Freedom was a mixed effort of nationalist forces in which peace and non-violence played a crucial rule.
When the leader of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani was released after a nine month long detention, he chose to remain dormant. Addressing his home base Sopor, he had asked people to denounce stone pelting and called for peaceful protests which included boycotting polls in the state.
As much surprised the people were, his separatist followers were also baffled at his move. The usual venom spitting Geelani was asking people not to resort to violence and provocative slogan shouting.
The news of landing of Pakistani convoy Sartaj Aziz made the nationalists shuffle in their seats. It was clear that something was going to happen. The political parties openly questioned Aziz’s presence and his meeting with all the separatist leaders in the national capital.
Yesterday, Geelani met with Aziz along with Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Muhammad Yasin Malik and moderate Hurriyat faction leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
What conspired at the meeting is not out yet but the mask that Geelani was wearing has come out now.
Vociferously advocating the role of guns in Kashmir, Geelani today reiterated that “gun could be one of the options for permanent solution of the Kashmir issue besides other political means”.
His dastardly statement was followed by a comparison by him between the Indian national movement and the movement being carried out by the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir.
“When India was fighting against the British rule, on one side (Mahatma) Gandhi propagated peaceful struggle and on the second, there was Bhagat Singh, who used violent means to achieve the freedom. India accepts Bhagat Singh as a martyr,” Geelani told local news agency KNS.
“Another leader Subash Chander Bose formed an independent army against the British rule. Gun was also a factor which incremented and supplemented India’s freedom movement. So, any nation which is under forcible occupation, suppression and oppression, you cannot put limits on them.”
Taking a U-turn from his earlier statement, he justified stone-pelting, saying it is an option available for the helpless people of Kashmir to express their resentment.
One may find logic in the separatist sentiment if we deeply study their history and present demands, but saying that guns are the permanent solution to the Jammu and Kashmir issue is not only wrong but also naïve.
We need to remind Mr Geelani that terrorists too use guns and yes, the extremists involved in the national movement too resorted to guns. But the sentiments behind the usage of guns are quite different.
While the terrorists intimidate and kill innocent people with their guns, the extremists resorted to violence due to the injustice forced by the British and for the protection of innocents. Also, the extremists were driven by nationalist sentiments which is completely different from his ideology.
India finally won freedom with the mixed efforts of all the nationalist forces. And non-vilence played a crucial role in earning it.
Guns only start a chain reaction which creates more monsters than sages.