Kashmiris have failed to safeguard sacrifices: Geelani | ‘Slogans for Azadi, Development can’t go together’

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Srinagar: The Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Thursday said that Kashmiris have failed to safeguard the sacrifices rendered by them for the ongoing movement, urging them to do self-introspection and infuse discipline to pave way for achieving ‘freedom.’
“Since 1947, Kashmiris gave unflinching sacrifices for the ongoing movement. But they have failed to safeguard them. Kashmiris have forgotten the sacrifices rendered by lakhs of people for their identity and respectable future.
They have forgotten how many youth are languishing in jails and how the chastity of many girls and women was outraged to suppress the movement,” Geelani said while addressing a select gathering after the release of his autobiography ‘Wullar Kinaray’ here.
Elaborating, Geelani said people of Kashmir ‘by the core of their heart participated in the mass uprising of 2008.’ “They took to streets, staged peaceful protests and shouted pro-freedom slogans. Ironically, during the Assembly elections that year, Kashmiris shouted Hum Kya Chahtey Sadak, Paani and Bijli. (We want roads, water and electricity),” he said.
Geelani said a nation which fighting for its freedom can’t afford to lower guard by indulging in ‘futile and unethical activities.’
“Victims can’t be drug-addicts, drunkards and criminals. New Delhi is perpetrating cultural aggression in Kashmir, we as responsible and morally strong people have to foil its evil designs,” Geelani said.
“I want to maintain if Kashmiris are serious and sincere to achieve their goal, the slogans for Azadi and development can’t go together. We have become devoid of human, religious and moral values. It is high time for self-introspection and infusing discipline to carry the movement to its logical conclusion,” he said.
About the Autobiography
Geelani said he had penned his life history and the political events in Jammu and Kashmir in his 571-page autobiography which was released by renowned historian, Dr Sheikh Muhammad Iqbal, on the occasion.
“After a long time, finally Wullar Kinaray has been published. It is the mirror of my life. I have traced my journey as a child who despite facing abject poverty and all odds, carried on his education and witnessed political events which changed the course of Kashmir’s history. Every incident in the autobiography is true,” he said.
Geelani said he has been able to trace Kashmir’s history till 1977. “If my health permits, I will try to incorporate all the events since then in my next edition. I want to maintain that pen is a very powerful tool. Perpetrators use it to suppress the victims and pen down their future in shape of agreements. The victims use it to pen down their woes and sufferings,” he said.
On talks
Geelani maintained that over 150 talks and conferences held since 1947 on Kashmir have failed. “This is mainly because India has been dishonest in resolving the issue. New Delhi has been befooling the international community about the ground realities in Kashmir,” he said.
He said when India was divided in 1947, Kashmiris were pushed into slavery. “Lord Mountbatten had kept one of the parameters for accession to either India or Pakistan as proximity with borders, population and cultural structure. Despite sharing common culture, religion and 750 miles of boundary with Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir was merged with India through deceit.”
Geelani said during the last year’s unrest in the Valley, New Delhi started dialogue process to resolve the issue. “Ironically, when tourism seasonis in full swing and Amarnath Yatra is on, now New Delhi is saying that normalcy has been restored in Kashmir. Ironically, on the other hand, the government is booking youth under PSA for indulging in stone pelting last year. This is sheer political vengeance,” he said.
Geelani said until demilitarization of the State, the dialogue process and Confidence Building Measures are futile. “New Delhi can’t hold Kashmiris hostage on gun-point and ask them to participate in dialogue process,” he said.
On stone pelting
Geelani defended his decision to ask the youth to desist from stone pelting during the last year’s unrest. “Last year 120 teenagers and youth fell to bullets of police and CRPF besides 3,000 people were injured. Not a single cop and personnel was killed by stone pelting. As a leader, it is my responsibility to care about people’s welfare and safety. People should repose faith in me and understand that changes are part of the ongoing movement,” he said.
Geelani urged people to keep the protests peaceful for larger interests of the ongoing movement. “We should not give any chance to anybody to use violence against us and defame our movement,” he said.
On Urdu language
Geelani minced no words to accuse New Delhi of hatching a conspiracy to wipe out Urdu language. “This is being done to keep the Muslims deprived of religious education. I am not against English language, but it is the responsibility of the parents to impress upon schools to make Urdu a compulsory language,” he said.
Earlier, prominent columnist Dr Javid Iqbal described Geelani’s autobiography as an important document. “It is the story of Geelani’s eventful life. It depicts how a child who walked 18 miles a day to reach his school for attaining education, became a popular leader. The autobiography traces the State’s history,” Dr Javid said.
Prominent columnist Hassan Zainagairee, who has written the autobiography’s preface, could not control his emotions when invited to the dais. “I am in a dilemma. I was being labeled as a critic of Geelani Sahib. However, I want to maintain that whatever I have written on him was in a particular context. This autobiography traces Geelani’s Sahib personal life and the history that unfolded before him,” he said.
Among others, the chairman of JKLF (R) Farooq Ahmad Dar and senior vice-president Javid Ahmad Mir, besides representatives of Jamaiat Ahli-Hadees and people from various social, religious and trade organizations participated in the function.

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