Srinagar: The resignation of hardline separatist leader, Syed Ali Shah Gealani from the all-party Hurriyat conference has exposed the myth of ‘peaceful resistance’ against Indian rule in Kashmir.
Geelani’s disenchantment with the separatist politics marks a watershed moment which will weigh heavily on all those who chose to follow his footsteps.
Serious allegations have been levelled by Geelani against those he claims to have hijacked the separatist movement against the “Indian rule in Kashmir”.
In his letter of despair, Geelani has blamed the constituents of the separatist conglomerate to have brazenly used it for accumulating wealth and using their clout for personal aggrandisement.
Despite feeling bad about the allegations levelled against them by Geelani, his erstwhile comrades cannot publicly criticise him.
The reason is very simple, they have glorified Geelani as the “Amir-e-Karwan”, (Leader of the movement) for over 30 years and speaking against him now will only result in deeper chinks in the separatist armour.
“Thou can do no wrong”: This is how Geelani was seen in Kashmir’s separatist camp and finally discovering that he had feet of clay is definitely going to force a re-thinking on whether the path chosen by the separatist leaders is still the right thing to do, feels many.
The fact that Geelani’s supremacy in all party Hurriyat conference has been challenged by its new convener, Mohammad Hussain Khatib, who belongs to Doda district of J&K and is now based in Muzaffarabad, has sent a clear message to Kashmiri separatist leaders.
Pakistan has decided to give up proxies in Kashmir and handle the separatist politics directly from across the border.
The creation of ‘The Resistance Front’ (TRF) has preceded Geelani’s ouster from the Hurriyat.
It is believed that while the TRF would coordinate and represent all terror outfits to coordinate attacks against the security forces in Kashmir, the takeover of Hurriyat by Muzaffarabad based Khatib signals the take over of separatist politics by Islamabad.
This new development leaves very little to look for in the separatist camp for the so-called moderates or those who claim to be fighting for an independent Kashmir.
Street violence had its heroes like Geelani’s man Friday, Masarat Alam who is in detention under the public safety act (PSA).
If street violence was intended to generate mass agitation against India, the experiment has been tried with very limited success.
Despite precious lives lost during those orchestrated violent protests, instead of gaining ground against India, the separatists are faced with abrogation of article 370 and the loss of statehood for J&K.
Geelani’s disgruntlement with his cherished idea to give an overground political platform to the underground armed separatism has failed.
Those who control the gun will also control the separatist politics in Kashmir.
This is a chilling message for all those who thought the separatist politics in Kashmir did not have its moorings in violence that has achieved nothing more than eating its own children.