Of ‘megalomaniac’ leader
Geelani’s ‘antics’ make the life-line of Kashmir cause
Geelani does not hold divinity on his sleeves, the frightening submission of which would numb one’s nerves from swatting him.
He has been criticized severely, in these columns too nth times. But credit must be given to him, he has, unlike many of his contemporary pro-resistance leaders, always respected dissent. Far from unleashing Shiv-Sainik-type lumpens, the aged leader never indulged in this gunda-gardi to silence his political and ideological opponents. He never allowed to weave a cult around his person nor, employed spin doctors to glorify him beyond human potential, as did late Sheikh Abdullah.
For his principled and unwavering stand Geelani has a huge mass following. It is this ‘monopoly’ the rulers in Delhi and their pets in Srinagar are afraid of. That the old man is not allowed free access to his people itself explains the ‘monopoly’ and the ‘shock-wave’ it entails.
What is this moralistic ‘politics’, Geelani is accused of exercising the ‘monopoly’ of? No one can stop, much less intimidate, adv A H Shah (real or ghost) in doing a ‘reality check’ on the Huryat leader, who for the past two years is not allowed to offer his obligatory Jummah prayers.
Shah is all-welcome to dislodge Geelani from moralist positioning and prop up others if he can. Everyone knows who is who. The political profile of every leader stands revealed. To be loyal to a cause, to honor Hurriyat constitution of 1993, to carry forward legacy of martyrs, to warn people about political machinations, not to pawn your conscience at Delhi darbar, to refuse taking the bait that traps a nation in slavery – and in the course of struggle bequeath this history of steadfastness, valor, commitment and sincerity to the progeny – what else is morality in politics? And Geelani, amidst a crowd of leaders has invested this morality in the Kashmir cause. For which people in the streets venerate him - na biknay, na juknay, na dabnay wala Geenali.
One can relish in having differences with Geelani. As a mortal human being Geelani can have not only one but many weaknesses. But this octogenarian leader is gifted with such an indomitable spirit that even his worst critics and enemies acknowledge that he never indulged in double-speak. ‘His is an open book’, the Indian intelligence official gave in groan exasperation while interrogating him at JIC Jammu. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah surrendered in admitting that the ‘goal post he has set would make a dialogue with him almost impossible’. His father could not but admit: ‘Geelani ko agar poray Hindustan ki dawlat aur sadkoon par soona bicha dein gay to be who Hindustan kay saath ilhaq nehein karien gay’.
If that moralistic posture, that openness, that undiluting commitment, that steadfastness, earns him, in the eyes of his critics and those who hunger for power, the sobriquet of ‘megalomaniac’, then, yes, Geelani is a ‘megalomaniac’ and the hundreds of thousands of his fans and followers too suffer from this ‘megalomania’. If demanding Aazadi is an invitation to this ‘megalomania’ then, yes, we proudly own this patent ‘disease’ – Aazadi.
Geelani is neither ‘separatist’ nor ‘anti-Indian’, the phrases coined to mislead Indian people. Kashmir has never been a part of Indian republic. It has an independent identity of its own, endorsed by United Nations through its various resolutions. So where the word separatism comes in when Kashmir never integrated or federated? Kashmir accession is subjected to plebiscite, that Indian leadership accepted, but after consolidating its military hold reneged from the pledge. Geelani, like a true Muslim loves the people of India and has never indulged in anything hurting their sentiments or legitimate interests. It is because of Geelani Sahab that jubilant youth desist from shouting abusive or provocative slogans against India. He has always shown sympathy for ‘80% fools in India’ (to buy a phrase from Press Council of India Chairman Justice (retd.) Katju), who are reeling under poverty and political exploitation. In the back drop of this stark reality, Geelani is not a separatist but Huryat pasand (freedom loving) leader, and freedom is an inalienable right of human beings including Kashmiris, guaranteed under charter of United Nations, India is the signatory of. Geelani pours his venom not on people of India but on Indian establishment that speaks in the language of military might and has denied Kashmir their right to self-determination (RSD).
