Politics on Tosa Maidan

Mushtaq Wani

Showing anger and coming out hammer and tongs against the government proposal of extending the lease of Toasmaidan meadow to army, the eighty plus diehard Separatist, Syed Ali Shah Geelani has forgotten that Kashmir is not the personal fiefdom or Jagir of anybody. The government is right in extending the lease of the meadow in favour of the army which is using the strategically located area for many purposes. Toasmaidan is very crucial because in 1965, Pakistani Razakars (Volunteers) along with their army men sneaked into this sector to unleash the diabolical plans of Operation Gibraltar. Falling in the Gulmarg sector, the meadow is only hours away from the capital city of Srinagar. Reason why army has made some portion of the meadow, crucial base to disallow any Pakistani designs aimed at threatening the security of Kashmir valley.

Geelani is peeved at the prospect of extending the lease because it will mean in simple terms denial of free movement to his Pakistani infiltrators. Perhaps the avowed hardliner has taken a liking for the new avatar of 1965 Razakars. Today they have transformed into Mujahideen. Soon after Razakars were first pointed out and then arrested one by one, Geelani became MLA from Sopore constituency. He will never resent his being ex-MLA because he gets a good pension for being so. Although spewing fire and brimstone against India and its secular policies, he has never declined to accept the pension for being a former MLA, under Indian political dispensation.  Having said so, the Mujahideen love in Geelani’s frail heart is so intense that he would go to any extent of inviting them in the valley. Eventually, the Kashmir invitation by Geelani and other separatist proved too mouth watering for the restive, lawless tribes of Afridis, Alakjzais and Mehshuds, that they came rolling headlong all through the long years of Pak sponsored proxy war in the valley. Kashmiri boys in Pakistani camps were willing tools in their evil designs. Geelani and other separatists named them Mehmaans (worthy guests). A lively Wanwun (Traditional Kashmiri welcome song) welcomed them in, followed by a sumptuous Kashmiri Wazwan in which cattle were slaughtered though hesitantly to show the Mehmaans that they were one with them in choice of meat too, solidarity in full blood and taste. When the tribals and other Mujahideens indulged in other acts resentment brimmed. By this time Ikhwanis came and tried to restore parity of sorts by killing many Mehmaan Mujahideens.  Despite these acts, Geelani’s love for Pakistan and its institutions grew intense and more intense. The old man is a classic example of ingratitude. He will never praise the Indian doctors who treated his renal cancer and gave him a new lease of life. The medical bills and pension bills paid by Indian tax payer will not stir his heart so saturated with Pakistani dream.  His security ensured by Indian security forces which tries to protect Kashmir from Toasmaidan to Turtuk from Paki terrorists has no worth for him to make any acknowledgement. Yet his ego sky high that he hates anything Indian. The word Indian is anathema, enough to bring instantaneous bouts of allergy in his body and mind.

A strange pattern is being seen in Kashmir. On some issues the hearts of mainstream politicians and separatists beat in unison. Otherwise Mustafa Kamaal and Geelani would have not aired dissimilar view on firing ranges of army or over Toasmaidan. Or else Kammal would not have made statements against army firing ranges. It makes a strange case. The army will get all training outside Kashmir but has to be ready to get killed in the valley by assuring minimum response to terrorists’ firing.

In his typical Geelani style double speak, he criticises state government for lust of money and power, accusing it of disposing all assets to New Delhi. It is a new argument though specious one given by Geelani and others that Kashmir’s assets have been handed over to Delhi. Kashmir, everybody in the world knows, does not possess gold, copper, or diamond mines. It does not have petroleum deposits or natural gas.  It had natural beauty which was slowly destroyed when men like Geelani arrived in the valley. All great forests today are bare and encroached by anti-social elements and militants along with other local Kashmiris. No Indian possesses any fragment of land in the valley. The Dal Lake today is surrounded by concrete hotels which belong to Kashmiris only. Saffron lands have been converted into housing colonies and no Indian has come all the way from Delhi to do that. But men like Geelani will always cry and raise non issues. The only issue in Kashmir is that dubious men like Geelani ought to be side lined permanently and pluralism of Kashmir be restore once again with all attendant prerequisites. Kashmir will again turn a paradise when truth is spoken, accepted, practiced as well as men like Geelani snubbed once for all.

   Email: mailmushtaqwani@ gmail.com

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