Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Mohd Yousuf Halwai-an unsung hero

Dr. Ramesh Raina

Mayhem has been an integral part of the political scene in Kashmir especially after 1947.It has created a state of mind which has provided an ideological domination to the pro-secessionist forces.It played a self destructive role by destroying and stoking the fire that ignited the flames of terrorism.The most important element of its creators is their selective amnesia.They feign to forget the events especially the ones that are not to their liking and even tend to suppress such events to deprive the current generation of angry Kashmiri youth of the ground realities still prevalent in Kashmir.But in actuality the real history is cruel as it records everything for posterity.Howsoever one might prevent the truth from surfacing yet it finds its expression.

it is regarding a major political killing on 16th August 1989 of one Mohd yousuf Halwai near Safa kadal Srinagar Kashmir.He was a Block President of National Conference.His only fault was that he refused to put out lights in his house on August 15.To understand the characterisation of this larger phenomenon taking shape,one needs to rewind and go a few days back when the pro-self determination terrorists succeeded in celebrating Pakistan Independence day on 14th August.It was marked by bursting of crackers,hoisting of green Pakistani flags,March pass and saluting Pakistan Flag.They succeeded in observing the day with an unprecedented fervour.Thus lionising its script writers and authors.

As against it 15th August was dubbed as Black day and marked by complete Bandh.It turned Srinagar into complete darkness.With increased frequency of terror related incidents,the year1989 brought with it a new wave of anti-India psyche to the fore.Strongly supported by the people,It was indeed allowed to develop deep roots.Accordingly the acts of terrorism started getting more brazen,daring and better planned.This terrorism also resulted in enforcing the social code especially for women.It manifested with an acid attack on two young muslim girls walking on the road without Burqa.Not only that but an explosion in the ladies toilet of Khayam Cinema,both these incidents took place on 29th July 1989.

The Valley was gradually coming under the total sway of these neo-terrorists whose writ seemed to run every where.Consequently the usual celebratory mood accompanied by the Independence day was marred by terror incidents and complete Bandh.Yousuf Halwai’s utter refusal to toe the line was therefore seen as an act of defiance.

He openly contested and challenged these forces by exhibiting a sense of nationalism at a time when Kashmir had come under the psychological state of extreme fear.His martyrdom for the national cause questions the very morality of the movement for secessionism.It assumes significance to know as to how Kashmiri people relate to this hero who nevertheless remained unsung and unwept all these years but his act of bravery has secured a place for himself the history.

(The author is a senior columnist)

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