Exclusive 150 minutes with Syed Ali Shah Geelani

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Syed Ali Gilani
Syed Ali Shah Geelani is in the Indian Capital , New Delhi on a regular health check up . He is a veteran leader and chairman of Hurriyat (G) a hard-line Pro-Freedom faction whose pivot agenda is freedom of Jammu and Kashmir from the military imperialism of India. He is a thinker, writer, a political analyst and as people of Kashmir perceive him to be an ideologue who has never defected from purpose of conception that is complete freedom. The aura has an everlasting impression on the freedom struggle of people of Jammu and Kashmir. One may agree or not, but one has to accept his commitment to the cause.
Here are some excerpts of the interview.
Aalaw : we are all well aware of political journey you have undertaken . Can you recall one incident of distant past that might have moulded the way you have projected yourself ?
{A faint smile appears on that face, giving an impression that every spec of life is an examination, seen enough and as I see it, he is thinking which one to narrate.}
SAS Geelani : Faith commands the stand you take in life. I have an unshakable faith in what is happening in Jammu and Kashmir is totally against the humanity at the hands of Indian imperialism. As Allah (SWT) says in Quran : Stand in defence of your religion and be steadfast against your rival. Islam as you see is a perfect system of life, in every way. The social, spiritual, cultural fabric of Islam along with economic systems is unbeatable and it has sustained me all along. As you have seen me offering the Salah, I consider my fight against the Indian atrocities equal to worship and my ibaadah. There is no ambiguity or weakness, the way I have taken stand. Political agencies have never failed to plot deadly attacks on me, and here I have almost survived 8 to 9 assassin attempts in my life. On top of it, in year 2002, when I was in Ranchi jail amidst all that harassment and torture, there was a malfunctioning of my left kidney that had to be removed. Consequently in year 2007 I had several operations of eye, gall bladder and right kidney, but in the end here I am going on, faith nourishing the experience, Allah sure has kept me in his mercy. Alhamdulillah.
Aalaw : Hurriyat, since 90’s has been viewed as a public beacon of struggle, now you see a very diluted opinion prevalent amongst Kashmiri’s, what is your take on it ?
SAS Geelani : Since the conception of Teheerek e Hurriyat , in 2003-04, there were certainly theoretical rivals. Some followed secular way, while others a communist cum moderate way. But what we stood for was Azaadi (Complete freedom w.r.t Islam) Azaadi bara e Islam which is based on UN negotiations and constitutional promises to people of Jammu and Kashmir. The reason of our split was that they behind the back used to hold talks with India which, I would like to bring to your notice can only be done when India accepts the disputed nature of Kashmir. Moreover the talks had to be tripartite, sponsored in some other sister country. All such conditions were trodden upon, so it was getting difficult to have a common consensus.
Aalaw : Hurriyat was under the chairmanship of young Mirwaiz while it consisted of other erudite leaders like that of You, Mr Qayoom, Mr Sehrai, Mr Bhat. Why was bubble carried on till the last straw on camel’s back was the assembly elections of 2003-04 which created the G faction ?
SAS Geelani : We always used to carry out the boycott movement against elections and certain leaders also actively supported likes of Yaseen and Bhat sahab. In 2002, Lone sahab had his party, people’s conference annexed to Hurriyat which was expected to work function with the circumference of Hurriyat agenda. It so happened that they made a proxy member to stand for elections who was later a minister, Mr Gh. Mohiuddn Sofi. As it was against the aspirations of people and what we stood for, how could we possibly have continued. We enquired about the possible action to be taken against the indiscipline and back turn on hurriyat’s real agenda. Yasin sahab and Professor sahab came to me regarding that, and said we were ready for the action but it seemed that a telephonic dictation had suppressed the course of action. When Mirwaiz sahab was elected as the chairman, no views were entertained and it was projected as the trans-border orders were strict and it was pre-decided who was going to head the Hurriya. I was not the part of that meeting, for I viewed that how come dictations lead the course and what people of Kashmir aspired, was not taken into consideration. We were still inside the bubble, but I admit, a greater cause was at hand, the trust of people was building and a sudden separation would have given away the dissensions of lack in faith, leadership and conjoint impetus to lead and strengthen the movement.
Aalaw : Do you think the youth of Kashmir have dealigned themselves from empathising with what the victims of Indian atrocities go through ?
{A sad smile crossing his face}, SAS Geelani : Our youth, my dearest to heart sons and daughters are real resource of Kashmir. But before we go further, I want my people to ponder on this. There is a use of power and wit to low down the zeal to fight for truth. The ones who easily give in are lured by scholarship of state, employment, trips etc. and are deshelled of the vigour they harbour to fight for Jammu and Kashmir. While others who don’t easily give away are made to suffer torture and become victims of police raj dye to AFSPA and PSA. The teenagers are deliberately detained in Jammu jails, where they face communalism and brutality and the system is highly biased. As Allaw (SWT) says in Surah Ibrahim, that And they had planned their plan, but with Allah is [recorded]their plan, even if their plan had been [sufficient]to do away with the mountains. But I would like to convey to my young sons and daughters to join hands and free our land from drugs and alcohol, as it is growing upon us parasitically and come what may the Nusrah of Allah (SWT) is with you, if you are resilient and come what may, you will stand high with standard of resistance and be true to it.
Aalaw : Justice is a base of Islamic system of life. How do you feel about the Pakistani elite who have time and again failed to observe it and its deliverance to their own people?
SAS Geelani : Islam holds Justice and humanity as the fulcrum of its execution. As directed by Allah (SWT) says in Surah Al Mai’dah, O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. Quran is the test guide of life and establishment of Muhammadian (SAWW) character in all of us is very important. What is happening in Pak is a matter of great grief to me, the Pakistani regimes have failed the concept of conception of Pakistan. They never tried to establish it according to Islamic principles given the way to extreme American / western influence. Thus you see the separation of Bangladesh and provincialism. The efforts are being made towards a better Pakistan by people, but they are still weak as it has to gain the momentum on the people’s ideologies and its total growth and coherence according to Islamic system. The barbarianism of TTP is totally against Islam and their use by politicians is yet a sorry state of affairs. What happened on the Ashura in Rawalpindi and to Christian community in Lahore is yet again totally Unislamic, and Shariah binds us that under an Islamic system, the minorities have to be given full protection of life, property and their places of worship should be secured, for Islam is totally a religion of tolerance and it has to be depicted in the earnest .
Aalaw : What’s your take on property row which came to light these days ?
SAS Geelani : See , what I opine is that the hero worship is a silent erosion to the way we think and act. It has no place in what we stand for. My life is transparent and can be accessed in and out, for I think it is the right of people and what they put in me. I again say it, that people should form public opinion on what is right and wrong and stick to it. I was called up, and someone now realised that before hitting the media, this issue could be sorted out over a cup of tea if it was of that importance. Like I said, I have always believed in accountability. This is a trivial matter, and will be sorted soon once I am back home . Meanwhile, I would like to convey that the cause is sacred and very Important and I have always tried and will abide by my principles and determination that I would be the last person to harm it even an iota. I feel that I have to give answer to my people who have put faith in me, and I will deliver it to my best. In sha allah.
Aalaw : How do you see minorities as the contributing factor to Jammu and Kashmir ?
SAS Geelani : See, I don’t have any theory of mine. What I follow is Islam. According to the Islamic law, once we are free, these people have to be ensured safety on all terms. They are our brethren of other faith and brotherhood is of prime concern. I would completely favour their return and settlement in their native localities where they would be given houses, if not it could be constructed for them. I promote their intermingling with common people and they too are a part of our age old culture. Instead, government has given them separate zones, and are further sowing seeds of hatred and sectarianism while wrongly portraying the people of Kashmir. Our youth and minority brethren should understand that this is a fight against the atrocities of India on people and the military blind might but not against the common man who is involved in his own struggles of day to day life and trying to survive it. A fight can survive not on basis of hatred but on truth rationally understood and logically followed.
Aalaw : How do you see yourself as trust keeper of nation ?
SAS Geelani : I have time and again said hero worship is the erosion like that of shirk practices in our nation. I see myself as a striver to be a good Muslim and I understand and want to convey that it can alone be done by instilling or at least striving to instil the likeness of Muhammad saww’s character who is our torch bearer and whose life is a road map to proceed further. I ensure my people that you do this, help of Allah will come and freedom will dawn . In sha allah
On a last note , I believe that development of a nation and its success to exist against all odds lies on 2 factors according to Iqbal.
1. Self-nurture of morals, values and experiencing gratification in the process.
2. Following a guideline, which they think is right and real goal orienting.
© Aalaw 2014

