Unceremonious Yes; Unexpected No
Unfortunately it wasn’t any member of BJP, but Governor NN Vohra who informed Mehbooba Mufti about the political divorce she had been destined ending her three year old government in Jammu and Kashmir. The way in which this unholy alliance was ended by B.J.P from Delhi itself describes the credibility Madam Mufti has earned these years. When in 2015 Late Mufti Sayed decided to form an alliance with an otherwise ‘communal’ B.J.P, many in the valley including his supporters were left surprised. But considering the political acumen former Chief Minister had, many believed that the alliance might be better than that of NC Congress.
For nearly a year Mufti Sayed oversaw a government trying to concentrate on developmental front with no outreach to Pakistan or separatist camp. After the untimely demise of Mufti Sayed, his political heir Mehbooba Mufti after deliberations decided to continue the alliance since it was formed by her Late Father whose dreams she continued to evoke every now and then. After the killing of Militant leader Burhan Wani, protests consumed the valley and this North Pole-South Pole government proved to be hegemonic and dictatorial.
Mehbooba mufti supervised a deadliest crackdown with the use of lethal weaponry like Pellet guns and immediately over a hundred young men resting in their graves and thousand others partially or completely blinded a scar that is more painful than death.
With no political initiative in sight a new generation was driven towards militancy. As Mehbooba Mufti enslaved by New Delhi did nothing to stop the inevitable, GOI headed by man, they say has a 56 inch chest, ordered a brutal crackdown and the valley learnt a new word CASO. Encounters became a routine with south Kashmir the erstwhile strong hold of Muftis bearing the brunt of new age insurgency. People thronging to encounter sites to help the trapped militants to find an escape route became a new norm and army showed no mercy in shooting those inside or outside. Terminology kept changing and those massacred miles away from gunfights for no crime of theirs were termed as ‘Upper Ground Workers’.
A narrative was created in mainland India that this is the final battle against Kashmiri militants and political, bureaucratic cheerleaders and also television anchors celebrated every death. Mehbooba Mufti who still mourns the demise of her father showed neither any sympathy nor any need to end this political gamble when teenagers were being killed almost each day. South Kashmir, where from Muftis earned the mandate for governance, has become a battle field with people from each hamlet bearing the brunt in one or the other way.
Jammu on the other hand isn’t either pleased with the coalition that just witnessed a breakup. Communalization is at its peak to divide communities before parliament elections as was evident after the brutal rape and murder of a tribal girl in Kathua when even tricolor was waved in the rally taken in support of rapists cum murderers.
With BJP and PDP parting ways, both these political parties will try to go back to their constituencies and try to befool people once again. Whatsoever for the time the state has in general and the valley in particular has got some reprieve from most oppressive government it has ever seen. Mehbooba Mufti’s tenure though extremely tyrannical is now over and rightfully so as they say “each dog has its day”.
(Author is a Ph.D. Scholar and can be reached at [email protected])