For the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which is ruling at the centre, anyone and everyone who does not subscribe to its ideology or point of view is a Pakistani agent. In the given political scenario it is the most powerful weapon to demonize others. On Wednesday when PDP, Congress and National Conference got together to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir the Pakistan ghost in the BJP woke up and the party leaders began to shout..Pakistan, Pakistan. Ram Madhav, the BJP general secretary, was first to see the Pakistan hand in Congress, PDP and NC togetherness. Though he, after a serious bluff from Omar Abdullah withdrew the Pakistani taunt, other BJP leaders and activists continue with their campaign. It is quite ironic that the BJP is calling Pakistan agents to those very people who till yesterday were BJP allies.
Omar Abdullah was the post boy of the BJP during five year rule of Vajpayee. BJP was in alliance with the PDP till a few months back. That time neither PDP nor NC had any Pakistani tag. PDP president Mahbooba Mufti is quite right in her ‘hit back’ to the BJP saying credentials of PDP and NC were never questioned when they were in alliance with the BJP. Somebody needs to tell the BJP that India was not born in 2014 with the emergence of BJP to power. India existed before 2014 and it was run by those very people who, for the BJP, are Pakistani now. In Kashmir NC, PDP and Congress are the real flag bearers of India. It is these very parties which are not only protecting but promoting India’s interests in Jammu and Kashmir. In 1990 when armed movement erupted in Kashmir against India rule, it these very parties who fought and died for India. Hundreds of National Conference, Congress, PDP and other pro India groups were killed by armed militants for their allegiance towards India.
Several leaders, legislators and ministers including Abdul Ahad Kar, Mohammad Subhan Bhat, Ghulam Qadir Nelora, his son Nazir Ahmad Nelora, Shiekh Mansoor, Hisamuddin Banday, Peer Mohammad Shafi, Ghulam Hasan Bhat, Abdul Majeed Banday, Ghulam Qadir Mir, Abdul Aziz Mir and Abdus Sattar Ranjoor included among hundreds of leaders and supporters of pro India parties—National Conference, Congress, PDP and Communists who took bullets on their chests for India. The killing of lower order cadres of these parties continues without count. Some years back Ali Mohammad Sagar of National Conference said that around 2000 party cadres, functionaries and leaders of the National Conference were killed in militant attacks. In 1996 when nobody was ready to contest the elections, it was National Conference that accepted the challenge.
It is not going overboard to say that if India is still in Kashmir it is just because of these parties. All this have made these parties and their leaders villains for a vast majority of people of the state who believe in separatism and want Jammu and Kashmir to segregate from India. The grim reality however is that their “sacrifices” are not counted and respected in the country they fight for. Branding them as Pakistani agents is the worst kind of insult to them. This insult is hurled at them every now and then. Mahbooba Mufti as chief minister was time and again called as “pro Pakistani” and “pro separatist”. This should make the leaders of these parties think that they are doing a thankless task. Their position in the eyes of the masters in Delhi is nothing more than agents. That is the price one has to pay when going against one’s own people.
Killing sitting ducks
The killing of four policemen in a militant attack in Zainapora quarter of Shopian district on Tuesday was felt with quite disdain and shock across the valley. The policemen were keeping watch on a residential area and were inside their guard room when they were fired upon. Three policemen died on the spot; a fourth one who received critical injuries was taken to hospital, where he died during treatment. The militants took away their service rifles. It in no way was viewed as an act of bravery as the policemen were not the personnel from any anti militancy column. They were rather on normal duty. It is quite natural for a man in the streets to sympathizing with the families of the slain policemen. Reports are that one of the slain police man’s brother had remained a militant and was killed in a clash with security forces a few years back. Consider the family of this policeman—government forces killing one brother and the other killed by militants.
