JAMMU: July is eventful month for the Congress. A month, full of mourning, brooding and wailing for its leaders, essentially from the Kashmir Valley but might be for the second fiddled bunch of Jammu sycophants as well. The party observed July 5 as Black Day in protest against the passage of a Resolution on the implementation of GST in Jammu and Kashmir. By feeling ‘blackened’, the Congress virtually sided with soft-separatist National Conference and secessionists. It is a huge turnaround for the so-called national party that has reduced itself to just a small 44 seater-bus load.
With 5th July a day of the past now, the Congress is now observing ‘Martyrs’ Day on 8th July-the death anniversary of dreaded but glamourised terrorist Burhan Wani, whom former Pradesh Congress President Saif-ud-Din Soz described today as a “symbol” of militancy in the border State. While glorifying Burhan and seeking dialogue with terrorists, Prof Soz forgot that Indian nation had to suffer severely after releasing five terrorist commanders in lieu of his abducted daughter Nahida Soz. Who knows how many innocents and security personnel might have been killed by these commanders. But that matters least for pseudo secular leaders like Soz, who told a television channel, “Burhani Wani should have stayed alive so that I could have had a dialogue with him. I would have explained to him that Kashmir can become a strong bridge of friendship between India and Pakistan and he (Wani) could also be of help (in achieving it). But he is dead now.”
One wonders as to what is the take of Congress leaders from Jammu on the observations of Soz. They will have to explain whether they subscribe to the Martyr Day on 13th July, which their party has been observing for the past nearly seven decades.
But, as most of the Jammu Congressmen are ignorant about history, they should know the sequence of events of 13th July 1931. Of late, this day has assumed wider dimensions with the Kashmiri separatists remaining in the forefront to pay tributes to the martyrs, not only of 1931 but who have ‘sacrificed’ their lives till date for the freedom struggle of Kashmir. For them the 1931 sacrifices were not against the autocratic rule or fighting for the people’s rule, say democracy, in Jammu and Kashmir but it was the beginning of the freedom movement for seeking ‘liberation from the clutches of foreign occupation’ (in this case India). How they perceive the Martyr Day is reflected from the theme being disseminated by the All Party’s Hurriyat Conference, ‘Azad’ Kashmir, saying, “As many as 21 Kashmiris sacrificed their lives for the supreme cause of freedom for Kashmir from the foreign occupation on this particular day. The APHC pays tributes to them and reiterates the pledge to continue the struggle till the goal of liberation is achieved”. The same is the theme line of the APHC on this side of Kashmir as well. It may be because of this reason that some separatists have either been held in preventive detention or put under house arrest by those who too are observing 13th July as a Martyr Day.
There are different versions on what happened on 13th July in Kashmir but the central point remains generally the same as has been put in by a Kashmiri centric author in a write up, which reads: “In Srinagar, people gathered in Jamia Masjid to denounce this incident. One such get-together was held in Khankah-e-Muella Srinagar, which was addressed by prominent Kashmiris. When the meeting concluded, a youth, Abdul Qadeer, pointing his finger to the Maharaja’s palace, raised slogans “destroy its every brick”. With the accusation of sedition, he was arrested forthwith. Abdul Qadir was to be tried in the court but due to large public resentment, the court was shifted to Central Jail Srinagar. On 12th July, 1931, in response to the shifting of court, intense public protests were held throughout the city”. According to various other reports, the next day, on 13th July, 1931, thousands of people thronged the Central Jail Srinagar to witness the in-camera trial of Abdul Qadeer. They indulged in highly provocative manner. In this way, 22 Kashmiris were reportedly killed.
Interestingly, 13th July is also being observed by Kashmiri Hindus (not just Kashmiri Pandits but Hindus belonging to Muzaffarabad, Punjab and Jammu as well) as Black Day, as they feel that this day in 1931 marks the beginning of the first organised genocide of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir. Besides performing Tarpan at Akhnoor Ghat and observing Shradh in memory of those killed in 1931 July, the survivors and witnesses of the 1931 massacre keep narrating the horror tales of this day in village Kanikote in Budgam, Maharajganj and Vicharnag in Srinagar allegedly by the Muslim Conference, now rechristened as National Conference.
What Jammu Congressmen have to say on July…the month of mourning for the party?
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