Although there should have been no hesitation in naming it after the saint, as Sheikh ul Alam does not represent any radical political belief concerning the Kashmir politics; he being a character that belongs to an era when there was no India, no Pakistan and of course no Kashmir conflict, forms a benign symbol.
If this symbol of Kashmir’s national being is disallowed expression at a place which is supposed to be visited by people around the globe, it strengthens the suspicion that India is always scary of Kashmir emerging as an entity that has its own history and symbols of national being.
Difficult to reconcile that if PDP passed a resolution and sought clearance from the then Prime Minister, A B Vajpaye, why Airport Authority of India did not respond to it? If for such an ordinary and harmless thing it takes concerned authorities in India so long, in case they really are unaware of the whole matter, then how is Kashmir going to solve its bigger problems through an institutionalised mechanism that is in place in the shape of state administration! The reluctance of certain sections at Delhi as alluded to by some sources, smells of the traditional politics of Delhi to disallow any kind of expression to Kashmir’s collective self. It is here that the right wing Sangh Parivar and ‘secular’ Congress finds a reason to join hands.
Both NC and PDP talked of sub-nationalism in their political campaigns in the recently concluded Assembly elections, if they cannot get an Airport in their state named the way they want it, they better stop talking about bigger things like demilitarisation, cross LoC trade, autonomy, self rule etc. It only makes a laughing stock of them.