The Bold Voice of J&K

Demonising the ‘resistance leadership’

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Nilesh Kunwar
Senior Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have all the reasons to be annoyed at what they perceive to be a “policy of witch-hunt and terrorisation launched by the Indian state against the resistance leadership and the business community of the Valley.” But being selfless leaders, their anger is not because they are being targeted but since all this is being done with the ulterior motive to “defame the people’s struggle and cripple the economy of Kashmir”!
This is not the first time that New Delhi has resorted to ‘dirty tricks’ against ‘resistance’ leaders, including the militant commander who leads the ‘armed resistance’ in Kashmir. A retired high ranking officer who served as head of India’s premier intelligence agency tried to malign this militant commander by making up a story of how his request for a seat in medical college for his son was ‘fulfilled’ by the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The son, we are told was never known to be an exceptionally bright student but since he claims having secured 92nd rank in the medical entrance examinations, there is no doubt about his latent brilliance!
Next is the case regarding a smear campaign against a senior Hurriyat leader whose grandson got a pensionable job as ‘Research Officer’ in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex with annual package of Rs 12 lakh. The Hurriyat leader’s grandson may not have any experience in the field of research work, but probably since he has done his masters in business administration from the UK, the aura of having studied abroad will adequately compensate for the lack of requisite qualifications that his job demands. Furthermore, since this person’s grandfather is himself a great ‘expert’ on that history of Kashmir that no one has heard of before, the grandson will have the additional advantage of access to the vast database of his grandfather’s pioneering ‘research work’!
What is despicable is that New Delhi’s smear campaign against resistance leaders is all encompassing and doesn’t even spare their family members. The ‘paid media’ keeps raising the point that none of the kith and kin of resistance leaders have been enlisted as militants, little realising that the sons of resistance leaders are deliberatly making this big sacrifice so that the ordinary Kashmiri is not denied a chance to be part of the ‘freedom struggle’. There are also accusations that while educational institutions in the Valley shut down frequently in response to Hartal calls given by the separatist leaders, their own children are studying abroad. This is again nothing but slander aimed at belittling the sacrifices of resistance leaders!
Little do those making such accusations realise that resistance leaders are forced to send their children abroad to study so that there are educated people readily available to run the show when Kashmir gets ‘Azadi’. Studying abroad gives one a host of exceptional abilities as evident from the fact that a person without having any qualification or experience in research-work could beat all other competitors just because he had a master’s degree in business administration from UK! There is also the safety factor that needs to be considered. How can we forget how the son of the person leading the ‘armed struggle’ in Kashmir was exposed to grave danger when militants entered the EDI complex in Pampore! Are the resistance leaders not entitled to take precautionary measures like sending their children abroad for education to ensure their safety?
But the most slanderous act is the recent sting operation carried out by a media house in which some much respected separatist leaders can be heard owning up to receiving funds from Pakistan for spreading unrest in the Valley and proudly accepting to have masterminded the burning down of school buildings during the summer unrest of 2016. Separatist leaders have come a long way since the nineties and their humble dwellings may have acquired an opulent demeanour today, but all this has been done with ‘hard earned’ money that has been wisely invested. But the problem with New Delhi is that it just can’t see the separatists flourishing!
The joint Hurriyat’s allegation that the Center’s move to investigate some Hurriyat leaders and businessmen for financial irregularities exposes New Delhi’s sinister plans to “defame the people’s struggle and cripple the economy of Kashmir” has come in for widespread ridicule. People may be saying many things like where is the need for New Delhi to take the trouble of defaming the ‘people’s struggle’ when the Hurriyat is itself ensuring the same by indulging in a ‘money for protest’ racket and getting involved in burning down of schools. People may also say that when the Hurriyat is already crippling Kashmir’s economy by ensuring that Hartals continue for months together, where is the requirement for New Delhi to devise means for marginalising Kashmir’s economy?
But those who seek to vilify the separatist leadership are not aware of the ‘fact’ that whatever the Hurriyat ordains neither defames the ‘people’s struggle’ or cripples local economy. Kashmir Valley saw a nearly six month long shutdown in 2016, but there wasn’t even a single case of bankruptcy filed by any Kashmiri and not even one starvation death was reported. Isn’t this proof enough that this Hurriyat planned agitation didn’t have any adverse effect the local economy? Furthermore, instead of defaming the ‘people’s struggle’, the 2016 unrest led by the Hurriyat earned tremendous praise from Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Army was so impressed by the turmoil in the Valley that it even recorded a musical video and dedicated it to the stone pelters of Kashmir!
What needs to be understood is that the Hurriyat can do no wrong. Accordingly, when its leaders are caught on spy cam openly admitting to receiving funds from Pakistan for fomenting unrest in Kashmir and brazenly confessing torching school buildings, it doesn’t defame the ‘people’s struggle’. But New Delhi’s decision to investigate these suspicious money trails by questioning some Hurriyat leaders most certainly becomes an attempt to defame the ‘people’s struggle’. Similarly, when all commercial activity is suspended for protracted periods due to Hartals it doesn’t cripple Kashmir’s economy, but questioning just a handful of businessmen by sleuths from New Delhi most definitely does.
Let us not forget that in Kashmir, a solitary swallow does make a summer!

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