Mainstream Politics in Kashmir: Writing on the wall
The political space in Jammu and Kashmir for the mainstream political spectrum is shrinking, for their failure not only regarding the sentiment of the people but at the development end as well. With the result, least takers even left for the ruling party like Peoples Democratic Party PDP even in its bastion South Kashmir for it stands in shatters. Pertinently, during early 2000 New Delhi was beating drums that Mainstream polity is making comeback of sorts but in recent times its ground has shrunk to maximum.
The main stalwarts of big parties hesitate to affiliate themselves with the parties earlier they have worked for. After 2016 uprising such mainstream political stalwarts preferred to stay in secured zones like Srinagar or Jammu. As a matter of fact, The election turnout in the parliament elections held for Srinagar Loksabha seat last year was ample proof that mainstream politics in the Kashmir stands decimated, with South Kashmir since then notable even to see the conduct of elections since then and all plans and procedures regarding the election which were to be held, for parliamentary seat was kept on halt due to violent and turbulent situation in South Kashmir.
Gun is now becoming the first choice of angry, educated, agitated and economically well off youth in Kashmir and this reality manifests itself from South , North Kashmir and to Central Kashmir . While as we know the resistance leadership call for boycott which previously used to have no evident effect, but with growing time the deception of mainstream parties has made the disillusionment, hence proving that résistance politics is not just a reality but a powerful veracity.
The prominent regional Mainstream political party- National Conference which has ruled the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir for most periods of time and is still viewed as a grassroot workers party but it has miserably failed to get its vision document and slogan Autonomy implemented although attaining the full majority in the state assembly, or any of its provisions implemented hence exposing their credibility, when in power NC could never aggressively raise its vision of autonomy as they promise before elections. The party has already got the tag of surrendering the resources of the state to the central government for meager in return. Coming to PDP it promised sky but proved to be an anti climax for valleyites when it entered unholy alliance with right wing Hindutva BJP, the party it had promised to keep away before elections. From the day this party has proven recipe of disaster for the ill fated state. PDP has ceded much ground to BJP and failed to safeguard even basic interests of the people of Kashmir. The public voices, sentiments and protests have been equally crushed with utmost brute force by both parties when in power. When they are pushed into the opposition they become best voice of human rights aptly showing their hypocrisy in broad day light. The result of this inept and inefficient and above all wicked politics played by the premier mainstream parties is before everybody.
The basic political problem of Jammu and Kashmir is narrated with the problem of development or unemployment as has been proven wrong by fact that rich, educated and even employed ones laying their lives as rebels. With their declining influence and shrinking space it looks even New Delhi is also giving mostly deaf ear to claims and does not take them serious. What remains on ground is nothing despite few drawbacks in its working the utmost efficacy of resistance politics as the only viable alternative for the youth. Resistance is an existence now, not just a felling confined to what was termed as the bastions of pro-freedom politics earlier. But it seems to be pan Kashmir phenomenon now. The viewpoint of pro-freedom politics has stood the test of time as their narrative of the situation hold firmly on ground and above all the credibility of the militant leadership and modus operandi stands all time high. The writing on the wall for the mainstream parties is clear that if they are really sincere in representing the sentiment of the general masses they must implement their so called agenda for resolution of political issue, recognize the popularity of resistance sentiment prevalent on ground and must represent the same before their masters in Delhi Darbar.
On the other hand, the dwindling mainstream also should make India as a state to introspect its failures in Kashmir as it has always tried to impose its leadership and policies over the people of Kashmir through the power of oppressive tactics and never really let real democratization happen. Its betrayals with even mainstream politicians have contributed to its failures in Kashmir. Even when they try to hoodwink the global audience by comparing Kashmir with war torn Syria it indirectly also not just highlights but even proves the failures of their policies. India needs to look beyond imposing mainstream and suppression, repression of the masses and take realistic steps towards resolution of basic political issue of the Kashmir politically.
Today the talk of bullet ruling supremacy over ballot is found due to the inefficient mainstream political parties and voices. The height of alienation towards mainstream in Kashmir can be seen from the fact that despite ceasefire being announced youth are picking arms and see even the Confidence building measures like ‘Ceasefire’ as just another time buying tactic of the mainstream. It simply suggests that the Time for makeshift arrangements for the mainstream political thought in Kashmir is over and when one can clearly say that it is the time of walk the talk for the mainstream politics and politicians in the state to make their respective stands clear viz a viz Kashmir issue and must not correlate it to the issues pertaining to the development of the state.
For the moment we can clearly state that the mainstream politics in Kashmir with every passing moment is becoming redundant and outdated to say the least. However resistance leadership is gaining masses out of the failures of the mainstream leadership in net shell.