There is an interesting take away from the following press report (on Geelani at the recently concluded India Today Conclave) of a gentleman called Arpit Parashar in the Tehelka. It nomenclates Syed Ali Shah Geelani as Chairman of the Hurriyat Conference but prefers to call us as a right wing Kashmiri group.Even by my own godless ways of life and belief in the Nietzschean ideology of a dead god I wouldn’t be apologetic to call Geelani an Islamic Bigot. Look at the inverse logic that our journos including Arpit use.Geelani to them needs no affirmative fixing label irrespective of his regular pronouncements that Kashmir should merge into Pakistan because it is a muslim majority area.That he believes Islam is the glue between Kashmiris and Pakistan obviously isn’t feeding any frenzy at all,right or left.That he got Abdul Ghani Lone killed because Lone had apparently looked towards India for a solution doesn’t set any alarm bells ringing into our friend Arpit or the likes of many such apologists of hate.That Geelani invokes religion (Islam here) to drive mobs and to frenzy is pious and just because we protest against such ideologues of hate is being right wing.
I wouldn’t mind being branded a radical Hindu provided I was one. In 22 years of our exile Kashmiri Pandits have not killed, maimed or even injured one Muslim. They have not brought down,burnt,ransacked or even partially destroyed the properties of any Muslims despite the fact their own houses lie destroyed and their places of worship desecrated.Yet Arpit and likes have a nomenclature for us.
But humko kahein kafir, Allah ki marzi Hain
The idols nomenclate me as the infidel,there must be God’s will in this.
That brings us back to the India Today Conclave. We at Roots in Kashmir do believe that we must be statesmanlike when it comes to finding solutions to issues as vexed as Kashmir. Neither is it our argument not to involve people who differ with our viewpoint on Kashmir.Infact we would welcome every move that would result in a solution to the Kashmir issue. What we all need to decide is whether people like Geelani are or can actually pave the way forward for any kind of solution at all, or are they a part of the problem itself. Before a reputed media organization like India Today decided to call Geelani(unless they wanted to call his bluff, which I do not rule out) to address the conclave don’t they believe that it is necessary to do a basic background check on the man who is a sworn Islamist and known fascist even by the most liberal standards. It is not for nothing that even NDTV calls him a hardliner. Not the first time though has India Today invited a killer of humanity to its Conclave.Earlier in 2008 they had Yasin Malik to address a session on Youth.Yasin Malik is to Geelani what Chemical Ali was to Saddam Hussein.So it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to expect the Burmese dictator or even a Qadafi next year.
If India Today believes that such people could be a part of the solution then either they are too naïve or too conspiring.
Now that he was allowed rather graciously to be a part of the Aroon Puri’s solution to Kashmir let us see what he brought to the table. He looked sheepish from the word go. Clearly this wasn’t his territory.There weren’t many in the crowd albeit some Pakistani diplomats and was Nayeem Khan there too, who would purchase his blood red wares. He was incoherent, gone was his nonchalant way with which he dismisses opponents in Kashmir.The village boy looked clearly like a cat on a hot tin roof that too in a huge city. Obviously he had nothing new to say. He mumbled the usual stuff but had neatly packaged it, though he couldn’t deliver it well. He spoke of “human rights violations” and the” brutality” of the Indian State the same state that paid his medical bills and appealed to the US government to grant him a visa. Haven’t we heard that before? He didn’t explain why it took him a week despite huge public pressure to announce a hartal when two girls in his hometown were recently murdered by forces loyal to His Master’s Voice. He tried to his best evoke some sympathy among his listeners and was getting exasperated by the second because people could see through his spiel.
Though he was the last speaker of the session and thus had the opportunity to reply to Arif Mohammed Khan’s fervent, logical and passionate speech but it seemed Geelani had clearly lost it. Seemed someone had understood the essence of Holy Koran better than Geelani and obviously had more to do with Kashmir’s glorious but pre-islamic or even secular past. He was stumped by Arif Mohammed’s references to Kalhan, Lalleshwari and Nund Rishi.Arif Mohammed had his day.But the worst for Geelani was yet to come.It was left to a young exiled Pandit to tell the audience how his mother wrapped him in a cloth to escape death at the hands of Geelani’s zealots when he was barely nine months old.The more inconvenient question was why Geelani had Abdul Ghani Lone(one of his own Hurriyat members killed). Aditya Raj Kaul had the audience cheering and when Geelani tom tommed the usual conspiracy by Jagmohan it was received by jeers from the crowd.
(Conclave Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGxT646o4CA )
It is well known that people with dictatorial tendencies brook no opposition and therefore are not used to civil means. They are at their wits ends when questioned about their ideology or the means that they use to achieve their ends.No one in Kashmir dares ask Geelani such questions. That person would be history. Pity Ghani Loni made that mistake.