Saying is not doing!

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Politicians have a knack for saying one thing and doing another altogether. They master the skills of claiming one position while actually occupying another. And this trait is easily discernible when they are in power, and without it. Concerning a same issue, in power, their stance is entirely different and sometimes divergently opposite to the once when they are out of power and favour. In Kashmir, this divergence on stances concerning the same issue is far more pronounced and outright blatant.

Indeed a cursory look on the world politics also churns out countless examples to substantiate this. When Barak Obama was campaigning for the Democrat nomination for president in 2008, he differentiated between himself and fellow candidate Hillary Clinton by criticizing her plan to use a mandate — by which government forces citizens to buy healthcare — as an “enforcement mechanism” to “charge people who…don’t have healthcare”. He claimed the use of a mandate for those purposes was something he couldn’t go along with, something that demonstrated a “genuine difference” between himself and Clinton. However, in April 2012, Obama, by now comfortably settled as the US President, urged the Supreme Court not to rule against the mandate in ‘ObamaCare’ because his healthcare reforms cannot survive “in the absence of an individual mandate”.

So such flip flops and duplicitous positions of the political leaders are endemic to politics almost everywhere, Kashmir certainly being no exception. Fact of the matter is that politics has, world-over, more or less same set of rules and everybody active in the political arena goes by them almost identically.  “You can say what you have to say to get over the hump, but once you’re over the hump, you do whatever you want to do!”

In other words, it’s okay to present yourself as something moderate, even centrist, for the purposes of securing power, and once you’ve secured that power it is perfectly acceptable to revert to who (and what) you really are. This is demonstrated in an example of Vladimir Lenin in pre-communist Russia. Lenin said that “the government has the guns and therefore we are for peace and for reformation through the ballot. When we have the guns it will be through the bullet.” And so it was. Isn’t it true for the kind of politics Kashmir has been witnessing of late? So Governor Satya Pal Malik is right when he points to these compulsions!

As is clear from Lenin’s example, our politicians also talk one way while out of power in order to get into power. And once in power, they revert to doing whatever pleases them and suits the scheme of things at that given point of time. But by now it is expected that the people of Kashmir should have evolved with sufficient political maturity to see through this deceit. With elections round the corner, politicians would go lengths in promising moon and stars like they have in the past, but then hindsight is also something that people should bear in mind while deciding on and expressing their choices whenever the vote is in their hand to decide who gets to represent and rule them.

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