Wednesday, January 07, 2015

There is a new Pasha on Fairview

Who would have thought that the BJP, known to most Kashmiris as Jan Sanghis before the advent of satellite TV, would one day come to form the government in Srinagar? It would seem beyond question that the same BJP, called by the PDP as ‘foreigners’ in TV debates (perhaps to score quick brownies) during election time has now transformed into a lovely bride, wearing saffron earrings. PDP, ofcourse being the prospective groom.

God knows Muzzi Beg, Drabu and Co could be gearing up for dastar poshi, as we get ready for the big fat Kashmiri wedding. Don’t be surprised if a certain Mevlana Gun Joo Rumi, who used to teach philosophy in another age, is seen dancing in the wedding party. Politics, especially the flighty variety practiced in Kashmir, can be nutty as fruitcake.

If Syed Ali Geelani is the big Peer of the freedom-loving generation, Mufti Sayed is no little Peer. In his 80s, the prodigal from Bijbehara is all set to be anointed as the valley’s new majesty. All his active life – in various political avatars and combinations – the elusive high chair played hide and seek with him. No more. It is time to glue him to it.

In between Mufti did manage to crown himself for three brief years, which was never going to be enough. For a man of his ambition, who is always well-turned out, wearing immaculate Sacoor suits even in Chillay Kalan and someone who spent a lifetime doing maths of getting to the top, three years is loose change. Kashmir needs a new healing touch and Mufti is the Midas.

For years old boy Geelani taunted the mainstreamers, calling them ‘daily wagers’ of New Delhi. While it hurt them in private, publicly they put up a brave face, attempting to reverse-mock Geelani, calling him an agent of Islamabad.The mainstreamers were however left with little excuse when Geelani began blasting Pakistan too, not too long ago, accusing it of over-passing the Kashmir cause.

It was in this context that pro-India parties began flirting with the idea of soft-separatism. While they would never enunciate the Azadi word in TV debates, occasional mouth-honor would be accorded to issues like AFSPA et al. When a certain General (now a federal minister) let the cat out of the bag last year, saying the mainstreamers in Kashmir are on army’s payrolls, everyone cried foul but no one had the balls to impeach him. So much for tokenism!

In the winter of 2015, the mighty National Conference of Sheri-Kashmir is discombobulated. Down to 15 seats, it is all but finished in large parts. The most Omar Abdullah, the erstwhile Czar of Gupkar, can do to salvage his honor is to taunt the Pasha of Fairview on Twitter. While it may have irked the PDP spokesperson somewhat, expect Mufti to stay unruffled and calm, holding cards close to his chest. Amit Shah or Saifuddin Soz, you never know how the Pasha will play his hand!

At the appointed hour, when soothsayers and Peers say that time is ripe and the stars are in perfect alignment, the groom shall wear one of his smart suits and a tie (done in Windsor knot to rub it in Abdullahs, proper).

Barkha Butt will be air dropped on a shikara at night, somewhere near Dal, where she will hold fort with nothing but a solitary Kangri and Nazir Masoodi's smirk. Her guests will be hauled from their hammams and a midnight debate shall ensue.

Mufti Mohamad Sayed would step out of Fairview to be the 9th CM of J&K.

Till then, lets just eat Harisa and stay calm.