I am Wazwan, I am always late

As you all know my name is Wazwan which is served in Kashmir on special occasions, like on marriage ceremonies, on engagement ceremonies, on special functions and now also have the dubious distinction of being served in mourning ceremonies which is known as ‘Czoorim batta’. I myself am uncomfortable with being served on mourning ceremonies as I don’t at all fit in gloomy scenarios but tragically that is not in my hand. I am called ‘The Kings Feast’ and many modifications have been done to me which I don’t at all like but I being robust and rigid don’t at all let people make any modifications to the seven main dishes though there have been additions which change from time to time. Instead of humans, many times machines have taken over for purpose of grinding and mincing the meat but true to my rigidity, men are still needed to pound me. You should see the synchronized pounding (thud thud sound) with wooden Thor Hammer on a butcher block when scores of white clad and white capped junior Wazas sitting on ‘Wagu’ or ‘Patij’ (both are Kashmiri Floor Mats laid on the ground) and smoking the traditional ‘Jajeer’ or Hubble Bubble giving you that longing of festivity. My origin is dubious, some say I am from Iran, some say I am from Central Asia and some say I am indigenous also. When I am being cooked, people always talk about my origin but still no one is able to reach the conclusion from where I have originated but one thing is clear that in old times I was feast of nobility not of commoners like the present times. I am mostly made of lamb in Srinagar with some vegetables thrown in just for sake of it. Kashmiris have always taken me for granted with regard to time but have given me much love when it comes to making me with fresh slaughtered lamb and superb quality of spices and more than sufficient Ghee (Clarified Butter).  The amount of ghee which is added to me is something which will put Haryanvis and Rajasthanis, the notorious ghee eaters cornered in a dark room. I am telling you all a secret as my collective conscience compels me to say it that the Wazwan is not the magic of Waza making me the thing I am but it is the perfect blend of open fireplace of wood, copper pots, fresh lamb meat, ghee and spices. Go figure out, this is my secret but hush hush…….don’t tell the Waza or annoy him in any way because it is in his hands that you have placed the responsibility of the feast. If the Wazas asks for Tea, give them as early as possible; don’t make them wait as their temper is directly proportional to how bad they will make the Wazwan. Well I don’t want to be called as being regionally biased but Srinagar and North Kashmir Wazas cook me better than South Kashmir ones, just taste me in Kamraz(North), Yamraz(Central) and Maraz(South) regions, you will notice it yourself.

My foremost complaint with Kashmiris is that they have linked as well as cursed me with unpunctuality. You know how it feels after how much money, time and oily sweat of Waza is put in me and yet I am not served on time? It feels as that beautiful ornament clad bride into whom none is interested for a second look because everyone is hungry and ready to pounce on me. I being the Kings Feast have the luck of being garnished on copper platter perhaps the only time Kashmiris feel presentation of food is important. The Waza puts rice on the big copper plate known as ‘trami’ and puts the required mandatory starters for 4 people equally spaced. One elderly uncle, mostly a mamaji who takes the position on plastic chair near the waza puts napkin on the trami for it to look more decent (that napkin is also used to wipe hands at end of Wazwan). It doesn’t end there, they put a ‘Sarposh’( a copper covering) on me so that I remain covered till it reaches the white Dastarkhwan which is laid where guests are sitting. The white color of Dastarkhwan reminds me of the shroud in end I have to face which is the reality of life. In between the Wazas place and the sitting place of guests which is either a big hall situated mostly on the third storey of house (the only time when it is used apart from some sad demise of a family member) or a tent which either crewel clad or white house type. I have an exceptional relationship with the hall of the house as Kashmiris live to earn for these two things specifically. The hall otherwise remains mostly shut for rest of the time. OK, enough of hall and tent, I was going to say about how I reach the hall or tent from Wazas place as it is unique in itself as it may signify a political statement, I reach through human chains! I am being made political for no reason; this is how mischievous Kashmiri mind works! Also to increase publicity maximum photo ops happen during the kursi clad mamaji putting the fancy napkins on me till the human chain ends at the guests sitting place. As you know Wazwan is mostly associated with marriages which are uniting families together but I have an evil side too, I can break the families and friends. In this busy world when none has time to meet the FnF, it is only the occasions of marriage and some unfortunate death apart from the two Eids that FnF see each other and interact. As I am put on Dastarkhwan, helter-skelter takes place and I make sure only four of a group come and sit around me making others disperse and those who disperse into some random tramis sense a grudge but the show continues. If the trami is put along the sides of room/tent, then by convention the elder two sit along the sides and the younger two sit opposite showing values of Kashmiri culture. I forgot to tell you that during starters and napkin placing on tramis at the Wazas fireplace, another activity occurs at the sitting place and that is the laborious hands washing with Taesh-Naer where the young men are given the job of making the hands wash of guests. Guys when the hands are washed before the meal it is very easy but after meals it becomes tedious after me being devoured especially by women. I don’t know what it is with women when having me, they wash hands as if they will never be clean in future making the guy pouring the warm water bursting in anger but he keeps calm as the woman out of nowhere shows affection as the young boy may be some distant cousin’s son! This is a unique torture method, seriously!

