JK News Today Special Commentary

Jammu, March 07:

Apni Party will be celebrating the first anniversary of its foundation on Monday at a time when  Jammu and Kashmir is faced with unprecedented challenges that further multiplied in the recent days , but still it has an outstanding feature to its credit of attempting to translate its agenda on the ground.

If March 8, 2020- the day when the party was founded – was a difficult period to set up a political party,  the March 8, 2021,  is rooted in more  difficult times. The situation has changed at an unexpected pace ;  challenges have chased  one another in quick succession ,  clash of narratives on J&K has become fiercer, and several glaring gaps are staring at the people of the  Union Territory in search of its identity lost on August 5, 2019.

In a party’s life, one year is too small a period to judge its performance and delivery system.  Honestly, speaking , technically the Apni  Party is  celebrating its first anniversary of the foundation day, but if the crippling effect of the pandemic caused by the Corona Virus  are to be taken into account , the party has not completed even six months  of its existence .The virus kept the people indoors and social and political activities became casualties.

Its founder and president Altaf Bukhari was right in observing ,” we were caught in Corona period right from our birth.” That’s true  because soon after, it came into being , it met Prime Minister Narendra Modi , Home Minister Amit Shah  with the list of its demands with restoration of the statehood to J&K  on top, guarantee of jobs to local youth at all levels . Some of the work has been done , more remains to be done, but the journey toward the goal is on, though fresh difficulties have appeared unexpectedly- the term of the Delimitation Commission has been extended and the likelihood of the Assembly elections in the near future  is unlikely ,  These new challenges have multiplied the task of Apni Party  for it is working to get the goals achieved in realistic terms .

Why Apni Party , a question may  be asked. The answer is plain. Apni Party is not having any historical baggage and the people are judging it by its performance . There is a tireless narrative  of working for the people of Jammu and Kashmir – bridging their gaps , and raising their issues in a united manner  at all forums . The Apni Party chief  Altaf Bukhari  connected J&K’s aspirations with the most powerful men in the country – Prime Minister and Home Ministry , for he knows that Delhi alone can give what the people of J&K want – whether this is the protection of land, restoration of statehood, infrastructural and other development.

Altaf Bukhari is doing, the observers say, politics of  realism  and not selling the dreams. After the leaders of the traditional parties National Conference , PDP,  People’s Conference  and other groups  came out of the detention , tried to build an impression that they have plunged into a struggle to get back the special status of J&K . The realities, however, were that more than politically, it was the germination of the new idea in the rest of the country about Article 370 that has made it difficult to get back to August 4, 2019, status.

The parties that formed People’s  Alliance for Gupkar Declaration ( PAGD) vowed to achieve this politically,, have now fallen in line with the original statement of Altaf Bukhari and his  party that the Supreme Court, where this case is pending will  deliver  the judgment. He had hoped that the SC would deliver the judgment in the case that would be ” according to the aspirations of the people of J&K.”

PAGD is now in shambles- People’s Conference has parted ways officially , others have retreated into the silence zone on this issue .

In politics , when the people are  involved in a struggle to survive , such comparisons become important, say observers.  The Apni Party has miles to go.