#Opinion: Victory of Er Rashid & Misguided Narrative


Er Rashid’s election victory, which has been depicted as a sign of enduring Kashmiri secessionism, has sparked controversy, especially with its promotion by Omar Abdullah, who lost by over 200,000 votes. This interpretation is not only simplistic but also detrimental to a balanced understanding of the political landscape in Kashmir.

Firstly, it is important to recognize that Er Rashid has previously served two full terms as an MLA, and this time too having contested and fought the election similarly under the same Constitution as all other candidates did. During his tenure, there were no substantial accusations of him fostering secessionism. This narrative only emerged post his victory, raising questions about its validity. Notably, during the election campaign, Omar Abdullah himself did not raise concerns about Rashid empowering secessionist forces. Instead, he was seen embracing Rashid’s son, perhaps in a bid to garner support.

Comparisons to the 1987 elections in J&K, which were marred by allegations of rigging and led to long-standing turmoil, are unhelpful and misguided. The current support for Er Rashid can be seen as a protest vote against the traditional political parties, which many in Kashmir hold accountable for the region’s ongoing issues. Rashid’s prolonged detention since August 2019, following the abrogation of Article 370 and the removal of Article 35A, has also garnered sympathy and support from the public. Unlike other political leaders such as Omar Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti, who were detained and subsequently released, Er Rashid remains in jail.

The vote for Er is fundamentally a rejection of the status quo and a demand for change. It reflects widespread disillusionment with traditional political parties and their perceived failures. Additionally, it is a vote against the misrule, injustice and corruption that have plagued the region. Suggesting that his victory empowers secessionist forces overlooks the broader context of voter dissatisfaction with existing political leadership.

Furthermore, it is worth noting the double standards in the national discourse. Individuals who have been directly or indirectly involved in secessionist activities have been integrated into the national mainstream, which is seen as a positive step. However, the same understanding is not extended to Er Rashid’s supporters, who are quickly labeled as secessionists.

Additionally, the victory of the two National Conference (NC) candidates, Mian Altaf Ahmad Larvi and Syed Aga Ruhulla, is often touted as a sign of support for the NC. However, their personal reputations, images, and followings are so strong that they would likely have won regardless of the party they represented. Their individual credibility and dedication have garnered them significant support from the electorate.

While political engagement from all quarters should be welcomed, it is crucial to differentiate between genuine political dissent and actions that genuinely threaten stability. Misrepresenting Er Rashid’s victory as an endorsement of secessionism only serves to deepen divisions and overlooks the legitimate grievances of the electorate. The focus should be on addressing these grievances through inclusive and constructive political dialogue, rather than resorting to fear-mongering and divisive rhetoric.

(The author is a Social & Politcal Analyst besides being a National TV debater. Views expressed are his own and can be reached on @ahmadayaz08@gmail.com)

Network KNT

Network Kashmir is sister concern of Kashmir based News Agency Kashmir News Trust. Network KNT is a sincere attempt from budding Journalists of Kashmir to present News in its true form without any favoritism and bias.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button