Rahul Gandhi, like the rest of the Nehru-Gandhi clan before him, will never contest an election from Kashmir. When he says, “I myself am from Kashmiri family and want to have lifelong relations with the people of Jammu and Kashmir”, it is a declaration of the divine right of the potentate in a jigsaw puzzle of a state.
A delegation of panchayat leaders from the state visits him in Delhi; he lands up in Sonmarg and tells the people he wants to “understand your pain deeply”. This makes former chief minister Farooq Abdullah so emotional he blurts out, “We are Indians and we will die as Indians. No power can separate us from India. A day will come when children of Rahul and Omar will see fruits of steps taken by us.” In July, Hurriyat leaders met Pakistan’s foreign minister on her official trip to India.
So, who is ruling the state?
Rahul Gandhi organises a corporate picnic with big industrialists. Many promises will be made. Perhaps for more formula racing, tulip gardens, skiing facilities, to ensure tourist traffic. These are mirages used to market the state to others. He wants to “connect Kashmiri youth with the development process”. There is no introspection as to why that has not happened yet.
>>Read the rest in Express Tribune