RIYAZ UL KHALIQ
Even as Indian capital of New Delhi is busy in celebration of Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) thumping victory in its legislative assembly elections, the discourse on Kashmir here seems to be a hot cake.
As Kashmir resumed its normal life on Thursday after observing death anniversaries of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat and against death of a youth, two universities in New Delhi discussed the Kashmir imbroglio.
Late Wednesday evening when Kashmir was shut in memory of Maqbool Bhat (JKLF Founder), students of Jawahar Lal University (JNU) in West Delhi organized a public meeting to discuss Kashmir’s Right to Self Determination.
“The Undying Spirit of Kashmir: The question of self-determination – a public meeting,” was organized by Democratic Students Union of JNU where in senior Professor at Delhi University Dr SAR Geelani spoke besides editor Arif Ayaz Parray and a scholar Uzma Falak, organizers said.
Prof SAR Geelani, one of the 2001 parliament attack convicts, in his address to the students narrated his association with Afzal Guru in jail and said, “Afzal told me that Azaadi is destiny of Kashmiris.”
“Prof Geelani explained the importance of Right to Self Determination to Kashmiris, and as how and when India promised same to people of Jammu and Kashmir quoting history of Kashmir dispute,” one of the students who attended the program said.
Arif Ayaz Parray, who is an editor with a Delhi based magazine, too addressed the students who had assembled in ‘Common Room’ of JNU’s Tapti Hostel besides Uzma Falak who spoke about martyrdom and mourning and also recited a poem.
The organizers of the event alleged that though JNU is known for its “accommodation, assimilation and freedom of expression” but to organize such a ‘pro-Kashmir’ program was not easy for them.
“ABVP sympathizers made it hard for us to assemble and organize this program,” one of the organizers said.
“They first tried to stop Prof Geelani from entering the venue and then they cut down the electricity of the hall in which the program was going on,” a student said adding, “It did not stop us, we used torches and the speaker did not stop too.” “We had to form a human chain to save Prof Geelani to save him from wrath of ABVP youth.”
Meanwhile, in South Delhi, Jamia Millia Islamia hosted screening of Sailabnama – documentary made by Kashmiri students during Kashmir Floods of 2014.
Directed by Qazi Zaid and Sheikh Saaliq, the film narrates the devastating tales of September Floods.
Pertinently, the duo was involved in voluntary rescue and relief operations during the floods.
“We didn’t go to Kashmir to make a film but we went to help our people stuck in floods. It was when we came back that we realized that we had a lot of footage that spoke on its own,” co-director of the film, Sheikh Saaliq said.
“The chaos that was there during the time is reflected in the film.”