Geelani’s Political Departure

2 mins read
Syed Ali

From The Editor / The Legitimate
The people of Kashmir on Monday were left shocked after an audio clip of senior separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani went viral announcing his resignation from the party. Geelani tendered his resignation from the Hurriyat Conference at a time when the Kashmir is going through one of the most difficult times politically.

Almost all the active leaders from all factions of separatist groups in Kashmir are languishing in jails and there was a considerable vacuum in the separatist leadership. Geelani who is also under house arrest since 2010 after he spearheaded the summer agitation over the killing of three civilians in Machil fake encounter was running the separatist movement from his home.

He along with JKLF and Mirwaiz led moderate Hurriyat Conference formed the joint resistance leadership to spearhead the 2016 agitation that broke out over the killing of top militant commander of Hizbul Mujahidin, Burhan Wani. Geelani now set the grounds for his resignation the division in his amalgam at Pakistan Administrated Kashmir and the massive financial irregularities by some of the leaders.

He accused even some of the leaders for seeking personal favors from the system and giving deaf ears to his calls now. But going by the facts in past the Hurriyat Conference has always suffered on the same grounds. It had almost a dozen factions operating on both sides of the Line of Control. While it always evaded the accountability over the alleged financial irregularities and fought internally over power-sharing issues Geelani never stepped down on moral or technical grounds.

He continued to gain public support and mobilized hundreds and thousands of people in Kashmir whenever and wherever he needed to display his power. The public support and the influence he was wielding over the psyche of Kashmiri youth put other separatist leaders in uncomfortable zones. Even the long one-decade house arrest and falling health could not dwindle his image among the public.

But when he resigned on Monday on the same grounds of financial irregularities, it was unexpected and shocking. People ask why nonagenarian leaders conscience woke up him now over the issues that never mattered for him in the best days of his life. Why he sidelined himself from the cause he always treated as sacred and encouraged hundreds and thousands of people to scarify for it.

Today, the Kashmir is on crossroads. Those who relied upon him feel betrayed. In Kashmir, there is a phenomenal leadership crisis in the separatist camp. Probably, Geelani was the only influential leader who was not shifted to any jail for his ailing health while all others are languishing in different prisons of India. Common people had set all their hopes on him but he failed them at this juncture. Some people considered it a departure of the long-standing separatist fight in Kashmir since it will create a massive vacuum in the regions separatist leadership.

But it is quite a fact that those who were blindly following Geelani and separatists in Kashmir until now may began to lose their hope and trust in the leadership. The situation may help New Delhi to reinforce their claims that ‘separatists’ hawks’ had no goodwill for the people of Kashmir.

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