Sheikh Abdullah Favored Armed Uprising In 1953: Report23 April 2011
Srinagar: Legendary Kashmiri leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah had urged people of Kashmir to fight India on the lines of Algerian militants, reveals fresh collection of Sheikh’s speeches compiled by a local author here. According to the report Sheikh in a speech delivered on Martyrs’ Day, 13 July 1953, had said, “These martyrs have prepared us for bigger sacrifices to achieve our freedom and our right of self-determination. If required, our youth would not desist from fighting a liberation war on the lines of Algerian people.” Shabnam Qayoom, a Kashmiri writer, has compiled the report in response to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s wish to set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Kashmir that would probe into incidents of violence and murder which occurred since 1990. Interestingly the 64-page report is dedicated to Omar Abdullah. A short note at the outset says, “Whom we found different than his father and grandfather and who wishes to heal Kashmiris’ wounds, and who has no qualms in the expression of truth.” Qayoom claims that his compilation would help Omar in his efforts to find out the truth behind the happenings of past two decades. The author has put together twenty-nine speech extracts and statements given out by Sheikh Abdullah during his party meetings, interviews to local and foreign journalists and religious gatherings at Hazratbal. “…The 1947 accession with India was imposed on us because government of India had declined to help us (against Pak raiders) unless we acceded (to the Union of India)…This accession could be considered final only after referred to people for their ratification,” the report quotes Sheikh as said during a working committee meet of National Conference on 4 June 1953. During an interaction with then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru’s advisor Dr Subramanian in Kud Jail on 17 October 1955, Sheikh is quoted as having said, “I remember those horrible consequences which were brought out by our decision to seek military assistance from India. I don’t mind saying that we brought you here for our security but you stayed put as our occupiers. How can I forget, you breached my trust as well as your base in Kashmir.” According to the excerpt of the same interaction “…I regret my mistake of coming in the way of merger with Pakistan. I had fears that they won’t treat me well, but I was wrong. Now I feel backstabbed, I no longer trust Indian rulers, we have different ways now.” In a significant speech at Martyrs’ Graveyard in Old City on 13 July 1953, Sheikh, according to Qayoom’s report, had dared both India and Pakistan that people of J&K would never become minions of one or the other country and predicted that people of Kashmir would follow Algerians to take up gun. “We are indebted to our martyrs for achieving freedom and we are ready to offer any kind of sacrifice achieve our freedom and right of self-determination.” According to the speech extract, Sheikh further said that India’s ruling elite was not sincere and “freedom cannot be begged, for this you need to adopt other means also”. The author’s opinion is appended to the report in three parts comprising “Why boys pick up stones,”, “Why youth go missing” and “Two years of present government”. Tracing the origins of anger among youth to the rigging in elections of 1987, the author argues, “Farooq Abdullah should not have got upset over the winning of Muslim groups. Their winning would have led to a power tussle and they would have broken apart over the issue of Chief Minister’s chair or portfolios. After all those who cannot stand united after two decades of bloody movement, how could they agree on a join power structure? That would have brought Farooq back to the center stage after fall of the MUF government.” The report Tehqeeq aur Talash was released on the sidelines of a literary function held in Dak Bungalow Islamabad (Anantnag) on April 20. Journalists, top Police and civil officials besides social activists were present in the gathering.