Jammu: Bitten by +44 bug, Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be desperate to achieve this mission, come what may. In this pursuit they appear to be prepared even to embrace those whose anti-national credentials are not unknown or those challenging the unity and integrity of India with a sense of pride. There is nothing to comment what BJP is endeavouring to achieve in Kashmir after reports about its senior leaders having approached Er Rashid shocked the nationalistic forces. They feel dumb stricken. If the buzz about Rashid being roped in by BJP is true then the chronic saffron supporters need to know what for the MLA Langet stands for.
Before the execution of Parliament attack convict, the MLA Langet moved a resolution in Legislative Assembly on 3rd September 2011 seeking clemency for Afzal Guru, saying New Delhi should not catch a cold if the resolution is adopted. After hanging, he described Guru as a martyr and sought renaming Srinagar’s famous Lal Chowk after him. He went to the extent of asking the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring the body of Guru along with him to Kashmir. He hurled threats to the nation for having dared to hang Guru.
During a debate in the Assembly, Rashid described Kashmir as a disputed territory and pressed for its solution as per United Nation resolutions. In an emotive rant, he asked the Speaker of the Assembly to ‘put his hand on his heart and say Kashmir is not a dispute’.
On 5th March 2013, Er Rashid reiterated plebiscite and said if demanding it is a crime, then he will commit it billion times and even if hanged or disqualified from the membership of Legislature. Has such a commitment to the so-called Kashmir cause impressed BJP to have him in its fold? Believe Minister of State for Home Kiran Rijiju several moves are being made in Kashmir for the sake of elections. Decoding the metaphor has been left to the discretion of viewers or readers, because BJP is in trail of Mission +44. Rashid had taken BJP to task then saying though Kashmiris had no confusion and this and other communal parties but Afzal Guru’s ‘murder’ has exposed the secularists. By describing Guru’s hanging as murder, he had actually undermined the Indian judicial system that is being seen with respect across the world. Is he going to be prized catch for BJP leaders who are exploring their possible allies in the Valley in run up to the elections?
Sprinkling salt over the wounds of Kashmiri Pandits, whom BJP wants to go back to the valley with a sense of dignity and pride, Er Rashid said demand for homeland was aimed at making Kashmir another Palestine. He took on KPs over their forced exodus amid blood bath of their community members and said, “When first bullet was fired in Kashmir the major portion of Pandit community left Kashmir and virtually left the Muslim Community at the mercy of guns”. He even went to the extent of calling their leaders as fanatics.
The chronic Kashmiri hawk Syed Ali Geelani remains the role model for Er Rashid. “Gilani is the only leader who is representing sentiments of Kashmiri people in real sense. He is the only Qaid-e-Inqilab,” he says while pledging that Kashmiris cannot forget the sacrifices of over one lakh people who laid their lives for Kashmir cause.
On 16th June this year, Er Rashid assailed BJP for ‘fomenting communal polity in Jammu and Kashmir, especially at a time when it has recently assumed the reins of power”. He has been publicly denouncing the saffron brigade and cautioning them not to play with fire. He is also used to castigate the Army whenever terrorists get killed in the encounters. He is a rebel face who is known for ranting anti-India chants. He has been championing the cause of independent Kashmir and now he appears to be the point man of the party, if reports making round in the political corridors of Jammu and Kashmir are any indication.
Who knows, BJP may handover the handle of their election campaign in the hands of people like Er Rashid. After all Mission +44 is a most sacrosanct agenda, no matter how emotive slogans BJP has been raising for decades.