Politics all over the world in general and in conflict zones in particular is most complicated and complex field and it is always difficult though not impossible to predict trends and shifts in politics. J&K being a conflict region for several decades has been witnessing the change of narratives, perspectives and public opinion continuously. Use of hindsight is very useful to trace the trajectories of Kashmir politics . We have seen people trying to cultivate and manufacture the atmosphere for discourses of their own choices both in formal as well as informal ways. The politics in Kashmir has been run by deceit, hollow slogans and false promises. Values of democracy and provisions of constitution are always kept at bay, when it comes to addressing issues concerning Kashmir. Dr.Ajaz Ashraf Wani in his book ‘What Happened to Governance in Kashmir’ extensively elaborates how J&K has been looked with the prism of ‘State of exception ‘ as against the normal state and how frame work to handle Kashmir situation would be scripted in years to come . Farooq Abdullah the president of Kashmir’s oldest political party – JKNC, has flared up a new controversy by invoking china’s support for the restoration of Article 370 in his interview with ‘India Today ‘. His remarks put a big question mark on India’s sovereignty as a state. It also indicates a shift in his ideology if centre does not agree to change the present status quo in Kashmir. Geo-politics is very crucial in conflict regions and foreign policy of a state is shaped by it. Vested interests always try to be opportunist and manipulate the things. Apart from changing equation of power politics at international level and assertion of dominance in Asian region, revocation of article 370 Led to the present standoff at LAC between India and China. The August 5, 2019, parliamentary legislation has brought a paradigmatic shift in the process of politics in Kashmir .
Apni Party , from its launch in the last quarter of 2019 has continuously been accused of being an ally of BJP by masses and opponent parties . Earlier some political analysts had called the BJP -PDP coalition (2014-18) an” unholy alliance” ( Geelani, Rising Kashmir, 24 March 2020). So it is very complex for the Apni party to galvanise the support in its favour.
The pro-India political parties are no more willing to sell Indian narrative among Kashmiris. They feel their political shops have been left with no customers .The mainstream political parties would often generate support from locals by promoting and marketing the brands of regional autonomy and self-rule .De-operationalization of Article 370 has this narrative . Gupkar Declaration (2.0) is an attempt of social engineering meant to maintain the status quo over the vote bank. Although centre left no stone unturned to marginalise and vilify separatist politics much before 2019 , but it could not ignore it’s relevance when it has to face the uprising in 2008 , 2010 and 2016 – this was the time when governments at the centre were desperate to hold dialogue with Hurriyat. Compromise is the strongest route to dialogue between two stakeholders, but the Hurriyat could not evolve a consensus over the offers of dialogue .I think, presently separatist politics is going through a period of dormancy and is waiting for a volcano to erupt. Apni Party, from its launch in the last quarter of 2019 has continuously been accused of being an ally of BJP by masses and opponent parties. Earlier some political analysts had called the BJP -PDP coalition (2014-18) an” unholy alliance” ( Geelani, Rising Kashmir, 24 March 2020). So it is very complex for the Apni party to galvanise the support in its favour.
(The author is a post-graduate student at the Department of Politics and Governance, Central University of Kashmir. Views are his own)