Our program was very much democratic.As i said ,Afzal’s and Maqbool Bhatt’s death have immense impact on Kashmir.We had kept a meeting to discuss it and see what happen afterwards, how he was denied justice systematically and how it impacted the society in Kashmir.There were pro-Kashmir slogans, but not anti India. If you consider that pro-Kashmir is definitely anti Indian then that is the different thing.
We don’t want any body’s barbaadi, we want every body’s ‘abadi‘(eternity).We talked about resolution of Kashmir, because I think that Kashmir issue’s resolution is not only in the interest of people of Kashmir, its also in the interest of India and Pakistan rather its in the interest of whole region. Recently there was a SAARC meeting in Delhi. In that meeting, foreign ministers from all other countries said that the animosity between India and Pakistan is hindering the development in this region. Kashmir is the prime reason of the animosity. Everybody is talking about the martyrs in Siachen. Who is killing them? None of them got killed by the bullets of Pakistan. They are killed because of the weather conditions. Who is responsible for these killing? These jingoist people. Not resolving the Kashmir issue is killing them. Unless you have a political stability in the region it cant develop.
When i say that this is an issue of Kashmir, I became seditious. But when Prime minister of India and Pakistan meet they issued a joint statement and say yes we had agreed to resolve every issue through dialogue. When I, a principal party of Kashmir issue, because Kashmir belongs to me. When i talk about my problem I became seditious.
Systemic injustice was done to Afzal Guru
When we talk about a criminal case, the whole structure is build in the trial court this is the stage where evidence is examined Evidence against you is examined. witnesses are examined, evidence against you examined here
and then something comes up. On this crucial stage Afzal was denied a lawyer. If you go even by the law of land, it is the govt’s duty to provide an accused a lawyer of his own choice, who can competently defend him. Here Afzal had given applications in the court, you can check them in the records of court, but he was not given a lawyer of his choice. A person was imposed on him. And that person also declined to represent him. But then court said you are amicus curie,you assist the court, he was assisting the court, then who was assisting Afzal, nobody there
At this very crucial junction he was on the very beginning systemically denied justice.
They have written in Delhi high court’s judgement that the police has fabricated the evidence and forged the documents. How can you send some body to gallows on the basis of fabricated evidence and forged documents.
Then it comes to the supreme court, again high court’s judgement is mostly based on confession statement.
The supreme court says there is no direct evidence against him.There are some circumstantial evidences and if you check those circumstantial evidences against Afzal which supreme court talk about. Supreme court says he is not a member of any unlawful organisation. He is not a member of any terrorist or militant organization. So, they talk about some circumstance they said that Afzal had identified the dead bodies but Afzal denied it. Then they talked about the phone which is one more circumstantial evidence against him .The phone and that chip was never recovered
I mean these are all things which one has to see. There are people who are on death row much before Afzal, why was Afzal singled out and hanged? And so secretly? They have not given him appeal in the supreme court which is his legal right.
In our case there was a special judge. He had actually pronounced us guilty much before the trial started. I remember first day, it was before the police actually filed the charge sheet against us. So he had not seen the charges he didn’t know that what charges are against us. Shoukath’s wife Afshan was in the court and started crying. The judge asked her why are you crying?. She said you know why am I here? Why am I arrested? I haven’t committed any crime. I don’t know if my husband has committed any crime. One would expect from a judge that he would tell her that no you are in a court of law, things would be better. He didn’t say that, that he replied to her no this would not help you now. Your crying over here will not help you now. You should have thought about it when you were actually conspiring to attack the parliament.Even judge would say again in the court that my court does not need any prosecutor. I am myself a prosecutor as well.
I had to spend two years on death row because of these kind of judge. Even the law here is that if you convict somebody by death, if you have to prove his guilt beyond the reasonable doubt. But high court said that police had fabricated the evidence, forged the documents. The fabrication and forging of document, doesn’t it arise a suspicion-can you put someone to death on the basis of this thing?
