NC, PDP Face-off Over Facebook Controversy

NC, PDP Face-off Over Facebook Controversy

27 February 2010
The Hindu
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: Mainstream politics is showing its ugly face in Jammu and Kashmir as the ruling National Conference and the opposition People’s Democratic Party are embroiled in a fresh controversy over a caricature of ministers on the social networking website, Facebook. A poster of the Bollywood hit 3 Idiots has been morphed to spoof Kashmir’s first family - the late Sheikh Abdullah, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, and his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah - describing the three as “betrayers of Kashmiris.” The picture has been tagged as a Government of India film directed by Pandit Nehru, Hari Singh and Sheikh Abdullah. It was put up on Facebook, and the NC rank and file were enraged after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti reportedly sent an SMS to some journalists asking them to see the picture. Protest processions While NC activists took out processions in the State and burnt effigies of Ms. Mehbooba, the party’s top brass - including Finance Minister A.R. Rather and Ajay Sadhotra - addressed a hurriedly convened press conference, seeking an explanation from her. “She has said someone sent her the SMS. It is not that simple. It can cause rioting throughout the State,” Mr. Rather said, adding Ms. Mufti should explain. “She should know that we can sue her.” Even as Mr. Omar Abdullah and his father remain silent on the issue, other NC leaders are restless and demanding nothing less than an apology from Ms. Mufti. The picture has now circulated throughout the State over e-mail and people are making enquiries about it. Sources told The-Hindu that NC leaders are meeting again to deliberate on the issue. Party members are also planning to seek an apology from Ms. Mufti, who is the leader of the Opposition, in the Assembly on Monday. However, Ms. Mufti said: “I have not created any SMS. But the National Conference has stooped to such a level to involve its leader who is no more in this world. I am ready to face any defamation suit from the NC. Basically, the NC is frustrated as they have failed on the ground. Instead of browsing Facebook, they should provide good governance to the people.” The PDP chief said: “The situation in Jammu and Kashmir has been sliding back to the pre-2002 situation, but the ruling party has been wasting time on Facebook.” “Cheap politics” Criticising the state of affairs, people of the State have charged both parties with wasting time on personal bickering. Last week, the Assembly witnessed unruly scenes of bragging between the parties. “Instead of doing this cheap politics, they should concentrate on peace and development and ensuring safety of the people,” a professor at Kashmir University said, adding: “Kashmir politics has never been denigrated to this level.”


[Home] [Archives 2010]
Web site maintained by Md. Sadiq & Friends