New Delhi: The former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference President, Farooq Abdullah said that “at this moment Kashmiri people do not feel they are Indian.”
The senior leader was referring to the situation post abrogation of 370, when GoI divided the erstwhile state into two union territories, JK and Ladakh.
Responding to a question in an interview with a Delhi based news organisation The Wire, on the current mood of Kashmiri people about the government of India, Abdullah said, “to be honest, I wonder whether they (government) will find someone who will call himself an Indian… You go and talk to anybody… they don’t want to know, not Pakistanis let me be very clear about it, but they don’t feel Indian, and us, who have to speak, I wonder whether we will survive.”
Blaming the Bhartiya Janta Party led government of India; the parliamentarian claimed that if he speaks about India anywhere in the Valley, there is no one to listen. He said that there are armed forces personnel deployed in Kashmir’s every street carrying AK-47. “Where is the freedom?” he asked.
Abdullah, who heads the National Conference party and had been the most prominent ‘pro-India’ face in Jammu and Kashmir for the past four decades, also described the Kashmiris as slaves who were being treated like second class citizens.
In the report, he also said that it was complete rubbish for the Bharatiya Janata Party to claim that the people of Kashmir have accepted the August 2019 changes just because there have been no protests.
Asked as to how Kashmiris view the GoI, in particular, Prime Minister Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, Abdullah said they were deeply disillusioned. He said they had no trust in the government. The trust that once bound Kashmir to the rest of the country has completely snapped, he added.
Abdullah told The Wire that on August 5, 2019, when the constitutional changes were suddenly announced, the National Conference and all other mainstream political parties stood badly discredited in Kashmiri eyes. Speaking of himself, he said he seemed to have fallen between two stools.
The GoI viewed him as a traitor and arrested him. Kashmiris, on the other hand, saw him as a servant of India and said things like this “serve Abdullah right”. They chided him and taunted him for having said “Bharat Mata ki jai.” Abdullah said, this has left him deeply shaken and upset.
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