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Discussion5 Comments

  1. Syed jee looks like my family, like my father and I have the upmost love for him and the Azadi struggle will forever continue.

    He is family, looks like us, same culture, people, history, geography and WE do not like the occupying brutal Indians who MUST LEAVE the Indus Valley and return to their urine infected, faeces filled, polluted dirty. Ganges. Dirty people, dirty culture, dirty designs of the pure Himalayas and the beautiful Indus.

    Long live Syed jee and may all Kashmiris continue to follow the Azadi struggle our god given right to rid ourselves of the foreigners from The Ganges.

    • India is named after indus valley. Pakistan is fake name, coined name. You want a nation on the basis of race and colour of skin. Please remember, Islam has no place for racist people, its against the tenets of Islam to discriminate on the basis of race, color etc. Also remember that Deoband and Bareilvi schools of Islam are situated in the gangetic valley. Even Kasmiri hindus look like him just that when they keep beard they also keep moustache.

      You dont even know whether you want a free kashmir or you want a pak occupied kashmir. In india no kashmiri wants to join Pakistan, however, a handful do dream of a free kashmir due to fight between pak and india on kashmir. that way even some irish and scottish want to be free from UK, even some in Texas wants to secede from US. Mr. Haq pls cross over the LoC and see how happy, prosperous and peaceful is Kashmir Valley today.

      People like Syed are keeping the issue alive because they get money from some anti india organisations. All these separatist leaders have hardly any source of income but they live a royal life. You are in Pakistan, please listen to the words of intellectuals like Najam Sethi, Hassan Nisar, Marvi Sirmed and not the laal topee Zaid Hameed who is insulted by everyone in Pakistan and elsewhere. You sound more like the laal topee.

  2. I wish Geelani sahab a speedy recovery and long healthy life.
    We may differ ideologically but thats democracy and we are all indians and moreover humans.

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