggle of Sheikh Sahib and the Plebiscite Front.  Before this struggle could reach its logical conclusion, Sheikh Sahib failed to regain from India either the pre-1953 status for the State or internal autonomy. He could not even make New Delhi accept the demand of calling the chief minister of the state as wazire - azam and the governor as Sadre – Riyasat.

For 22 years he had been instilling hatred against India and love for plebiscite in the minds of Kashmiri youth. He brought them face to face with the biggest tragedy, and ideologically made them helpless victims of deep confusion.  He did not give open call for self rule for this state but demanded the right of self determination for the people of the State in accordance with the UN resolutions.

These resolutions give the people of the State only two options of joining either India or Pakistan. In other words since Sheikh Abdullah had turned against India after 1953, therefore by demanding plebiscite he actually demanded accession to Pakistan.

That is why rock salt was demonstrated to rally the people behind NC for elections in 1977. And when power was grabbed, he termed the struggle of past twenty-two year as “wandering in the wilderness.” In other words, his power was snatched in 1953 and then in 1975 he compromised for regaining power.

Kashmiris as a nation did not get anything out of this Accord that restored power to Sheikh Abdullah. However, of course, Sheikh Sahib did obtain hereditary “kingship” for his son and grandson at the cost of vital interests of Kashmiri nation.. A study of his biography Atesh-e -Chinar reveals that Sheikh Sahib and his family were almost on the verge of starvation. Today the grapevine speaks about billions as its assets.

He passed away in 1983. Millions of Kashmiris joined his funeral procession. The fact remains that up to the day of his death, people were partners in all decisions that he took, good or bad. But this proved disastrous for this nation. He was a towering leader and never allowed anybody else to rise so high on the political platform in Kashmir. If he had concluded an agreement with New Delhi that focused on national interests of Kashmir, it could have brought some relief to the Kashmiri nation. He concluded Accord with New Delhi for securing power for himself. In doing so he did not only humiliate the Kashmiri nation but also made his son Farooq and his grandson Omar to shed tears on unwanted intrusion and interference of New Delhi in our affairs.

When the Congress managed Farooq’s ouster from power in connivance with Jagmohan, he spoke against his father in a public rally in Uri as this, “ Young people, be ready to fight and put the grave of my father on flames for it was he who had made accession with India.” But despite these masked gimmicks, the same Farooq entered into coalition partnership with Congress under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi for elections in 1987. MUF had taken part in that election. By rigging elections and perpetrating other atrocities, Farooq laid the foundation of armed struggle in Kashmir.

Let me remind the nation that opposition parties also contributed to ideological frustration of our nation. These could not perform any commendable role. Jamaat-e- Islami took part in elections and Geelani Sahib fought three Assembly elections. In 1977, all opposition parties including those led by late Molvi Muhammad Farooq, late Abdul Ghani Lone, Rashid Kabuli, Ghulam Mohiu’d-Din Qarra and Kochak Sahib all joined Janata Party and fought election against Sheikh Abdullah. They had prepared themselves to fight Sheikh Abdullah in elections only to secure power for themselves instead of strengthening the honour and freedom of Kashmiris.

In collaboration with Congress, Farooq grabbed power in 1988. Kashmiri youth took up the gun. Governor’s rule was imposed in 1990 which saw the ouster of Farooq. In 1996, he was once again provided crutches of majority vote and returned to power and became Chief Minister. In that election in most of the constituencies less than 2 per cent votes had been cast. Yet he continued to be the Chief Minister from 1996 to 2002.

History repeated itself in 2008. With the support of Congress, the grandson of Sheikh Abdullah became the chief minister. He moved a step further from his father or grandfather in bringing dishonor and humiliation to the Kashmiri nation. Before he assumed the reins of power, the assembly had already, during the regime of Farooq,, passed a majority resolution calling for internal autonomy of the State. The bill was forwarded to the Central government when BJP was at the helm of affairs. It consigned the bill to the dust bin without any debate in the parliament.

Closer analysis reveals that this was also a consequence of the Indira-Sheikh Accord. The Sheikh had sacrificed twenty-two years of his struggle for personal aggrandizement. Because the State had lost its status and dignity as a result of Indira-Sheikh Accord, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was sidelined and almost neglected when the Central government took the hasty step of executing Afzal Guru the Martyr.

State Assembly enjoys no credibility and respect with Indian rulers. Let me succinctly recount how far NC has dragged Kashmiri nation to the morass of servility during its rule.

Prior to 1953, Sheikh Abdullah did the good work of putting an end to landlordism and distributed the land among the tenants. He incepted compulsory schools. But after lifting the thought process of Kashmiris, their dream of freedom and to the heights of the sky, he suddenly signed Accord with Indira Gandhi and with that let his nation plunge deep in confusion and uncertainty.

During the rule of NC, Hydroelectric power projects like Buglihar, Kishen Ganga, Dul Hasti, Salal were handed over to NHPC without safeguarding the interests of the state. Today the NC is making a fool of the people by asking the NHPC to return these projects to the state. The State lags behind five decades in supply of electric power.

It may be recollected that it was a Finance Minister of NC who had said that the State had the capacity of producing 22000 MGW of electricity. Additionally, seven other power projects were also handed over to NHPC during the government of Farooq Abdullah.

