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OPINION: Revocation of article 370 and skepticism among Kashmiri’s related to People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration

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23 Oct 2020

Last year on 5th August 2019 article 370 and 35A was abrogated by NDA govt lead by Shri Narendra Modi and HMO India Amit Shah announced the revocation on floor of Parliamentary house and J&K was bifurcated into two union territories J&K and the other one Ladakh, before revocation there was uncertainty among masses in Kashmir be it political parties, Hurriyat or commoners as many troopers were being moved to Kashmir from other states of India and the rumours were that India will wage a Full fledged war against Pakistan and very less about revocation of article 370 however, people were busy in buying basic necessities of life exact before 3-4 days of abrogation. In this worrying situation a delegation of J&K National Conference comprised of 3 leaders Mr Farooq Abdullah (President JKNC & MP) Mr Hassnain Masoodi (MP from South Kashmir) and Mr Omar Abdullah (Former CM and acting VP JKNC) went to New Delhi in a hurry and seeked an immediate appointment with Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, during this 2 hour long meeting no one knows what the Chit-chat was about but after the meeting ended and leaders came out they addressed a presser and said Prime Minister of India has assured that nothing is going to happen and this movement of Security Forces is just for internal security matters. This anxiety spread more on 4th of August 2019 when Mr Farooq Abdullah called for an emergency all party meeting at Gupkar  the meeting began at 4:00 PM and ended at about 7:00 PM all three former CM’s of J&K were present in the meeting Mr Farooq Abdullah, Mr Omar Abdullah and Ms Mehbooba Mufti and leaders of other political Parties were also present like JKPDP, JKPC, JKANC, JKPM etc. Where they formed an alliance to protect article 370 and 35A this came to be known as “Gupkar Decleration” but unfortunately this alliance couldn’t save anybody from revocation of article 370 and 35A and the centre did its work on very next day and all of these leaders were arrested and kept under detention for a long period of time.
Kashmir was under an unprecedented clampdown for about 6 months but fortunately people didn’t come on roads for protests and no loss of life was reported probably for the first time ever in history of J&K such a big decision was taken and no one came on roads to protest. Kashmiries acted as mute spectators to this big decision of centre govt. And no violent clashes have been reported till date, Life had become so numb in J&K during those days due to communicate blockade and also there were troopers holding AK47 on every nook and corner of J&K as preventive measures, after a period of about 4 months slowly everything was returning to its normal speed and also these political leaders were being freed one by one the first tallest leader to be freed from custody was Mr Farooq Abdullah remaining under detention for about 7 months, he was released soon after A.S Daulat (Former R.A.W chief) meet him with whom Mr Farooq is known to have very good and close terms  and then other leaders were also freed one by one so the process began, but still many are under detention. Developmental activities were started G.C Murmu first L.G of J&K took oath and everything became normal newly appointed officers were given new charges and it was quite new experience for the people of J&K how the work in Union territories is being done and after a period of 8 months newly L.G was appointed Shri Manoj Sinha, centre is saying that they are trying their best to fill all loopholes in J&K and developmental activities are at great speed but unfortunately they are not even able to restore 4G internet which has been barred since last 15 months. 
On 13th October 2020 midnight Former CM of J&K and President PDP Ms Mehbooba Mufti was released from detention after a long period of 14 months and soon after her release she posted a video on her twitter account with a black screen shared her anguish at what happened to Kashmiris on 05 Aug 19  and calling it as the darkest day ever in history of Kashmir, on the very next day Mr Farooq Abdullah and Mr Omar Abdullah went to see Ms Mufti at her residence and she dressed in a green enjoying a huge attention from everyone having earned a lot of respect as spending the longest time under detention, Other leaders too went to meet her and enquired her about her wellbeing, while Mr farooq Abdullah and Mr Omar Abdullah leaving from there addressed a small press gathering outside the residence of MS Mehbooba Mufti and said that they have called for an all party meeting who were part of Gupkar Decleration.[10/22, 3:13 PM] Mumin Sgr: On 15th October 2020 Gupkar Declaration signatories sat again in a meeting at the residence of Mr Farooq Abdullah where all parties were present except INC whose president J&K G.A Mir claimed to have some health issues and skipped the important meet but Former Home minister and Finance Minister of Indian P.Chiddambram also tallest leader in INC lend his full support sharing his thoughts on his twitter account the very next day after meeting. When meeting ended and in presser Mr Farooq Abdullah was speaker and gave a detailed description of this Declaration to which they changed the name from Gupkar Decleration to “People’s alliance for Gupkar Decleration” and wowed to fight for the restoration of article 370 and 35A jointly. Now the question arises do people support this Declaration or they don’t care anymore what these parties do and what their agenda of work is? 
