…The group is not as robust as it once used to be!
At the onset of armed resistance in Kashmir the entire political system collapsed under the terrifying burden of gun. Many political entities either left the scene or went into hibernation. In this situation of fear a new political might under the banner of ‘All Parties Hurriyat Conference’ took the political center stage to symbolize the aspirations of Kashmiri people. Hurriyat conference a conglomerate of nationalist political factions and other social and religious organizations tried to fill the political vacuum, but soon it turned into a bandwagon where almost everyone tried to look for a place, mostly not by choice but out of compulsion. Leaders like Omar Farooq, Syed Ali Gilani, Professor Bhat and others took turns to head this political face of resistance. Out of all these leaders only Syed Ali Geelani was distinctive in many ways. But unfortunately his wider range of mass support added to his existing levels of ego. Others were not less narcissists and tried to have their own way within the Hurriyat. With the passage of time the growing internal strife within the Hurriyat led to gradual crumbling of Hurriyat and the first major vertical split shattered Hurriyat when Syed Ali shah Geelani parted company and established his own ‘Tehreek e Hurriyat e Kashmir’ , better known as Hurriyat-G.
For last two decades Hurriyat even after many vertical and horizontal splits is holding a significant place on the political scene of Kashmir. Even divided Hurriyat is an influential political force and no authority either in the valley or outside can brush it aside so easily. However, Hurriyat is dying its own death—death out of suffocating conducts and lack of compatibility amongst its constituents and the leaders. From the day first when Hurriyat came into being, its self-proclaimed superlative character created hype about Hurriyat and its leadership being exceptional. This narcissist syndrome has brought Hurriyat to a political crossroad where it is unable to decide about its fate, leave alone the people of Kashmir and their aspirations. After narcissism and ego most of the Hurriyat leaders suffer from foot and mouth disease. Every time one or the other leader makes gratuitous comments against fellow leaders or deviate from basic principles and ideology of the organization by making controversial and politically indistinct statements. In the past Hurriyat has gone through many tough situations of dissent leaving a negative impact on justified struggle of empowerment by people of Kashmir. Particularly for last more than one decade conduct and behavior of Hurriyat leaders most of the time did not correspond to wishes of the people.
Only a week back a tall leader of one of the Hurriyat factions made a u-turn from the fundamental agenda of APHC, adopted at the time of its formation on March 10, 1993; agenda of achieving the right of self-determination according to United Nations Resolution 47. Professor Bhat can be a great master of body language, but his bombshell was being triggered by some one else within the Hurriyat. Many eyebrows were raised not only within Hurriyat-M, but common Kashmiri at large is also unable to comprehend the stand of Professor Bhat. A huge uproar is visible within the Hurriyat and many leaders were seen shouting on top of their voice from the ruined ramparts of once glorious ‘HURRIYAT’. Now scuffles and face-off is a routine at Hurriyat meetings, this showdown obviously gives a soothing solace not only to the mainstream politicians but to certain elements as well who are by conviction hostile to the acceptable cause of people of Kashmir. Moth eaten Hurriyat has either to set a standard norm of discipline and compatibility within the organization or it will perish under its own burden of factionalism and ego. May be some leaders within factioned Hurriyat will be contemplating to join power politics! They are free to practice whatever political ideology they find proper, but resorting to any political exploitation from Hurriyat platform will be unethical and unjustified. Such leaders should look back into the annals of history and read the fate of connivers. Instead of putting Hurriyat (meaning liberty) hides, they should come openly and propagate their political line among the masses. Presently entire Hurriyat is not only ailing but is rapidly losing its ground among the masses. Its leadership should not only introspect but introspect very fast and provide a just, genuine and truthful leadership to the tormented people of Kashmir. Otherwise a situation will arise where people of Kashmir in the first instance may have to rise up a fresh to get rid of this faction ridden political headship.