OK guys let’s get started but who will start! When the trami reaches 80% of people, all eyes begin to roll as question is asked to oneself that who is going to start and somehow somebody starts and rest follow them and their begins the cherished Bismillah! Now I am delegating the talk to my constituents who actually make me and they will speak now for themselves.

Rice – I am rice, the staple food of Kashmiris, the thing which fills the Kashmiri tummies on routine days and even if how much junk food or bread a Kashmiri eats in day, until he eats the rice on dinner, he will be considered starved or ‘faqai’. Go figure yourself. Now coming to my role in Wazwan, I am the one which fills the trami and I being the medium through which people taste the curry otherwise I am not that much of a delicacy in Wazwan but I am useful in being drawn as boundary for the persons sitting in the trami so that the other person by not any chance encroaches in other territory and if the boundary begins to become weak, more rice is put to make it strong. There is a cliché; I am more eaten by women than men not out of love for me but out of love for family at home as most women carry the cooked meat delicacy in packets to their homes so that the family at home enjoys it. I am time to time being served during the course so that the trami never remains empty till the end whether it is change of gear from red curry to white curry or vice versa, I am being put by the service guys and mostly the elder guy in trami adds me to the four territories. I have a grudge too; no one puts me in the packets provided by host unlike my counterparts.

Meethi – I am a misnomer now, I am actually Meethi Maaz with traces of meeth (fenugreek) only found. I am made up of pieces of stomach, intestines in ghee and I have the distinction of being the first dish to be tasted with rice opening the gate of stomach valves. I am equally distributed and spaced on four sides of trami, in fact I am aligned such that all four people are adjusted and placed comfortably while eating me.

Chicken – I don’t at all know why I am in Wazwan and if you have to pick the odd man out in Wazwan, it should be me. In the whole meat world, I am considered a healthier option than lamb/mutton but thanks to Wazwan in which I am stir fried in ghee that I end up having around 900 calories for a person’s single serving, the highest compared to any other dish in Wazwan has for one person per serving. In fact I laugh at myself as well as those people who eat me thinking that their fight against high calories will be compensated by eating me more and other dishes less; I just am the devil for those who think that i am a blessing. Coming to taste I am the blandest one that is why I am the odd one out. However, nowadays few have started to marinate me in better way making me much presentable to eat but the other Wazas still think that I am waste of time so I should not be tinkered. I may be one or two on a trami depending on the host.

Kabab – I am minced mutton made by wrapping me around Seekh so I am a seekh kabab with two long pieces placed diagonally and the two persons cut the kebab with hand equally with precision so that all four persons in trami get it. Thanks to ghee, I get calorified high unfortunately compared to kabab you get in simple as well as posh restaurants. I don’t know why but people take interest in how much salt has been added and true to a Kashmiris character, some guest whispers in other ones ear that i have more or less salt. But irony is that in spite of complaining of my salt they keep on relishing it but still complain. Human nature!

Tabakmaaz – Hand upon my fatty heart, I am the most eyed dish. I am the tastiest as I am made of rib cage of lamb and deep fried in ghee. You should see me that how I party in hot ghee as it oozes into me with heat from below just to make me crispier. The real problem with me is not even about my making in ghee, it is about how to divide me between the two persons. As there are two pieces of me, one piece has to be divided between two persons. The two individuals in order to be divided between them pull me towards each other when I am hot, it appears as if my sins were not enough pardoned in hot ghee that I have to be tortured by pulling. I being stretchable compels the individuals do some work and burn fingers till I get divided between them. Rarely do I get divided equally, well fortunate are the ones who get my crispier layer wholly but that is fate! And unfortunate ones who get only the rib bones with meat attached as they have to single out the rib bones and throw them away.

