Not At Your Mercy – Geelani Sahib Print
Written by B L Saraf   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 00:00

In  much hyped  - though  still illusory -  government policy of  rehabilitation and resettlement  of displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley , Syed Ali Shah Geelani has found a non existing  straw to cling  to sail through the  self created murky waters, which though are destined to drown his  highly bigoted and rabid ideology .His hitherto sugar coated response to the arrival of newly employed employees in  Kashmir is , seemingly , proving too much for his  plasma sugar levels that  he feels impending need to detoxify his blood of any traces of fairness or rationality it might,  per chance,  have had . Geelani  is all set  to wage a war  against this policy. The sugar coat  has peeled off; the bitter truth has come out; and we hear the raving and ranting of a disgruntled man.


Syed Ali Shah Geelani  is reported to have condemned the policy of return and rehabilitation of  Kashmiri Pandits framed by the Central and the State governments  which , according to him ,  envisages  settlement of RSS   and Sangh Parivar members in the Valley . To him these settlements , as and when they come up, will amount to creating an Israeli Pattern  of settling  Jews of the world in Palestine  to be used for “ Conspiracies against Muslims .” He calls   it   “ vicious plan” to start  a civil war in Kashmir  and, with a flight of imagination, brings  Mossad  ( the Israeli intelligence ) in the picture  .It is indeed a travesty to equate the resettlement of  forcibly displaced aborigines like Pandits in the land of their forefathers to setting up of RSS camps  and refer to Mossad in this context. Wonder , how wild imagination of an aging separatist could go  ? By the way ,   is a Pandit barred from  being   a part of  RSS or any other nationalist organization ? . Certainly not . He is living in a free and democratic  India ,  of which J&K  is an integral part  and has a right to  join any political party , so long it does not preach secession . Coming from a person who feels no qualms in openly inviting extraterritorial  murderers- in the name of freedom fighters - to Kashmir to create mayhem , and prides in being part of a  bigoted foreign culture,  such sermonisation is nothing but a communal double speak.


For the  vast majority of Pandits ,  exclusive living in the Valley is not preferable option   and most of them would , undoubtedly , love to live in the habitat  from where  they were  forcibly uprooted . Nonetheless,  the logistics , vastly changed habitat and  depleated social structure daunt them .Their houses stand vandalized by the elements  , house sites and the lands encroached upon by the greedy ; and in most cases  taken over by the government , with out any cause . So , the age old house and house sites  stand obliterated, with no hope of redemption . Then , the over saturating population has made it impossible for them to find a suitable place  to live around there . Whereto go then ? It is the duty of a welfare State to take care of its citizen ; it will have to find  a suitable , safe and secure place for the Pandits where they can live  with dignity , albeit with other  communities of Kashmir  in a composite culture , true to the ingredients of Kashmiri ethos . It will not be out of place to mention here that by natural instincts the communities , like birds ,tend to flock together  for variety of reasons . We see it in case of Shias and Sikhs in Kashmir  . They prefer to live in their community circles  .Pandits also lived  there in the  localities dominated in numbers by them, though other communities also co-existed there . More than any other community , the Pandits  need   intra community support as indeed they  require the inter – community  strength. Because, for  decades together  they have lived fallen apart . By saying so we don’t propagate  an exclusive or separate living of the communities in the Valley . It would surely be preposterous to suggest so .


Syed Ali Shah Geelani  has put forth  an astonishing   argument to oppose the impending return and rehabilitation of the Pandits . According to him , the migrants would be placed in the heavily fortified  camps in the Valley which  will remain out of bounds for many , where  all sorts of “ conspiracies “ will be hatched by the GOI  against the majority community . The argument is noted only for its worthlessness .GOI has never believed in hatching conspiracies against its own people . On the contrary, it has faulted too much on the side of separatists  . The Central government has always looked the other way when men like Geelani and his ilk played with the security of the country and preached secession openly  .  Pandits have never  and  would never ever  be a part of  any conspiracy  . Nor will they  like to live within barbed confines – physical  or mental . Thankfully, vast  number of Kashmiri Muslims do not share  such wild mental fantasies of the ‘venerated’ separatist .


The relative peaceful conditions and economic activity  we see in Kashmir these days is not to the liking of  profits of doom . The disruption  mongers   are always on the hunt to  create an opportunity and pounce upon an imaginary  cause  to play the bad game .We have seen it in the case of recent unfortunate gutting of hundreds year old most venerated Sufi Shrine  in the down town   of Srinagar   The loss, indeed, is equal  to  all the communities living in Kashmir and outside  . Because, this Shrine  is a  sacred  place for all , irrespective of their religious beliefs . But then the saner  persons among the majority community saw through the game and didn’t allow the miscreants to play with the hurt sentiments of  lakhs of the devotees.  Seen as such ,is Syed Ali Shah Geelani  upto some thing  ? Or, is he  seeing in the proposed return of Pandits an opportunity to flog his sagging political fortune and program , for  which he is finding lesser and lesser takers as  days pass  by . In any case the prospect of normalcy returning to the Valley and  mitigation of economic woes of the vast majority of Kashmiris runs counter to the policies of death and destruction espoused by the rabid separatists  They have turned it into an industry .So , for them it is the matter of bread and butter   to thwart the process .


Geelani Saheb says  Pandits are welcome to  the Valley . Muslims will take care of their safety in the old localities. Condescending words,  indeed !   Patronization  and self- respect do not go together . Pandits sacrificed all to protect the honour and self – respect. If required ,they will do it again at all costs . One day ,Kashmiri Pandits would surely  return to their place of birth and live with dignity . No body can stop that from happening . But the time and day will be for them to choose . They would live there  on their own terms  and conditions as equal  stake holders; certainly not on the mercy  or patronization of any one . Though  goodwill of the majority community  will be a most desired thing. In this regard, we feel assured  the majority community would extend it in ample measure.



[The writer is a former Principal District & Sessions Judge].