Jaish e Mohammad militant group which claimed responsibility for the attack needs to do a serious self-analysis and soul-searching as what made it to talk big, and brag over the attack. The slain policemen were not the personnel from any anti-militancy column. They were common policemen. They were meant to protect a police post guarding a minority picket. Waylaying them and shooting them down is a heartless act. The home profile of the slain policemen suggests that they belonged to poor families and were the only sustainers of their families. These families are now totally devastated. The incident has caused anger and rage among people beyond the borders of these families. It is expected of militant leadership that instead of feeling incensed, they will look into the matter without getting emotional—with a cool mind and composed heart. These are the actions that militant groups used to indulge in 90s that ultimately gave rise to Ikhwan and other counter-insurgent groups. It were these counter-insurgent groups that damaged the militant movement the most. It was expected that the militant leadership might have learnt lessons from the past. Militants have the advantage of having a section of 90s-leadership still at the helm. They know it more than anyone else as how damaging it is to go against the common people.
This is not for the first time that policemen, who are not part of any anti militancy operational group were killed. These incidents have brought back the fear and dread of 90s into the minds of common people. The militants have a great role model in Burhan Wani before them. No militant leader in Kashmir has gained as much popularity and love as Burhan. His death, though took place almost 30 months back, is still mourned by the people, more particularly by the younger generation. The entire Kashmir got on boil for around six months over the death of Burhan. More than 100 persons were killed and thousands other wounded and jailed in protests that erupted in the wake of Burhan’s killing. It was indeed death of a hero and heartthrob. That is the amount of popularity Burhan enjoyed. The main reason of his popularity was his relation with common people. He was not just a HizbulMujahideen commander but indeed a peoples’ commander, who lived among people and for the people. That is why everybody in Kashmir felt for his death. Burhan, in fact, infused a new life in what is generally called ‘freedom’ movement. It is imperative for the successive militant leadership to follow the foot prints of Burhan Wani if they really want the same amount of love and popularity from the people of Kashmir.
The Prophetic Models of Peaceful Coexistence
Muslim clerics are required to clarify the universal message of Islam and the Prophetic models which encourage peaceful coexistence with all communities. They are required to do so in the best way both in words and actions, in order to curb the rising hatred and disorder [Fasad] in the land. Based on the established major maxims of Islamic jurisprudence supported by the Quran and Sunnah, as they learn in their Islamic seminaries, they should step to the fore and help the multi-cultural society live with positive mindset.
The role model that Muslims must follow for developing coexistence is the beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as God Almighty says about him in the Quran “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often”. (33:21)
Historically analysing we find that the beloved Prophet has left Muslims with four significant models of developing coexistence with non-Muslims whether they live in minority or majority, in or out of Islamic country. We find the first model in the Makki period where patience and coexistence were characterized as the major rules of conduct. The model of Abyssinia is the second model where loyalty was the dominant value. The third model can be seen in the first stage of Medinian period which featured pluralism and peaceful coexistence. The fourth exemplary model is the second stage of Medinian period where justice and intellectual insight were striking features of this model.
These four models are completely ignored in the methodology adopted by the extremist think-tank living in our modern time. Strange as it is that these extremist mindsets take refuge in Non-Muslim countries and enjoy protection, yet they repeatedly stick to using ill words directing to the original natives of such countries. Such extremists make much negative speech and persistently express their hatred and bigotry towards them for not being Muslims. This is the main reason that incites negative feelings of hate, prejudice and bigotry against Muslims and Islam.
Such extremists are actually working against the Quran which asks to follow in the footsteps of the beloved Prophet (peace be upon him), as God Almighty says, “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often”. (33:21). This Quranic verse teaches to follow the Prophetic models but sadly enough, the extremists who claim to follow the Quran do not follow the four main models of the beloved Prophet as discussed above.
It is also important for the Muslim clerics and scholars to tell their followers that after the Prophet (peace be upon him) migrated to Medinah, the Muslims not only achieved religious freedom but also ensured that freedom and security for all Medinian communities including Muslims, Jews, Hypocrites and Pagans. They must keep in their mind that the beloved Prophet established what is popularly known as the Meethaq-e-Madina (the Constitution of Medinah). This Constitution focused mainly on four principles; 1) peaceful and secure environment for all regardless of religion, caste, culture etc, 2) protection of religious freedom for all communities, 3) equal opportunity for public participation in the spheres of economy, military and politics, and 4) an affirmation of individual responsibility. This inspired the groundwork for a “social contract” comprising a commitment to equal treatment to all the Medinian citizens.
