Here comes Iltija Mufti – Mehbooba’s daughter on political landscape of Kashmir

Though it was not made clear by the party or Mehbooba Mufti whether she has formally joined the party, but the semantics and optics left nothing to the imagination

Arun Joshi

Long awaited development on the political map of Jammu and Kashmir  has taken place Friday with PDP president and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti appearing at the party’s speak up opening video episode calling for a struggle against what she called “repression unleashed on the people of the only Muslim majority state ( she did not use the downgraded term of the Union Territory) of J&K.”

This is PDP’s line of thinking and articulation about the situation in Kashmir, in which the dignity of the only Muslim majority region reigns supreme.

In the opening video episode titled “AapKi BaatIltijaKeSaath, uploaded on Friday evening  is a capsule of the party’s view about the Kashmir situation against the backdrop of the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019  in the wider context of  the nation-wide narrative of “conversion of the Indian nation into Hindu Rashtra, with an unrelenting assault on the democratic and secular values  of the country,”

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This episode promised that it would be a fortnightly affair.

Iltija who had appeared in the national and international media during the months when her mother was incarcerated following the August 5, 2019 changes made with regard to J&K, has cast herself with PDP for the first time.

She had made highly critical comments against the constitutional changes and the clampdown on communication since August 5, 2019.

The crux of Iltija’s, little less than two-minute video against the backdrop of green bushes was that though many assaults have been inflicted on the people of  Jammu and Kashmir to break their confidence and push them deep into despondency, the people should not lose hope. She said that this video was an attempt to dialogue with her own people so that a way could be found to raise “our voice” against the assaults aimed at “ breaking our will.”

This video is seen as the launch of Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter on to the political scene. The difference in her expressions on the current situation, as viewed by her and the party that her mother heads”  in the video on Friday was that she had put her name on the PDP’s Twitter handle, while earlier she used to speak as daughter of Mehbooba Mufti and a voice for the youth who could not access the media to voice their condition following the clampdown in Kashmir for weeks after the abrogation of Article 370  Though it was not made clear by the party or Mehbooba Mufti whether she has formally joined the party, but the semantics and optics left nothing to the imagination.

Her entry into politics  was being speculated for long, and now it is almost clear that she would inherit the political legacy of her grandfather, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, via her mother Mehbooba Mufti, and many things would be clearer in the days to come. She has chosen to speak about her mother’s world view about the Indian nation and the “injustice meted out to the only Muslim majority territory “.

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