India saw a watershed moment on 5th August 2019, when PM Modi led NDA government abrogated Article 370 and 35 A. This step sent shock waves across the world and left the Islamist, Leftist, and Seculars stunned. The biggest setback was for the local Kashmiri political parties, who were almost neutralized by this single step.
As a precautionary measure, the Government put most of the Political leaders under house arrest, and this lasts for many months. The moment leaders like Mehbooba Mufti, Omar Abdulla came out of house arrest, they saw that they have become almost politically irrelevant in Jammu and Kashmir. Gasping for political relevance, all these parties came together and signed Gupkar Declaration II on 22 August 2020.
This declaration was an outcome of the frustration of these Kashmiri political parties, which came together to fulfill the objectives of the Gupkar Declaration, past revocation of Article 370 and 35 A, and division of the states into two union territories. These political parties consider the abrogation of 370 as “unconstitutional“.
Not many people are aware that the first Gupkar Declaration was signed by National Conference, People Democratic Party, Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India (M), Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference and Awami National Conference on 4 August 2019, just a day before the Amit Shah’s historic act in the Indian Parliament which led to the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A.
Though, some people thought this Gupkar alliance may pose some threat to the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir, however, it seems Gupkar alliance is nothing but an old wine in a new bottle, which doesn’t hold any relevance in the local political environment anymore. The Arch rivals, who were pursuing different ideologies till yesterday have forged an ‘alliance of convenience’ only to occupy the space which has been created by the removal of separatists from the scene.
These political parties have forgotten that except them, nobody in Jammu & Kashmir is unhappy with the abrogation of Article 370 and 35. These political parties were enjoying political power for decades, in the name of the Constitution of India which they have been swearing by, however their faith in Constitution of India is highly doubtful.
Why Gupkar is so important?
Gupkar plays an important role in Jammu & Kashmir’s politics for several centuries. It derives its name from the hill, Gopadari, or Gopa, at whose feet it is situated. Gupkar has always remained a highly sought-after political power hub as most of the Political leaders live here for different periods of time. It was the seat of powerful Brahmin ruler reign of Gopaditya, Dogra ruler made this their home. Even Dhar rulers, Kochaks were living here. Past independence Abdullahs and Mufti family occupied their bungalows on Gupkar road, and undisputed power center of Kashmir.
It’s been more than and year, since these opportunist Kashmiri Leaders have signed this highly anti-national Gupkar declaration, they are unable to generate any traction with the local Kashmiris. People have been aware that these politicians were actually seeking to safeguard their own interests and political future, which have been on stake since 5th August 2019.
It is important to note that it was Pakistan, which came in support of the Gupkar alliance when Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi made a statement in support of this alliance and said that “it is not an ordinary occurrence but an important development”.
Right from the day-1, this Gupkar alliance has been involved in anti-national activities. A few days back, PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti, while addressing reporters for the first time since her release from 14-month detention, said that she will only hold the national tricolor after the flag of Jammu and Kashmir is restored. It was also observed that she prominently placed the flag of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state on a table along with that of her party during the presser.
As expected, this step evoked an aggressive sentiment across the states. BJP and intellectuals have lashed out at Mehbooba Mufti and retorted that it doesn’t if Mehbooba does not hold the tricolor in her hand, there are crores of people in Jammu and Kashmir who love and respect the national flag from the core of their hearts. On the Jammu and Kashmir’s accession day’ on October 26. BJP and several other groups hoisted tricolor and took out rallies to send a strong message to the Gupkar alliance.
Jammu & Kashmir BJP President Ravinder Raina warned Mehbooba Mufti and her alliance to not to instigate the people of Kashmir. He clearly said that BJP will not allow anyone to disturb peace, normalcy and brotherhood in Kashmir. In case anything wrong happens, these people will have to face the consequences for the same.
In our opinion, the abrogation of Article 370 brings an opportunity for Kashmiri political parties to play a positive role to contribute to the creation of a conducive environment for peace and harmony in the state. However, this Gupkar alliance put more focus on playing the negative politics and tactics to provoke people once again in the name of religion and anti-Indian sentiments. They are nothing but a bunch of Buffon’s who are power-hungry and ready to serve their master across the border and spreading ‘Political terrorism’ in Kashmir in the name of Islam all these years.
Such steps are bound to boomerang on these parties, as the scenario in Kashmir has been changed completely. It has been observed that the overall acceptability of last year’s massive constitutional changes has been increasing among the local Kashmiri’s and they have understood the benefits of abrogation of Article 370.
It is now up to these political parties to understand that the common people of Kashmir, especially the youth, who was directionless all these years, will never spare those leaders who try to once again to serve the old wine of ‘anti-Indian sentiments’ and ‘Islamic passion’ in new bottles. The youth of the J&K are marching ahead in all spheres of life due to the progressive policies of the PM Modi-led NDA Government and the hand holding rendered by it especially to this State from the last couple of years. It’s better these parties understand the ground realities, else no one can stop their thorough destruction from the political scene of Kashmir.