Kopar Khairane

Mehbooba Mufti affirms her style of politics—mourning—by supporting the cause of Palestine

<p>People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Headquarters in Srinagar’s city center was bustling on a morning in October when fall was in full bloom. ‘Bajee’s’ (as PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti is affectionately known by her fans) supporters came to participate in a solidarity march for oppressed Palestine. Mehbooba Mufti and her followers allegedly attempted to march toward Lal Chowk but were stopped by police, according to PDP supporters.<img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-247619″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/theindiaprint.com-download-2023-10-21t182421.314.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com download 2023 10 21t182421.314″ width=”1500″ height=”843″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/theindiaprint.com-download-2023-10-21t182421.314.jpg 299w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/theindiaprint.com-download-2023-10-21t182421.314-150×84.jpg 150w” sizes=”(max-width: 1500px) 100vw, 1500px” title=”Mehbooba Mufti affirms her style of politics—mourning—by supporting the cause of Palestine 9″></p>
<p>The Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was not permitted to attend congregational Friday prayers yesterday, and imambargahs were also closed due to the Israel-Hamas conflict and the rising number of deaths in Palestine, notably Gaza, according to a PDP senior who spoke to Outlook. This led the party to make the decision. “The kind of horrific exhibition taking place in Palestine is beyond understanding. The PDP leader expressed surprise at the international community’s apparent implicit acceptance of the issue.</p>
<p>“You may burn down Palestinians’ houses, but they have support too. Palestine strikes a chord with Kashmiri hearts,” the leader said.<br />
He said that the present Palestine conflict emphasizes the fact that the issue would persist until the flashpoint is resolved. “Be it Kashmir or Palestine, the suffocation and suppression will only make the problem linger on,” he said.</p>
<p>Mehbooba shouted, “Israel ke zalimon,” as her fans responded, “Palestine ko khalee karo,” as she stood on a car holding aloft the Palestinian flag. She also shouted phrases like, “Go back! Back off! “Israel, return!” Additionally, the PDP supporters yelled, “Naari takbeer Allahu Akbar!”</p>
<p>Additionally, they held placards that read: “You don’t have to be Muslim to support Palestine. All you have to be is human. Mehbooba Mufti discussed the “zulum” (oppression) and “sitam” (excesses) done in Palestine while holding a picture of a child slain there. Later, Mehbooba, wearing her usual “abaya” and “scarf,” declared: “1500 Palestinian children have been slain, along with hundreds of other people.Israel is treating Palestine similarly to how it treated the Jews during the Holocaust.</p>
<p>“Injustice will make people pick arms,” she said. She urged the international community to put pressure on Israel to cease violating human rights in Palestine and committing “excesses”. She expressed worry about the Palestinians’ lack of access to food, medication, and other necessities, particularly in Gaza. For one day in Kashmir, she stood up for the rights of Gazans. She lamented “deaths in Gaza.”</p>
<p>Mehbooba really used this “politics of mourning” throughout her life, which is how she earned the title “Lady Mufti” among Kashmiris.</p>
<p>Murders in Kashmir became commonplace in the 1990s as firearms started rattling the landscape of the Valley. For Kashmiris, the abnormal turned became the ordinary. A lady who lived in the Nowgam neighborhood on the outskirts of Srinagar would leave her house during those gloomy times wearing an abaya and a shawl over her head. She would swarm in her ambassador vehicle to the houses of the individuals who were stuck in a muck. She followed a route that Kashmir’s major political parties had never taken. She would keep up with the ‘death calendar’. Whether they were terrorists or civilians killed, she would sit with their relatives. She would only lament. She was political.</p>
<p>Mehbooba was not an individual who was introduced to politics. When her father and Congressman Mufti Mohammad Sayeed were unable to recruit candidates for the Assembly elections in 1996, she unintentionally joined it. Previously, Mufti Sayeed served as the nation’s home minister. At the time, “Ikhwan Raaj” (government-sponsored militias) controlled Kashmir’s streets, particularly in the rural region. These outlaws are also charged with a number of human rights offenses in Kashmir, including torture, rape, and murder.</p>
<p>In the 1996 assembly elections, Mufti Sayeed recruited his wife, his two in-laws, and his daughter Mehbooba to run. Later, Mehbooba was able to create the foundation of the PDP, a rival regional party to the National Conference, with the help of her father and her political savvy.</p>
<p>Mehbooba said that the PDP bridged the gap between separatists and unionists in the 1990s. Her party also adopted the pen and inkpot as its emblem, which is said to have originated with the Muslim United Front (MUF). Kashmiris saw PDP as “green,” and the party capitalized on this to win over the populace to the mainstream at the time.</p>
<p>Three years after its founding, in 2002, the party had a strong electoral debut. Together with Congress, the party swept to power in Jammu & Kashmir. Their victory was referred to as “Kashmir gets Azadi from Abdullahs”. The National Conference, a grand old party in Jammu and Kashmir, was out of power for the first time.</p>
<p>People believed that the PDP’s rise in 2002 would lead to a “honorable resolution of the Kashmir dispute,” especially in the wake of the chaotic 1990s, which left people traumatized after seeing the “dance of death.” Mehbooba has maintained her political philosophy for 24 years, since the PDP was founded in 1999.</p>
<p>However, her influence was reduced in Kashmir from August 5, 2019. Is there now room for Mehbooba’s political style, which had assisted PDP in carving out a niche in Kashmir and positioning it in a populous area where it had effectively infiltrated rebel territory? Time will only tell.</p>

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