In a decision that would end the monopoly of the Abdullah dynasty over Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has recently dropped former PM and CM Sheikh Abdullah’s birth anniversary and Martyrs’ Day from its list of public holidays for 2020, however further integrating the state with the nation, October 26 which is observed as ‘Accession Day’ has been declared as a holiday. It is a great move by the administration that would finally mark the decline of the Abdullah dynasty.
Since the independence of the country, we have seen several neo political dynasties come to power, with the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty on the Delhi throne, their friends- the Abdullah captured the Srinagar throne. The Abdullahs who have ruled the state like their private mansion, depriving people of development and championing the futile ‘bone (cause) of autonomy’. Three generations of the dynasty, Sheikh Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah have tasted the chief ministerial power but only to fulfil their own lust for more power rather than working for the development and welfare of the people.
Sheikh Abdullah who was the first Kashmiri to study sciences from the AMU during that time, his friendship with Jawaharlal Nehru is the sole reason for such stature of his family even till now. As the former PM created the ‘Kashmir issue’, it was Abdullah who deprived the people of peace later his scion made sure that the ‘cause of autonomy’ remains relevant.
Sheikh Abdullah rose to leadership of Kashmir through a religious and communal movement dating June 1931, when there were reports indicating that a mosque in Riasi in Jammu had been demolished with the approval of the Maharaja’s government and that the Holy Quran had been desecrated. It created anger among the general Muslim population while the Hindus and Sikhs of Kashmir were as always targeted. Though the liberals call him progressive, it must be mentioned that Sheikh founded a political party for the Muslims, the ‘Muslim Conference’ however after coming close to Nehru he changed the name to the National Conference.
Abdullah laid the foundation of Islamisation of the valley while Farooq and Omar Abdullah propagated that campaign. After Sheikh died in 1982, Farooq got the Kashmir throne although he had no qualification for it and became the MP, similarly Omar Abdullah rose to throne. However, it was not surprising that time, as Delhi was too being ruled by the Nehru dynasty. Farooq Abdullah is a known hypocrite and Pakistan sympathiser, he recently even stated that the PoK belongs to Pakistan.
Veteran Congress leader from the state ML Fotedar had revealed all of these incidents and the hypocrisy of the Abdullah dynasty in his book ‘The Chinar Leaves’. Fotedar, one time confidante of former PM Indira Gandhi had even revealed in 2013 that the NC’s demand for restoration of autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir had no basis as its leadership gave up the demand when it signed the 1975 accord with the central government. The 1975 pact, better known as the Beg-Parthasarthy accord, was signed by NC founder Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s deputy Mirza Afzal Beg and G. Parthasarthy, emissary of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
One of the remnants of the dynastic rule of Kashmir was the ‘Martyrs Day’, as the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir used to observe July 13 of every year as a regional holiday to commemorate those Kashmiris who were killed by state forces while protesting on this day in 1931. This holiday exposes the terrorism- friendly and anti-national attitude of the Mufti and Abdullah dynasties. In his book, “Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy”, diplomatic historian Alastair Lamb described July 13 as the “official beginning of a struggle for independence from the alien rule (at that time the Hindu Maharaja and subsequently the Republic of India).
The Abdullah dynasty imposed themselves on the people of Kashmir, and ruled like kings, forced themselves on the core-identity of entire Jammu and Kashmir. However, post abrogation of Article 370, with the detention of leaders that threatened to sever Delhi’s links with Kashmir- a new dawn for politics is ushered into the two Union territories. J&K is finally shaking off the remnants of such rulers that acted as brokers between Kashmiris and Delhi, while holding the state (erstwhile) as ransom. It is heartening to see all these dynasties Mufti, Abdullah and Nehru lose their charm as the people from the lower strata of society such as PM Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath rise to power.