Daniphol – I am single piece cortical bone having sweet taste, many times I am not even touched and many times due to my small size, I am touched in the middle course. Often I get a religious touch that I was the most favorite meat of Beloved Prophet Peace Be Upon Him and I take pride in that. Just saying that if an elderly gets by any chance in your trami then he will say that he used to eat Wazwan twice in a day when he was younger and the current generation doesn’t have the capacity to eat much. Really! I don’t know why Kashmiris repeat the same thing again and again like a broken record. It is the poor young fellows who have to listen to this dialogue only!

Rista – I am the one from where main course starts, pounded with wooden hammer of Thor as described earlier along with Gushtaba, my other fairer brother. I am made into small balls with each person getting one ball. My problem is when i am put on trami, I have to squeeze my way as it is congested due to the starters and sometimes luckily I get straight into persons eating territory when Waza puts all 4 of me into trami.

Rogan josh – I am the most widely celebrated and famous dish all over the world comprising of four meat pieces given to each person along with curry having all sorts of spices. Rogan means ‘oil’ and josh means ‘fire’, that is how I got my name.

Pulao – I am pulao, made from rice, meat juice and dry fruits. I stand alone as instead of meat, I am only rice. I am served mid-way parachuted in boxes now. Earlier I was directly put on plate but thanks to modernity that I am now compressed into a silver foil box. The degradation of presentation is something I am angry about. If I had some meat pieces in me like the biryani of other regions, I would have been treated better definitely.

Chutney and others – Well of many kinds served on a disposable or copper platter, like pumpkin chutney (sweet or salty), Cucumber chutney, Zirish chutney (berry + red chilly powder), Walnut chutney (walnut + curd), Onion chutney(sliced onions in vinegar and red chilly powder), Salad(having no presentation) and mixed pickle. After the Waza makes these things and puts them in Sarposh, the art of putting them in a platter is assigned to the man who is in charge of store-room and he calls up young ones to help him in setting up of platter. Mind it before going to the guests we are relished by those who set me on platter, mostly picking up a radish or carrot or cucumber piece and dipping in chutney and tasting the combination. I am made in equal number as the number of tramis which is expected to be served. Mostly alongside the platter a medium sized basket is also made in which accessories like water bottle, packed curd, cold drinks, towels, knives and spoons and packet containing paper soap, wet tissue and sweet fennel mouth freshener is put. Coming to wet tissue, it is the most useful thing which has been added to Wazwan over years where the guest wipes his hands with it and those who are late due to Wazwan being served late can go out without waiting for Taesh-Naer. The most useless thing on platter are pineapple slices, why it is put and what purpose does it serve, no one has been able to answer it properly.

Palak – Well the only green you will find literally in Wazwan but that too has little baby ristas. Being the only green thing, it is always eaten by everyone out of love.

AabGosht – I am something which makes the population divided. Some hate me as if I have stolen something from their bored lives and some love me that they would do anything to get more and more of my curry made of milk. May be haters hate me because i am sweet in taste, whatever; I am prepared of milk powder and tail part of lamb and scapular portion. Till recently the scapular bone having a triangular shape was used to cut Gushtaba and it was the best thing but it is now abandoned and the cutting work is done by knives.

Tamattar Czamman – Earlier I was made in tomato and cheese slab, now it is tomato puree and cheese slab. To laugh or weep, I don’t know as I am satisfied till the guest loves the cheese. It may seem I may be vegetarian but somehow the big spoons of Wazwan are interchanged while making the various dishes of Wazwan so to expect I may not have a hint of non-veg aroma and flavor is a little bit too much.

Mirchi Korma – I am the penultimate dish and have the maximum red chilli powder among the dishes and true to word, I am red fiery in color but you should also be careful, sometimes the head Waza in order to have redness in me puts coloring agent without telling the host. I am made up of small pieces of mutton and people often love to find the cartilage pieces so that truk-truk sound happens in mouth. By the way the Wazas prefer to take their dinner with me, check it out.

Gushtaba – I am the famous Gushtaba, some call me full stop, some fat bomb. I am made up of the same material as rista but boiled in curd known as yakhnee. I am unnecessarily dragged into something as being mostly fatty just because I am white but as I said rista is also of same material but no one points fingers at it. Both I and rista have one-third portion of fat and rest is lean meat. In fact a person per serving who eats me gets less number calories compared to kabab or chicken in Wazwan. Being served last, people often wait to see me and to eat some dip me in cold curd as if being boiled in hot curd was not enough. Guys my texture is something like sausage as a foreign guest once said. After eating me, the most senior or religious of the guests draws his both hands forwards as in Dua and says Alhamdulillah! That is the end and immediately every one stops eating though drinking water is allowed, so unique it is. Kashmiri things! And the tramis are pulled out of guest room, the white dastarkhwan, a shroud for me is turned yellow because of the leftover bones and meat. And then the hand cleaning process starts.

This is my actual story which no one actually says and I am being realistic here. I am now canned also for the people who can’t come to Kashmir to taste it so that you can enjoy wherever you are in world. Also buffet system has been in style for sometime but the essence of Kashmir culture is lost somewhere, may be at that time, we just sob silently that time is not the only thing, our unique culture is. Hope you get to enjoy me often in your life with no doctor’s warnings about me.

Advertisements

And It Snowed…. 

I guess everyone has enjoyed the snowfall which was being waited quite eagerly in this ChilaiKalaan, the harshest 40 day winter period. Sonam Lotus, the chief weatherman had given us the forecast which had come correct after a series of wrong predictions. Snow to each generation means different things. For the young ones who had seen snow in winters in past it was a refreshment of the past memories echoing in our minds. For the elder ones, well they will always be hard on snow, either they will say that this snowfall is nothing as compared to past when they were young and in the same breath will complain that this snow needs to stop. Well most of the times the old age problems which have set in like ortho or respiratory disorders which we find in young ones also compels them to go against the nature and gaze upon the sky to stop the white stuff and be melted down as soon as possible. For kids, well it is Christmas, an opportunity to witness and relive the spectacle witnessed in Disney cartoons which the fortunate ones are blessed to see. Whole place is converted to a la Disneyland and Voila the kids can mould the snow to any character they want which won’t be scarier and uglier at least as compared to the scarecrow. I am not a good writer and neither do I know why I am writing this but as soon I started to drive slowly which also was dangerous after a days snowfall, I was smitten by it, no words to express. As soon I reached the destination, the radio started to play ‘Guloon main Rang Bhare’, a Faiz sahib Kalaam in the melodious voice of Mehdi Hassan. I swear I haven’t enjoyed the verses more as I was watching the white snowy field and I didn’t at all move out of the car till Mehdi Hassan’s voice ended. People say that enjoying music in rain has its own charm but enjoying music with Faiz’s words in snow, it is something I cannot say it in words, I can only explain in snow.

Driving on the banks of Boulevard Road with snowy atmosphere is something which is cherish-able and you kind of witness many things like the snowmen made by boys and taking Selfies with it and the mandatory Sheen Jung or snow fight between friends. It was kind of much needed change after the burning summer as the collective moods were still off even after autumn had passed. Young couples, boys and girls were stopping their cars on the banks of Dal Lake and were posing for the pictures, all enjoying the happy snowy moment, after all the snow had come to visit us after two years. The skewer makers were having a merry day, the peculiar smell of meat roasted on the burning charcoal surrounded by snow, well imagine! Imagine! And I am leaving the imagination to you for how savory it would have been 😉😉.
Snow is something which jogs us to think that why there are seasons, why we need changes in life if it has been on a constant, snow certainly will not make you philosophical or a poet but will make you feel different for a while, a nature’s reminder that life can be beautiful outside of dreams too. Snow Hafiz.

A Solicitous Enquiry after the Mental Health of Arnab Goswami

KAFILA - 10 years of a common journey

Arnab,

I am wondering if all has been going well with you. I saw your show on television the other night and you were shouting at a young man who has now been accused of sedition because of a meeting he attended on his college campus. In this show you shouted this young man down, did not let him speak, turned off his mike while he struggled to make himself heard. You called him a terrorist. You said people like him are dangerous elements and wondered who was funding him. You told him he should be grateful for things that India has apparently given him and others like him. You even had a tweet for the purpose #FlashpointAfzal. We will not go into the extraordinary idiocy you displayed in your own version of what you are pleased to call an ‘argument’. It seems in the world you inhabit, and people…

View original post 2,548 more words

Lal Bazar

aatish e chinar 🍁

In the early 90s, people in downtown Srinagar faced the brunt of Indian military forces’ brutalisation. Downtown or the Old Srinagar has been at the forefront of the Kashmiri struggle for independence since centuries. In fact the first revolt against Dogra in 1864 started in its Zaldagar area.

In 1990s, the rebels found home in the maze of alleys and lanes. The underground movement had massive support in Downtown. Thus the military choked this area with a camp or a bunker at almost every nook and corner. It resembled casbah in Algiers when the Algerian armed struggle to overthrow the French started.

The arsons of Kaw Dara and Noor Bagh in the early nineties saw more than 300 properties summarily burnt down (including homes, schools and shops) shocked people. No one expected this incursion in their daily lives. Fear grew by the day. It forced many to consider leaving downtown…

View original post 1,114 more words

Solidarity with Palestine through a Kashmiri Prism

As we are in the last 10 days of holy month of Ramazan, this month reminded of 2010 protests in Kashmir by seeing and hearing the disgusting war upon Palestine people by Israel. Even the Pre Ramazan days were also having a somber political air, firstly because of the ISIS conquests if Iraqi Territory and the killings of three Israel and one Palestine youth which were covered widely by the media around the globe. Belonging and brought up in a place of conflict has some effect on how you think and what makes you interested so being interested in the Iraq issue and also Palestinian cause was natural to most of my fellow people. Just like you have a thousand and one views on Kashmir issue, same thing happened over Iraq. Well Palestine was an exception, as any Human in his senses cannot tolerate the Israel aggression currently so we had a rare opportunity especially on social media where voices were united against Israel for Palestine. Of course there were Israel supporters too from the Indian heartland. In the Pre Ramazan days when majority of Muslims were vocally against what ISIS was doing in Iraq, and also knowing that the Iraq Government is also responsible for the macabre condition prevailing there, there was a minority sitting on the couches like us all supporting the ISIS and when ISIS declared self-proclaimed Caliphate on 1st Ramazan, the joys of supporters of self-proclaimed Caliphate hit the roof top. And when asked why your joy has hit the roof top, their views were disgusting like they would abolish other sects who will not comply with what ISIS says, they will destroy Shia Masjids and Sunni Shrines, etc. and all this was propped by the so-called educated class. Also interesting to know was that the school of thought considered closest to them (the followers of official Saudi school) were also hand in hand with other Muslims in ignoring the self-proclaimed Caliphate. Anyhow this issue got overshadowed by the Israel aggression on Gaza. Gaza has been bombarded three times over last decade with huge casualties and yet Israel continues to get support of nations without an outcry. This Ramazan has all been about getting numbers of killed in Gaza during ‘Sehari’ and ‘Iftar’ time. A global outcry by the people all over the world irrespective of religion even Jews included who are against the blatant racist Zionism. How can Kashmir remain far behind ? Kashmiris always felt for Palestine whether Pre Militancy or Post Militancy. The elder ones still remember Yasser Arafat. Some people say that we have nothing to do with the Gaza issue are speaking a white lie straight on your face. If that would have been not the case, there would not have been a death of a 15-year-old boy at the hands of security forces in Kulgam, Kashmir who was protesting against Israel aggression on Gaza. Every where protests happened but no deaths were reported but continuing the tradition in Kashmir, the trigger happy forces killed this young boy. To top it all, this twitter savvy chief minister who probably has no understanding of grass root level politics and psyche of Kashmiris took a dig on those ‘organizing and orchestrating these protests’. This man should look at his own party, National Conference, who themselves were also protesting in front of the UNMOGIP office, thankfully with no candles in this summer day. The chief minister has left no stone un-turned in shaming Kashmiris on social media platform and has also not taken any lessons from 2010 protests where over 120 young ones died under his vigil. His only dictum seems, ‘Damned be Me, Damned be the people’. I see no difference in being apologetic & giving idiotic reasons for the death of the 15-year-old boy and those who are supporting Israel in India. Strange that a country who was once a supporter of Palestine nationhood has now become the closest nation of Zionists, after all now Israel is the largest weapon supplier to India. Also we would see the experts on News TV Channels openly supporting Israel aggression under the garb of decimating HAMAS. Well most of these experts out of straight hatred for Muslims have come out of cupboard with the Hindu Right wing party in power. These so-called experts act as blind when told about History of Palestine. Not only these experts but also a part of Indian intelligentsia parrot the same narrative of Israel. Well it is not surprising for me, if Indians have elected a right-wing party this year, that wave is continued by organizing social media campaigns by being in favor of Israel. I would like to emphasize whether there be HAMAS or no HAMAS, Israel aggression against Palestinians would continue as it was in past and those who are giving this self defense of Israel theory should read History of Palestine but alas! They even don’t know the History of Kashmir so i don’t expect much from the Indian trumpeters of Israel. The solidarity for Palestine cause by a common Kashmiri was there, is there and will be there even if India supports or not supports Israel.

