Sunday, 26 October 2008

Debating Geelani

while Geelani has shortcomings "moderates" can't escape criticism.

This refers to the series of articles written in favour and against the senior Pro-freedom leader Geelani Sahib. Even if one can’t agree to all the points of S.Rashid but it can’t be sheerly described as malice coming out of his pen. He has raised some genuine questions about the leadership of him. Similarly those who have written in support of him can’t be dubbed as just ‘spin doctors’ as Geelani sahib has genuine following among various sections of society which is based on the stand taken by him. Most Kashmiris including me have great regard and respect for this octogenarian leader who maintains contact with people in every nook and corner of valley despite his ailing health., but are averse to his accessionist ideology which will lead us to no where and due to which we as basic party to this dispute loose ground as this reduces this dispute to just two (India and Pakistan) only furthermore it doesn’t help us at international level to gain support and sympathy for our cause.

Geelani sahib in his book ‘Nawai Hurriyat’ has strongly rejected the third option as policy enacted by India to divide the opinion of Kashmiris and while replying to a question given impression that “Azad Kashmir” and this side of Kashmir are separate entities therefore ignored the answer on the subject of their support to freedom struggle and at other place described it as part of Kashmir therefore contradicted himself. Actually it is where the technical fault lies in our struggle. That part was liberated to be our Base camp for our liberation struggle but unfortunately Pakistan has never allowed this to happen in real sense as it kept the remote control of our struggle in his own hands. It was he who vociferously opposed the opening of Srinagar Muzaffarabad road not only because of hectic travel documents but he even suggested to the people having relatives across to wait for Azadi and then think for travel through this road. When recently the saffron brigade chauvinists blocked highway it was his men who were part of Muzaffarabad chalo program for the opening of same route to which he opposed earlier thereby clearly depicting lack of pragmatic thinking and approach while dealing with the sensitive issues relating to Kashmir.

Amidst all this so called Moderates can’t escape criticism, they are the living with fourty options and change it as they change clothes that is most confusing. Once a senior leader of Hurriyat (M) in a seminar at Hurriyat H.Q suggested to his chairman who wasn’t present there due to “illness” to decide whether he wants to be appendage or assert himself like a true patriot and revolutionary. But just few days after it almost all among the top guns of this faction showed signs of surrender and fatigue at a local hotel here during a seminar under the pretext of realism. One wonders that if the view point of their colleague couldn’t reach to their hearts what will be the effect of feelings of common man on street like me on them. Rather than applying mind and taking everybody in to confidence to formulate strategy to make conditions in which India will be compelled to initiate serious tripartite talks they just go with bowl begging for talks. They have become used to succumb under the pressure and follow the dictates of outsiders without seeing the implications of it on our freedom struggle thereby weakening and diluting our case.

Kashmiri people have time and time again showed in many international opinion polls that majority of them want complete independent Kashmir and it is the duty and role of leadership to give direction to the genuine sentiment and present it before the whole world rather than imposing their sweet will on the people. In this regard people of Kashmir don’t need approval of anybody to pursue their ideology as it is our fight and it is we who have to decide its course. Both the factions and others outside it should shun the acrimony and brinkmanship and join not only heads but heart as well. We need collective leadership as we have seen the catastrophe of handing entire edifice of movement to one man in the shape of Indra-Abdullah accord in 1975. Kashmiris have given innumerable sacrifices and are mature enough they won’t allow to letting that happen again. Once Geelani sahib himself said that Kashmir is yet to produce any other leader of Sheikh Abdullahs stature, but even he has some sacrifices to his credit but even after many decades he is remembered for his wrong doings on Kashmir front, pro-freedom leaders better see their fate accordingly in case of any eventuality.

Credit goes to Greater Kashmir for giving equal space to diverse opinions and view points which is its true hallmark.