• PSA was imposed during the NC government. Under this rule thousands of Kashmiris were incarcerated for five to fifteen years despite intervention by the courts of law.
• The much hated and notorious Task Force is a gift of NC. Under this Force, thousands of Kashmiri youth were subjected to oppression; thousands of them disappeared. The veil and the safety of four walls of the home were put on public auction. This Force left behind lasting impression of fear on the minds of Kashmiris.
• During the NC regime the practice of nepotism and recruitment of kith and kin in police department became a regular practice. NC has always used the police force to stifle the voice of Kashmiris. False cases were regularly framed against citizens. 
• NC never showed respect to ideologies. It hobnobbed with BJP to grab power and when BJP was ousted from power, it shook hands with UPA. The only principle that NC pursued with unrelenting determination was to grab power by hook or crook even at the cost of sacrificing the larger interests of the people.
• During the regime of NC, administrative departments met with degeneration and bribery and black-marketing attained supremacy in all walks of administrative structure. Funds obtained from Awqaf sources were distributed among kith and kin and close associates under the banner of soft loans (qarzah - hasneh)
• Hospitals turned into butcheries. Patients neither receive proper treatment nor proper medicines. Whatever medicines are made available to them are spurious.
• During the regime of NC, four hundred new born babies died in G.B. Pant Children’s Hospital in the course of one year only, In such a major criminal happening not even a ward boy was touched leave aside the question of the Chief Minister’s resignation on moral grounds.
• Ministers and other VIPs found involved in shameful scandals were put in the seats of ministers once again.
• If we talk about state’s economy, the fact is that the entire state has been made a consumer state. Mega projects are announced with great fanfare. These are seldom brought to the notice of the public in their entirety because they are allotted to special persons close to NC.
• Recruitments made at various vacancies usually go to the influential NC leaders or party workers. Yes some of the recruitments are made in return for bribes.
• Most of the contracts like those of building roads or construction of school buildings or laying of parks or any other task that government wants to execute are generally allotted to those people who are recommended by the ministers or party echelons.
• Not more than 10 to 15 per cent of any Central Government’s sponsored scheme percolates down to the general masses of people. Its main beneficiaries are the ministers, bureaucrats or NC activists.
•Hundreds of millions of rupees are spent on government schools. Most of it goes to the pockets of the teachers appointed by the ministers, officers and their close associates. Government schools carry zero credibility with parents. There is a big gap between the number of students enrolled in government schools and the number of teachers provided. Contrarily schools with smaller number of students are provided more teachers as these teachers are influential and manage to stay close to their place of duty. There are many schools that have no building at all and the students spend the day on open ground in hot sun or in rains. I know of a government school in Srinagar which has 30 students and 20 teachers. Mid-day meals provided to the students are consumed by the teachers as well. About 310 High Schools in the valley are without the Head Master. The reason why private schools are looting the students and their parents is that the government schools have a very poor performance much below the expected level.
• What will be the state of educational institutions in a State where entire educational staff is engaged to help the son of the Education Minister go on cheating in the examination?
• Most of the schemes of PHE of supplying pure drinkable water end up in fiasco within six months. What can be said about this department other than that our mothers, sisters and daughters still have to carry pitchers of water on their head for a distance of three and four kilometers.
• Almost 80 per cent of roads, whether Highways or town roads are dilapidated and potholed. A newly built road caves in within two months of inauguration. Not more than 25 per cent of actual sanctioned budget is spent on these and substandard material is used. The contractors are given either to the close relatives of NC Ministers, senior party leaders or their protégé or are allotted against a handsome bribe.
• Maqbul Bhat was martyred during the regime of Farooq Abdullah and Afzal Guru during the regime of Omar Abdullah. Both executions happened during the regimes of NC.

In the course of 2008 elections, NC and its Chief Ministers made repeated announcements in election rallies that our government will provide employment, roads, water and electricity to the people. But this sentimental nation got none of these facilities. Now that Assembly elections are fast approaching, NC has learnt to play many antics like shedding crocodile’s tears on the execution of Afzal Guru, or raking up the AFSPA controversy. Of late the issue of internal autonomy is again stirred up. All these antics are meant to be-fool this nation time and again. The irony is that our people do get be-fooled.

During the regime of Omar Abdullah there happened a case of rape and murder of  two innocent girls in Shupian in 2009, The culprits have not been apprehended so far. In 2010 bullets were fired at unarmed people. Its victims were mostly Kashmiri youth and children. 117 of them lost their lives.

NC is not only responsible for all these crimes; it is also responsible for selling out the larger interests of the Kashmiri people to the rulers in New Delhi. It is responsible for making the entire nation bow to the whims of Delhi rulers. The State Assembly has no powers that could provide any comfort to the people of Kashmir. It is again traced to Indira-Sheikh Accord and NC leadership. This drama is repeated time and again only to be-fool the people. On the one hand its leaders exploit the people while staying in power and on the other hand they also issue anti-India statements.

There is lot more to be said but let me conclude it here with the verse from Iqbal: 
“Khuda ne aj tak us qaum ki halat nahin badly
Na ho jisko khayal ap apni halat ko badalne ka”


This is also what the Holy Qur’an says.

This article was published in a shortened version in various Kashmiri newspapers, on the 19th and 20th of June 2014.