Farooq Abdullah has a marked personality, he always spoke in a loud voice, he was always confident in political corridors of India with a sense of entitlement, throwing tantrums at fellow politicians, giving media bytes outside parliament, scolding Journalists for asking inconvenient questions. He was never a mellowed down person whatever the situation was, from being stopped from coming out of Jammu airport by a mob who occupied road outside during amaranth agitation 2008 or being heckled and jeered by Kashmiri youth during Eid prayers at Hazratbal masjid.
For the first time, he was seen lacking in confidence and not at best of his vocal chord was the intervening night of August 4 and 5, when he read out a hastily drawn “Gupkar declaration”. Helplessness and despair were in the air that night and rightly more so among those who sold a pipe dream to a populace and showered bullets on those who dare not agree.
Next day, shocking scenes were flashed on tv screens from parliament of so-called biggest democracy when two PDP Rajya sabha MPs who supposedly represented Kashmir (whose fate was to be decided) were in bad shape, they protest vehemently, tore up their clothes, wore black bands, tore up the copy Indian constitution kept in parliament, and were physically thrown out of parliament hall by marshals. Then theirs and their constituentʼs fate was decided by a raging brute majority and Kashmirʼs annexation at gunpoint started. Their helplessness was more than visible when they protesting at Gandhiʼs statue outside parliament, weepingly they lamented, “We are two and they are 790, what can we do (sic).”
One wonders, in place of PDP MPs if it were Farooq Abdullah there that day, what his victims back home in Kashmir would have thought. At least they might have got a sadistic pleasure, over whose blood and bodies he walked up to that pedestal, only to be betrayed by those to whom he sold his soul, feeling that they will be forever grateful even to his coming generations. Farooq was rightly confident, given that he knew he had gone beyond all limits to maim, torture and suppress Kashmiri people all for India and he expected that India will always be grateful to him and his coming generations. Probably Farooq never learned from what was meted out to his father by the same India.
Chroniclers of world democracy and colonialism might not find a ruler who was so much disconnected, insensitive and out of reality with those whom he was supposed to represent, rather he found pleasure in their suffering.
Farooq Abdullah is arguably the most hated person among Kashmiris for his deeds as a ruthless and immoral henchman of Delhi. In the late 1990s when he became CM of J&K through a farcical election, he having sold his soul to devil one day in one go completely, started a reign of terror on Kashmiris. This was desperate times for Delhi, as India was not a big economy or market back then. Farooq Abdullah gave Delhi a much-needed shield at the international level, as he showed to the world that there is democracy in J&K and people are governed by a legitimate government with their consent by one of their own Kashmiri Muslim. Farooq Abdullah went to the UN and international human rights forums and fought Indiaʼs case and it shielded India from international wrath and legitimized and prolonged occupation for a foreseeable time.
Farooq Abdullah having become chief minister after a sham election in 1996, went on a rampage of terror. He knew he was not ruling by consent of governed and had neither need nor incentives of keeping Kashmiri in good humor or of not tormenting his subjects as he was ruling with Lacs of military forces at his disposal and a free hand from Delhi, as a henchman. With conviction, he went on to eradicate all forms of militancy even though that could lead to the killing of whatever number of Kashmiri, back then there was no Information Age or social mediaʼs and Abdullah didnʼt give a damn to human rights.
To fulfill his conviction of eradicating all forms of opposition to Indian rules as if he was creating a state so clean that his grandsons would rule later without any opposition, he created dreaded Special Operation Group (SOG) and Special Task Force (STF) from amongst police, whose only job was to hunt militants, he gave them a free hand and they unleashed terror on militants, their relatives, sympathizers resorting to widespread human right violations. He started hiring Special Police Officers (SPOs) from amongst local people whose only qualification would be they should be willing to kill militants and as they kill militants they will be rewarded with permanent police jobs, and then promotion based on the number of militants one killed.
This iron-fisted apparatus of his special police forces (SOG, STF, SPOʼs) created a web of informers, willing or unwilling, those relatives of militants were tortured to be extract whereabouts of militants, fake encounters were commonplace to earn rewards and promotion. There was no concept of human rights at all. Farooq Abdullah personally supervised, directed and oversaw that killer apparatuses. Developments and other things he postponed till he finished off more urgent work of finishing off militancy, his state helicopter remained ever ready to fly and reward with cash and promotion those who eliminated militants even at far off places from Srinagar like Doda, Poonch, Rajouri, etc. Poverty and greed was exploited amongst the populace, and policemen and wager SPOs were always either engaged in encounters or cleaning their weapons being ready for encounters or praying to find a militant so as to get a promotion or reward and Abdullah oversaw all this enterprise of blood, tears, and fire.
