Monopolizing the Martyrs’ Day

Why do it all by yourself and bar others from doing it?



Every year the party in power observe the martyrs’  day on 13th July and the CM along-with some of his cabinet colleagues, visits Martyrs’ graveyard at the shrine of Naqshband Sahib (RA) as usual. They offer Fateha for the Martyrs and lay wreath on their graves. The visit has been restricted to the  persons in power, former CMs and their former colleagues having party affiliation with NC, Congress and  PDP. It is a historical fact that these martyrs’ had laid down their lives to free the Kashmiris from the clutches of  autocratic rule and to lay the foundation for democracy. But the main object behind these sacrifices was to uphold and restore the human dignity of the Kashmiris, which was at the lowest ebb during the said period. In Dogra rule different laws were applied to the persons belonging to different communities for committing the same offence. The penalties were soft for the non muslims and harsh if committed by the members of other community. In those times hardly any such type of discriminatory criminal justice system used to prevail in any other part of India. The lead role in the revolt of 1931 was played by an unsung hero namely Abdul Qadeer a non state subject who delivered an inspiring speech in the meeting of Reading Room party at Khanaqah-I-Moalla. His public speech became the motivating force for others to raise voice against despotic Dogra rule.
For Sheikh Abdullah and his associates, the revolt was  against the autocratic rule and for upholding the human dignity of Kashmiris. The revolt ultimately led to the end of the despotic rule in 1947 and laid base for the democratic system of government. This was the time when India had also got freedom  from British Raj. The process of the democracy in India had just started. After the formation of constituent assembly, Sheikh Muhammed Abdullah was elected as the prime minister of J & K state. During his tenure, Sheikh Sahib was able to deliver good governance. Every officer and minister was held accountable. Some of the ministers were kept under scanner. His untiring efforts to ameliorate the economic condition of the poor Kashmiris and to give them the sense of dignity and honour was not well taken by some of his ministerial colleagues. They misinformed and mislead the union government about Sheikh Sahib and in league with the Congress, hatched a conspiracy against him. The then deputy minister for  home affairs along with some of the disgruntled and trusted colleagues of Sheikh Sahib, are said to have played a dirty role in  the successful culmination of conspiracy. These events ultimately led to the unconstitutional dismissal and subsequent arrest of Sheikh without giving him an opportunity to prove his majority on the floor of  assembly. This incident has undoubtedly caused an irreparable damage to the democratic institutions of the state. There can be no two opinions, if this day is called as the blackest day of the history of Kashmir. This unfortunate event took place at the behest of Congress government. It was again the Congress which withdrew support from Sheikh Sahib’s government in 1977. And in 1984, the minority government of Ghulam Muhammad Shah was again formed at the initiative and with the help of Congress. These events of post 1947 period in Kashmir history provide an ample proof  that the Congress party has never wished and allowed the seeds of democracy to grow in Jammu and Kashmir. They have always taken the people of Kashmir for granted.  The organizational heads of the Congress party, their ministers and the former colleagues of Ghulam Muhammad Shah, responsible for demeaning the democratic institutions in J&K, should put their heads down whenever they visit  the Martyrs graveyard. When  the N.C party and its government allow the members of Congress party and others to lay wreath at Naquashband Sahib, why they should not grant permission to Syeed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq to visit the graveyard and pay homage to the Martyrs’ as they belong to all. The N.C must recollect the role the Congress party has played in unfortunate events of 1953, 1977 and 1984. They should also remember the Martyrs’ of 8th August 1953, for the sacrifices they have made against the unjust and unconstitutional dismissal of Sheikh sahib by the Congress. The graveyard of these Martyrs are located all over the valley. The N.C. government therefore instead monopolizing the day should make this function as public, provided the elaborate security arrangements are made.
(Abdul Rashid Khan is IGP(retd) from Old Airport-road Rawalpora, Srinagar)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 20 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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