A Dealer in Hope
The real leader has no need to lead –he is content to just point the way
KH. ABDUL GANI LONE
ADV. S.M IQBAL
Writing about a leader who worked with selfless motives and extraordinary zeal, who didn’t care about publicity, criticism or any kind of “ external pressure”, whose thinking was always out of the box, who didn’t hide his opinions for the fear of being sidelined or persecuted is no ordinary a task. I dare to write only because of my intimate association with Lone Sahab.
Lone Sahib was a non conformist unwaveringly pursuing his mission. That is why the late veteran BJP leader Pramod Mahajan once said, “Of all the Hurriyet leaders, we are afraid of Mr. Lone, he has got extraordinary insight to see through us and our agenda”.
Lone Sahib came from a humble background, a village in Kupwara. His first contact with the reality of Kashmir came when he was just 17. He was arrested at a house of a school- teacher, suspected of hiding arms and planning an armed uprising. He was detained for two months and later released. This incident shook Lone Sahib to the core, as he began to wonder, on his identity and the identity of his homeland.
Now Lone Sahab began to actively participate in various political fronts. He worked with many political organisations, but whenever he felt that the particular organisation had a flawed vision, or there was something wrong with its agenda, or they weren’t sincere, he would instantly point out to them. This attitude of working for the people and for their aspirations didn’t go well where egotism, corruption and nepotism ruled the roost. But it only matured him as a politician, it only made his resolve stronger and his actions much purposeful.
He openly criticized the ‘colonial attitudes’ of both India and Pakistan regarding the Kashmir dispute. His heart ached for his people and he frequently lashed out at the superficial and cosmetic steps taken by both countries, which only prolonged the dispute and made it uglier. He even criticized the international community and US, saying “I object to outsiders’ seeking to impose another agenda on Kashmir’s freedom struggle to grind their own axe”. The insensitivity of Indian state made him cry, as valley kept losing its youth daily, and India continued to violate human rights shamelessly and tried to silence and suppress the ongoing struggle of Kashmir.
In an interview, he rousingly said, “we are being treated as if we don’t exist, but let our oppressors be warned, we are down but not out, we will continue our fight, despite your cruelty and we are certain one day the truth will prevail.”
Although lone Sahab had his own vision and a solution of the dispute, he never thrust it upon anybody. In fact he was one of the few leaders who patiently listened to the other groups’ opinion.
In 1977, when Sheikh M Abdullah was at the zenith of his political career, it was Lone Sahab who daringly came forward against him and won an election independently. He knew the ground situation as he had real contact with the people from all over the valley. He knew the aspirations of the people and worked untiringly to fulfil the valley’s dream of finding its own identity.
Lone sahib was a tolerant, a futuristic and a genuine leader. His speech wasn’t ‘ready-made’, it was a heart to heart talk. He had his opinion backed with argument. Even with his political adversaries and those who used to defame him, Lone Sahab was polite. He didn’t believe in mudslinging.
Meritocracy was the basis on which he founded his party. Flattery, he loathed from the core of his heart. Once in a party meeting, he said, “Don’t try to appease anyone. It will lead you nowhere. I hate sycophants. If you want to make your way ahead, then work sincerely without any ulterior motives and work for the people and try to feel the pain your countrymen have suffered during these long years of conflict”.
Mr. Lone wanted to make masses conscious and aware about the conflict and its history. He always wanted to spread awareness about the illegal control of Kashmir and wanted people to be alert against the divisive and wily tricks of the oppressors. In a speech, he instilled a sense of confidence in the people; “those boats have been burnt, sailing on which some selfish groups and deceitful parties used to befool the Kashmiris.”
Lone sahib was an institution in himself. Till his last breath, he worked for the cause of Kashmir, and raised hopes against all odds. He always worked for the unity of all Kashmiris for achieving the greater common good. And finally he offered his life too for this sake, valiantly and smilingly, like a warrior who always dreams of martyrdom.
Author is a senior advocate at District Court Shopian.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM GK MAGAZINE
‘Azad can’t break the Govt as Centre is with us’
Srinagar, May 20: A day after Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the tragic death of infants in Valley’s sole maternity hospital, G B Pant, as “shameful” and blamed State Government for More
- Srinagar City
Srinagar, May 20: For the past over two years, upper Soura – Ahmednagar road is in dilapidated condition causing much of inconvenience to the residents. “For two years now we are moving from pillar More
Jammu, May 20: Normal life in Jammu and its outskirts was paralysed as a dust storm hit the city on Sunday evening. "There was a dust storm and dazzle in the capital with winds travelling at a velocity More
- South Asia
Islamabad, May 20: Pakistan Sunday blocked micro-blogging website Twitter after it failed to take action on the publication of blasphemous content. The Nation daily said the Pakistan Telecommunication More
Rome, May 20: Panicked people rushed into the streets when a powerful earthquake struck northern Italy early today, killing three people and injuring at least two others, rescuers said.  More
- Education and Career
University Of Oxford Announces Rhodes ScholarshipThe University of Oxford announces Rhodes scholarship for Indian nationals. The Scholarship is initially for a period of two years but if necessary can More