The May 21, 1990 assassination – assault on Kashmiriyat

J K News Today special

 The  assassination of Moulvi Mohammad Farooq  on this day – May 21, in 1990 was the beginning of the emergence of the dark forces that have crippled Kashmir and its ethos with the bloodletting. This assassination  was an extension of the designs of anti-Kashmir machinations from across the border in Pakistan that  have never reconciled to the distinct ethos of the people of Kashmir who love peace, communal harmony and strive to live beautifully in the beautiful land that God has blessed them with.

May 21, 1990  was the day when the Mirwaiz Moulvi Farooq , unsuspecting of  any motive of  his would be assassins, allowed them to be ushered into his study. He shook hands with them before they pumped bullets into the body of the great religious scholar. The killers were militants and everyone knew it, but even after the assassination of the tallest leader in Kashmir at that time, no one came forward to tell who the killers were. Such a fear pervaded the atmosphere. That air is forebodingly hovering over still in the horizon, and those who did it in 1990 , are still active in Kashmir.

Who was the Mirwaiz Moulvi Mohammad Farooq . Let certain things be  clear : He was a religious scholar and had the clear understanding of his religion . He also had a very clear reading of pulse of the people , and he knew that that there were forces that were seeking to use religion to exploit Kashmiris. It was in this context, that he rejected all the offers and overtures to join the Muslim United Front that was formed to rally the radical elements in the Kashmiri society to set up what they called “Nizam-e-Mustafa” or Islamic rule in Kashmir. This is a fact that the Mirwaiz in 1986-87  ahead of the 1987 Assembly pols was urged to join the MUF and  those who visited him that time had offered to make him Chief Minister  if the Muslim  United Front or MUF would come to power. But he chose to stay away from such an extremist combination in which the people from other faith had no place. Then, he was opposed to the idea of using religion for exploiting the religious sentiments for the political ends and that too at the behest of the foreign powers.

After all, the Mirwaiz who was a decedent of those who had prayed for the safety of Kashmiri Pandit Amarnath pilgrims when the weather turned foul , could never reconcile with the extremist forces. His elder had seen the weather turning bad  at the time when Amarnath pilgrimage  was on – in those days Amarnath yatra used to be for a limited period and mostly Kashmiri Pandits would undertake the mountainous journey to pay obeisance at the shrine of lord Shiva located in Himalayas in Kashmir. He got worried , and he  took time off from his family and offered special prayers for the safety of the pilgrims .This was the legacy  of the communal harmony  that the Mirwaiz Moulvi Mohammad Farooq.

He was the man who gave a call for three-day shut down  to mourn the death of the Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when she was assassinated by her guards. Indira was responsible for the dislodging of a duly elected government of the Farooq Abdullah , and the Mirwaiz had helped National Conference in the polls , but despite that he showed an extraordinary courage to call the mourning for three days and Kashmir observed the shutdown in the memory of their daughter- Indira Gandhi . Indira was having Kashmiri Pandit lineage.

Today, when he is remembered all this comes to mind. All that he represented  was real “Kashmiriyat” and that was under threat  at the time of his murder and now it is under greater threat.

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