After travelling on the same route, conveniently, for five and a half years, Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah finally found it “inappropriate” and “inhumane” to halt the public movement whenever his cavalcade passes by.
In these five and a half years, I had to wait by roadside in local buses, sometimes in sweltering heat and sometimes in penetrative cold; sometimes in a hurry to attend classes; sometimes in a hunger to reach home, some twenty odd times for the convenience of the chief minister.
Whenever I would alight the vehicle to enquire about the pause, every time they would respond saying that chief minister is going to pass by, may be after 10 or 15 minutes, in worst cases after 30 minutes. Sometimes it would happen at Indira Chowk Jammu when chief minister’s sedan would come out of secretariat; sometimes it would happen at Rambagh crossing when he would travel to airport. Every time the ordinaries would suffer, stare angrily at the passing cavalcade, though Omar’s eye would never catch them. Once I was travelling in a mini-bus, enroute Naetpur, when our bus suddenly stopped, on peeping through right window I found a policeman holding collar of driver and abusing him for violating norms (‘No intervention while a bureaucrat passes by’ is considered a norm ), fortunately that policeman’s rage did cool down- courtesy a 50 Rupee note.
This routine would not have been in discussion had recently held Indian parliamentary election not made the opposition Peoples Democratic Party to sweep the valley. It sent out a warning amid collation government that nothing is going their way and in future they may face much worst overthrow.
Hence the government pulled up its socks to set themselves on a reformatory track. Whatever people ‘begged’ for; were beaten and jailed for; throughout five years was sanctioned overnight. SMS ban was lifted within no time. And now the stagy case when recently Omar came straightaway on roads to perform the election stunt. Back a few days, Omar Abdullah in same cavalcade; on same route; protected by same law enforcers identically, found policemen bullish after he ‘spotted’ them ‘misbehaving’ twice. He did not delay in publically suspending them after hurling a rapid-fire of queries in Anil Kapoor’s Nayak style. Eventually two scapegoats got slaughtered.
Why did he realize this late? Why only after elections? Our chief minister had never such a kind heart, for example his stand on ‘Shupian Rape and Murder Case’. This has now become more the nude secret that this apparent concern is nothing but a gimmick, not to mention that people have by now learnt how to differentiate these stunts.