Afzal Guru a painted mask of tricolor politics

Afzal Guru a painted mask of tricolor politics

A Story by Priyanka Sharma

I am neither a JNU(Jawaharlal Nehru University) inhabitant nor a pro Pakistani. And honestly Kashmir has always been in my Geography, Politics, History books and yeah media ofcourse as a conflicted geographical division. No aspirations to stand next to Sitaram Yechuri or Mr. Prime Minister overpowers me, perfectly content with my academics. Hence, my views hereby shall be solely governed with rationality and logic.

When we announce ourselves as Nationalist it’s a silent promise to safeguard the welfare of our countrymen above all . It’s important to quote the words of our first Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.When asked what India meant to him he explained: This 130 crore(with respect to present) population is India. We construct India literally as well as figuratively. I will get back to this later . First things first. I was in school when Afzal Guru was hanged till death in a private ceremony.His family was informed two days later through speed post arranged by government. They couldn’t even witness the sight of his dead body as he was buried in the premises of Tihar jail. Why should they, he was a terrorist after all? Even his corpse doesn’t deserve a humane treatment. Infact his body should be left astray to be fed upon by Scavengers. These were my exact words at that time. Most of the India thought that way nothing uncommon. But after around three years of his death I decided to flip through some pages of history with the courtesy of JNU. And now that I am done and the conclusion is lying infront of me I am shattered and prominently guilty. I just like others was so blinded by veil of nationalism that I was too quick to adjudicate him. No questions asked no answers taken and he within a fortnight became a terrorist and he had to live with this title for the last 13 years of his life. Supreme Court in its verdict said that the evidence found is circumstantial .As is the case with most conspiracies, there is and could be no evidence amounting to criminal conspiracy." But then, shockingly, it went on to say: "The incident, which resulted in heavy casualties, had shaken the entire nation, and the collective conscience of society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender."Which collective conscience was Supreme Court talking about? Had we become so fascist that only a severed head could satisfy the nationalist within us? Even if it belonged to a wrong individual. His Kashmiri origin, a white turban and a long beard was enough to keep our logics sealed. On 15th December 2001 the special cell of Delhi Police arrested Guru from Srinagar his cousin Shaukat Husain Guru from Srinagar, Shaukat’s wife Afsan Guru and SAR Gilani a lecturer of Arabic at Delhi University who was also crafted as the mastermind of the attacks. Afzal Guru was made to confess in the special cell in the mere presence of the DCP whom he later accused of threatening him. The highcourt further acquitted the accusations against the so called mastermind Gilani and Afsan Guru. Shaukat Husain’s punishment was also commuted to 10 years of imprisonment. You do not need to possess a Sherlock Holmes mind palace to decipher the fishiness of this case. His wife in an interview was found saying he wanted a normal life. He did cross the border once and trained for three months in POK with a terrorist group but he soon escaped and even surrendered himself to BSF. Since then he was continuously detained and forced to work as a spy which he denied. I do not favor the Human Rights Organizations who consider Capital Punishment as inhumane. No I don’t. The cliff hanger question is �" Was he framed? Was he an anti national a terrorist? We do not know what really happened. But if the evidences and these facts are speaking the truth then the day he was hanged democracy was stabbed in its heart. This present scenario of events also help us to understand Kashmir’s perspective towards India. Here is what a Kashmiri student who is not a JNU student has written about the anti national “slogans” on his facebook wall, after hearing them on YouTube:

“Let me do the “DECONSTRUCTION” not Derridian but ‘Kashmiri deconstruction’ of the slogans that have become so controversial.


Bharat for a Kashmiri young men and women who were born in 1990s and after means Indian Military Establishment. The representative image of Indian state is always, Men-in-uniform-with-weapons.

BARBADI is used in the same lexicon as it’s used by different organizations in India. It means end to the military occupation of Kashmir.

JANG means struggle, whether peaceful, Gandhian, Marxian, Gramscian or violent depends on your interpretation of the word.

I hope it leads to some clarity. Anyways it might be a ‘fringe’ slogan in spaces like JNU but it’s a ‘mass’ slogan in Kashmir.

2. AZADI: The word AZADI, which is the most confusing word for ‘Indians’. Let me simplify it for you. It’s not a seditious slogan nor is it secessionist. AZADI as a slogan is historically, socially, culturally, conceptually and principally rooted in the principle of Right to Self Determination of people belonging to a region occupied by two nation-states identified as Kashmir.

Let me add more, Azadi is a synonym of Resistance and has a very deep aspirational value attached to it

Afzal’s case is not a sole one. There are many individuals out there . Mohammad Amir is one such individual . Picked/Kidnapped from the streets of old Delhi at night was framed by Police in 17 cases as a convict of 1998 Bombay Blasts. He was kept in custody for 8 days without any information to his relatives. It took him 14 years to prove his innocence. Intelligence agencies in India are also not accountable to Parliament hence autonomous thus there is no record of what happens behind closed doors. For instance, Ravindra Kaushik , a man who worked as a RAW agent in Pakistan from the time he was 23 years old, was finally caught and died in a Pakistani jail. He is neither celebrated as a hero nor a shaheed. He is a victim of state financed diplomacy and oppression. We need to stop looking at this problem superficially and penetrate deeper into the abnormalities of the system. Why Kashmiri youth do not see India as their motherland but a Military Establishment? The answer lies within this very political establishment. Do not let these glasses of caste, religion and state blur your vision. Patriotism is a sentiment an emotion called love and if it’s destructive then it’s anything but love. Love liberates your soul and your speech never suffocates you. William Shakespeare beautifully puts it : “Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind and therefore is winged cupid painted blind”. A country progresses through nurturing the critical ideas. An idea has to be confronted with an idea not an FIR or a chargesheet. This is the zest of democracy.

© 2017 Priyanka Sharma

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Added on August 23, 2017
Last Updated on August 23, 2017
Tags: politics, terrorism, kashmir, nationalism, afzal guru, extrajudicial killings