The Kashmir Half Marathon
IT IS extremely reprehensible when someone misbehaves with girls and attempts to molest them. It is even more shameful when an organisation attempts to shield the culprits by claiming that no such incident occurred even when there is ample evidence to the contrary. Yes, Im referring to alleged incidents the eve teasing and attempted molestation that marred the Kashmir half marathon and what the Hurriyat (G) has to say about this whole incident.
Particularly galling is the insensitive statement made by Hurriyat (G) that the parents of the girl participants were also present on the occasion and no such complaint was received from them or the girls. Doesnt the Hurriyat (G) know that the social stigma of a girl being molested in Kashmir is so immense that most of the victims and their parents prefer to keep silent? And why is the Hurriyat (G) disregarding the harrowing experience recounted by a courageous girl in her post on Facebook?
No Hurriyat (G) members were present for the Kashmir half marathon. Therefore, it is rather surprising as to how it could immediately and outrightly rubbish the PDP presidents charge of eve teasing and attempted molestation by some miscreants during this event? Is this simply because the miscreants did the Hurriyat (G) a big favour by raising pro-Pakistan slogans and so this organisation was obliged to protect them?
Geelani sahib, whatever occurred that day happened in full public view for all to see. So, your partys official line that whatever happened at the marathon race (raising pro-Pakistan slogans) is the inner voice of the people of Kashmir and the PDP president tried to change discourse of the event by speaking blatant lie (on incidents of eve teasing and alleged molestation) will most certainly not convince many!
We all know about the incurable obsession of Hurriyat (G) chairman with grand conspiracies being continuously hatched against the Kashmiris by New Delhi (and occasionally by America, Israel and even the entire international community). However, by constantly crying wolf, the venerable patriarch is eroding his own standing which is evident from the fact that unlike in the past his appeals to the international community nowadays evoke no response. And the approach of the Hurriyat (G) to the half marathon itself is even more ludicrous if one listens to what its spokesperson Ayaz Akbar has to say.
Claiming that the organisation of the marathon was not any simple and transparent event but a politically motivated program, the Hurriyat (G) spokesperson went on to say that this event was aimed at overshadowing the atrocities and oppression of India in Kashmir. Does the Hurriyat (G) think that international community members monitoring the Kashmir situation are such a pathetic bunch of dimwits that their attention can be diverted by conducting a marathon? Unfortunately, the Hurriyat (G) has once again leveled allegations without providing any evidence. And when the international community dismisses the same on the grounds that these allegations remain unsubstantiated, Geelani sahib will cry foul and see yet another grand conspiracy in this move!
If how the Hurriyat (G) has come to such weird conclusions defies any logical explanation, then its assertion that the aim of the half marathon was to show the situation of Kashmir is returning in favour of India and the people are fed up with the freedom sloganeering and are now interested in sports activities, is even more confounding. However, this viewpoint will certainly be of interest to Kashmir watchers as it confirms that the only armament the Hurriyat (G) seems to have in its arsenal for getting us our right to self determination is freedom sloganeering!
This event has once again given the Hurriyat (G) chairman a chance to dwell on his pet grand conspiracy theory of how the marathon was not a sporting, recreational or social issues awareness event but a deliberate attempt being used for immoral acts and cultural aggregation by the government. This is not all; KNS has quoted the Hurriyat (G) chairman saying that The educational institutions are meant to impart quality education among youth and make them equipped well so that they could serve humanity with all their capabilities but here India is using even the education centers to implement its nefarious designs. Again, its the same old story of allegations without any evidence!
There is also a section of society in Kashmir that neither subscribes to Geelani sahibs grand conspiracy theories nor fancies the notion that azadi means becoming a minion of Pakistan.. However, this segment (to which I belong) that seeks independence from both India and Pakistan respects his views and expects that the Hurriyat (G) chairman too shows benevolence by reciprocating similarly. He may be a staunch believer in the Kashmir banega Pakistan (Kashmir will become (part of) Pakistan) option and may have a large following but to declare that this is the true aspiration of Kashmiris before we exercise our right to self determination may a bit premature!
While members of this group seeking independence from both India and Pakistan may be insignificant beings in front of a towering personality like Geelani sahib, but we are certainly not inconsequential since just like the Hurriyat (G) chairman, our hearts too beat for Kashmir. So whenever someone passes snide remarks about Kashmir or its people, it really hurts. And after what happened during the marathon, when some of my colleagues mockingly tell me that Kashmir mein toh azadi ke naam par saw khoon maaf hain! (In Kashmir, one can get away with a hundred murders just by pretending to be championing the cause of liberation), I am angered and feel like giving the person a piece of my mind.
Unfortunately, I have no answers!
TAILPIECE: The Hurriyat (G) statement after the Kashmir marathon incidents mentions of how a hypothetical theory was made and it was decided by the police and the government that to change the discourse we have to level some allegations and then they claimed that the youths passed lewd and indecent comments over the girl participants. It is when such clumsy attempts are made to conceal the truth and shield the miscreants who misbehaved with girls that one seriously starts thinking. If for the sake of getting azadi we have to compromise on our moral values, then is azadi thus achieved really worth it?
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