It’s election time, the time when leaders are in the public to ask people’s concerns and to tell them why to vote for him and why not to others. In India, Lok Sabha election 2014, for the first time is witnessing such a use of advanced technology and internet. All the parties are using it to reach out its cadre and prospective voters. Almost every big name in this L S election has taken the help of Google’s Hangout to get (virtually) connected with the voters and the workers of the party. Unlike interviews on the TV channel, Google hangout is a two way communication of the participants. On the March 5, J & K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah also was on Google hangout for 1 hour. In this hangout he answered queries related to Afzal Guru’s hanging, Death penalty in UPA government. Double standards were clearly visible on the issue of Article 370 and Godhara riots.
On Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots and whether he expected the Gujarat Chief Minister to apologise for it, Omar said (while interacting on Google Hangout), “Do I expect, yes, of course, I do. The country expects that somebody who is claiming to be Prime Ministerial material should at least own up. Forget about apologising, if you can’t apologise, at least take up the responsibility.”
Gujarat riots occurred after 58 pilgrims returning from Ayodhya by train were burned alive. Inhuman charring of pilgrims including small children and following Godhara riots were unfortunate to happen. In Gujarat, nothing of this short has happened after that. All short of scrutiny were put in place to check alleged role of Narendra Modi, Prime Ministerial candidate from BJP. He has faced all the inquiries and came out clean.
In Jammu & Kashmir, Kashmiri Hindus were forced out of their homes after mass murders, rapes and loots. Kashmiri Hindus come out of Valley empty handed and till today they are living as refugees whereas in Gujarat minorities are far more prosperous than they used to be in 2002. Also, in August 2013 riots took place in Kishtwar city of J & K in the presence of Home Minister of the state, Sajjad Ahmad Kitchloo. J & K government is not yet able to win the trust of the minority Kashmiri Hindu society to bring them back in the valley. In the meanwhile slow migration is forced upon on Hindus of different parts of the J & k by inducing Kishtwar like events.
Mr Omar should apply a small part of his (pseudo) ethics on himself which he is applying to Narendra Modi. His father, Farookh Abdullah, was the CM of the state when the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus followed by exodus has happened. Did he ask his father Dr Farooq Abdullah to apologise or apologised himself to Kashmiri Hindus and Kishtwar riots. Denying even basic rights, In J & K approximately 2 millions of people are forced to become refugees on their own motherland from more than 60 years. Did Mr Omar or his father ever apologise to them?
Unhappy with the Afzal Guru’s punishment, Omar Abdullah again spread the misinformation about the article 370 by saying that “Article 370 is the link that connects Jammu & Kashmir to the rest of the country.” We all know that Maharaja of J & K was the (only) authority to decide about the accession of Jammu-Kashmir which he decided on 26 October 1947. J & K became part of India on October 26, 1947 whereas Article 370 was enforced from November 26, 1949.
Omar Abdullah was also on false propaganda while saying that “Article 370 can’t be abrogated in J & K,”. Fact of the matter is that President of India has the power to abrogate the Article 370.
(The writer is a researcher at J&K Study Centre, New Delhi)