January 23, 2021

A political hand in Kashmir – editorials

In a shock transfer — precisely a yr after Parliament effected constitutional adjustments in Jammu and Kashmir (J&Ok) and just a bit over 9 months after he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of India’s most
delicate Union Territory — GC Murmu has resigned as L-G. The Centre has appointed Manoj Sinha as the brand new constitutional head of the UT.

Mr Sinha is a senior Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP) politician, a former minister, a frontrunner rooted within the politics of Uttar Pradesh, and is known to take pleasure in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s confidence. The truth that a political determine has been despatched to J&Ok is a optimistic signal, for the deadlock in Kashmir is basically political. Politicians typically have deftness, agility, interpersonal abilities, the power to reconcile contradictions, and search for out-of-the-box options that bureaucrats lack, mired as they’re in a lifetime’s coaching of following processes and guidelines.

However being a politician alone is just not sufficient. Mr Sinha must perceive the nuances of Kashmiri politics and society, the safety state of affairs, and set up a cordial relationship with all stakeholders instantly. He should additionally attain out to mainstream political leaders, a few of whom stay in detention, and convey them again into the political course of; create a extra democratic setting for civil society to perform; after which, create circumstances for elections. Mr Sinha can be judged on whether or not he can maintain free and truthful elections in J&Ok, guarantee a return to normalcy with democratic rights, and keep peace.