In defence of passport to Geelani


For present unfortunate state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir mainly Chief Minister Mufti is to be blamed. Geelani should move J&K High Court to get unconstitutional provisions like Section 6 (1) (2) etc of Passport Act quashed. Mufti should free all separatists not involved in violence and other crimes including Masarrat Alam. All the paranoid attitude of Government of J&K and of GoI is like of a paranoid & inferiority-complex-inflicted husband who always suspect his beautiful & loyal wife of flirtation or adultery.

On Monday in Indian media lot of noise was created on the issue of giving passport to APHC Chairman Syed Ali Geelani who wants to go to Saudi Arabia to visit his ailing daughter.

Nothing can be more absurd than stand of those (including members of  BJP, the ruling party in J&K and at Centre) who are opposing this passport on the ground that Geelani is a separatist and does not consider himself as Indian citizen and is complicit even in raising Pakistani flags and pro – Pakistan slogans in Kashmir etc. etc. Hence Indian passport should not be issued to him.

Notwithstanding what separatists believe the Government of India (GOI) should issue passport to Geelani and  to any other separatist because New Delhi believes they are Indian citizens.

As far  as they are separatist and do not consider themselves as Indian citizen and have been even raising Pakistani flags and pro Pak slogans etc. etc – especially in this age of IT revolution these separatists are exercising constitutionally mandated fundamental right of freedom of expression (only when someone indulges in actual act of violence or armed rebellion then only he or she should be punished as per law).

This paranoia of New Delhi and of many Indians is due to simple fact that martially deficient India could not retrieve Pakistan Administered Kashmir   during past 67 years though Pakistan being one sixth of India tried to take Kashmir military many times in 1947, 1948, 1965, 1971, during Kargil etc . The protection of territorial integrity was the basis of the 1947 ‘Instrument of Accession’ of J&K to India but in a shameless dereliction of its duty GoI has betrayed this instrument and  failed to protect the territorial integrity of J&K. On the contrary GoI is trying to find civil remedy to martial problem and in the process is harassing Indian citizens (separatists) by pressurizing J&K government to put them in jail on phoney grounds, refusing them passport, refusing visa to their families living in other countries  etc.

Justice and Indian constitution demand that GoI should repeal all the paranoid provisions in Passport Act [like Section 6 (1) (2) etc of Passport Act] which give unconstitutional power to GoI to refuse passport to any Indian citizen. GoI should understand that having an Indian passport is a fundamental right of every Indian and it cannot be denied in any case. It can only be impounded by judiciary if it has apprehensions that such Indian citizen may leave the country in order to avoid prosecution or punishment under law.

If GoI does not get unconstitutional provisions of Passport Act repealed then (in view of the fact that Constitution supersedes any law made under it) Geelani etc should move J&K High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution (i)- To get these unconstitutional laws which are inconsistent with and in derogation of the fundamental rights.[like Section 6 (1) (2) etc of Passport Act] quashed  under Article 13 of the Constitution.and (ii)- For getting direction to GoI that passport should not be denied to any Indian citizen on any ground whatsoever.

For present unfortunate state of affairs mainly CM Mufti is to be blamed. Mufti does not understand that – contrary to what he often says that separatists also have a point of view separatists have no point of view – because separation and breach of territorial integrity and sovereignty of India is simply not acceptable as any view. But these separatists certainly have freedom of expression of saying they are not Indian citizens and of raising Pakistani flags and pro-Pakistan slogans in Kashmir etc,  especially in view of the said dereliction of GoI regarding ‘Instrument of Accession of J&K to India.

Therefore first Mufti should come out of this paranoia and should free all the non-violent separatists who indulged only in said freedom of expression including Masarat Alam (unless any of these separatist indulged in actual act of violence, armed rebellion or any other crime). In this process if Mufti loses his Chief Minister-ship due to jingoism and unpatriotism of BJP and others, then also he should not mind it. Because Mufti should not forget that without serving the legitimate interests of Kashmiris he will not be able to serve the interests of Indians and India.


Hem Raj Jain

Bengaluru, (Karnataka) 

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