Just a Kashmiri Winter

Kashmir’s blank political canvas seems to be generating more intrigue than the impending suspense created by the Game of Thrones’ Season Six poster. While the winter is yet to come to Westeros; Kashmir is already in the throes of it. Mufti Mohammad Saeed’s death has frozen the political landscape of Kashmir, and his political heir, Mehbooba Mufti, is in no hurry to thaw it back to life.

The bastard of Winterfell may live, but the “Choibaaz” of Kashmir is dead and gone. Mehbooba, is taking her own sweet time to grieve the bitter loss, pushing the masters of whisperers into an overdrive. The plot thickens.

Claiming the throne of Kashmir has never been this easy, but sitting on it, like this, right now, is no less than sitting on the Iron Throne itself. One may enjoy it for a while, but not for long. And one will never get another chance. Mehbooba, knows it too well. Teaming up with the wildlings may cause the mutiny in the camp and the impending stabbings, but it’s honorable than sleeping with the White Walkers donning the saffron.

Mehbooba Mufti is no John Snow, and Omar Abdullah is no mood now to play the Red Lady. After all, this unholy alliance has given his dead horse of a party a new lease of life. He will be praying to his many pointed stars and waiting with bated breath and crossed fingers for an icebreaker between Mehbooba and the chaddi clad wights from behind the tunnel.

As a shrewd politician he will play the game. And he will play it to the gallery. He is going to wait for the right moment. Watch out for the right opportunity, remind the flea bottom folks the long lost roar of his grandfather, and try to bring his family back to the Red Keep. It’s not going to be easy. There will be the high sparrows, and the hawks to be flocked together, but Omar Abdullah is no Mance Rayder either.

Like the mother of dragons, Mehbooba may be finding herself alone on the political prairies. She may have learnt by now that continuing the alliance her father had forged will end her political career even before its formal launch. She needs to learn to handle the wildfire before mounting the dragons. She must be missing a certain Lannister on her side. Maybe she can find the Imp downing the tipple from her father’s amply equipped cabinets.

Power is indeed a curious thing. No matter who descends the throne, the peer, the pandith or the padshah, real power will remain with the people holding that pointy piece of steel in their pockets and a license to pump it down at will up their sleeves. But in this euphoria of power they forget that they can kill a person, but not his idea. They can make a son disappear, but can’t fade away the memory etched forever on the nation’s psyche. Things, terrible things people do in the name of peace.

Whoever will claim the throne, the hearts of the freedom loving folk will remain unconquered. For the Kashmiris have been looking for their One True King since Yusuf Shah Chak was deceptively abducted by that Mughal leech of a lord they call Akbar. And our moon has been loony since then.

Almost everyone out there worth their whip, the Nagas, the Huns, the Mongols, the Mughals, the Afghans, the Sikhs, the Brits, the Dogras, and now the saffron snoots, have tried their cruelest best to break the spirit of the free folk of Kashmir, but it has withstood all the trials and tribulations and remained true to its creed: Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.

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