Congress gave Article 370 to Jammu & Kashmir: Khwaja Farooq Renzu Shah

Prominent Congress leader Khwaja Farooq Renzu Shah is a multitalented personality and currently among the prominent faces of Congress Campaigning Committee of Jammu & Kashmir. He is also a renowned literary personality and author of several Books.

In an exclusive interview with The Kashmir Scenario, Khwaja Farooq Renzu Shah talks to Rameez Makhdoomi.

How do you envisage the electoral response with reference to 2014 General Elections in India?

It would be a sane democratic verdict for electing great intellectuals and respected figures. For the first time we are witnessing a large number of  reputed Authors, Journalists, Scientists, Celebrities contesting the General Election 2014. It is an optimistic omen for democracy that we are undoing the infamous tag of electoral polity being a bastion of scoundrels and other negative elements and politics being labeled as a dirty game.

And we have great talented personalities fielded by almost all prominent political parties. Now people have a choice to choose the people with best possible talent.

Many analysts state that that Narendra Modi if elected as Prime Minister would be a blow to secular credentials of India. How would you respond to this view?

People have to look whether they should vote people with stained record and I am hopeful that wisdom of Indian voter is such that it won’t elect a personality for top job if that personality has a tainted background.

What is your take on 2014 State Elections?

2014 State Elections would be quiet interesting as I am of firm opinion that this time around the voting turnout would handsomely go up and we would be witnessing a high voter turnout in urban Kashmir which previously stayed away from democratic  and electoral process.

We also need to remember that the UPA Government has enacted very bright legislations over the past one decade of its governance and some of these have been implemented in Jammu & Kashmir too and have shown positive results. We need to make people aware about these great achievements.

Many Congress workers are stated to be miffed about the coalition with National Conference on account of alleged misrule and mis-governance. How do you respond to such opinions?

I tell you frankly that Congress is not a few years old party but has history of more than 150 years. It is Congress gave Article 370 to Jammu & Kashmir and its Congress which gave Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah power in 1975 without elections. Congress in state is headed by bright brains like Prof. Saifuddin Soz and GN Azad. We have been in coalition since 2002 and people are there to see and analyse our performance. Building historical rail Link, Tulip Garden and tourism boom and MGNREGA have all been great achievements of Congress party.

A Senior State Minister from Congress Party Shabir Ahmad Khan was alleged of series charges of molestation and many believe that investigation process against him is marred by influence. How do you see the justice being delivered?

We have to have zero tolerance with respect to crimes against women. Women are embodiment of purity but we will reach to logical conclusion only when legal process is completed and one is guilty only when proven guilty in court. The said politician has been deprived of his post and we would come to know about real facts after inquiry. If anybody whatsoever is his stature is proven of having committed assault against women he should simply face the consequences.

Coming to your point on inquiries, the overwhelming perception on ground in Kashmir is that inquiries here are never meant to be impartial and have never given justice right from Gawkadal Massacre to other killings. Inquiries have symbolized the injustice of Indian state towards Kashmir. Even during present government inquiries have delivered no results, hence has lead to growing alienation among the masses?

I think alienation is not gaining ground but democracy is gaining ground. We need to remember that army inquiries are covered by AFSPA and it is upto higher institutions and great brains to decide about future of AFSPA and the impunity it offers to armed forces. It is the logic of law and let law takes its own course.

In Jammu & Kashmir many unfortunate events take place on account of emotional instigations. There are instances when innocents have been killed or excessive force has been used. We have examples wherein guilty have been punished. My viewpoint is that there has to be zero tolerance against Human Rights violations and everything should be done to prevent loss of innocent human life.

Are you really sure that boycott cycle is going to end in Srinagar?

Unfortunately, the boycott polity has become part of political culture in Srinagar as many vested interests in order to emerge victorious use boycott as a tool to achieve victory. People here are now realizing that elections are meant to run administrative affairs and are not meant for bigger issues like resolution of Kashmir Issue and as a result of this maturity we would definitely witness higher voter turnout in Srinagar.

What role would you love to do for Congress in 2014 State Elections- Campaigning or Contesting?

It is upto party high command to decide and if I am being told to contest or campaign I would have to do my job in a perfect manner.


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