In the wake of the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and abrogation of Article 370, the political structures in Kashmir that were aligned with separatism and soft separatism have been left without viable agendas. Articulation on the subject can draw a lead from the “Gupkar Declaration” of 4 August, 2019. The declaration, named as such since it was taken at the Gupkar, Srinagar, residence of Farooq Abdullah, was made by the senior Kashmiri leadership. The big names present were Ms. Mehbooba Mufti and Muzaffar Hussain Beg of PDP; Sajad Lone of JKPC; Taj Mohiudin of JKPCC; M Y Tarigami of CPIM and the Abdullahs among many others. All participants resolved to protect and defend what they termed as “the identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir.”Once the new status was put in place, it was insinuated, especially by Pakistan, that the political voice in Kashmir had been stifled by detention of the senior leadership. Now, all leaders, except for Mehbooba Mufti, have been released. Farooq Abdullah was released on March, 13, this year and Omar Abdullah on March, 24. Even so, the inherent contradictions within the Kashmir leadership are palpable. National Conference (NC), is witnessing an internal churning with its President Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah giving different versions of the party’s strategy.
“Now if you are asking me whether the NC will take this battle to the streets, I think the time for that has passed. When in the immediate aftermath of what happened on August 5, the battle didn’t go out into the streets, why would it go down to the streets one year later. So we will fight it politically, legally,” Omar said on June, 30. The disarray is quite visible in the Hurriyat too. Syed Ali Geelani resigned from all posts in June, 2020. There is also no talk of restoration of Article 370.The reality is that some segments of the Kashmiri leadership have been busy selling the very soul of Kashmir for the last 70 years. The elements have been acting as agents of forces that had inimical designs towards the region and its people. They further used the special status to keep the people away from India and in the absence of accountability bred the worst form of corruption in the state. The lack of good governance kept the people in a constant state of agitation.
The dynamic changes that have come about post the restructuring of the state and abrogation of Article 370 have exposed the nexus and the dirty games that were being played by it. The environment has been further invigorated by the almost complete decimation of the cult of terrorism thorough relentless effort of the security forces with the Indian army in the forefront. The fear of their dark web getting totally exposed is now eating up the self appointed, self serving so-called leadership of Kashmir. It is now “clutching at straws.” That the call for restoration of Article 370 is no more than a whispering campaign is something that is not going unnoticed.