Those who say that people opposing Modi should go to Pakistan must remember that if India becomes a communal country, Kashmir would not remain its part, said an irate Farooq Abdullah; patron of the ruling National Conference, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy and candidate for the Srinagar constituency in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. An immature statement of this nature coming from a man of stature and responsibility like Farooq Abdullah is indeed unfortunate.
This implies that Jammu and Ladakh are free to go their own way and it is only Kashmir that he is concerned about. This, coming from a person who has been honoured by the people of Jammu and Ladakh as their Chief Minister several times, sounds particularly repulsive.
It is surprising that the statement has not come to the notice of the Election Commission despite its clear secessionist connotation. It is now quite evident that Farooq Abdullah is no better than the likes of Syed Ali Shah Geelani and that he has a secessionist mindset that has been hidden behind a mask of secularism and nationalism. When faced with the slightest tension in an otherwise roller-coaster political ride he has taken no time to show his true colours.
Farooq Abdullah has conveniently forgotten the time when he was in political wilderness. Ultimately, he sought help to bounce back from the very same BJP that he is foul-mouthing now. As CM, he was a part of the same NDA when it was in power at the centre. His son learnt his political ropes as Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs of the NDA regime. Narender Modi was very much an important part of the NDA regime at that stage also; in fact, he was deeply involved in the affairs of Jammu & Kashmir. Where was Farooq Abdullah’s love for ‘secularism’ at that point in time?
The state is now going through the Lok Sabha Polls which are a prelude to the next democratic election to be held a few months hence. Despite this great opportunity and happy situation, leaders like Farooq Abdullah have not been able to earn the complete trust and faith of the people whom they profess to lead. They have failed to generate the confidence that would make the people feel free and secure.
This is quite evident from the low voter turnout in a few regions of the state especially the Kashmir valley. Polling in the valley is low not because people do not wish to vote; it is low because of hesitation on their part due to threats and intimidation by divisive forces.
Coming back to the statement made by Farooq Abdullah – Let us for a minute say that India does become a communal country, then where is the great leader Farooq Abdullah going to take his flock? To ‘secular’ Pakistan or to ‘secular’ China! At this juncture it is necessary to raise the question – Have the mainstream parties of Kashmir stood up to the aspirations of the people? It is for them to introspect, reinvent and revisit their priorities and policies. The honeymoon period is long since over and now is the time to deliver.
– Jaibans Singh