Professor’s dilemma

Professor Abdul Gani Bhat is on fire. Many of his own faction-ridden Hurriyat (M) Conference constituents, besides others, have pulled their knives out. There is a furious uproar on his speech he delivered in his native village Botingo last Sunday. Sharing dais with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abas Ansari, Fazli Haque and some other leaders, Muslim Conference chief advocated the ‘irrelevance’ of Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and adopting a ‘common-minimum agenda’ with mainstream political groups. The executive-head of the conglomerate did not, in his long speech, distance himself from professor. His silence implied approval of what the latter wanted to convey and emphasize on.

Although all stones are directed at professor, nonetheless, this ‘move-foreword’ strategy in context of present and past bonhomie’s with authorities and shifts in stances by the conglomerate leadership makes it not a one-man ‘deviation’ or ‘violation’ from Hurriyat Conference constitution. Only recently while attending United Nations Human Right Council in Geneva Mirwaiz vexed no eloquence in stating that ‘they (his faction) were ready to give up the demand of International arbitration on Kashmir issue if they too are included in Indo-Pak dialogue process’. New Delhi nominated interlocution panel, which submitted its report to interior ministry on 18th April, also rejected ‘non-implementation’ of UN resolution in its suggestions. ‘It is important for the people of Kashmir’, Mirwaiz, soon after the assembly elections of 2008, told a local news agency KNS, ‘to get this issue resolved by adopting positive approach’. Pointing to those who refuse to take his line he said, ‘the hard line stance has always given government of India a chance to dilute the freedom struggle of Kashmir’. Addressing a seminar organized by Sajad Lone on 25th May 2008, Mirwaiz asked Kashmiris to think of a new ‘strategy’: ‘there have been different phases in our movement. Now our effort is to think about the future strategy. It is not necessary that sacrifices always yield results’. (GK: 26th March, 2008).

Thinking of a ‘positive’ approach, mulling of a ‘future strategy’, or moving ‘forward’ does not make a man or an organization guilty of committing blasphemy. If such a recourse can make you achieve what other options failed in pursuing the goal Conglomerate’s Constitution refers to, then absolutely there is no harm, rather that ‘flexibility’ is imperative for the health of the organization. But if this sort of activism reflects a retreat then instead of painting black the transparently clear text of the constitution, it is better to follow a path your heart is wedded to.

Go boldly against what your conscience does not carry the weight of. But for that you have to change the constitution of the organization your commitment and the ideology has slackened for. It is bad, and stinks bad to wear the “clothes” your body is so allergic of.

Hurriyat constitution is not a gospel. If you think it has gone ‘outdated’ now, as your speeches and body-language reveals, re-write a new one and raise a new platform. Not to do that smacks of hypocrisy, cowardice, both. Heap on Sajad Gani Lone the worst adjectives you may choose, but at least, since a couple of years, he has shown the courage of listening to the call of his conscience and avoid pursuing two contradictory goals.

Hurriyat (M) Chief did not utter a word or two in protest when professor delivered a ‘rude shock’ to his fellow comrades in the conglomerate. Strangely, however, he broke his silence two days after the strong reaction from various leaders of the conglomerate. Unnerved he spoke in the vein of Shabir Shah. Talking to media on Wednesday last after the executive Council meet of his Hurriyat faction ran into rough weather he downplayed Professor’s remarks and said: ‘Constitution of Hurriyat clearly says that UN forms legal basis of dispute and Security Council resolutions are bed rock of Kashmir issue and of our struggle’. Referring to Professor’s statement on mainstream groups he ruled out any alliance with them as he believes their ‘hands are soaked with blood’ and they are ‘anti-people’.

What does Mirwaiz Sahab try to convey in listening in silence and in approval of Bhat’s speech in Botingo and then making a prosecution of what he derived pleasure from. Did he want to give flip to his Geneva statement and waited for the response? Was Professor Bhat’s coughing out the “uncomfortable” a feeler, a test case to gauge the mood of the public for Hurriyat’s (M) next quantum jump? Why has Bilal Gani Lone lost his temper and sleep when veteran leader Shabir Shah some three or four days before ruled out conglomerate’s joining elections?

When Hurriyat (M) and company ask Conglomerate constituent units not to go public on issues not discussed in the forum, did they take confidence before they themselves go in public? Azam Inqilabi is right when he says: ‘Executive Council of the forum is trying to monopolize the Hurriyat (M). They are bypassing the General Council. They don’t take General Council into confidence’. That calls for restructuring of Hurriyat (M) on the lines general council members and Shabir Shah are demanding for the past so many years. Till that happens, dissensions in this forum won’t end.

The case history of Professor shows that after remaining sulked and hibernated for long, he wakes up only to croak up new controversies. That once a pioneer of resistance movement has maligned his political career that way is most unfortunate and pains inflicting. At least for me.

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