The Resurgent Congress
The defeat of BJP and the Congress’s remarkable rebound in the assembly elections in Hindi heart land of Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh indicates the mood of the people of India ahead of general elections due in next five months. All the three states were strongholds of the BJP over the years. But the Tuesday’s reverses has given a cause to secular and anti communal forces to rejoice and rejoin that the ultra Hindu nationalist party which bases its power on hate and communalism is not invincible. BJP is already sitting on loose sand in yet another Hindi heartland biggie Utter Pradesh where it won 71 out of 80 parliamentary seats in the last parliamentary elections. The party has lost the parliamentary seats of Gorakhpur and Phulpur of chief minister Adityanath Yogi and deputy chief minister Keshav Maurya in the by election last year. This all point towards the fact that the BJP is unlikely to repeat its 2014 performance in now-approaching general elections. In Bihar, the other major Hindi heartland state, the BJP-Nitesh Kumar combine’s falling fortunes became known in March this year when RJD won the by-polls for Ariara LS seat and Jahanabad assembly seat. The RJD won the election in absence of the party chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is serving jail for conviction in fodder scam. It was his son Tajshwi Yadav who led his father’s party fight against BJP-JD (U) combine in the by-polls. Many political scientists had written off RJD after conviction of Lalu Prasad. Cases of corruption were slapped against other members of his family Tejishwi, who served as deputy chief minister during RJD-JD (U) rule. CBI conducted raids on their private properties and assets. Few had given them any chance in the elections. But the RJD’s win showed that Lalu’s traditional support-base the Muslim-Yadav-combine is intact. The latest defeat in the assembly elections appears to be a continuation of its dwindling popularity ahead of general elections. The Congress’s return to power in Hindi heartland has also established the fact that it is only only party that can challenge the BJP nationally. Incidentaly, the Congress victory over the BJP comes exactly a year after Rahul Gandhi took over the reings of the party as national president from his mother Sonia Gandhi. It appears that BJP not only underrated Rahul Gandhi but also committed the folly of overrating itself. It is ultimately the man in the streets who decides. But the BJP undermined the authority of the common man as well and let herself ravishing in her own estimation and imagination. The BJP leaders including the Prime Minister took pleasure in mocking at Rahul Gandhi with names like Pappu. But in the end, the Pappu na sirf pass ho gaya but also turned out, in the words of a Congress leader, baap.
Few would dispute with the fact that the fall of the BJP began with its complete failure in governance. BJP had risen to power with some reasonable slogans besides its communal and anti Pakistan agenda. The slogans like development for all and corruption-free India had takers outside the ideological frame work of the BJP. Performance is a critical factor, whose place cannot be taken by hype or eloquent oratory. Anti-incumbency doesn’t arise out of nowhere, it has its origin in declining standards of governance. BJP could not keep any of its promises it made to the voters during election campaign. Bringing back black money, curtailing corruption in the government, depositing rupees 15 lakh in each citizen’s bank account and all other promises it made proved brute lies. The party instead let loose lampoons and ruffians to rule the streets. In the name of protecting cow they unleashed a murderous campaign against the Muslims and Dalits. There is no rule of law. The so called BJP Bakhts are law unto themselves. The cold blooded murder of a policeman in UP, last week, by the cow protectors is a case in point. The mental retardation of the UP chief minister Adityanath Yogi, who is a face of BJP’s Hindutwa mission, could be understood from his assertions wherein he called the murder of the police officer as ‘accident’ and killing of a cow as ‘crime’. The BJP has ultimately to pay for such heinous crimes and its election defeat could be termed as a price the party had to pay for its follies.