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    Is Omar Abdullah A Liability?

    Omar Abdullah is in a fix and we don't need any rocket scientist to confirm this. Whatever is happening in Kashmir since the beginning of June is certainly embarrassing for the peace loving (those few who really want the state to be normal as any other state is) Kashmiris and democracy at large. So who is at fault? Omar? Or Mehbooba Mufti? Or the separatists like Gilani? Or our Kashmir policies? Or Kashmiris? Or as usual our great grand lady Indira Gandhi? Something is wrong somewhere and it certainly not going to get covered up by becoming an Ostrich. Farooq Abdullah can keep on singing the famous number - 'Papa Kehte Hain Bada Naam Karega', doesn't matter.

    For the first time in my life I tend to agree to what Rahul Gandhi said about Omar yesterday - He is young, little immature and for sure wants his state to get normal and grow like any other state and genuinely wants well for his people. So terming Omar as a liability is too premature. Bull's eye- couldn't agree more, Rahul. I feel sorry for Omar. Rather than putting the blame squarely on him, we should appreciate that he at least showed some courage while taking the CM's seat of the most volatile state of India. More than anything, it is his own people who betrayed him big-time. Omar has now learned how tough it is to lead a state where the majority of the populace carries an anti-India centric psyche. I might be grossly wrong on this conclusion though. But the little time that I had spend in Kashmir and my interaction with people there, doesn't give me the confidence of them being too patriotic about India.

    After touching down at Srinagar, for a change my wife and I decided to stay on a houseboat. It is comparatively cheaper than the hotels and the tariffs include all meals. For those who are not aware how the whole thing works - It is like a floating house on Dal Lake (pretty much stationary) and adjacent to it are the houses of the respective boat owners (staying with their family). They serve you home cooked food, while living onboard their house boats. So it was no different in our case. The owner was staying with his wife, children and two of his sisters. Let me tell you the guy projected himself as a huge patriot (perhaps the biggest) from the valley, during our initial interaction. This positive display of patriotism was too tempting for me to refrain myself from discussing the Kashmir issue with him during dinner. It started with paying rich tributes to Allah & Sankar Bhagwan (not sure to whom my wife paid her tributes) for making things normal there, so as to allow we lesser mortals to visit that place and stay on a houseboat too.

    Every crook to every saint of Kashmir was brought into our discussions, all the while the guy projected himself to be a bigger patriot than I thought him to be, five minutes earlier. When the discussion came to the dependency factor, all hell let loose, thanks to his slip-of-tongue, or his natural instincts spilling out. In context to some point he said - "Sahabji Apna yahan kya banta hai. Kaju, Akhroat baas. Baki saab to Hindustan se ata hai". Hindustan se? Isn't Kashmir a part of Hindustan? I asked. I should say - he tried his best to cover up his words. Whether we accept it or not - majority of Kasmiri believe, they are not part of India. I am not blaming them entirely. Our federal policies on Kashmir have a big role to play for this mess.

    The other day in a media debate, the chairman of the separatist Hurriyat conference was invited. All panelists, including the host himself, wanted to know what his precise problems are and why they keep on adding fuel to the fire for no constructive reason. Those who have seen that program would agree - one would sound like a traitor, even if he just tries to re-narrate Mr. Gilani's words. So I am not going to do that either. In reply, Mr.Gilani made a mockery of our country, our system, our democracy and in fact everything that our constitution mandates. Not to mention - all the while shouting at the top of his voice that they don't belong to India, nor they want to be with India. Hope some literate in his family would educate him that, it is only for this bloody democracy that he could blabbered his anti-India nonsense in a national television and still get away with it. Without democracy, a rascal like him could very well find himself hanging from his legs upside-down, in some city square.

    This is not only Gilani's mentality. It is the mentality of all those thousands who throw stones at our security forces and hundreds who have already done the act and now cooling their posteriors in various Kashmir jails. And many others who haven't yet thrown stones but admire the throwers from the bottom of their hearts. So these are the problems for Omar -

    a. There are a whole bunch of people who don't want to stay with India
    b. A bigger bunch think Omar to be a scoundrel for respecting the values of our constitution
    c. Few other jokers like Gilani, just doesn't want Kashmir to be a normal state, for their own gains and to make their masters across the border happy
    d. And Mas-Allah , jewels like lady Mehbooba Mufti be least discussed

    Among all these silly problems and trouble makers, even an astute administrator would lose his sense of governance. Trust me, even an iron man like Sardar Patel would have found the current Kashmir situation a tough nut to crack. We shouldn't also forget - along with managing the nuisance like Gilani and alike, Omar has to run the state also. So why blame Omar when he is not allowed to act. Just imagine his irony - he can't act tough and he can't act soft either. If you think he can then at least stay neutral in that sense, then he can't also do that either. Give it a thought!

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