“Cannot rule out Geelani turning out to be the tallest Kashmiri of 21st century”

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The below is the letter written by senior leader of National Conference, G N Ratanpuri, a Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir, in reply to the comments made by National Conference leader, Mustafa Kamal, who is also the state Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s uncle. The letter was posted on his Facebook page.

Dear Kamal Sahib,

I am not surprised to learn that like the Advisors to HCM, you have chosen the medium of newspapers to communicate to me a warning. Warning for comparing SAS Geelani with SM Abdulla. I respect your concern for your father as much as I respect Naseem Geelani’s concern for his father.

Many among us wanted Kashmiris to read not history, but Nawa-I-Subh. I chose to write for Nawa-I-Subh, but to be a student of history.

I believe that the primitive man also respected a valiant adversary even in duals where death of the either was the only outcome. Civilised nations have fought battles, but erected memorials in the honour of their worthy adversaries and I consider Geelani Sahib as a worthy adversary of the National Conference. My humble origin and my simple upbringing have taught me to be kind and polite to my detractors and defamers too, while I believe that, to Geelani Sahib, I owe my respect for his steadfastness to his ideals. I may also clarify that I differ with the means that he has chosen, while I share many of his ideals.

He believes that people, if necessary, should die in the struggle for their rights and, then there are many who take the Home Ministry as fountainhead of all power. My endeavour is to tread the middle path. I believe that anywhere and everywhere one has to empower oneself to get one’s rights and oppressed people are found in all societies and in all the corners of the world. Our efforts should be focussed on ensuring a better and meaningful life, not death, however, glorious it may appear.

I reiterate the fact that S.M. Abdullah is the tallest leader of the 20th century Kashmir. He is tallest not because he was some angel or prophet. He was a mortal with his share of flaws, failures and fallacies, but a bigger share of qualities. I would not like anybody to believe that boiling oil was frozen by the touch of his finger or plant leaves carried his name. He is great not because he was born in some royal family, but because he rose from a humble origin to become a lion of Kashmir. Land reforms and right to education are his miracles. Tell me whether these miracles would have been possible, had he relied on similar type of aides and advice as has been chosen by his grandson.

Today we have the cubs with claims to blue blood and to miracles like driving their Audi blind folded on Rajpath and walking on their head in the corridors of power. Understandably they get frustrated when they see that lesser mortals and small timers like myself cannot perform such feats. Not to speak of walk on head, I cannot bend my knees.

I appreciate your promptness in reacting to me and other small time kashmiris, irrespective of their party affiliations, but I fail to understand that why you and all other “Chhoi Mooies” of my party failed to take the notice of the Lead story of Kashmir Times on September 5, 2010. It quoted an aide of our miracle man as saying, “Omer had an unmatched access in the corridors of power in Delhi.

The kind of access, no Chief Minister has enjoyed in the past. Therefore, they believe he was tailor made to prove a vehicle to settle the issue of Kashmir forever, They further claim that Congress President has promised every support towards this endeavour to the extent of sacrificing her own party in the State. The problem (Kashmir issue) was created by Sheikh Abdullah (Grandfather of Chief Minister), he is now destined as last Abdullah in power in Srinagar to conclude this problem forever.”

This story raised many intriguing question:

1. It broke the news that Omer is the last Abdullah in power in Srinagar.

2. It revealed that Kashmir issue was created by Sheik Abdullah (suggesting that he was the villain not the hero) and Omer is destined to conclude this problem forever. How and Why?

3. It claimed that Congress President has promised every support towards the settlement of Kashmir issue by Omer to the extent of sacrificing her own party in State. What does this mean, and what is the deal?

908 days on, I am waiting for anybody from the family or the party to seek answers to these questions. May you? from the multifaceted genius aide of our miracle man. I am told he is not only the most knowledgeable about the past (History?!), he can manipulate present and he prophecies the future.

Could it be that, as Bharat Karnal has suggested, they abrogate Article 370. They can do it, to strip BJP of its original plank, and its raison d’etre and to put Rahul into saddle. Political Parties in Delhi believe that greater the suffering of Kashmiris, bigger the electoral gains. Not that I have any illusions about the potency of this Article, but I dread the day when they give my Chief Minister an eight hour notice and he comes on television to tell us he was not consulted, just asked to tackle the fall out———and this time the fall out may be beyond their wildest calculation. A hundred days curfew may not be able to cool the tempers and my countrymen, small children, men and women may die in thousands for an illusion, making peace and reconciliation and dream forever.

Please note, I cannot see that future, but I cannot rule out the possibility of SAS Geelani turning out to be the tallest Kashmiri of 21st Century.

By the way, it seems you have forgotten the press conference where you had CM’s Political Advisor on your side and which made you famous by your narrative of Rahul Jiii, Rajiv Jiii, Sonia Jiii, Indira Jiii, Nehru Jiii and the relations, “Janam Janam ka sath”, of the family with the family and of the party with the party (only its vilayati – means blue blood Delhi folks not the read blooded small timer Desi Congressmen). But your images that day along with a Rana Devender Singh in the frame will haunt me forever. That night I dreamt a young Sher-I-Kashmir being dragged by a Dogra Soldier in front of Cameras and he was making a confession. Like Afzal Guru made with Inspector Rajbir, he too was making eye contact in the middle of every sentence with the Dogra Soldier, as if to ascertain that he was not straying from the script.

With best wishes
G. N. Ratanpuri
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) from Pulwama, Jammu & Kashmir

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