Then the court talks about the conscience of society. The court have to go by the law, not to give the decision on the basis of emotions and sentiments. What is that collective conscience? I have travelled in this country and talked about Afzal through the length and breadth of this country. I have spoken to people. When people came to know about the reality, I don’t see people except a fringe element I don’t see people were baying for his death. No one was baying for his death. Rather people felt guilty, because he was killed in their name. He was killed in the name of democracy.
When i came out in 2003,this was my statement and I demanded for this. I had demanded that government should issue a white paper on this-Who are those people who really attacked the parliament? There was a committee formed by some prominent citizens of India. They want an inquiry committee on parliament attack but it never happened. In America when 9/11 happened people not only asked who attacked us but they further went and asked why they attacked us. In democracy, the basic essence is that you ask questions.But that basic essence is missing some where. Today if you raise question about the judgement of supreme court they will say how can you ask questions.
Selective safeguarding of freedom of speech
If the champions of free speech are actually sincere to freedom of speech, then they would actually stand for my right to freedom of speech whether they agree with me or not. But they wont do that because they feel that it is beyond the comfort zone. In my case what was the problem? because I am a Muslim,I am a Kashmiri, I talk about right to self determination of people of Kashmir. If they go like this with selective kind of a freedom of speech, their freedom of speech also will be curbed, that I can assure.
Marginalized people have to understand that the enemy is actually usurping their rights. But they (marginalized) are scattered. They need to come together, formulate a strategy and this will definitely win war for them. The rights are not given in arms, you have to fight for your rights. See through out the history whenever you have to get your rights, you get it through struggle.
Allegations of Pakistan funding Kashmiri resistance
It becomes very easy when you put a tag of Pakistan on anything. It becomes very easy for them to convince the people that these man who had tagged with Pakistan is an anti-national. Because of that baggage of partition, especially in northern India. When you attach something to Pakistan, there is a kind of hatred automatically generated.
Armed struggle in Kashmir started only after 1989. Kashmiris explored every possible methods including the elections that did not work so they were sort of, forced to take up weapons . Sayed Salahudheen, who is the chief commander of Hizbul Mujahidheen, was contesting elections from Srinagar in ’87 .Sayyid Ali Shah Geelani has been MLA many times. But elections were rigged. When they tried all these avenues, explored them, tried them and they failed then they were forced to. Maqbool Bhat’s hanging had again an impact. After Afzal’s hanging youth is inclining towards militancy.
Kashmir issue is a victim of disinformation campaign by the government of India for all these 67 years.They don’t want to tell people the truth. When some body like me goes out and tell them the truth, then I need to be put behind the bars.Because I am sort of exposing them, exposing their lies
my profile was high profile case. They won’t try to physically harm me because they feel that it is a high profile case and things will go against us. They tried to do sort of harassment kind of a thing. They tried to keep me locked for a while. Keep me in isolation. I protest against that.
These people talk about nationalism. They are not even true to their nation. They are actually destroying the very basic fabric of this nation. They are tearing it apart. Even when I was granted bail, the jail authorities delayed my release by some lame excuses.
A nation without boundaries
Basically we are all human beings. We have to think like a human being. If somebody who belongs to my nationality is wrong and the other person who belong to some other nation is right I should not have this prejudice to go along with my nation.These are political boundaries which are created by us. I should realise if somebody is suffering any where in the world, I should feel that pain within me.
But unfortunately, today if you talk about somebody is suffering in Syria or Iraq you will be called ISIS or something like that. We have to make others realise that these are the problems which we have to overcome. So, tomorrow if I talked about Dalits and adivasis some body should not say this man is a Muslim fundamentalist, why is he talking about it? we should break those barriers.
For that purpose you need a movement. It can’t be done sitting in the drawing rooms and seminar halls. We have to be with people and talk to them
Modi’s Sufi drama
we talk about English people that they ruled India with divide and rule policy. But actually government of India has been following that. This meeting which was obviously sponsored by the government is simply an attempt to divide the Muslim community. Any religious person, he may have some followers in a mohalla , in village, in city they have some influence definitely. The Sufi meeting was broadcast all over. People might think that so many Ulemas and Sufis came together and they are with Narendra Modi. Why did he need this Sufi conference at this moment? Is ISIS existing in India? Elections are coming, so they need Sufis. They need all ‘others’ for elections.