History, it is often said, repeats first as a tragedy and later as a farce. Had Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led ministerial team not exhibited strategic statesmanship, earthy pragmatism and visionary outlook towards the Kashmir’s 75-day imbroglio, history, perhaps, would have repeated as a farce. That Modi resisted all the temptations and withstood all sorts of pressure, including international-sponsored ones, and put his foot firmly on the ground on the issue of “talking to all the stakeholders” is something remarkable. The tenacity with which he held on to his firm belief – that there would no talks with the separatists – paid dividends in terms of enhancing his own image and reputation as a hard task-master and also that of the country, that nobody can cock a snook at India and get away, as it used to be the practice all these years.
Almost all the non-BJP parties, except the Shiv Sena and Panthers Party, insisted that the Centre should talk to ‘all stakeholders in order to resolve the Kashmir issue, without, of course, being clear and categorical about who these stakeholders are. That these pseudo-secular and rank casteists have Hurriyat Conference in their mind to engage in talks is an open secret and goes without saying. But what makes these forces look like cowards is that they are unable to come out in open to tell openly that Hurriyat Conference is also a stakeholder. It looks like that Modi is firm believer in the principle of “the power of the silence” and the time-tested policy of the “strength of minimal words”. A past-master in the art of articulating his ideas with amazing clarity and characteristic élan without giving any scope for confusion but making everybody sit guessing, Modi said, “The Centre is willing to talk to anybody and everybody to bring normalcy in the valley and resolve the dispute within the frame-work of the Constitution.” That was a master-stroke.
But what came as a bolt-from-the-blue for the separatists and a ray of hope for nationalists, living around the globe, is his manly and statesmanly statement that “All of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh belongs to India” and “even the PoK is a part of Jammu and Kashmir”. It is short of saying that, “If Pakistan is incomplete without Kashmir, then India also incomplete without PoK and Pakistan,” (<Agar Kashmir keh bina Pakistan adhoora hai, tho Pakistan aur PoK keh bina Bharat Bhee Adhoora hai),” something millions of Bharatiyas were yearning to hear this for several decades. By this bold stance, the Hurriyat was just royally snubbed, as this umbrella organization consisting of hypocrites of worst-kind and a shelter for all anti-India forces does not recognize Indian Constitution as according to them, India is a nation to which they do not belong. For them, Kashmir is a disputed territory but for India Kashmir is a settled fact that it is an integral part of India and remains so, no matter who says what.
Since most of these Hurriyat leaders do not regard India as their nation and do not declare their nationality as Indian, they do not have passport, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the octogenarian leader who is having best of both the world of Pakistan and India in all respects. Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, who is known for his earthy common sense; his ability to mix with all section and strata of society – be it the villagers or riding a motorbike in CRPF camp – and whose grudging virtue is his ability to convey his ideas in chaste Hindi which puts many Hindi-speaking leaders to shame, had a detailed talk with all the organizations and parties which believed in Indian Constitution and conveyed to the world that the BJP-led NDA government means business and Modi does not suffer from the luxury of altruism. Hurriyat Conference leaders were left panting who had nothing else to do but to occasionally suck their thumb.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani who flamboyantly keeps repeating “Insaniyat; Kashmiriyat and Jamhooriyat” refused to open the gates of his palatial bungalow to CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, forget offering him a cup of tea. The non-BJP MPs had to return empty-handed. With this, it was proved that Modi was the best and pragmatic – neglect and ignore the Hurriyat – and endear himself to the common man, especially the youth, who needs education and employment, and the people, majority of them depend on tourists. “I am determined to make jannat (heaven) a real jannat, where the tourists as well as their dependents (tour operators) will be happy and prosperous,” Modi said, thus clearly indicating that he has placed developmental agenda as his highest priority.
The Prime Minister did not let the security forces, be it the Army or the para-military forces, down; on the other hand, he boosted their morale by making two significant statements. One, that the unity and territorial integrity will not compromised (which means that the Army will continue to have its full powers in safeguarding the borders) and two; safety and security of the people is his highest priority (which means that the para-military forces will have powers to deal with any mischief by anybody). On a comprehensive overview, Modi in particular and his government in general have amplified and echoed what millions of Indians had in their heart and mind. He has set the tone for future talks, if at all talks takes place and sent a right message not only to Pakistan but also to its stooges in Kashmir valley. Naturally, not only Indians in India and elsewhere in the world, the entire globe is watching with bated breath the next move of Modi in Kashmir. Once again Kashmir has become a limelight in the international arena for right reasons, not for wrong reasons of 1948, thanks to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru whose blunder of taking Kashmir issue to UN has been the root-cause of all the problems in this jannat. Modi is determined to break the impasse and he has taken his first giant step towards a confident and better tomorrow.