No, Farooq is not a 'bad boy'

an average Kashmiri is now looking for a change and they felt betrayed by both the families – Abdullahs and Muftis

India's 'problem child' Farooq Abdullah has made news headlines again, not in the interest of the common people of Kashmir but for his own interest in the political power play of the valley. After the centre's decision in 2022 that outsiders can now register as voters in the Union Territory Farooq and his old friend Congress realised that the golden era of 'family raj' may end very soon. So it's high time for the 'Bad Boy' to introduce some naughty politics over religion, caste or provincialism.   

History of India may remember Farooq Abdullah as one of the 'Great leaders' in future but India must remember him as the master of changing his statement, too much talkative, cry baby, Kashmir saviour and as a flamboyant romantic boy of Kashmir, quite a contrast to his son Omar Abdullah who is restrained but confident in his words.
 
Farooq is not a bad soul. He may be criticized for his habit of easy-crying (according to his close friends, at his daughter, Safia’s wedding, Farooq cried more than she did) or for his dramatic attitude but believe me, he is not a bad boy. His political opponents often describe him as a megalomaniac but that’s not the right prescription for a student of medicine from London and a handsome man, Dr. Farooq Abdullah. He always loves to be in the limelight like a Bollywood hero and to maintain that he highly depends on his eye-catching dramatic expression and high voltage dialogue like Amitabh Bachchan which can be changed very soon. 

On October 2021 Farooq Abdullah said to the media that Union Home Minister Amit Shah's visit to Jammu and Kashmir was necessary in aftermath of the recent killings. But after some days he said, "The celebrations in Kashmir over Pakistan’s win against India in the T20 cricket world cup, while Home Minister Amit Shah was visiting, were meant to provoke the BJP, which had taken away J&K’s special status." On October 24, 2021 Farooq bats for talks with Pakistan 'for the sake of peace' in J&K. He also added, “If NC is brought to power, it will restore articles 370 and 35A.” Union Home Minister Amit Shah slammed Farooq Abdullah for his call on Indo-Pak talks on J&K. Yes, it’s a serious matter and naturally the Home Minister of India has taken it as a serious note. But the most important question is, do the Kashmiri people take Abdullah seriously? No, they do not and that’s the reason behind some outrageous comment by Dr. Farooq Abdullah. 
 
Of course, after 2014, the expectation was that the Abdullahs and the Muftis could be part of the solution in Kashmir but on 5 August 2019, when the government of India revoked Article 370 and thereby 35A and divided Jammu and Kashmir into union territories, an important underlying motive became crystal clear: the BJP didn’t see the Abdullahs of the Muftis as stakeholders in Kashmir. The political mood in the valley has changed. Omar Abdullah has smelt it and chosen to be more restrained. An average Kashmiri is now looking for a change and they felt betrayed by both the families – Abdullahs and Muftis. In the end, I must say that Dr. Abdullah is not a bad boy. He loves to be in the limelight and he loves his beloved golf course.

Jayanta Guha

Consulting Editor

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