He was arrogant and non-conciliatory, always more loyal than the king and bereft of any morality. He never had compassion or empathy for victims of his handcrafted killer apparatus. He openly advocated “ we should go and blast Pakistan, destroy their camps”. He brought dreaded Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 to J&K, when almost all Indian states resisted it.
He hated self-determinists (“self-determinists”, not “separatists”, as the only thing they ask for is right to self-determination and if it results in favor of India, they declare they will comply). He was opposed to Govt of Indiaʼs stance of making peace with Yasin Malik. SAS Geelani, fully knowing that Geelani is most respected by Kashmiri masses, Farooq Abdullah was scornful to him telling the press, boasting about himself and asking “who is Geelani?.” More loyal than the king, being the chief minister of J&K, he refused to release militants held in Jammu jail in exchange for passengers of hijacked plane IC-814. It took several bottles of wine to then-Governor and RAW chief and then he relented.
Farooq Abdullah was far removed from reality and never empathized with or related to the suffering of Kashmiri people as if he had landed from the moon and is another species devoid of human emotions or feelings of pain. He never pretended even to share the grief of Kashmiri people over whose bodies he played politics, got power and was seen playing golf, drinking wines, partying when his people were suffering and the state burnt.
After 9/11, when the USA was to start the Afghan war, he offered Awantipora airbase to the USA asking USA to bomb Pakistan administrated Kashmir also. He was union minister of renewable energy when Delhi decided to hang Afzal Guru, his son was CM of J&K and there was a demand of returning mortal remains of Guru to Kashmir, his son imposed a strict curfew and all Farooq Abdullah said was “now Guru is hanged why talk of him now”. For all insensitivity and lacking in empathy to the suffering of Kashmiris, he is called “Daand” meaning big bull.
He had impeccable credential of being a henchman of Delhi with the blood of thousands of Kashmiri on his hands, and when an anchor asked him “Do you consider yourself an Indian?”, losing cool and being enraged was obvious. Later he lamented that “ISI would peel me, if they get me for all that I did” and said, Advani and others know. Of course, it was the old guard of BJP when this moron did their biddings. He dreamt of being president of India and was offered the position of Vice President of India. Recently, A.S. Dulat, then RAW chief empathized with now leashed henchman saying “Saddest story in Kashmir is Farooq, who was once promised the Vice-Presidentship”
To his misfortune, people Democratic Party (PDP) was established and power was no more his monopoly, now he had a competitor and power was no entitlement anymore and with internet and connectivity people became aware and it was no more dark ages. He couldnʼt achieve his dream of cleansing the entire state of all militants and their traces and power shifted from him.
Democracy was a facade and farce in Kashmir, Abdullah fully knew this, people didnʼt participate in voting yet he was elected to high chairs with a single-digit percentage of votes. After he won 2017 by-poll from Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, when asked by newsmen as to what was the legitimacy of polls when a total of 7% votes were polled with 8 youth dead due to security forceʼs firing on polling day, he replied: “How does that matter?“.
He had no regards for peopleʼs will, and he was instrumental in subverting Muslim United Front (MUF) by resorting to widespread and open rigging of votes in 1987 state assembly elections, for he and Delhi knew MUF wants to capture power to wreck state from within, he was always arrogant and never tried to hide his misdeeds. He accepted it, “If MUF had won that election, they would have declared Aazaadi or joined Pakistan. As a proud Indian, I could never allow that to happen, could I?”
If he had a heart, he would be in pain hearing Home Minister saying recently, “1987 assembly election rigging was the root cause of terrorism in J&K, MLAs were elected even with 10 votes”
In fact, he sold his soul to Delhi, thereby wreaking havoc on his own people, only to be taunted later by Delhi. A central minister in 2019 taunting him regularly many times before media and in parliament said that Farooq Abdullah became a showman even by getting just 7 percent votes only, suggesting that there should be a minimum percentage of votes that one must get in order to get elected. One wonder if the minister is serious as if it was so then how India could have created democratic smokescreen in Kashmir and how Abdullah could have become a subcontractor of Indian occupation of Kashmir back then in desperate times.
