For almost all his life Azam Inquilabi has been ardent separatist. His tryst with the “resistance movement” started much early in his life. At 18 he was arrested for the first time (in 1965) and since then has been arrested many times and languished in prisons for around seven years cumulatively.
The 65-year-old has written many booklets and is considered a fatherly figure among the separatist leadership. Though lacking the charisma of a Syed Ali Geelani or mass following like other leaders, he has been a respected figure among the separatists. Crossing the LoC and picking up the gun at fourty-three indicates his belief in his ideology. Well, he claims to have crosses the LoC eight times. Once in 1968. He became the first chief of the United Jihad Council at Muzaffarabad in 1990-91. After his return a few years later he joined the “political movement” and became part of the Hurriyat Conference as head of his Mahaz-e-Azadi party.
However, he never got to the centre stage. May be he never tried to. All his life he has sort of lied low. But whenever there has been a time to take a stand, he has stood up.
After Prof Bhat’s statement of “irrelevance” of UN resolutions on Kashmir rocked the Hurriyat (M), many political analysts had predicted the deepening of fissures within the separatist conglomerate. The supporters of Nayeem Khan and Shabir Ahmad Shah clashed with supporters of Prof Abdul Ghani Bhat and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. Later Hurriyat (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar issued show cause notice to Inquilabi, Professor Bhat and Nayeem Ahmad Khan and suspended them temporarily as part of disciplinary action against them.
Azam Iquilabi chose to resign from the amalgam, giving a jolt to Hurriyat (M). Mohammad Azam Inquilabi in a statement said the issuance of the show cause notice forced him to quit the Hurriyat forum. Inquilabi said that he has been punished for no fault of his adding that he has been forced to distance from the forum of Hurriyat Conference.
“Prof. Abdul Gani Bhat converted Hurriyat Conference into a controversial platform due to his controversial role during the past few weeks. The controversial role of Prof. Bhat along with the lack of action against him has forced me to distance from Hurriyat Conference. Prof. Bhat should have been punished for his anti-movement outpourings, but nothing like that happened thus forcing me to quit the Hurriyat forum,” said Inquilabi.