Life with a Mission

Shafi.A.Athar
Publish Date: Sep 3 2006 12:00PM
Kashmiri scholar Dr.Sheikh Muhamad Iqbal jots down his analysis about Kashmiri politicians. The Kashmir Movement has had the misfortune of being led by men, big and small, who came to differ in their approach, intention and ideology. However, in the Roll Call of Honour, there may be a category of dedicated and sincere missionaries from whom the seekers may draw light, guidance and inspiration. In the galaxy of advocates of human rights and justice , Dr. Muhammad Ayyub Thakur was surely the radiant star on Kashmirb’s political firmament. Come 10th March and few newspaper statements will appear and may be a couple of functions will be held to remember Dr.Ayub Thakur, who died fighting for the cause of Kashmiris in England two years back. Publishers of Takbeer, the news magazine which I edited for couple of years, had decided to publish a special number about Dr.Ayubb’s life. After his death when his spouse and children returned to Kashmir, I was one of the members of the team who visited his in-laws house at Baramullah to have first hand interaction with his family members. His young son narrated few instances of Dr. Ayubb’s  life. Muzamil Ayub said that he stressed on education not for getting some sort of employment but for piercing through the intricacies of life. And during Advanib’s visit to England when news was ripe that Indian home minister is trying for extradition of Ayub, the lion hearted Kashmiri was as calm as anything and did not have an iota of stress about the incident. And when  asked  what would happen if Advani  succeeded in getting him extradited to India, Ayubb’s calm reply was , ‘Nothing will happen .Go and arrange a cup of tea’. Dr.Ayub traversed his short duration of life from village Padsoo in Shopian Tehsil via Kashmir university to London, before a brief stay at King Faisal University in Suadi Arabia. The man with a mission was a doctorate in nuclear physics and was appointed a lecturer in Kashmir university. His colleague at the University Prof. K.K.S Jamval remembers him as ‘a wonderful man who gave Kashmiris sense of some achievement’. However, his religious and political aspirations continued to ignite him from inside eventually leading to his arrest and dismissal from the employment. In  London , he organized  the  establishment of  ‘World Kashmir Freedom Movement’ aiming at a struggle for liberation of Kashmir. Since the launch of WKFM in 1990, Dr. AYub Thakur spent almost half his time in coordinating the relief activities in Kashmir. He lectured extensively on Kashmir and the issues related to Kashmir in various countries. Indian government exercised its continuous pressure on British government for his extradition to India and in the process even his charity mission ‘Mercy Universal’ was targeted forcing the UK Charity Commission to probe the activities and personal accounts of Ayub. But the man again came clean. Since Ayub had a tireless effort in promoting Kashmir cause, Indian government found it very difficult to counter his academic aggression at the international level. Executive Director of Kashmir Scandinavian Council  Ali.S.Khan is of the opinion ‘India believed that he (Ayub) was the driving force behind Aliaster Lambb’s two books on Kashmir conflict . The two books Kashmir:A disputed legacy and The Birth of a Tragedy challenge the authenticity of the Instrument of Accession signed by the Dogra ruler. These two books badly damaged Indian legal claim on Kashmir accession to India Union. In his tribute to the departed soul eminent lawyer Gulam Nabi Hagroo wrote, ‘The J&K dispute has made the Indian Authorities over sensitive about those people of J&K who do not toe the official line about the dispute’. Chronologically speaking, he is the third public man from Kashmir to die on foreign soil. First being Yousuf Shah Chak. Second man is Shaheed Maqbool Bhat. Murtaza Shibli the young film maker describes him as a true lover of Kashmir who in no uncertain terms was against the bifurcation of Kashmiri leadership in different groups .He writes, ‘when Gilani wanted to float his own section of Hurriyat and sought support from Ayub, he avoided it as he felt the move was not good for Kashmiris.’ Dr. Ayub believed in Nepolean who believed that between the two powers in the world, sword of oppressor and spirit of the oppressed, sword is always defeated by the spirit. Undeterred, by the strong winds of  history and happenings in Kashmir, this is how Dr. Ayub Thakur expressed himself and his path to the achievement of right of self determination in his last interview to East west Record  ‘We use all peaceful and legal means for achieving our objective. At the same time we are trying to mobilize the international community diplomatically to take note of the human rights violations in occupied land and for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.’ Possibly  these qualities forced  Kashmiri  journalist Sheen Meem Ahmad to pen down following lines few days before Ayub’s death. ‘In the times of utter need for such leaders to live May Allah transfer Ayubb’s ailments to me and keep him healthy.’ With a few limitations publishers of Takbeer have done a commendable job in bringing out a special issue titled Dr.Ayub Thakur: Life with a Mission.

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