Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mehbooba, Omar in times of Hassan Mirs

By Naseer A Ganai

Two highlights of a debate on a motion about V.K Singh in recent session of the legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir were: 'ahistorical' speech of Mehbooba Mufti and its 'apolitical' response by the chief minister, Omar Abdullah.

Both spoke at length. Mehbooba talked about her father, her father and more about her father. She laid emphasis on the word father. She paused, looked around and repeated that people called her father, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, an Indian, Pakka Hindustani unlike Sheikh Abdullah. “My father, my father, my father” she said, “went to Muzaffarnagar in UP, fought elections there and got elected from there. But he did not change his ideology and conviction,” Mehbooba said as if begging before Indian parliament and reminding it what her father has done for India and how Indian state has been indifferent to his contribution, dedication and love for India and kept it away from power since January 1, 2009.

She accused Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah of constructing the Constituent Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir in 1950 and later deconstructing the same in 1953 after his arrest.

“What was the need to agitate in 1953 after you decided in 1947 to be with India? See my father, he did not change his conviction,” she said, again reminding India that it should believe those who are Indians by conviction and not these National Conference people who are political turncoats.

V.K Singh was not mentioned in her speech except once when she said 'Ham Agae Biknay kay lay tayaar nahi.'

Next speech, Mr. Omar Abdullah: a lot of fury signifying nothing. He said he would have taken action against Ghulam Hassan Mir had he felt that the government can be toppled by mere Rs 1.19 crore. Even a municipality cannot be toppled with this amount, Omar said. Taking action against Mir is not easy. It needs courage. You cannot take on gods and get away with it. Omar knows it.

So Omar took another route. He said he has written to the prime minister and informed to him that V.K Singh has turned Assembly members into “paid operatives of army.” Omar revealed he complained to the prime minister about tapping of his phone. We hope soon PMO would respond to the Omar’s letter that tapping phone is no big deal even prime minister’s phone is tapped at times and he never complains, he only smiles. But let us hope one day like Radhia tapes, Army also comes up with the CDs of Omar tapes. They will have huge market. Qasam Hassan Mir ki.

But someone should ask Omar Abdullah that does it matter if a person takes Rs 1.19 crore to topple a government or Rs 1000 crore? How can you justify an arrest of a peon under prevention of corruption act for taking Rs 100? Does his taking bribe of Rs 100 amount to a threat to the State. It doesn't, but you still arrest him. When you arrest a youth and charge him for waging a war against State for his Facebook post, how can you justify it?

Moreover, if you take money for some cause like toppling the government, that too of Omar Abdullah, you position yourself after seeing the worth of the government. Omar Abdullah’s government has not even net worth of Rs 19 lakh.  It is intriguing why army provided Mir, according to a leaked army report, Rs 1.19 crore to topple Omar Abdullah’s government. Rs 19 lakh were enough! This indeed should be investigated.

The chief minister insisted that he would have taken action against Mir, but he did not feel it was necessary. Because, Omar argued, for Rs 1.19 crore you cannot even topple a Municipality. How ill-informed the chief minister is! There is vast difference between the Municipal Corporations and the State government led by him.

Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) is everywhere in the form and shape of illegal malls, shopping malls, shops, hotels and all illegal constructions. His government is nowhere. It has to be searched.
The chief minister has no clue of the SMC powers. Even a peon of the SMC can give permission for construction of a shopping mall in front of the chief minister’s residence and argue that it was to facilitate shopping of army of guards of chief minister and other ministers. 
The assets of officials of the SMC and Jammu Municipal Corporation officials would help the government to overcome its budget deficit. The Finance Minister should take note of it.

The chief minister should be informed if there are massive shopping malls in Srinagar and Jammu, credit must go to the successive chief Khilaaf Warzi officers and their subordinates and successive commissioners of SMC and JMC. They allowed growth of all type of buildings in the city presuming they are turning Srinagar into Singapore. They turned Srinagar turned into cesspool. They did it with impunity. You can seal these illegal buildings, which need to be bulldozed, but you cannot take on the SMC officials. The SMC is the government. You need Rs 10,000 crore to topple the SMC. It has worth of Rs 20,000 crore given the size of shopping malls in Srinagar.  So the chief minister should take back insulting words against the municipal corporation. If Army over estimates his government’s worth, it doesn’t mean he should also under estimate worth of the SMC and JMC.

In all this Ghulam Hassan Mir came out as a winner. Nothing will happen to him. Nothing happened to him. Perhaps he will win again. He will again be made as cabinet minister. We live in times of Ghulam Hassan Mirs. They are politicians here. They are Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. They are bureaucrats here. They are the assembly and they are the secretariat. In pro-India stock market exchange of Srinagar, stocks of Ghulam Hassan Mirs and theirs sons and daughters are touching skies.  The world economy might be facing recession but not Hassan Mirs. That is why both Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti tried hard not to speak against Hassan Mirs and their companies hoping one day their present response would be taken as an future investment and they would reap its’ benefits in election times.