Stories about Afzal Guru

Today, India is not what it was before he won the elections

Is India paying the price for electing Narendra Modi as its prime minister? I ask this question regularly because since Modi assumed office in Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been hurtling the country from one controversy to another. An atmosphere of fear has been created where any opposition to majoritarian politics is termed anti-national and the questioning of the government’s divisive agenda invites counter protests and blame for vitiating the atmosphere of the country. The state, therefore, has created enemies out of its own citizens by labelling them liberals, seculars, freethinkers and religious minority. The current controversy involving New Delhi based Jawaharlal Nehru ...

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The new found friendship of Mufti Sarkar, Kashmir and Pakistan

In his first tenure as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed contrived a healing-touch policy. This policy revolves around Kashmiri victims of abuse who require healing. It also considers Kashmiris as an alienated segment from India and therefore requires to be integrated into society. Considered as a “soft-separatist” political party, a narrative constructed by the media, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been instrumental in pacifying not only scores of youth, but have also been successful in involving many journalists, activists and academics in the party fold. In his second innings, Mufti appears to be trying to take his integrationist ...

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Kashmir protest: Is India in denial?

The controversial hangings of two Kashmiris inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail, in less than three decades at crucial junctures of Jammu and Kashmir’s political history (1984 and 2013), may have satisfied the collective conscience of the Indian nation but has ended up further distancing and alienating a majority of Kashmiris from the idea of India. Only five years after the hanging of Mohammad Maqbool Butt, founder of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), in Tihar on February 11, 1984, a popular anti-India armed uprising broke out in restive Jammu and Kashmir. The second execution was of Mohammad Afzal Guru, on February 9, 2013. ...

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Sarabjit and Sanaullah: Politics over murders

The murder of Indian spy Sarabjit Singh inside Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan, the dastardly attack on Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah inside a Jammu jail and the foul manner in which the politicians of the two countries and especially electronic media whipped up the rhetoric, calling for the two nuclear armed countries to snap the ties after Sarabjit died, is a matter of grave concern and speaks a lot about the fragility of peace. More than just baying for each other’s blood -which has become a pattern for patriotism driven, hyper-nationalistic people- these two incidents reflect the existential threat posed by ...

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Afzal Guru: How India made a militant out of a med-student

Afzal Guru was hung on Saturday. As predicted, the Indian political fraternity and intelligentsia not only welcomed, but applauded the development. They saw it as a culmination of the legal process-the law of the land taking its due course. News channels repeatedly telecasted the footage of the attacks on the Indian parliament as if to convince themselves and their viewers that justice had finally been served. To borrow the words from the Supreme Court judgment, “the collective conscience of the nation” has been satiated. On the other hand, the reaction in Kashmir has been the polar opposite. Emotions resembling anguish, pain, desperation ...

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