Rahul will soon become PM: Farooq Abdullah
The archduke of Indian Nation Congress, a pretty boy named Rahul Gandhi, is the latest benefactor-angel to turn up in Srinagar after the great metrosexual SRK. Like SRK, he too has Kashmiri ancestry (verified by the crystal-gazer-in-chief Farooq Abdullah). Armed with a Gandhi pedigree in each pocket of his white Kurta and a disarming dimpley-smile (partially hidden under stubble) he is camping in Kashmir University campus these days, preaching the virtues of trust to our Generation-next. Alas, trust is the only entity, Kashmiris seem to be falling short of, while dealing with India.
Ironically most of the distrust can be directly traced to Rahul’s great granddad, another great Pundit of his times – Jawahar Lal Nehru, India’s first PM. He too came in peace and extended an olive branch. The camaraderie was legend. In many long walks that he took with Sheikh Abdullah on the Boulevard -- while the autumn moon shone bright and Dal had fewer weeds -- he spoke words of honor and hope. The great Sheikh nodded like a shy bride. Nehru looked gracious and pleased in what looked like a frame from a romantic film; one that was too good to be true. Kashmiris soon learnt that if something is too good to be true, it most certainly isn’t.
When the Nehru-Gandhi scion says in his dainty English that he wants to be pally with Omar, the archduke of National Congress, just like Nehru was brotherly with Sheikh Abdullah in the days of yore, there is a deep sense of déjà vu. It all feels like we have seen this film before and remember all the dialogues before they are even uttered. Why does it feel that way? The most mocking part of the act is the progeny of Sheikh Abdullah are the ones who are clapping the hardest. Ofcourse there is a rented mob also (usually gathered by one of the local MLAs, hence proving his worth to the party) that makes a loud hitting noise on these occasions. Such blatant expunging and selective amnesia of Kashmir's recent history is indeed a film -- a tragicomedy.
Newspapers are replete with pictures of Omar and Rahul in Valentine smiles, eyes meeting each other half way and more flames. The party sidekicks, in rare bonhomie, seem to be having those mental feuds: who’s more charming of the two? Then there is Farooq Abdullah, the master of ceremonies, jumping around, never failing to call himself in third person singular: Farooq, Farooq. Occassionally he turns to Omar and utters those magical words: Omar, you are doing well, hold on fast! Not like me; like your grandpa. And feeling wise, he gives Rahul that sweet avuncular look before regurgitating the ‘You will be the PM prediction’. Wish someone told the good doctor that asking ‘Is the Pope a Catholic?’ isn’t exactly wisdom.