Mehbooba  needs to  break  alleys of inertia and corruption


Binoo Joshi

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba  Mufti  is running against time  and each time she wants to move forward,  she is pulled back by the unforeseen situations . This is typical of this State, one may argue, so why should Mehbooba be seen in a different light .

It is because she has  not only to deliver on the promises she has made to the people of the State , but also beat all odds stacks piled against her  to  save herself from the accusations that she  could not live up to her word of “ carrying forward the legacy of ( her father) Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,” to which she had dedicated  herself before and after assuming the office of Chief Minister.

Mufti Sayeed’s legacy has assumed an added significance  now . J&K is in turmoil – the regional and communal divisions have sharpened , the relations between India and Pakistan are deteriorating  and worse of all, there is a mood  of depression across the region.

For the current turbulences emanating from J&K or those getting imported from other parts of the country as also from across the border , Mehbooba Mufti  is   seen as  an accused , and the witness box is full of the visible  and vociferous opponents  from the Opposition and within the allies .

This is her dilemma – to address the allies first, or the opposition .  In between  she has to deal with the Kashmir issue , which she believes is a political issue , but her alliy BJP don’t agree with that.

Mehbooba Mufti  is all by herself . There is  no confusion about it .  Every one is keen to  take advantage  of her  loneliness and she is fed with unwanted advice at times . As a human being , she errs at times . But admitting mistakes in politics, particularly in Kashmir,  is considered  a cardinal sin . Even if she wanted to do something , the team of  her advisers, better  description would be coterie, does not allow her to do that.

She has a very limited time at her disposal . If the  current PDP- BJP arrangement continues , she has  time till  March 2021 to make  mends and lay  out  path  of  a better future for the State .

Kashmir problem has its own dynamics . This will  take its own time to find  a solution and for that Mehbooba can just push  in her own style  in which political aggression and political diplomacy would have to work simultaneously .  But, patience is the word.

What she can do immediately and without any pressure is to lift the delivery of services. The health services are  no where close to being satisfactory . Education system is better known for its calendar  of closure of schools and colleges in response to  encounters, killings and shutdown calls by the  separatists rather than the will to  stand up against the disruptive forces . The rural areas are facing so many deprivations  and the once water rich Jammu and Kashmir  is staring at water crisis of unprecedented because of virtually snowless winter . Tourists have not packed their bags for summer in Kashmir , they are scared  by what they hear, read, watch and  the worst enemies of the Valley  are not  only the TV channels obsessed with  their TRP ratings , but the  social media warriors who have generated a  very negative narrative about the peace loving Kashmir .

When the viewers watch a series of boats forming a bridge across the river for the people to  take part in the   funeral of militants , the would be tourists  change their mind about visiting Kashmir . More than guns and grenades such militant-friendly image of Kashmir  takes Kashmir off their itinerary .

She needs to  her political colleagues to task make them to work and curb their tendency to earn money under the table. She should  follow the path of her father : make bureaucracy to work , rather than  give them a free hand in misleading the political narrative .  These are alleys.  But she needs to break it for fresh  light and in the interest of the State. She can do it !


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