Geelani’s Autobiography

Sara Wani reviews the first volume of Syed Ali Geelani‘s autobiography, Wular Kinaray

Syed Ali Geelani
Syed Ali Geelani

Syed Ali Geelani’s autobiography Wular Kinaray (On the banks of Wular) is a story of a cute boy with dainty feet who walked 18 kilometres every day to seek knowledge. Often night moon accompanied him, leading him through darkness to his home, to the open arms of his anxiously waiting mother, ready to serve him super of black salt tea and a fistful of rice powder. Nothing seems to have dampened his passion for knowledge – neither his abject poverty nor tortuous and uneven path to the world of knowledge.

This little boy with angelic beauty sought and got what he deserved.

His parents yearning for a successful future for their beloved boy made them to send him away, as far away as Lahore, exposing most learned of men, the great historian Mohammad ud Fauq his insensitivity, selfishness and his failure to keep promise. The description of a 12-year-olds stay at Lahore as domestic help in the house of Fauq’s daughter pains a sensitive heart.

This boy’s another visit and four year stay at Lahore as a free soul groomed him for a role he was destined to play in future and which even his association with Maulana Mohammad Sayeed Masoodi, his patron and benefactor, his interaction with socialists could not change. The boy now a young adult, an educated employed man chose the ideology his heart and soul warmed up to.

Neither concessions nor urge for power and perks made this young man to change his path. Going through the pages of Wular Kinaray we come across a struggler, who is perhaps still struggling – this time for the people, he says, who want to lead to a life of dignity and peace. The book gives us some intimate details of his life.

It gives a picture of a perfect family man, a loving and responsible son, husband and father, who always struggled to give a better life to his family. It is an insight into the life of an organiser, a leader led by a conviction and a casteist obsessively protective of his lineage despite his faith in inna akramukum inda llahi atkakum.

A grateful person, Geelani all along revered Maoulana Masoodi throughout the first volume of his autobiography.

This struggler gives us detailed account of his activities as a Jamaat-i- Islami activist and leader, the blood and sweat shed by him in this path. His contribution to spread the ‘movement’ in north and south of this vale, his triumphs, failures, personal losses, and the sacrifices he offered willingly for a cause so close to his hear.

This volume seems just an appetizer for the major part of his career that actually started in 1971. It will be the next volume that will offer the firsthand account of the controversies that surrounded the man who is considered the last reference point of the separatist struggle. Bon App?tit.

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