Why Doesn’t Hurriyat Participate in Elections?
It is a very common argument when someone from mainland India talks about Hurriyat, that why don’t they just participate in the elections and win and show that they actually have the mandate of the people of Kashmir. Failing to realize the truth which is that Hurriyat actually has participated in the state elections in the past. Majority of the people supported them and they won, except that the elections were rigged and pro-India party of Farooq Abdullah was declared winner. Infact that is how the resistance against the occupation of Kashmir took a turn from a nonviolent movement to an armed struggle.
Imagine this, Kashmir -the only muslim majority state in India, that has been asking India to keep the promises it had made to the people of the state since 1947. Now muslims and pandits have been living together for 7 centuries in Kashmir. In state assembly elections of 1987, people voted for the party of Syed Ali Shah Geelani and a guy probably called Yousuf. People voted for them in huge numbers, but the result was not in their favor. People were frustrated to see the result. Protests started everywhere and when it became clear that New Delhi had rigged those elections to favor the minority of pandits, Geelani became a separatist and started asking for plebiscite (He was a member of Kashmir assembly till then). The guy called yousuf went to Pakistan and started armed rebellion against India and guess what today he is known by the name of Syed Salauddin and is one among the India’s most wanted. The man you today know by the name of Yaseen Malik, the man you hate so much was his agent in the election and after rigging he was arrested and tortured to the worst possible extent, if you see him talking in an awkward way and his eye blinking too much, know that it was that torture he had to undergo by the hands of Indian forces for just protesting against the rigged election. I am sure most of you did not know all of this. Think about it, why would they ever tell you this part of the story. To handle the situation, Jagmohan was installed as the governor and he wrecked havoc on the Muslims. He carried out many massacres, by ruthlessly firing on innocent and peaceful protestors. People died, the brothers and sons of the victims were invited by the guy called Yousuf who was in Muzaffarabad now. Together they made some militant organization that is now known as Hizb and thus the armed rebellion started against the Govt. of India and those whom it favored upon those who were elected by the people. I hope it is clear now that it was India and its policies in Kashmir that led to the formation of Hizb in the first place. FYI, the Jagmohan, the murderer or Kashmiris was awarded Padma Vibhushan just early this year by this right wing regime, reopening the wounds of Kashmiris and sprinkling them with salt.
Now that is a story I have tried to tell repeatedly here so that people know how did it all start. In response I have been told many times,
“that was that, rigging happened then, it won’t happen now, Let separatists participate in elections and show that they really represent Kashmiris”.
Well, we might have actually believed you if we didn’t have an example in front of us. Let me introduce to you this man.
His name is Engineer Rashid. He is a Kashmiri politician and an MLA from Langate constituency in Handwara of the Kashmir. Rashid joined politics in the year 2008 and stunned political observers by defeating senior NC and PDP leaders Sharif Din Shariq and Muhammad Sultan Panditpuri. He also won from the same constituency in the year 2015. He is currently MLA from Langate and patron of Awami Itihad Party. Now he is someone who fought elections and won repeatedly. He speaks about the Kashmir conflict in the Legislative assembly of J&K. He talks about Kashmir being a conflict and that India and Pakistan should sit together on a table and find a solution. Now when he talks this in Assembly, he is dragged out of the house.
When he protests for this outside the assembly premises, he is arrested, put behind the bars. He is manhandled, beaten, gagged and tortured even after being a sitting MLA and an elected representative of the people of Kashmir
Now this is 2017 and it is still happening in the way it happened then, even worse. Every Kashmiri has got a live example in front of her/him and separatists as well. Do you think whatever you have said, makes any sense now. I am sure not.