Afzal Guru lives on

Son Ghalib follows father’s advice to live for others,Widow Tabasum leaves job to see obedient son fulfill dream

“I still get a lot of hugs, but none of them as warm as yours. I miss you dad…,” Ghalib Afzal, 18, son of Muhammad Afzal Guru wrote on his Facebook.

Six years after Guru was hanged at Tihar Jail, Ghalib still misses his father’s warm hug and is working hard enough to fulfill his dream – To live for others, to serve the humanity.

Quoting his father’s favourite and last words, ‘Apne liye jiye to kya jiye; Ae dil to jiye zamane ke leye’, Ghalib says he aspires to become a good doctor in order to help the society and Kashmir.

“After Abu Ji’s martyrdom, mom and I were depressed for months together. But it was my mom who gave me the courage and strength to stand up. She told me that we have to face whatever comes our way. She made me believe that Allah has a plan for us and we have to fight this odd situation out,” Ghalib told Rising Kashmir.

“All these six years, mom made me live an isolated life. It prevented me from meeting too many people,” he says.
Tabassum, Guru’s widow, says she joined a nursing home at Sopore and worked there all these years while Guru was behind the bars in Tihar Jail.

“Handling a fatherless child is not easy. After Ghalib passed 10th standard exams, I left the job,” she says.
“Like his father, my son too proved an obedient child. Ghalib passed 10th standard, and then 12th standard with good marks. My wish is to see him become a good doctor. It was rather his father’s wish too,” Tabassum says.
Ghalib was 12-years-old when Guru was hanged on February 9, 2013 inside Tihar Jail at New Delhi.
Ghalib is nowadays preparing for pre-medical test and is going to appear in the examinations in May while Tabassum is looking after household chores.

“After months of depression following dad’s martyrdom, I joined school again and tried to live a normal life. School teachers and friends were very happy to see me back at school they always encouraged me. They motivated me to fight back and to be a brave person but somewhere it used to pinch me hard. Losing dad in a botched up case and that too under world’s so-called biggest democracies is always hurtful. It is easy to think but hard to face. I always miss my dad,” Ghalib says.

He says that people from his family were always there for help, care and support while people outside family too were generous.
“Interestingly, I was treated like a son of a hero. Whenever and wherever I meet people, they tell me that I am the son of a hero, a freedom fighter. They ask me to take care of my mother and myself. Everyone I meet motivates me to live a good and an honest life,” Ghalib says.
A couple of times, government officials visited Guru family and offered assistance but both Tabassum and Ghalib refused.
“Few officials offered me a scholarship for higher studies but mom refused to take any such assistance from the government,” Ghalib says.
Tabassum says that if the Government of India or the State government seriously wanted to help Guru’s family, they should handover the family his mortal remains.
Six years back when Guru was sent to the gallows, “the Indian society’s collective conscience” must have been “satisfied” but the Supreme Court’s decision has failed to break the will of the family.
For them and for most Kashmiris, Afzal Guru lives on.