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People,s will bring down Empires .Yasin Malik

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 10, 2009

People,s will bring down Empires .Yasin Malik

In an exclusive interview with Rising Kashmir staffer Imtiyaz Ahmad, Chairman JKLF, Mohammad Yasin Malik talks in detail about what went wrong during last year’s Summer Uprising and the election process. Here the excerpts

Imtiyaz Ahmad: How do you view the last year’s uprising and how it affected the political scenario of Kashmir?
Yasin Malik: Look, whatever happened last year, I was the first person who predicted it. On 19 March, 2008, I was in New Delhi to exhibit my Safri-Azadi and Signature Campaign which I carried out in Kashmir. On the occasion, I warned India that it is time to deliver on the promises which both India and Pakistan have made with the people of Kashmir. Four long years have passed yet the peace process hasn’t delivered anything substantial. Similarly I was in Pakistan, I repeated the same thing to the Pakistani leadership that it is time to deliver; that the patience of the Kashmiri people was running out. Meanwhile Amarnath Land controversy erupted, followed by economic blockade.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Do you suggest that last year’s uprising has its origin somewhere else and Amarnath land row and economic blockade just precipitated it.
Yasin Malik: Yes, because the two governments raised the expectations of the people, assuring them that Kashmir issue will be solved.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: So because the peace process could not deliver and the promises which were made to the people of Kashmir couldn’t be fulfilled, people were forced to take the extreme line.
Yasin Malik: Yes, it was natural. When you failed in delivering things how long people would suffer and how long could they live in fool’s paradise. There is a limit to each and every thing. How long can you hold the people and test their patience.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: What are the wins and losses of last year’s uprising?
Yasin Malik: We haven’t won anything from last 62 years. Three generations of Kashmir got consumed in Kashmir conflict; we have suffering in front of us, and I believe as long as Kashmir issue is sorted out neither our sufferings nor agonies are going to end. It is imperative that Kashmir issue is resolved.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: So to Yasin Malik no major wins from last year’s uprising.
Yasin Malik: No, I will not say like that. There were certain positive developments, the credit for which goes to the summer uprising. First, we got the land back. Second, the agitation helped in mobilizing the public as well as the intellectual opinion regarding Kashmir issue in India. You know how the leading intellectuals of India wrote articles and expressed their opinions that Kashmir must be freed and India can no longer afford to hold Kashmir by power. Third important thing was that the international opinion became receptive to our cries. It was realized that world in general and Sub-Continent in particular can’t achieve peace and stability unless Kashmir issue is resolved.
Imtiyaz Ahmad: From Obama to Mulford all realize that there is a need to address K-issue yet the Indian policy till date hasn’t undergone a change nor seems receptive to these statements. What are the reasons?
Yasin Malik: See, whenever any nation has been occupied by any other nation, it hasn’t left it of its own. There have been efforts on part of people; movements were started. Surely these movements took time and with the passage of time a realization developed. In Indian case also this realization is developing and people in India are also realizing that we used all methods to subjugate the Kashmiri people but failed. Indian state sends money to win the heart and soul of the people; they applied coercive methods to break the will of the people; and they used force to make people surrender, but failed. They are continuously doing it from last 62 years and one can say these things are enough to make Indian state realize that Kashmiri people can’t be won over unless the root is addressed. Similarly, the world over it was realized that world peace and stability can’t be achieved unless address certain issues are addressed. They have to address certain conflict zones like Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan; Kashmir is also one such place which needs to be addressed. As long as these conflicts are alive it’s impossible to have peace and stability in the world. So there is a genuine realization to address these issues.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Last time a movement erupted, it was purely a people’s initiative. The nation was on the streets but we failed. Why?
Yasin Malik: It was a sincere effort on part of every one. I will not attribute any motive against any one. It was a collective effort on part of the people.
Imtiyaz Ahmad: So what let us down?
Yasin Malik: If you have a sense of history you will see that all the revolutionaries that took place world over were short lived. Either those revolutions delivered or failed. Our last year’s people’s revolution failed to deliver.
Imtiyaz Ahmad: So last year’s revolution was a failure?
Yasin Malik: Yes, it failed. Had we been successful we could have achieved independence from last year’s revolution.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Is it so simple and easy to get independence from India?
