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23rd May '2014
Nemesis for Abdullahs!

After losing all the three valley parliament seats in addition to Jammu and Ladakh, Omar Abdullah has been seeking causes of the debacle from the people through emails. One cannot be more naïve than this. It is really pathetic and ironic that instead of introspection the scion of the Abdullah dynasty is asking the people whom they abandoned in the wilderness for power and money to give causes of the nemesis they are facing now.

Sheikh Abdullah

National Conference which started as the voice of Kashmir’s movement for total emancipation from centuries of oppression and neglect stands practically decimated today. It is a long story involving nemesis of a dynasty for their misdeeds rather than decimation of a political sentiment! In 1938 when the Muslim Conference was converted into National Conference, the underlying sentiment was the realisation of a progressive, social, secular New Kashmir. The manifesto prepared by BPL Bedi spoke of a Kashmir where people could live with dignity and honour which they had been deprived of, for centuries by outside rulers. Bedi had been influenced by the Russian revolution and many things in the manifesto as well as certain symbols like the red flag with plough, the historic red square were borrowed from the Russian revolution. The party was spearheaded by a colossus, the “lion of Kashmir”. People had total and absolute blind faith in their leader and followed his every dictate. Truly he had risen like a Messiah after centuries of darkness and wilderness. He used to often quote the verse that the Narcissus cries for thousands of years about its blindness and it is with great difficulty that a person with vision is born! During his lifetime he made many somersaults but people still followed him because they never imagined that the “Messiah” will betray them and instead of taking them to their goal leave them in total wilderness!

However, the betrayal had started with the very act of converting the Muslim Conference which had spearheaded the movement for total emancipation in 1931 into National Conference in 1938 itself! He would often say in his speeches that he knew where the sympathies of the people lay but what he was aiming at was in their long term interest. He would always start his speeches by quoting the verses of the famous poet Iqbal regarding a person’s self-respect and dignity. The first somersault was his supporting and joining in 1947 the same autocratic Maharaja against whom he had led the “Quit Kashmir” movement in 1946. Had he continued with his own nationalistic movement without supporting the claims of the either of the newly created countries, the situation of Kashmir would have been totally different.

Farooq Abdullah
Omar Abdullah

On realising his mistake he tried to make amends by proclaiming that the final disposal of the Kashmiris’ fate was still to come. The Indians after very neatly using him abandoned him on the roadside. He started the Plebiscite Front demanding a choice for Kashmiris to decide their own future. For this he suffered incarceration for 11 years but on getting released because of the massive upsurge caused by the lifting of the holy relic from the Hazratbal shrine, he continued to lead the people towards their cherished goal. Again he suffered incarceration and was exiled. His struggle may not have borne the fruit in his own lifetime but Kashmiris would be continuing with their original movement for emancipation popularly called “Azadi” under the banner of the original National Conference. However, probably because of fatigue and the compulsion of his family, he abandoned the Plebiscite Front and revived the National Conference to join the Indian mainstream as the State Chief Minister instead of the earlier Prime Minister which was his first designation on joining the Maharaja’s Government. He had compromised with Indira Gandhi on the understanding of reviving the earliest autonomy which was the basic condition of accession to India. However, Indira Gandhi never allowed him to do so and he died a sad man. It is tragically ironic that a man who rose like a morning star on the horizon of Kashmir fell like a meteor! The worst tragedy is that his grave which should have been the greatest shrine for Kashmiris alleged to be dead worshippers is a protectorate of the security forces!

In spite of all these somersaults of the leader, the people still considered National Conference their own Kashmiri nationalist party. In fact, Sheikh Abdullah had called the members of the newly created Indian Congress party as the “worms of the gutter”! The first real act of decimation started when Farooq Abdullah embraced these very “worms of the gutter” in 1987. It was probably for the first time that the Kashmiris were rudely shocked and felt totally lost and abandoned. They had considered National Conference their own party against the onslaughts of Delhi on their individuality. Now, there was a vacuum. The new generation comprising of the youth through the Muslim United Front tried to fill that vacuum. At that time they probably thought that they could go into the state assembly to proclaim their rights as independent people through the democratic process. However, Farooq Abdullah and Rajiv Gandhi jointly scuttled the democratic youth movement which ultimately resulted in the militant uprising of nineties. That was the real decimation of the National Conference. After that the once famous and strong National Conference was only a protégé of Delhi. Again Omar Abdullah was thrust on Farooq Abdullah by Delhi itself. They probably did not even trust him because of his unpredictable behaviour. In the ultimate analysis, the real cause of the decimation of the party once leading Kashmir’s nationalistic movement has been the dynastic nepotism nurtured and nourished by Delhi. So Omar Abdullah should not ask for emails regarding his ignominious defeat but delve into the history to understand the true causes of the total decimation of the once famous nationalistic party of Kashmir, the National Conference. The movement started in 1931 is destined to continue and reach the ultimate goal as a natural process, with or without National Conference. The sentiment has not been decimated but the party which abandoned its real goal has been decimated and the dynastic rule of Kashmir like that of the Nehru dynasty of mainland India has met its nemesis. This is a universal truth which has been the fate of the dynastic and undemocratic rule all over the world! The other dynasties in Kashmir need to learn a lesson from this fate and the new generation of Kashmiris needs to ponder on this.

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