As his entire political career reveals neither the intimidations, imprisonments and coercive tactics forced Geelani to bow down before Indian rulers, nor fatigue of some “Azadi Pasand” leaders dampened his spirits. He kept the flame of Azadi aglow even when many eminent pro-movement figures from here and the Pakistan Establishment joined in to steal a compromise cementing status-quo.
The infamous Four Point Formula advocated by former Pakistani President General Musharaff enthralled nearly all pro-movement leadership. But as Tariq Aziz (then foreign minister of Pakistan during Musharaff regime) has disclosed a few years back, Geelani opposed. His uncompromising stand on Kashmir unfazed Pakistani ruler and today even the elected PPP government has inherited the same legacy from its predecessor. Geelani alone has the temerity to warn Pakistan of the apologetic posture and dilution in his stand on Kashmir. That speaks why a leader of Geelani’s stature and fame and his Huryat Conference are “irritant” to both Pakistani rulers and India, where as the ‘moderates’ have access and hospitality in both Islamabad and New Delhi. Geelani knows only one language; the language of resistance and allegiance for the cause till the dawn of freedom.
Whether it is land grab by army and other paramilitary forces or ‘dumping of constructing material’ en route Amarnath cave he sniffs the mines of deceit and warns of the catastrophe that is to unfold in the near future. He wakes up and rings the alarm bells while others are frolicking on the beaches of complacency and self-delusion.
Kashmir University of late, has been brimming with activities more political, less academic. The University organized the 46th All-India oriental Conference. The three day conference was attended by hundreds of ‘researchers’ from across India. The Sanskrit department, according to Geelani looked more a VHP-organized show where “research scholars chanted slogans like ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Hind’ at regular intervals”. He also strongly protested at Congress General Secretary Ruhul Gandhi’s visit to Kashmir University and Delhi’s efforts of politicizing of academics. In a statement Geelani cautioned people of the designs behind these visits: ‘ having failed to suppress the peaceful agitations of 2008, 09 and 10 in Kashmir, the policy makers in New Delhi have undertaken a cultural war against the Kashmir nation to undermine our freedom struggle and to erase the Muslim identity of our youth.’
He is not shy of talking to New Delhi. But talks, he believes, has only one meaning in the political lexicon of India: to talk weather and do photography. Shake hands, clinch status-quo. By time, neutralize adverse world opinion. Keep on consolidating Indian position on Kashmir, assimilate the dissent voices. The two rounds of futile “negotiations” with Indian government by moderate Kashmiri leaders have vindicated Geelani’s approach, that talks are meaningless until India accepts Kashmir as a dispute.
His concern on providing state subject to outside state slum dwellers by state government, Shrine Board’s plan of raising of “Ram Nagar” near the Amarnath Shrine scripts the distinguished character of this veteran octogenarian leader. One would not hesitate to acknowledge Geelani provided grammar to resistance movement. A compass the young generation can rely upon to reach to goal. What if Delhi waits for his death. From the dead remains of Geelani thousands of Geelani’s will rise up like phoenix. This distinct defiant stand against oppression and injustice seems encrypted in his bone marrow. Read his autobiography, Wular Kinaray, every page of his life stands testimony to his unwavering stand. You will agree to what an Indian Investigation Officer summed up in one line: ‘His is an open book’. His commitment and resolve knows no rest, no fatigue, no wear and tear.