Whether Geelani is a messiah or a traitor, it is not his dead eulogist or a rabid opponent whose opinion matters. It is the people who count in delivering the last word. Expose him to people and wait whether he is greeted with bricks and stones, howled with derision and forced to retreat and compelled to hide in caves of humiliation. Or, virtually he turns into a cynosure flocked by his people kissed and embraced, and even his blessings sought.
The moot point is if the veteran leader is the ‘trader of death’ and “traitor” as senior National Conference leader and party’s Additional Secretary General Kamal Mustafa alleges, why then he is not allowed to “face the people” he allegedly led them into killing field and cultivated his fortunes on their blood. Why the ailing octogenarian surviving miraculously on one fourth of his lone kidney is iron-curtained, even not allowed for offering Jummah prayers outside his house in the masjid?
After it has donned on the fire-brand NC leader that Geelani is ‘merchant of death’ the “mob-justice” would have revealed Kamal and his party of the irritant and the festering sore they find in Geelanian politics. They would not have got maligned and condemned for choking the political dissent and denying the political space for the most respectable leader in Kashmir. Restraining Geelani to the four walls of his house mocks at the freedom of (and after) expression claim and that in itself stamps legitimacy to Geelani being a leader of massive public support. Isn’t incarnation of Geelani negation of charges Kamal levels against the former?
People have, let politicians of any ideology know, not blurred their sense of judgment. They know who is who. They know who exploited their religious sentiments and black mailed them. They know whose political lust plunged them in the whirlpool of political uncertainty. They know who committed betrayal to them and who ferociously proved as Trojan Horses and political lackeys. They know for whom the power, and power alone, meant “be-all and end-all” of their political career.
The easiest and most feasible way to get rid of Geelanio-phobia, Kamal seems the victim of is to unfetter him of all the curbs and “vanish” him politically out by providing him the political space you enjoy yourself. But the dread of his person and popularity restricts you to take the democratic route. That absolutely makes you stand on a wet wicket. And the tin drum you are banging is not the one of conviction or conscience but of the deep seated prejudice against the leader who has undoubtly carved his unforgettable place in the mind and hearts of the people.
That Geelani has fought elections is worn-out cliché. It is the weapon that has long gone blunt in its use. Much water has flown down the Jehlum since then. Still if it tarnishes his image, the assembly proceedings are there for Kamal Sahab to see the difference between him and other legislators. Muqdema-e-Ilhaq, Geelani was implicated for is not post-militancy revelation, it owes its genesis to the eighties of last century when Geelani, as MLA Sopore, challenged accession and many a time castigated even the towering Sheikh in the same assembly for ‘betraying’ his nation. The post of General Secretary should have obliged Kamal to sharpen his accusing blades with some accuracy. It is since 2007, Geelani is not drawing pension. On other issues Kamal also looks to be groping in the dark.
‘Whenever even a Pakistani clerk comes to India and summoned this ex-lawmaker’, Kamal swells in his discovery, ‘he rushes to Delhi to take dictation…’ the charge defies logic and fails scrutiny of contemporary events. Had Geelani toed the line of Pakistani leaders, much like other off-streamist Leaders have done from time to time, then Musharaff’s 4-point formula would have long served the ‘out-of-box’ solution of Kashmir dispute. The truth is where on different occasions some leaders shaped themselves as ventriloquist speaking for Pakistani rulers, even celebrating forcible retirement of Pakistan judiciary by military dictator, Geelani showed the courage befitting a leader of homegrown constituency. He did not please Musharaff before whom others went groveling. Remember what ex-foreign minister of Pakistan Khurshid Qasoori revealed in his interview with Times of India couple of years before. He stated all off-stream Kashmir leaders were on board in seeking K-resolution during General Musharaff’s tenure, only Geelani resisted. Ask Ram Jeth Malani about his mission. He too will accuse Geelani for his ‘rigidity’. That Geelani is a ‘double agent’ amounts to degrading ones own self, even Don-Quixote would feel ashamed. That he is on ‘ISI pay rolls’ would make even Pakistanis burst into laughter. Hena Rabani too finds Geelani a bone stuck in the gullets of India and Pakistan.
From the charge sheet Kamal serves to Geelani, it looks that like a doped athlete, Kamal wants to beat his political opponent at any cost. By all means. Good or bad. The ineluctable signs of loosing patience are there for all to see. In Kamal’s Kamaliyaat.