If the establishment is expecting the anger against Israel to tone down which in turn is also a manifestation of anger against the Forces in Kashmir then they are wrong. Take for example the summer vacations in Kashmir schools were ordered a bit earlier from 15th July so as to thwart the protests but the protests still happened and till date it has resulted in one death. With Quds Day (on Last Friday of Ramazan or Jummatulvida) round the corner which actually was started decades earlier by Iran and is now commemorated all over the Muslim world including Kashmir, the protests are not going to tone down till then at least. With the world getting closer and closer and everyday the civilian death toll in Gaza getting higher and higher which include children and women, all we can do is hope against hope that it would end soon. I would like to end it with Faiz Ahmed Faiz lines,

Duur pardes kee be-meher guzargaahoon main
Ajnabi shahr kee be-naam-o-nishaan raahoon main
Yeh zameen par bhi khulaa merai lahuu ka parcham
Lahlahaata hai wahan Arze-e-Filistin ka Aalam
Terai aaqa ne kiyaa ek Filistin barbaad
Merai zakhmoon ne kiyai kitnai Filistin aabaad

On the unmarked roads of foreign lands,
In the unknown streets of foreign streets 
wherever my blood-stained flag was unfurled
there flourished the flag of Palestine. 
Your enemies destroyed one Palestine 
my wounds populated many a Palestine.

 

NC Debacle In Kashmir in The Modi-fied Phase

As i  am writing, the Right Wing BJP has emerged as the single largest party with Absolute Majority in the Elections 2014 of India and the ruling UPA has been reduced to a miserable double-digit number in the Parliament. As the opinion polls along with the exit polls of various hues had correctly predicted the gain of BJP lead NDA, still there was a counter opinion that the BJP may not win that big because of the faulty exit poll results in last two General Elections but this time they correctly predicted the wave of Modi which many had rubbished as a myth. It is after a very long time in the electoral history of India that a clear mandate has been given to a single party which is also a right-wing party drawing its inspiration from Sangh Parivar. The rise of Modi in India has opened a plethora of questions about in which way India is going which will be probably be answered in coming five years till the next elections. Everyone will have an eye on Modi’s policies from across the border to within the border and how Modi will deal with issues pertaining to Ram Mandir, Article 370, Minority welfare plus the economic issues. As a Kashmiri, like all other fellow citizens of Kashmir, observed the elections with keen eye even though a common Kashmiri knows that whether it be UPA or NDA, Kashmir Policy will remain same. If we look at the overall poll percentage of J&K, it is near about 50% with individual Poll percentages of Jammu as 70% and Kashmir standing at nearly 30%. There appears a clear division on the mood of people present in both regions with majority of Kashmiris not wanting to vote & majority of Jammuites wanting to vote. Looking at the results, out of the 6 Parliament Seats in J&K, PDP has bagged all 3 seats & BJP in Jammu has bagged the remaining 3 seats, two from Jammu & one from Ladakh leaving the coalition government of NC-Congress to bite the dust. Although Kashmiris by and large hadn’t voted in the elections but still everyone wanted to know the result for the curiosity purpose. Many pundits had predicted that PDP will do well in the Kashmir seats but this came as a surprise that they went on marching on all the three seats of Kashmir leading to defeat of veterans like Dr. Farooq Abdullah & his two associates.