 Well, seeing ground situation and the mindset of people most of the people don’t give a damn to this Declaration as they feel a taste of betrayal from these political parties who have been ruling J&K since last 7 decades and what people want is peace and employment. Kashmir’s Economy has been worst hit since 2016 when Ms Mehbooba Mufti was in power and since then there wasn’t any high halt boost given to the economy due to which many families were not able to feed their children’s and many had to leave their profession for bread earnings this resulted in alienation among people and also due to curfews, and unprecedented clampdowns in Kashmir budding entrepreneurs were not able to fulfil their dreams of business and they went abroad for a peaceful life. The other reason is we Kashmiri’s have always been betrayed by our own Leaders don’t forget 74 amendments were done by these regional parties when they were in Power and article 370 and 35A was almost empty inside and was the strongest political tool for all parties. We have seen both Love and Betrayal from our leaders but mostly betrayal than love, due to which many youth’s took the path of gun and lost their precious lives their families got devastated someone lost his father someone lost his brother and someone lost her son these untold stories of Kashmir are more darkest than abrogation of article 370 and 35A, even departed youths were not spared and used as political tools by our leadership. Giving 5KG extra ration a month or some scheme of 1k to 5k couldn’t prove to be much beneficial for these parties in front of new younger generation of Kashmir who are more educated and politically active to understand this dirt for which we are self responsible. The parties started losing their credibility among people from time to time due to their chameleon politics and also split of leaders among parties resulted into formation of new parties due to which votes got divided in every constituency of erstwhile state gave a tough competition to all of them. Kashmiris still remember 2008 Unrest due to SASB scam when Ghulam Nabi Azad was CM of J&K, Kashmir’s still remember 2010 unrest when Tuffail Matto was Murdered and then 100+ youths were butchered during JKNC govt Lead by Mr Omar Abdullah, Kashmiri’s Still remember 2016 unrest When Burhan Wani got killed in an encounter between militants and security forces and then due to Failure security measures of PDP and BJP govt Lead By Mehbooba Mufti 100+ again lost their precious lives and 10000+ were blinded with pellets, we kashmiris Still remember your Milk and Toffees remarks of MS Mehbooba Mufti. All this gives Kashmiris sleepless nights when they start to think what has happened with them in past. People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is a political tactics to emotionally grab Kashmiris in this trap and I hope no one will listen to their false promises, Mr Omar Abdullah recently in an interview to India Today said that the political process has begun after this alliance has been revived again and when the anchor questioned him about the restoration of article 370 he replied that this alliance cannot guarantee will it be restored or not but they will fight, let me tell them 1000s of petitions have already been filed in Supreme Court of India even by commoners of J&K for its restoration but they didn’t made any hue and cry neither they did any publicity or claimed themselves as leaders fighting for people. If the leaders of these parties were very much concerned about these articles why didn’t they made it a permanent and more stronger when they were holding luxurious chairs ? Why did they wake up only once it was revoked? There are many questions to ask them and I bet they won’t have any answer to those questions. Youths like me will never ever support such so called Declaration’s because Youths like me have always been betrayed, our rights were snatched, our education system was ruined, we were victims of nepotism, corruption etc. recent summons to MR Farooq Abdullah by Enforcement Directorate on JKCA scam has also created a panic among these Gupkar Declaration parties and archenemies are supporting him and relating these summons with Gupkar declaration which is totally incomprehensible , if no corruption and no frauds have been done then why dreading to face to Enforcement Directorate. If statehood will be restored and Elections will take place in J&K all these political parties will be first to file their candidates directly or indirectly like they did in SMC elections. Fight for restoration of article 370 and 35A will end up after comprising with centre on certain points like land protection rights, jobs right etc. as we have seen how kashmiri people have been betrayed and fooled from time to time by these parties for their own benefits. This people’s alliance for Gupkar Declaration is just a political stunt to resume political activities in J&K and playing emotionally with the sentiments of people of J&K.  

Writer Mohammad Momin Khan Turk is a Social Activist and can be reached on his twitter account @mominkhanturk

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