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28th March '2013
Lachi ross Seuh!

Kashmir wild life does not include lions. We only have leopards, panthers, snow leopards and so on. However, we did have a lion in a literal sense called popularly, the “Lion of Kashmir”! He used to roar and not only shake the set ups in the neighbourhood countries but also made people cry by his roaring. Even though in the end he turned from a lion to a virtually meek mouse by accepting the chair from the very people who had betrayed and incarcerated him for a sizeable portion of his life, yet he still did roar and also tried to bite in spite of his age whenever he had a chance to do so. His last bite was the framing of the Resettlement Bill which could have put the Indian Government in an embarrassing situation. Even though the bill was passed by the State Legislature during the tenure of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, it became virtually infructuous as it was not followed vigorously by the lion cubs for their own vested interests or rather they bargained it again for power.

For past sometime we have been watching one of the cubs trying to roar like a lion. There were many occasions when one witnessed a streak of that lion of the yester years but then one did not see the bites which are expected after such roars! The roars started from the alleged land transfer to Amarnath Board. His emotional speech in the parliament not only impressed people but stunned some from the mainstream parties. In the recent times, he went a little further and even challenged the Indian contention of Kashmir being an integral part of the union. The very basis of the accession has been disputed by him in so far as it concerns total merger of the state into the Indian Union. No doubt he is pulled down by his being stuck in a coalition with the party ruling at centre yet he carries on in spite of repeated rejections of his people friendly proposals. Be it power house transfer, hanging of Afzal Guru, revocation of AFSPA, and the latest brazen rejection of his rehabilitation policy for former militants. One would not suggest the escape route of resignation as lions do not give up or resign themselves to fate. They fight and fight hard to achieve their goals.

There are only two possibilities as debated by many in the media. He is preparing for the forthcoming elections and using the traditional family histrionics to fool people once again knowing the truth that Kashmiris are themselves ready to be fooled again and again. The other possibility is that Delhi is cooking something with other willing candidates from different groupings on either side of the fence. This could be either for local reasons of total misgovernance and disenchantment of the people with the present ruling set up or for some more sinister plans concerning the sub-continent and beyond.

In all cases, the only thing which emerges starkly is total helplessness. In such a state of affairs the best course for a person is to take some momentous decisions in the overall interests of the people whose representative one claims to be. As the Chief Executive of the State Government all residuary constitutional powers vest in him. If he really feels the pain of the people and is a lion cub, he will go ahead with the decisions which have been hanging fire for last so many years. The most that can happen is his dismissal but it would be for truly taking the side of the people and for relieving their sufferings. Both his father and his grandfather have faced similar moments in history. Even though they took some drastic decisions yet they did not follow through and see these implemented but ate a humble pie to regain the chair. There is a Kashmiri phrase for such lions. Lachi ross Seuh! (A lion without a tail). This applies to a person who is not really what he claims to be, a “Lion”. Well time only will show whether he is a real lion cub or the one of the Kashmiri saying!

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