By Safi Nasim
Having put the Ram Mandir agenda on the back burner at the moment, RSS has aggressively raked up Kashmir for political gains across India in the ongoing parliamentary elections. RSS’s other Sangh affiliates have completely backed this new stance as they believe it suits the Hindutva forces better, as voiced by Shiv Sena Chief Uday Thackeray and some other Hindutva bigwigs. RSS ideologues understand Kashmir perfectly fits in this new narrative post-Pulwama attack.
While whipping up anti-Kashmiri sentiment in India and the victimization of Kashmiris can broaden BJP’s vote base, it has irreversibly alienated the Kashmiris.
The alienation has come to a point where two main regional parties, NC and PDP, both of whom have collaborated with BJP in one way or the other too find themselves at the receiving end of the RSS policies. PDP was BJP’s coalition partner after 2014 election in J&K with Mehbooba as chief minister. NC’s vice-president and former CM, Omar Abdullah, was Minister of External Affairs in NDA-1 under Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
PDP gained twenty eight seats in 2014 assembly elections on a pre-poll slogan that the people should vote en masse for it so as to keep RSS out of J&K assembly by not allowing BJP enough seats to form a government. It worked for the party but to everyone’s disbelief PDP decided to form a government with the BJP on the condition that Mehbooba would be given full six years as chief minister. While BJP agreed with it and a cabinet led by Mehbooba was sworn in, RSS steadily and surely started to come in its own colours, unleashing its machinations across the state.
First they stoked the beef controversy which remained in the news for some time and then followed it up with the revelation that it’s planning to grant non-Muslim migrants a state subject in J&K. Not just that, the RSS-powered BJP stuffed the bureaucracy with officers who were seen as close to the Hindutva forces and anti-Muslim in their thinking and execution.
Mehbooba Mufti, though head of the government as its CM, was reduced to a puppet. While RSS kept planting designed news to create communal stir and try to gain more space in Jammu, the BJP on its part kept pursuing government policies unfriendly to Kashmiris.
Kashmiris, who were already hurt by this ‘unholy alliance’, had every reason to get alienated further and feel strongly against PDP as well.
RSS’s aggressive pro-Hindutva policies created further hatred against India as also against regional political parties, especially PDP, that was seen as an RSS stooge.
The anti-India sentiment is growing further and further, not just among Kashmiris but among regional parties NC and PDP as well, and New Delhi’s RSS backed policies are only fuelling it.
The writer is a political analyst; views expressed by him are entirely his own.