Tuesday, September 17, 2019
 
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Successful Politics - Create enemies




B L Saraf


There is nothing new about it .Text is the same but script has been modulated to suit the times . For some it is an art of possible : for others it is the management of impossibilities and for the remaining it is a craft perfected in manipulations and permutations . That is today’s Politics which we mortals suffer , day in and day out . By the way , Politics was never known for a worthy definition . About it someone said , long ago “ Politics as a practice , whatever its profession , has been the systematic organization of hatreds .” Today’s politician has perfected the idiom of hatred so well , leaving no middle way .

Soon after independence , instead of disbanding it as advised by the Father of Nation , Congress became the ruling party and adopted all tricks of the trade to retain power . In the process the party went on creating enemies – some real and mostly imaginary - amongst the people whom it considered political adversaries . INC dyed its cloak deep in the color of “ secularism and socialism “ to perpetuate itself in power and made a conscious effort to make enemies of the people whom it considered potential challengers . People rising to contest the party were shouted out as anti-minorities and reactionaries . Atmosphere was so created that political leaders were ostracized who had given blood and life to the national cause .

When political battle lines were drawn so sharp as to feel really threatened , the Congress and its camp followers ( ‘ secularists ‘ and the ‘ liberals ‘ ) - created an enemy in BJP and those who opposed them . They were portrayed as anti –minorities and fascists . These force , though , never crowned themselves with glory when it came to ameliorate the plight of the minorities or other weaker sections of the society . As recent events narrates , these political elements took to the slogan of ‘minority protection ‘as an insurance cover to plunder the national wealth .

Tables were , however , turned , in 2014 when BJP ascended the throne in New Delhi .Now it is the turn of BJP and allied forces to return the compliment and perpetrate themselves at the helm . The party has found virtue in ‘ hyper-nationalism ‘ and dubbed all those as enemies of the nation who tried to challenge it . With the help of ‘ Nationalism ‘ slogan the ‘ nationalists ‘ have been successful in marginalizing all those for whom the ‘ secularism ‘ and liberalism ‘ rant was the bread and butter .

The political parties have become deft in using the convenient slogans as a ploy to divert attention from essential areas of governance . They would turn again and again to time worn themes for self propagation .

Given the complex nature of local politics , politicians in J &K took the game to the higher levels They regularly created demons to beat one another . Some were made angles and co -opted in the unholy alliance . At times demons and the angles became interchangeable to suit the political convenience. Soon after aligning with India , in 1947 , Sheikh Abdullah saw a schemer in Jawaharlal Nehru - his friend . To Nehru Sheikh became a conspirator to take Kashmir away from India . Thereafter the business of creating foes and friends progressed well .

Sheikh Abdullah called off his self confessed ‘ twenty two year’s purposeless wandering ‘ ditched the plebiscite slogan and joined the mainstream . He dangled ‘greater autonomy ‘ as a carrot to his followers and waved it as sword to his political opponents . He dubbed all as enemies who opposed the new slogan . Protection of Article 370 was his political mantra . Latter on ‘ self rule ‘ became a byword for other crop of leaders who sought and got the Srinagar throne . For them any one who didn’t fall in line with the slogan became an enemy of the state .

In Jammu , meanwhile , quite opposed happened . Total integration and abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A became the standard yard stick to test ones nationalism . Any one not toeing the party line failed the test and was described as an enemy of the nation .

However, on closer scrutiny the business of manufacturing friends and foes looked farcical . There are many instances which reveal a ‘ fixed match ‘ syndrome on the political chess board . The protagonists and the abolitionists play a cat and mouse game to hood wink a common voter . There are number of instances which reveal their real intention .

It is well known that the protagonist of Article 370 did everything to emasculate its soul and render it a mere shell . On the face of it so many laws and regulations passed by the central legislating body were adopted to the state which , in true spirit of this Article, wouldn’t find a place here . The brazenness became so visible when the state leaders found virtue in such a legislation .

Sheikh Abdullah had no qualms in adopting 42nd Amendment of the Union Constitution which extended d the life of Lok Sabah and state assemblies by year and allowed members of Assembly luxury of power and perks for one more year . While the mischief was undone in the rest of the country in 1977 , the autonomy lovers in Kashmir conveniently forgot to reverse the position and bring it on par with pre- 1977 position .

The abolitionist make all right noises against Article 370 . But when an opportunity comes they drag feet . Adjournments are sought in the Supreme Court which is currently seized of the matter , on the grounds ; that Centre’s interlocutor is on the job which may get disturbed by raking up the issue ; ULB elections are on . then Lok Sabah elections was furnished as a reason to defer the trial . In the meanwhile the chorus to throw away this Article goes on , outside the court

The political business of manufacturing enemies and crafting friends is on . One would like to leave this job to the politicians . But the business has assumed an ugly shape . Politicians may be fighting a mock battle but the misadventure has turned people of the state enemies of one another , in real terms . The dangerous trend must be averted and politics played on real issues . It is too dangerous a game to give a bad name to anyone who opposes a political party . Opposing a political party should never be equated with opposing the Nation . India Gandhi did it in later years of her rule and with the help of sycophants she tried to turn every challenge to her as an assault on India . That she ,personally , and the nation had to pay heavily for the misadventure is now a forgettable part of our recent history .

Our endeavor must be to enlarge the number of nationalists in Kashmir . By describing an opponent to a political party as opponent of the Indian nation we are only shortening the list of those Kashmiris who still repose faith in India .




(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )



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