When Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the man privileged to have enjoyed the best when people here suffered the worst, accuses Geelani of playing with the public sentiment, what more can one say, questions Hassan Zainagiri
Take from Farooq, Kashmir would have not witnessed death and destruction had Geelani not emerged on the scene. It is facetious and fallacious, both. More than that, this amounts to rubbing salt into peoples wounds. It is sacrilegious to separate people from the struggle they sacrificed everything dearer and precious for. Armed struggle youth of Kashmir initiated. And without consulting or taking blessings from Geelani. Suppressed Kashmiris literally and virtually embraced gun and gunmen, they fondly revered as 'Mujahideen'. With first grenade fired at Lal Chowk Srinagar, entire Kashmir roared one man against India. Rajiv Ghandi, the then prime minister seeing upsurge of people demonstrating outside UN Observers office in Srinagar in favor of complete independence 'sighed'. Perhaps India has lost Kashmir for ever. Right he was in 1991. Events followed later proved him right also. People matter, not territory. 1800 guns pitted against 7 lac guns of a nuclear armed country is ridiculous competition. It is just a mouse irritating an elephant. Writhing Kashmir, facing Indian brunt, refuses to be beaten in soul. De-facto control of territory that owes its strength to military's flexing muscles stands "orphaned" from de-jure legitimacy that comes from people's recognition. Until Delhi heeds to wailing cries of Kashmir festering sore of Kashmir will make her sleepless. Bleed it will in body, little though. Heavily in nerves of conscience, certainly. It will yearn for one glimpse to see Kashmiris jelling in sentiments with her.
We thank Farooq for his concern for us. Bur for this he needs to come out of ivory towers and feel the pulse of the people. Ground reality will make him understand which way the wind blows in Kashmir. If Geelani's 'parroting' rigidity is call to 'destruction', why people don't reject him? Why his hartal call evokes mass response? (Can't you give your own, Mr. Farooq, to nullify Geelani's influence? Do it once, at least. You boast of peoples' support). Why people, especially youth, are emotionally attached to him and flood in massive gatherings? Why Indian government curbs his activities? When you can be allowed to hold procession, say, at martyrs ground on 13th July, why he is put under house arrest on the day? When other leaders from pro-Azadi camp are entitled to visit Pakistan, why restrictions are put on him? Do you or Delhi think people are naïve enough as not to judge these gimmicks on the touch-stone of reason . All; these things, instead of making Geelani shrink his political space, add to his weight.
Geelani hasn't angelic life. He too is human just like us when Farooqs revel in luxuries, can Geelani be excommunicated? And by the way, what 'luxury' does Farooq talk of? Indian government has not done any favors to Geelani in providing him medical facilities. Till India holds Kashmir in its grip it is her moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety of the citizens of a territory in dispute and provide basic amenities of life. That ordinary citizens are not getting "ordinary crumbs of food" the fault lies on government and it is proof of its defective governance. Looking in holistic view, it reflects our collective indifference. Why single out one-man?
Everything of Farooq and the NC has remembered of Shiekh Abdullah, save 22 years, from 1953 to 1975, during which it launched plebiscite movement, converting NC into plebiscite front. When Indra-Abdullah accord paved way for legendary Shiekh to recline in chair as Chief Minister (not "prime minister" as the post used to be glorified with the name), the Plebiscite movement period was degraded as `22 years of political wilderness'. If Geelani during this time served secretary of Moulana Masoodi, what is wrong in it? Even people who earlier were NC followers joined militant groups or pro-freedom political parties. Evolution of thought in a right direction and for a right cause is no profanity. However, the fact is Geelani never was affiliated with NC.
Death keeps no calendar, we believe. How Almighty Allah will make Geelani accountable for what he said and did in the world, we can't pronounce the judgment. God alone can. However, we ask, does God need any counseling or advice from Farooq? Farooq who? The fiddling Nero of Kashmir who played piano in London from 1990 to 1996 when entire Kashmir was burning. The secular knight, bowing his head at the feet of goddess Kaali Devi with tilak on his forehead head. The Liberal, whose family is a fascinating mix of Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Hinduism, King Akbar's Deen-e-Illahee has found its devotional followers in Kashmir after such a long time. Rejoicing movement in the NC!
Loyalty must primarily be for the cause of the people, from the "sons" of soil Kashmir. Anything extra is sinfully self-centered. By now Kashmiris know the difference. Moronic it is for Dr. Farooq Sahab to attack Geelani when his one foot is moored in Delhi.
(The author can be mailed at email@example.com)