Friday, November 24, 2017
 
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JK calls for PM’s attention




By B L Saraf


Narendra Modi’s phenomenal rise from a small time party worker to the highest executive post in India is, largely, attributed to his “disruptive innovations which he has mastered as political tools to capture the imagination of rapidly changing polity.” That is why he has been delivering almost every election victory to the BJP, ever since he assumed power in Gujarat, in 2000.

That Modi is a decisive leader was never in doubt. His recent decision of unusual character which caused a disruption in the economic activity, having stood the test at the bar of people has reaffirmed such a belief. People, in general, admire a decisive leader, even if his decision looks momentarily unpopular. Having won UP and Utrakhand, rather decisively, Modi must turn his attention to J&K. Kashmir needs a decisive PM. Narendra Modi can foot the bill. The State has been simmering for long. The continued Status – Quo, probably, is not working to the advantage of any. Therefore, it is time when a serious effort must be made to disrupt it. Retaining, however, General Pervaz Musharraf’s statement that there can be no Azadi or change in the borders, as a base line.


All political parties have a role to play. It augers well that Omar Abdullah is looking beyond 2019, in the aftermath of 2017 Assembly election results. With his lame duck friend Rahul Gandhi falling a dead duck, Omar has lot of time to fine tune his political stance towards the national politics and in association with others, leverage it to the benefit of Kashmir cause. In Kashmir a different kind of challenge exists which calls for a different kind of response that need not always be adversarial. A bipartisan effort is required. Well, every political party has to be ready for an electoral battle but, in larger interests of the people, one need not be always in an election mode.


The State needs as much a innovative political initiative to settle the outstanding issues as, indeed, it requires economic reconstruction. It is heartening to note that despite adverse conditions youth in the State have found traction with PM’s Start Ups and other initiatives, for a gainful employment. Momentum can be maintained, only, with the restoration of political stability.


Now that Muslims in the mainland have started to repose faith in him and given his good equation with Arab countries , PM should feel enabled to start the process of engagement with all stake holders in the State. For PM Modi to start the exercise, various road maps put forth by various political parties, operating in J&K, and Round Tables arranged for solving the vexed ‘ K ‘ issue are there to pick from. They are in the shape of Autonomy Resolutions, Self- Rule document, Achievable Nationhood, Reports of Interlocutors and Round Table Conferences, prepared at the behest of the GOI. They could be taken out of the shelf – dusted and handed over to the unbiased professional to sift, there from, what is common to them or near common which can be reconciled with genuine urges of the people, living across the State . A working paper could then be prepared to design what is achievable. In such a characterization regard, however, must be had for the local, sub – regional and regional – as also the ethnic considerations.


Mr Modi told his followers to feel humble on the burden of success. He has seen the recent election results as ” foundation of new India.” So let him usher in qualitative change in the State to make a new J&K within the true federalism of that ” new India.” For that a disruption of sorts in the prevailing Status – quo is required. Jammu and Kashmir is going through troubled times. Intermittent spells of peace is no cause for anyone to become complacent. A rare and precious commodity, peace is always in short supply, here. It is, therefore, better to utilize this limited supply to devise means to ensure its longevity.


Let politician Modi become the statesmen PM and extend a hand of cooperation to the estranged youth of the state, as also to the separatists – who are willing to play the game – and engage with them in a “meaning ful and result oriented dialogue.” Meanwhile he should impress upon the PDP/ BJP State Government to concentrate on good governance and deliver on the Agenda of Alliance. Actors in the state and provincial politics will hugely help PM Modi when they desist from raking up divisive and parochial issues. In view of impending Lok – Sabha bye – elections in the State restraint in rhetoric should be the key word.





(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- bushanlalsaraf@gmail.com )



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