True ideological moorings moor him close to Pakistan but he has never forced his will on anyone. He has repeatedly announced if people of Kashmir choose their destiny with India or opt for independence, he would gladly welcome the people’s verdict. Still, he is denounced as the ‘fundamentalist’, ‘extremist’ and ‘rigid’! what else is respecting democratic opinion of people, if not this.
In his struggle (which he calls Jihad) for Aazadi, he has not mortgaged his conscience to anyone, Pakistan included. This “largesse”, this ideological orientation notwithstanding, Geelani parted company from his Pakistan friends when they showed signs of fatigue towards this sacred cause. Where others went in groveling to Musharaff to legitimize status-quo and accord de-jure recognition to the de-facto Indian control, (that was the central theme of Musharaff’s 4pt formula) this Old Man, ‘more Pakistani’ Kashmiri leader, held firm on the deck and kept peddling the ship of Aazadi to the shore. ‘Syed Ali Shah Geelani was the only Kashmiri leader who refused to come on board’, Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri who was president Musharaff’s foreign minister from 2002 to 2007, told the times of India in Lahore on 24 April, 2010. This ‘more Pakistani’, for his “crime” of smelling in booby trap the trappings of Indra-Abdullah agreement, was stripped of all the “titles” hitherto given by Pakistan and denied a prominent space in official media by Musharaff regime.
Strange enough, Mr. A H Shah himself enjoys free levy in casting aspersions on Geelani, and even stoops too low in his comments, but ordains Geelani zip his mouth on matters that have direct bearing on future of Kashmir and Kashmiris. As a leader of Hurriyat Conference he has every right, rather obligation, to express his opinion on anything related to Kashmir cause. His leadership demands him to warn people of the ugly web of political and diplomatic intrigues made to snare people. what if that criticism exposes the ‘moderates’ as minnows, what if they find themselves on ‘weak wicket’. Can he remain silent till another four point betrayal gets replicated.
That election in the regime of seven lakh troops and plus two lakh paramilitary forces and police fetch India a ‘90%’ voter turn out is not an indicator of Geelani’s ‘wrong leadership quality’. Set him free and give him political place and you will witness another intifada. If you have any doubt, take the gauntlet. Precisely for that reason, Indians have caged him. That people ignore boycott calls and give a convenient tool in India’s hands, whereby they project elections as referendum in favor of India, – thus fall in trap –, is it Geelani we must slay his head or do a ‘reality check’ and revisit our collective follies.
What you call ‘antics’ Geelani is ‘obsessed’ with, to us and his followers, is the life-line of the Kashmir cause. When leaders sporting pro-freedom sports, through their statements and actions, openly, but unabashedly, call Security Council Resolutions ‘redundant’ and start courting pro-accessionist political groups, what do you expect from Geelani! Watch in silence on how the epitaphs of the resistance movement are written down? How will they be spared.
‘As on date separatism is on wane’. Ask your masters to remove AFSPA, PSA and other draconian laws. Ask them to fight Geelani politically. Then world will witness whether the sentiment is in ‘good health’ and who is nursing in delusion. Yes, ‘thousands and thousands have perished in this struggle’. And in hundreds of unmarked graveyards thousands and thousands have been buried. Should we turn our back on those dead and build castles of power on their remains. Or remain loyal to sacred sacrifices. It is not at now that ‘India is cannibalizing’. Since the 27th October 1947, Kashmiris have found themselves being stewed in this “juice” of Indian democracy. That in you they have a faithful advocate to sermonize Kashmiris that the time has reached to reconcile with India, still we will deliver in Galileo’s low tone ‘e per see move’, the resistance still moves!
(To keep the debate from becoming a polemic, we close it here. Readers are requested not to mail us any further about the controversy between Hurriyat M and Hurriyat G)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST
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