If in his detention moron would be watching those taunts on tv, he would weep, for what he got in return from India. Getting elected in the farcical election and being facade of a democratically elected representative of Kashmiri, he took away international pressure from India in the global arena, back then when India was almost a pariah. Thereby this moron lent his shoulders to blazing Indian guns to suppress Kashmiriʼs struggling for self-determination. Getting elected with 2-3 percent votes helped India more than its henchman in Srinagar, and henchman hearing all these taunts is like rubbing salt on his wounded heart if moron had a heart at all.
Since the rise of armed struggle in J&K state, all CMs have the blood of people on their hands, be it Abdullahs, Muftiʼs or Azad. Abdullahs and muftiʼs were from state parties and were so supposed to uphold Kashmiri rights in power equation and bargains in relation to Delhi, rather they always acted as subcontractors of Delhi in Kashmir. They never bargained anything for state though they had much leverage given a special status and internationally disputed nature of J&K. Unlike chief ministers of other states, say Bengal or Tamil Nadu who put feet down bravely before center several times, from testa water dispute with Bangladesh to getting clemency for killers of Rajiv Gandhi. CMs of J&K never confronted bosses in Delhi on anything, be it removal of draconian AFSPA, the release of political prisoners (self determinists), rather each CM acted as a true quisling. A junior Abdullah harped repeatedly on removing AFSPA from the state when he was in power and his friends in power in Delhi, only to be found later that he waged this battle only on Twitter and he never officially wrote to Delhi for revocation of AFSPA.
Particularly worth mention is Mahbooba Mufti, blood orgy she played in 2016, all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten her bloody hands. She presided over several blood baths and an epidemic of “dead eyes”. She booked hundreds under the public safety act, all this she did in hunger of power. She, despite intense agitation and mass civil disobedience from all sections of Kashmir, remained clung to her bloody chair, presiding over meetings of unified command, giving direction and go ahead as to who is to be eliminated how and when. One has to salute the resilience of Kashmiri people who bore great losses and carried out mass civil disobedience movement shutting entire Kashmir, to the great loss to life opportunities and economy even greater than the scale seen in the entire freedom movement of India under Gandhi, but that all was defeated by her. Self Determinists made several appeals to her to resign, but she sided resolutely with her bosses in Delhi and sitting with then home minister in Srinagar, she said, “boys killed by forces were gone for milk and toffee?” She shamelessly remained clung to chair and single-handedly defeated the entire mass movement of Kashmir (as how long a mass movement can last?) with 250 deaths and thousands blinded, arrested. She was later disgracefully pushed from the chair by the same boss and ally. It was during her reign that NIA started raiding Kashmir and bundling Kashmiris to Delhi for persecution. During same summer movement of 2016, when she had soaked Kashmir in blood, then the defence minister of India Manohar Parrikar visited USA and was questioned by newsmen in pentagon about killings going on in Kashmir, he replied, “There is democracy and local representative government in place with their own chief minister”.
A common folk in Jammu was saying, Farooq Abdullah killed thousands of Kashmiri for India, gave his daughter to a Hindu, wore tilak on forehead, prostrated before Vaishnodevi, ate jhatka, drank wine, chanted Bharat Mata Ki Jai, and what not, and see what he got in return.
Of course, old fellows in Delhi like Advani and Dulat know what all this henchman of Delhi did for them, and also they sympathize with him, but they are hardly in a position to influence those in power at Delhi.
One would be eagerly waiting to hear him again, whether he still has a high vocal chord, same confidence or a defeated mellowed down the man who is of nowhere. What his strategy would be now onwards in case he gets to play again. Given his track record, and personality traits, itʼs safe to predict he may struggle in a face-saving act in vain, for the restoration of statehood and autonomy, thereby going on an indefinite march to first restore Indiaʼs secularism that he once swore on. But that seems impossible now even if he gets a life of a thousand-year and full freedom to engage in politics, but this way again he can do what he does best: harm Kashmiri struggle by dividing Kashmiri people thereby aiding India.
For now, this henchman seems discredited and discarded and no one knows what future holds for him, one is only reminded of an Urdu couplet of some unknown poet:
Na Khuda hi mila, na visaal-e-sanam
Na idhar ke huwey na udhar ke huwey.
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the editor of the Kashmir Discourse.
The writer is a resident of Chenab valley area of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and can be reached at email@example.com