Er. P.L.KhushuThis article derives its inspiration from the recent remarks of Ghulam Nabi Azad, whose tenure as Rajya-Sabha member and the leader of the opposition in the Rajya-Sabha came to an end a few days back. In reply to a question when asked about his joining BJP, Azad said that he will join BJP, when Black Snow will fall in Kashmir. Black Snow in Kashmiri means ‘Kaali-Baraf’ (Kruhun-Sheen). Black Snow is a proverbial normative word used in Kashmiri dialect when it is used for performing ritualistic deeds in a situation which are absolutely maligning and scornful.Before commenting upon it, an insight is necessary to be made on the illustrious political career of Ghulam Nabi Azad, who should have preferably avoided this metaphor at this point of time towards BJP, which is a national party with mass base and ruling the country with absolute majority. Before commenting on it further it is necessary to have an insight on the glorious political history of Azad and the praises showered by our distinguished Prime Minister upon him in Rajya-Sabha.Azad has had an illustrious voyage in the politics of this country, as a youth congress leader, a veteran parliamentarian, a Union Minister, Chief Minister (though for a brief period), and congress opposition leader in Rajya Sabha.He has been and will continue to be an asset to the Congress Party. Some time back, he was awarded the prestigious award of being the best parliamentarian of India.Recently Rajya Sabha witnessed a glorious and an inspiring event of farewell accorded to Ghulam Nabi Azad, as the leader of the opposition, who along with his other three co-parliamentarians retired from Rajya-Sabha. Prime Minister Modi’s emotional and sensational expressions on this occasion of offering farewell to Ghulam Nabi Azad, speaks volumes about the sincerity of his political and humane approach as Prime Minister of India, while commemorating and recognising the virtuous deeds of any person big or small, without considering as to which political ideology he or she belongs to.He showered emotional and sensational praises on the outgoing opposition leader of the house, which was distinctly a unique statesmanship act on the part of our Prime Minister. As was witnessed, Prime Minister did so, in recognition of the exemplary and humane work of Ghulam Nabi Azad, in dealing with a hair raising situation sometime in past, when he was the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, when a good number of tourists from Gujarat became target of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Kashmir.These tourists were on a tourist trip to the valley of Kashmir. Some of the tourists were gruesomely killed, while others received serious injuries of sorts. As the prime Minister has narrated the events of that episode, with tearful eyes and choked voice in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, equally responded with deep wet eyes and a choked voice. It speaks volumes about the present Government’s euphoria of equitable tolerance and brotherhood, headed by Modi, which was reciprocated equally by Ghulam Nabi Azad, a tall leader of Congress party, who owes his allegiance to his base in his party from 1970, when the political leadership morals across various political parties and leaders were not based on personal likes and dislikes, but on the fundamentals of morality of approach of such political leaders.It is a great event of national tolerance, in the midst of the present-day general tendency of holding political animosity for petty politics considerations, which creates a poisonous gap between the Government and the opposition. The way Prime Minister Modi, mentioned Ghulam Nabi Azad’s career and contribution as a representative of the people, it cleared many misunderstandings from the minds of the members present in the house and the millions of countrymen watching the deliberations.There was so much of civility and parliamentarianism on either side, that one wondered whether it is the same auspicious place where the members of the ruling and opposition usually exchange angry and intimidating words while debating on issues of legislature. The glorious respect that flowed from each side made one to believe that notwithstanding all the acrimony and furiousness with which the situations become tense during debates, there is of course one solitary concern that monitors the trend and that is service to the nation.Unfortunately subsequent to this historic event, an illusion and a belief appears to have surfaced that Ghulam Nabi Azad is now very close to Modi and thus to BJP. To annul such doubts Azad said, in reply to question of an interviewer, that he will join BJP, when Black Snow will fall in Kashmir. Such a remark is probably a contempt for BJP and its followers, which Azad should have avoided at this point of time, particularly when the Prime Minister, belonging to BJP, applauded his role as a veteran politician.Azad should have used any other simile for this purpose to show his loyalty to his party and its present bosses, when lot of controversies are a fore in that party presently. We may have to ignore it as a corollary with anguish, with the argument, that under such circumstances a person is mostly caught between the devil and deep sea. Whom to please and whom to annoy. Better annoy the adversary.Yet Azad should have chosen fairer grammar to explain his position, rather than to put BJP under black snow. No, it is not acceptable to BJP; when BJP is ruling the country with pride and honour having an absolute majority in parliament. Then should BJP allow him to join this party. How and why? Azad should have made a self assessment about the fact that will he be welcomed in BJP? Certainly not? A staunch loyalist of the inner coterie of Congress, whose leaders called Modi as ‘Maut-Ka-Sodagar’ and another ‘Raj-Kumar’ of this coterie named Modi as ‘Chowkidar- Chour-hai’, how can BJP take him, even if he desires so.These abuses have been hurled on a person whose governance in Gujarat is referred to as Gujarat model. These abuses have been hurled on a person who gave a new direction to the nation particularly for the cause of poor. These abuses have been hurled on a person who is the torch-bearer for the country in its hour of pandemic, when anti pandemic vaccine has been made available to the people of India and that too invented indigenously. Congress is practicing everything possible to destabilise the honest and dedicated government of Modi.In fact, the Indian National Congress is under a thick sheath of black snow presently when its basic loyalists are being shown the door as per reports available all around. This ice cold sheath of black snow over the congress party is not going to melt so quickly. It may take time to melt and may melt the whole congress itself. For about a year or more now some old veterans of congress including Azad, have not been enjoying a status of centrality in the coterie of Congress High Command. Nobody knows the precise reason, but perhaps the rumblings within the Congress created by the youthful aspirants, have resulted in pick and choose policy by the Congress High Command, that overlooked the merits and other criteria of the erstwhile senior most loyalists of Congress and more than a dozen like-minded co-workers in upper echelons of Congress. This culminated in a letter written by 22 senior Congressmen including Azad, who wrote to the Congress President Sonia Gandhi, in this regard.It is also true that the signatories of the said letter have been feeling that the Congress was drifting towards authoritarian culture and their sane voice was going unheard. They would want to link this phenomenon to the election results which did not show any improvement in performance of Congress, particularly in rural areas.It appears that all signatories to the letter have fallen from grace in the eyes of family coterie supervising the present affairs of congress. Azad a novel leader from Kashmir with his long and faithful adherence to the Nehru-Gandhi family needs to be given special treatment and not ignored. It will be a breach of trust with him.While delivering his fare-well speech, Azad made a reference to the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits too in the Rajay Sabha. It would have been better for him not to add salt to the wounds of displaced pandits at this hour of his departure from Rajya Sabha, when in particular he as the Chief Minister of J & K State did nothing for them, when he could do a lot. Shedding of crocodile tears at this stage may amount to escapism. A Kashmiri Pandit knows it well. How many times as the central minister did he raise the issue of the displaced Pandits in parliament, when they are the subjects of his erstwhile state?How many times did he raise a point of order on the issues related to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits, who are his fellow citizens being Kashmiris, as the leader of opposition in Rajya-Sabha. How could he do it because of vote bank politics? Somehow we the Kashmiri pandits have no regrets and wish Azad, a fellow Kashmiri of ours, a long life with very good health, along with an honorable place in his congress party, which he lured.(The author of this article is a chartered con sultant civil engineer, who loves his mother land the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir).
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