APRIL 13, 2002 - FAROOQ ABDULLAH, then part of NDA, JUMPED INTO THE DAL LAKE  TO MARK THE TWO DAY BAISHAKI FESTIVAL AIMED AT ATTRACTING TOURISTS AND REVIVE TOURISM IN KASHMIR.  FAROOQ IS SEEN SWIMMING IN WORLD FAMOUS DAL LAKE . PTI PHOTO

APRIL 13, 2002 – FAROOQ ABDULLAH, then part of NDA, JUMPED INTO THE DAL LAKE TO MARK THE TWO DAY BAISHAKI FESTIVAL AIMED AT ATTRACTING TOURISTS AND REVIVE TOURISM IN KASHMIR. FAROOQ IS SEEN SWIMMING IN WORLD FAMOUS DAL LAKE . PTI PHOTO

Let me remind you all that these Kashmir elections came after a series of catastrophic events in Kashmir with a government headed by Omar Abdullah whose tenure will be remembered more on Twitter than in real books. The way Omar Abdullah led coalition has been routed is something to be worth discussing. After all with the Shopian Gang-rape flip-flop incident in 2009, 2010 mass protests against excesses of security forces leading to death of around 120 men, the J&K Cricket board scandal with Dr. Farooq Abdullah involved & the state government’s silence on Afzal Guru’s hanging in 2013, how can anyone dismiss the backlash of all these years of miss-governance. If we look at the state of affairs of Omar Abdullah Government, it appears only on Twitter through his tantrums. Mr. Omar Abdullah would be only head of state who would curtail the internet connection of his own subjects & go on giving messages for the general public through that medium. If anything we could deduce from the messages he posts during tough times, it appears as if he got a dictation from corridors of Delhi and he is reciting back the words pampered to him for the Indian Media. Even during the current election campaign he shot up with statements which appeared more of arrogance than as a head of state, that he is not accountable to those people who don’t vote in the elections, crossing all limits of decency of the chair he is holding through the glue provided by Delhi. How can the legitimate anger which everyone holds against the regime of National Conference be not foreseen trough the tremors which was felt on May 16 ? How can Dr Farooq Abdullah who had a Kashmiri speaking father tell that fellow Kashmiris are ‘Mahachors’ & get away with it ? For how much long Kashmiris have to bear the tantrums of Delhi by imposing on us the Abdullah Family & not doing anything to solve the Kashmir problem. How long before a Kashmiri CM who in a state assembly says, ‘Main kya karsakta hoon’ on Killings done by security forces ? How long before the Abdullah clan raise the bogey of Secularism & all that stuff which by the way no one buys in Kashmir. These are legitimate questions which a Kashmiri always asks to Kashmir policy makers in Delhi but gets no reply.

Having said everything against NC, it is not that PDP will do wonders, if one is an evil the other has been accused to be a lesser evil and at times the collective lesser evil has done also a damage to the Kashmiri psyche. With results pouring and with it  jubilation of Modi supporters across India being seen, across the border, Mian Nawaz Shareef has congratulated Modi & also invited Modi to visit Pakistan which may be seen as a positive signal from Pakistan having a will to cooperate on Kashmir issue and it seems that Pakistan is less concerned how Modi is viewed internally in the country. We all know that BJP is against Article 370 which is actually now only a symbolic article ( which Congress Party at Center has made hollow in all these years) in Indian Constitution which lays the foundation of Kashmir acceding to India, whether Modi is going to touch it or not is going to be seen in future. Although Article 370 bogey is run by National Conference to hoodwink the Kashmiri public yet the public knows that National Conference has been a party to the erosion of Article 370 all these years.

In the post Modi scenario, definitely across all spectrums there will be an introspection that what lead to rise of Modi and what lead to fall of Congress. Definitely the fall of Congress has more to do with the rise of Modi. The desperate measures of UPA 2 like the hanging of Afzal Guru out of his turn & not returning the dead body to his family will definitely haunt Congress and its partner NC in Kashmir for years to come. The scams done by UPA, the passing of Bills in Parliament hastily, the ever arrogant attitude of Congress men, the failure to estimate the popularity of AAP in Delhi, having a weak PM candidate who delivered wretched speeches in election rallies, etc all lead to the downfall of Congress which stand as a two digit Party. Saying this i know Congress Party will do a home work rightly next time or next next time but of National Conference, i assure you all, even all the perfumes of Arabia & all the wisdom in Humanity will not help the National Conference and its first family to have a soul-searching within self because their souls remain buried somewhere in North & South Blocks of Delhi at unknown destination there.