July-September 2002 Issue
Fusion of multi
tiny specks of Pranav which pervades the Universe in the shape of OM. A
drawing by Late Radha Krishen Kaul (Kotha), retired Asstt. Engineer of
Bal Garden, Srinagar (Originally of Rainawari). Shri Kotha passed away
in September 1994 at Delhi
Since exodus, elections in Kashmir
have come a third time, this time with more furry and local, national and
international attention. Pro-election elements in Kashmir have increased.
Pakistan feels elections as a red rag to bull and reacts feroviously through
overt and covert elements. Overt are the pronouncements by Musharaf and
the assaults by his men in Jammu and Kashmir targetting anything connected
with elections. Covert are his cohorts of Hurriat Conference. Who, though
much more muted this time, carry the same anti-election tune.
Kashmiri Panditsí reaction is symbolic
of its leadership confusion. A meeting, as reported in Koshur Samachar,
was held in Delhi to arrive at a common approach. Panun Kashmir, as usual
played the spoilt sport in frustrating any common approach. It gave a call
for bycotting the elections. Why? God knows. May be out of boredom. Otherwise
why give a call which no body obeys - rather exposes the ineffectiveness
of the caller. Interestingly, both factions of Panun Kashmir, who are otherwise
on each others throat, found a common cause in the matter. They were joined
by an entity named ASKPC (excuse my not giving the expansion, for expansion
really mean nothing). It is an organ headed by Mr. Trichal. A long time
communist and a fellow traveller of Sadiq, now turned communalist. Why?
Yes to work as fifth column to break Yuvak Sabha, which perhaps he didnít
succeed but was only able to add one more non-elected entity, to a large
number of such so-called KP organisations. He has joined Panun Kashmir
in the boycott call.
How woefully KPs can defy unity to
their own detriment, is clear from this election. A Muslim journalist from
Jammu has vividly pointed to this in a Jammu paper. Had the KPs decided
to put one candidate each in six constituencies of Srinagar, where the
poll percentage was as low as 11%, all the six would have got elected to
the Assembly, on the basis of votes of the displaced KPs. We would
in that case have had a real say in the power game of the state, particularly,
if no party had absolute majority. What actually happened is that more
than a dozen of KPs have stood for elections, representing different organisations
or as independents. Habba Kadal constituency alone had nine KPs fighting
for the seat. Results you can yourself judge.
The mandate from parties for KPs
was a story in itself. National Conference, we are told, was in a mood
to give ticket to one Kashmiri Pandit. Farooq favoured a kin of Late P.L.Handoo.
There was struggle in Handoo family itself whether it should be the son
or the son-in-law. The fued was so strong that Farooq had to decide against
allotting a ticket to any of them.
Tail Piece: It was remoured in Jammu
that the Head of one Panun Kashmir faction had approached Farooq for an
NC ticket for its national organiser, forgetting the boycott call. Farooq