AFZAL, THE SYMBOL OF RESISTENCE
(By Abdul Majid Zargar)
The handling of Kashmir problem by India is marked by colonial approach, Military mind-set and political arrogance. All these ingredients were evident in abundance when Afzal Guroo was hanged on 9th February in a most surreptitious way.
A major sign of mental bankruptcy is that a Country or a person does the same thing over and over again while each time expecting different results. The political leaderships at the Centre & J&K, in tag-along mode, seem to be mired in such an illusion with respect to their endeavors in Kashmir. Neither did Maqbool Bhatt’s hanging in 1984 extinguish the “Settle-Kashmir” sentiment nor is Guroo’s hanging going to achieve the said purpose.
The whole process which culminated in hanging of Afzal Guroo clearly demonstrates how the judicial process was subverted at each stage. The refusal of lawyers to represent him at the trial stage was first such step followed by his Junior Counsel becoming an amicus curie of Court. That in effect was a verdict delivered even before the trial started. At other stage his lawyer lied to the Court that Afzal wants to die by getting a lethal injection instead of hanging. And when he was hanged, Ram Jethmalani, touted as one of the best criminal lawyers of India, tells us that had Afzal sworn by Quran to remain loyal to India, he would have saved his life? The burly lawyer has reduced himself to a clumsy pigmy in the process. And what to speak of judges who promised him a full hearing at the end but wound up the proceedings without giving him an opportunity of being heard. All of them have ill served their own cause- the delivery of justice and brought shame to their profession.
Post hanging, India is suddenly looking very small after its various arms the executive, media & judiciary collaborated in tandem to send Afzal to gallows only to satisfy the collective conscience of its people and what those people fail to see (and that is a contagion which has spread to the auxiliary media establishment now) is that Kashmir is a human tragedy played out through myriad acts ,both overt & covert, the latest being the spurious act of Afzal Guroo’s hanging in a yet –to-be properly investigated Parliament attack case.
India is suddenly looking a deep State after its Home Minster communicates the State Chief Minster the impending news of hanging Afzal Guroo in these words “Who jo Bat Ek Mihaney pheley ho goyi thi-Who kal Amal mein layee Jai Ghee”. (What we had informed you a month earlier is going to take place tomorrow) And when the same Chief Minster says that was neither informed nor consulted, he looks treacherous .His lie stands nailed when a day before the hanging he put all the resistance leaders in prison to make the event smooth. He knew precisely what is going to happen the next day.
And Kashmir is suddenly looking great when one of its sons marches to gallows in a composed & dignified way. If you care to look at the letter written by Afzal minutes before he was hanged you will notice no fear, no horror, no revulsion no remorse but only the name of Allah in heart & lips. He has singularly changed the narrative of this nation from hapless to hopeful people.We are proud of you Afzal-May Allah accept your martyrdom!
India is at the crossroads of a major contradiction in the character of its development – at one end it boasts of democracy & secularism and at the other end there is barbarity, repression and revival of communalism. Political hangings to reap electoral dividends will be now another word added to existing anomalies.
It’s hard to muster strength to express thanks while suffering or to feel appreciative while mourning but we as a nation must express our gratitude to those Indians who have stood by us in this hour of national grief . We may not know as to how we can repay the loads of debt to the likes of Arundhati roys & Gautam Navlakhas but the best of ways will be to carry their message that When Injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant)