In an interview with propaganda portal, The Wire, Farooq Abdullah has given a shocking statement. Talking to the host Karan Thapar, who is alleged to have handlers in Pakistan, the head of National Conference Party of Jammu and Kashmir made remarks that “Kashmiris do not feel Indian” and they would “rather have Chinese rule them”
He was asked again if he meant what he said, and he confirmed the same. Abdullah was presented as a pro-Bharat face by English media for a long time, but the family history of Abdullahs is not so consistent.
His father, Sheikh Abdullah had formed the Muslim Conference in 1932 and later changed its name to National Conference. He was a great friend of Nehru, who armtwisted the Maharaja to make him the Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the friendship could not save Sheikh when he started a conspiracy with pro-Pakistan elements and was dismissed from his seat. He was imprisoned from 1953 to 1964 and again from 1965 to 1968. He was politically rehabilitated by Indira Gandhi in 1974 and returned as Chief Minister and remained so until his death in 1982.
Farooq Abdullah himself is one of the root causes of Kashmiri separatism as in the 1987 election his Party and Congress engaged in gross electoral malpractices and won the election. This was the immediate trigger for the start of terrorism in Kashmir.
In the interview, he claims that if restrictions are lifted then tens of lakhs of Kashmiris would come out to protest. Even though hyperbolic, his assessment of rising terrorism in case restrictions are lifted is correct. Government should continue the restrictions in view of his statements.
He also says that the new domicile law is intended to create a Hindu majority in the valley. There are many issues with the statement. Firstly, there are about 2% Hindus in Kashmir valley. Even 1 lakh domiciles per year, which is practically impossible, to Hindus will not create a Hindu majority in any foreseeable future. Secondly, when these people are not worried about a Muslim majority in Assam, Bengal and Kerala, why worry about the possibility of a Hindu majority in Kashmir? These are classic double standards.
Abdullah claims in the interview that PM Modi did not reveal his plan of abolishing Art 370 and 35A to him during their meeting on 1st of August. But, why would he? The Prime Minister is supposed to take the “oath of secrecy” as per the constitution which reads as:-
“I, (name) do swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person or persons any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as a Minister for the Union except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as such Minister.”
So the Prime Minister was clearly doing his duty, which perhaps Dr. Abdullah does not appreciate and Karan Thapar did not feel the need to ask about.
He said that he stands by the Gupkar Declaration -by all other parties except BJP in Kashmir- i.e. restoration of Art 370, 35A and restoring statehood. Please note that Congress and Communists are also part of this declaration and have vowed to restore the status quo.
Dr. Abdullah’s angry declaration that Kashmiri’s do not consider themselves as Bharatiyas is actually a remark about himself. He has no right to speak for all ordinary Kashmiris. Dr. Abdullah perhaps admires the Chinese way of dealing with Muslims in Xinjiang and yearns for the same in Kashmir. Maybe, he wants that concentration camps be built in Kashmir with ordinary Kashmiris stopped from practicing their religion and tortured for doing so.
However, as a secular country with Hindu spirit, Bharat would have to disappoint Dr. Abdullah. The restrictions will continue in the near future but Bharatiyas await for the day when Kashmiris are fully integrated in the mainstream. But these will never rise to the level Dr. Abdullah wanst. These are just a transitional arrangement towards a better economy and less violent conflicts. In the meanwhile, Dr. Abdullah has only exposed himself.
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