Why is Mehbooba Mufti now apologizing to people of Kashmir?

As the assembly elections of 2019 are around the corner, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti has once again reverted to her old tactics to gain the sympathy of the people. She has started to visit the families of militants and shed some tears with them. There is nothing surprising here as she has done this in the past too.

Mehbooba Mufti
Photo Caption: Mehbooba Mufti: What now?

She used the same strategy before the 2014 assembly elections for gaining the ground which was slowly and stealthily loosening from the grip of National Conference (NC). She used to visit the militant families in far off places to condole the demise of their wards. In the mass agitation of 2010, when over 120 civilians were killed during the NC government, she used to wail in the assembly make her presence felt on the streets of Srinagar city where there would be a good media vigil to make the people believe that she is their true saviour.

She hasn’t left the home of anyone unvisited among the victims of the gory year of 2010 but what happened in 2016 when her party was in power is not that important for her because they were killed while fulfilling the dream of her father, the late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
In 2009, she was seen on the roads holding the pictures of Shopian rape-murder victims Asiya and Nelofer and many times broken in the assembly while demanding justice for the duo. All this appeared to be a drama which subdued subsequently after they came to power in 2014. The killing cycle which was left incomplete by NC was carried forward by her government and her tear ducts slowly dried down.

The governor of the state SP Malik has rightly termed her recent visits to the deceased families in Pulwama and Shopian as her political compulsion. There she demanded action against the harassment of the militant families. There is not an iota of sympathy and generosity visible in her visits but cynicism mere deceit. Because her regime not only saw the killings of militants but civilians, policemen and non-state subjects as well. If she terms them as martyrs now, then what should the earlier ones be called?

One wonders about the fickle nature of Ms Mufti which changes faster than the weather in Kashmir. She is synonymous to the rolling stone which scarcely gets a moss over it. The sympathy for the militants and their families evoked in her should not be taken as a surprise because the long history of inscrutable politics with the trail of betrayals is before the people.

BJP on the other hand is not liked in the Valley, but unlike NC and PDP they are not hypocrites. They are straight forward with a clear strategy. Now when Mehbooba Mufti again started showing sympathy towards the pellet victims and militants terming them as the collective loss of nation, BJP reminds her of the toffee remark she made in the mass uprising of 2016, when a minor who had gone to an army camp with a stone in his hand was pierced by bullets. Exposing her BJP has shown Ms Mufti her real place.

Ms Mufti claims that she cared for the children who were pushed towards the army camps and police stations by some people for their vested interests. But when a child does something wrong, he should be rebuked, refrained from repeating the same activity. Moreover some concrete steps and initiatives should be taken to halt his extreme destructive steps. This is called care. Not an arrogant remark of “Has he gone to fetch the toffee!” Where is care in this remark for the children who are consumed on the daily basis?

The care was never visible in the five years of the PDP-BJP coalition. PDP launched their government by ditching the people by allying with the BJP in 2014. Having got the mandate of the people to keep BJP out of the state it joined hands with the same party to form the government. All they cared about was the chair and cared a hoot for the people who voted them to power.

The condition of the local populace during their regime remained the same as under the NC led government, rather worsened a bit. The PDP drastically failed to emancipate the people out of their conundrum. Ms Mufti’s sole concern now is to somehow regain the faith of the people in her party. Apologies, visits and martyr remarks are nothing. There is lot more to come.

The Author is studying English Literature at Aligarh Muslim University. He hails from Frisal Kulgam in Kashmir and can be reached at pala.abid@gmail.com/ Twitter Handle: paul_aabid

This story was first published on countercurrents.org. It has been slightly edited in places for clarity.



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