..... and they finally gave up

Earlier they sounded quite firm and brave

Hassan Zainagiree
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 17 2018 10:39PM | Updated Date: May 17 2018 10:39PM
..... and they finally gave upFile Photo

On Rasana murder and rape the ruling PDP claimed  it forced two former BJP ministers, Choudhary Lal Singh (forest minister) and Chandra Prakash Ganga (industries) to resign from the coalition government for their dirty role in playing communal politics. With all pride, it declared, PDP would  in no case tolerate those defending the accused. For a week or two it swaggered on its hard-earned moralistic position. Perhaps first time on a slippery pole of coalition governance it was flung on, it managed to wriggle something of a face saving. We knew the ignominious posturing it has had to adapt to, be it displaying the JK state’s own flag, release of political prisoners, initiating talks with Pakistan and Hurriyat,  boycotting of official function (13 July) by its coalition partner which denounced martyrs of the day  as ‘ criminals’ and host of other issues. Its more than three years cohabiting with BJP has, in the words of Tasaduq Mufti (who too has sank into the stupor after his conscience pinched him up to brief introspection), ended up PDP in being ‘partner of crime’. Making the BJP axe its two ministers, PDP showcases it as  retrieval of its eroded dignity after playing second fiddle to the party that enjoys backing of Delhi. The replacement that the BJP brought in-- and the Mehbooba as chief minister was forced to accept—has, however, exposed the party (PDP) off its claim and the feigned defiance. 

The BJP appointed former assembly speaker Kavinder Gupta and Rajiv Jasrotia in place of the axed ministers. The former has visible RSS sports and takes pride in spotting them as well. In October 2015, Gupta, flaunting his affiliation with the communalist organization, said that he is ‘proud to be an RSS man’. Now he has been elevated to the rank of deputy chief minister. Barely an hour after he was sworn in on Monday (30 April), Gupta told reporters in Jammu that rape and murder of an 8-year baby in Rasana was a ‘small issue’ that has been given undue importance. ‘There are many challenges facing the government. We should not give Rasana so much importance’. Another entrant Jasrotia is the Kothua MLA who has also participated in the Hindu Ekta Manch rally, which, waving tricolour took series of protests in favor of the accused. Same Rajiv Jasrotia is now inducted in the cabinet. A simple question to the BJP and PDP leadership, if Lal Singh and Prakash Ganga are sacked for taking part in HEM protests, on what grounds  can   Jasrotia induction in the cabinet be justified? It takes wind off the sails of the chief minister who took credit for showing the door to the two BJP leaders. The appointment has once again strengthened the long-standing impression that in disregard of whatever PDP brags for, nothing can happen without BJP’s consent. In fact the change has shown that far from respecting the concerns of its coalition partner, it was in light of its own party interests that BJP cracked the whip against its ministers. The very appointment of Gupta and Jasrotia has deprived the PDP and Mehbooba Mufti of the credit  it tried to patent in its name. The shocking decision  has once again registered dominance of BJP in the coalition government. It proves Ram Madhav right in stating that cabinet reshuffle has nothing to do with the Rasana incident. 

The BJP has again humiliated PDP and it seems PDP’s immune system in this matter is very strong. It has insatiable hunger for gulping humiliation after humiliation in barrels. The momentary bliss it sniffed at BJP seeking resignation of its two men proved short lived. The selection of two ministers ensured the Hindutva strands remain intact and  in affirming hard ware. That is why Rasana for the Deputy Chief Minister holds no importance. Exiting the Rasana horrendous tragedy  out of the priority list ( ‘challenges’) of the government, BJP expressed its intentions loud and clear. In such a situation where new entrants pick up from where their predecessors left, Mehbooba’s accepting such people in the government exposes both the hypocrisy and the much flouted moral ground on Kathua case. That shameful surrender before the domineering partner, it once again confirmed masculinity of the BJP in the coalition.  

In this perspective PDP chief spokesman M Rafique Mir termed utterances of Gupta ‘ shameful and disgusting’. He said ‘ It is highly condemnable from a leader whose party talks proudly about Beti Bachao,  Beti Padao. It was cheap on his (Gupta’s) part’. Government spokesman Nayeem Akhtar called the remarks ‘careless, given the fact that PM and President condemned the criminal act in strongest possible words’. We agree. But in both cases honesty and sincerity is lacking. This condemnation and denunciation of BJP leader for his outrageous remarks is genuine. But all this outpouring loses substance when you embrace the very ‘shameful and disgusting’ partners. Who you abuse at party level but hug in government. If Gupta is a  monster, how in government he becomes saint? Why don’t you come out of the loop that chokes you tight? 

Tail-piece— If rape and murder of a nomadic baby girl of Rasana village is a ‘small matter’ media and people should not focus at, what else should wrench your soul to qualify the incident as ‘challenging’ one ? Or, is it because she was from a particular community that forfeited her right to justice? If she was not  from that community would you have  reacted as you did? Didn’t her shriek’s  ‘O God, in God’s house I was raped’ were enough to shake us and decimate walls of hatred and religious bigotry? Why should we dehumanize ourselves on communal lines?