Authors Posts by Gowhar Geelani

Gowhar Geelani

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Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (file photo by Shahid Tantray) The Srinagar based head priest Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who heads a faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), said on Friday that “Kashmir’s clergy has a vital role vis-à-vis the politically disputed nature of Kashmir” and that “it [the clergy] can’t remain a silent spectator on serious political issues”. This the Mirwaiz said in response to the recent contentious remarks that “the clergy is selectively raking up controversial issues on Article 370 in mosques” made by Jammu and Kashmir’s first woman Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in the legislative assembly on June

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If the coalition government headed by Ms Mehbooba Mufti continues to take refuge in ambiguity over sensitive issues, the civil society will keep asking the hard questions, especially in the context of the claims made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that it believes in the idea of democracy and favours the “battle of ideas”. Another matter that Yasin Malik has been booked under a nearly three-decade old case, Syed Ali Geelani continues to remain under house arrest and the Mirwaiz barred from his routine socio-political and religious activities. Do Maliks, Geelanis and the Mirwaizes represent a political view and

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It is pretty difficult to tell the exact day and date the Reading Room Party was formally constituted in the Kashmir Valley, though most historians agree that it was formed around April-May 1930. What the Reading Room Party of the 1930s meant for Kashmir’s socio-political awakening then and how it is relevant to the present day Kashmir discourse when the Internet, technological advancement, digital revolution, smart phones and social media have perhaps replaced the conventional Reading Room Party, Gowhar Geelani explains. Exactly eighty six (86) years ago Kashmir’s Left-wing intellectuals established the Reading Room Party to discuss the French and

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This is the translation of ‘Jawab Do’ – one of the 22 short stories written, originally in Urdu, by Ghulam Nabi Shahid in his book Eelan Jaari Hai (The declaration/announcement continues) Heads lowered, all of them in small groups of two-to-three holding placards in their hands were silently marching towards the park located in the heart of the city centre where they would assemble on the 10th of every month to stage protests for the last so many years. Right in the middle of the city, and in between the two prominent markets, this park is centre of attraction for

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A boy mourning the killing of Farhat Ahmad Dar during his funeral procession. Dar was killed by Indian forces during anti-India protests after Friday payers in North Kashmir.   When India’s next possible Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi was taking ‘holi’ dip in Varanasi, the Indian state had already silenced one more youth in Kashmir. Forever. On the eve of holi — the festival of colours — the blood of one more youth was spilled on a street of Naidkhai, Bandipore, in North Kashmir. Farhat too fell to the music of bullets. And his body lowered into the grave. Farewell;

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Shashi Tharoor During my initial days in journalism an editor of one of the Urdu dailies shared an anecdote that I fondly remember, even after a gap of 12 years. Initially, the conversation revolved around discussing the happy-go-lucky page designers, some of whom are casual while taking forward ‘carries’ from the front page to the other pages. In Urdu, the ‘carry’ is referred to as ‘baqia’. I’m sure most of the readers are aware of this. After reading a particular story on the front page the remaining part is usually carried forward onto the other pages, as ‘baqia safah paanch

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The ‘Kul Jama’tei Hurriyat Conference’ or the ‘All Parties Hurriyat Conference’ [APHC] came into force as a conglomerate in 1993. Only a decade after its inception the amalgam split into two, as the octogenarian Geelani Sahib initiated ‘tatheerei amal’ or ‘purification process’ levelling accusations that a constituent of the Hurriyat had fielded proxies in the 2002 assembly elections. One more decade down the line we have a third Hurriyat in 2014. No wonder another assembly election is just round the corner. The Urdu word ‘Hurriyat’ when translated into English language means ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty’. Hurriyat — as an amalgam of

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University of Kashmir By Gowhar Geelani Perhaps it is the state’s worst-kept secret that politics of any kind is not allowed inside the University of Kashmir. Since past two decades the so-called mainstream politicians, perhaps deeply disturbed by the popularity of leaders belonging to the pro-resistance camp, have been pitching for “de-linking politics from academics”. In this very context, everything was done from ‘stick to carrot policy’ to ensure that the University remained apolitical during the turmoil years. The continued ban on the Student Union is a case in point. On the other hand, a handful of professors, lecturers and

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A man paints to hide anti-India graffiti written on the shutters of a closed shop during a curfew in Srinagar. Freedom of expression and speech is the most fundamental of all rights. This right lays the very foundation of a democratic society. It is often being said that without free political discussions and free flow of communication in the society, no public education is possible. The Indian Constitution, for a gentle reminder, also guarantees this right to its citizens. Communication – as defined by various theories and models – is the free exchange of thoughts, messages, opinions, views, or information,

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By Gowhar Geelani There was a time when one of the senior most leaders of the pro-freedom alliance, All Parties Hurriyat Conference [APHC], had remarked in his passion arousing speech in a mosque in Srinagar, during the early 1990s, that “the dawn of freedom has arrived” and that “only the formal announcement was to be made”.  “….Azaadi Ka Sooraj Tulu Ho Chuka Hai; Ab Sirf Ee’laan Karna Baqi Hai…..[the sun of freedom has risen and now only an announcement is to be made],” he had said. As a child, I had listened to this speech of his with keen interest.

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