By K.N. Pandita
This election campaign saw only the ridicule in Farooq’s character, though, of course, he is not devoid of sublime.
Why did he allow angst to have better part of him? When you speak in anger you presumably speak the lies.
He found opportunity to ventilate his cumulative torment for not becoming President or Vice President of India for which he had once upon a time stoutly lobbied in Delhi.
He lost the bid because he was considered temperamental. Many people think he is mad, very few know he has method in madness.
Bitten by bleak chance in New Delhi with the incumbent government, and apprehensive of his son’s tenacity for not making space for him except the profusion of honorific, Farooq finds himself imperceptibly pushed to political oblivion.
He can no more bemuse the youth of Kashmir whose radicalization he has witnessed and at times soft pedalled with.
Major planks of election campaign are too hot for him to touch upon. He, in his own melodramatic style, changed the goalpost to politics of communalism in which he is only raw.
Now he tries to emerge as the defender of Islamic faith in Kashmir. Though that is Farooq in a new role yet he has every right to wear that mask. This is just because he is a Musulman to the hilt; does not drink, does not smoke, does not womanise, goes to Hazrat Bal shrine in Srinagar every Friday with skull cap and longish shalwar kameez to offer congregational prayer and strictly maintains saum o salat meaning fasting and prayers.
But it appears enigmatic to me why Sonia Gandhi approached the Shahi Imam of Jamia Masjid to appeal the 15 crore- strong Muslim community of India to unite and vote for Congress. Why didn’t she pick up Farooq?
Narasimha Rao had picked him and Khurshid Alam for UNHRC Mission in 1994 because both of them were considered garrulous with more of rhetoric and less of sense. After all, the Indians are suspicious about Kashmiri Muslims. Isn’t that the truth?
It is his staunch religious orientation that passed on the power to him within hours after the demise of his father in 1982.
Again, in regard to his claim of custodian of Muslim interests in Kashmir by divine ordination, we can also attribute the defeat and dispersal of MUF in 1986 election to divine intervention aptly put by a primeval British monarch, “God blew and they were dispersed”.
The MUF would never have been incarcerated, manhandled, beaten and tortured if Farooq had not the divine verdict with him and invisible hand of Congress in New Delhi to hold fast…
Farooq says if Modi is PM, Kashmir will secede from the Union. Will this antics win him the favour of militants and separatists? His father tried the trick in 1953. After 21 years of wanderings in terra incognita he succumbed to Accord in 1974.
But Farooq has a home and family in London. He need not go on wanderings in terra incognita. But wait if he does, isn’t that good riddance? Delhi political pundits, please consider dispassionately.
Farooq’s problem has another dimension. Life long he has been flamboyant, fun loving, nice conversationalist and geo-strategically romantic except on Fridays, and of course the holy month of Ramadhan for which he would occasionally make tauba (redemption).
As he is aging, something for which he has been lately found arguing with Allah in private, he feels he is become bore for the youth of Kashmir who are radicalized to the hilt and are not for any nonsense.
And if Modi seals his future in Delhi Durbar, and his son shows him the arm chair in the garden and the youth display the picture of him and Amanullah holding a gun in a public rally in Mirpur in 1974 declaring that it would decide the fate of Kashmir, what more is needed to make him feel angry, peevish and abusive. One can pity his self-mortification.
But he needs to reassure that the great anti-dynasty rule movement moving like a hurricane across the country will not touch him and his family because there is Article 370. It is something like an anti-missile defence device which will tear apart the anti-dynasty movement if it dares cross the 15000 feet high Pir Panchal cliff.
As long as there are fools around, the wise man need not worry for his prosperity, so said Ibn Khaldun, the famous Moroccan historian in early 14th century in his famous Prolegomena.
Lastly, Farooq brought in Kashmiri Pandits in his anti-Modi discourse. Use them in whatever way you like, they will not object nor resent nor contradict simply because you are only three generations away from them.
We wish you well. In passing, let us whisper in your ears what the bard has to say:
“Sabaat ik taghaiyyur ko hai zamane main” : it is only the change that persists in this universe.