It (Kashmir) stands at the very brink of a precipice. A single wrong step and Kashmir will be gone for good into the domain of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
A G Noorani
THE land we have known and loved faces today a real existential threat. It stands at the very brink of a precipice. A single wrong step and Kashmir will be gone for good into the domain of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
Its lifelong pracharak (activist) Narendra Modi became prime minister in 2014. That very year, Kashmir was to go to the polls. The RSS’s political department, the BJP, hit upon a plan: sweep the polls in Hindu-majority Jammu, acquire the support of some touts in Kashmir and form a government. It was called ‘44-plus’.
The assembly in Srinagar has 87 seats. The people foiled the plan. Departing from the practice of boycotting elections, they voted enthusiastically for Kashmiri parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC).
PDP leader Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and his three associates turned out to be more unscrupulous than suspected. Defying the people’s expressed wishes and ignoring offers by the NC and the Congress, they forged an alliance with the BJP. Its negotiator was BJP’s general secretary, Ram Madhav, who was previously the RSS’s official spokesman. Haseeb Drabu of the PDP negotiated the terms of surrender.