Yasin Malik: I still believe that in front of the will of the people many kings and empires have been raised to ground and this is the lesson which history has taught us. As I already mentioned that last revolution helped mobilize the public opinion in India, and to me that is very important. I and my party have particularly focused on that and we have done considerable amount of work on that front. We have been to various places – Bihar, Mumbai and to many universities where we tried to mobilize the public opinion which I believe is very important to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Elections were due last year in Kashmir for Assembly. However the unrest led to delay. Indian state first showed reluctance to carry forward the process of election but under pressure they move ahead. You (Separatist) called for election boycott but people defied. Why?
Yasin Malik: People said that there are certain issues of Pani, Bijli, Sadak. People said that these issues have nothing to do with the Kashmir dispute. People said they are casting the vote to get these issues resolved. Second and important thing was that we all were arrested and debarred from carrying out an election boycott campaign, which I think, was our democratic right. In any civilized democratic society people have a right to vote or not to vote. There are people who went to masses and asked them to vote, similarly there are those who have a right to go to the people and tell them not to vote. This exercise wasn’t allowed. Also there are issues on which people can agree and there are certain issues on which they can’t agree with you.
Imtiyaz Ahmad: Yasin sahib there is a perception among the people that you (Separatists) blew the question of election out of proportion which ultimately favored Indian state which was quick to hail this election as the ‘Vote for Indian democracy’.
Yasin Malik: See, when elections were held and people participated in them they were loud about the fact that they voted to get their internal issues resolved. Even the people who asked for vote themselves de-link the Kashmir issue from other issues. But unfortunately Indian state viewed it differently. Sonia Gandhi hailed it as the ‘Vote for Indian democracy’; however, it was the moral responsibility, at that time, of those, who are now in government or in opposition, to convey her that the Kashmiris voted to get their internal issues addressed. But how can she explain the boycott for parliamentary election. So the people have given a democratic reply this time.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Within a short span of 20 years or more you passed through three different transitions, you started as an Islamist, then you took up arms and became a guerilla fighter and ultimately you decided to shun the violence and represent your struggle through non-violent means. These are three different points of view. My question is how you converge these three aspects of your personality.
Yasin Malik: The problem here is that people are expert in bringing charges against each other. This is so because either people are ignorant about the things or they don’t understand things. You look at Allama Iqbal’s social philosophy where he describes the secularism. I’m not talking about the western secularism but the South Asian secularism; this secularism is a purely spiritual institution. An institution in which there is no place for hatred, where a person preaches his own religion but at the same time doesn’t speak ill against other religions. So of Yasin Malik; he was a spiritual, he is spiritual and will remain spiritual as long as he is alive – because it is my soul.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: So you are saying that in all these aspects of your personality spiritual content is present. In a way this is a Gandhian philosophy.
Yasin Malik: Why are you underlining only one name? Allama Iqbal was doing the same. He wasn’t a politician but a philosopher and thinker. He also believes in the same institution. So every leader across the globe believes and practices the same thing except those who don’t believe in God. I respect Gandhi and all the freedom fighters across the world, be it George Washington, Nelson Mandela, or Martin Luther King. However, this is unfortunate that certain people now started comparing Gandhi with Prophet Muhammad. While it is Gandhi who himself said that my ideal was Caliph Umar when he associated himself with Khilafat Movement. So there are phases in everyone’s life; so is true about Yasin Malik. Besides, Yasin Malik was a ‘romantic’ with gun or without gun.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Your party some time back started a campaign to tap the intellectuals of the society.
Yasin Malik: I not only created an intellectual movement in Kashmir, India and Pakistan but in USA, Britain and many other countries.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Was Safri- Azadi or Signature Campaign part of that enterprise?
Yasin Malik: No, things like Safri-Azadi and Signature Campaign are done by stupid persons and not by a sensible or intellectual one. George Bernard Shaw once said that intellectuals are conformist; they always go with the current. There is another section in the society whom the people called ‘stupid persons’ as they go against the current. And if there is a change and progress in the society it is because of these ‘stupid people’. I’m a lover of intellectual but I’m myself a ‘stupid person’.

Imtiyaz Ahmad: Who represents Kashmir?
Yasin Malik: Whosoever represents the aspirations of Kashmir people represents Kashmir.


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