It wouldn’t be the first or the last time in the history of mankind that a killer is freed or elevated to a position which in all likelihood he doesn’t deserve. The crowd has sometimes chosen to free Barbaras and instead crucify Jesus.It has been us the”Ashraf-ul-makhlooq” who chose to stone Hallaj to death.
So when India Today decided to invite Yasin Malik as a speaker in one of their sessions titled” Youth Forum - If I Could Change The World” they were only following what fellow human beings had done in the past. What however shocked me was this description (http://conclave.digitaltoday.in/2008/speakersprofile.html#mailik)
wherein they mentioned nothing of his pending TADA cases some indeed as shocking as kidnapping the then Union Home Minister’s daughter (which he has himself admitted to,read here, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/484093.cms ),
or killing 4 unarmed air-force officials. When someone recently asked him about the killings of 4 unarmed air-force officers who were waiting to board a bus, he blurted almost nonchalantly” The IAF personnel were not innocent victims. They were the agents of the 'enemy'.
(read here, http://www.rediff.com/news/1999/dec/13blood1.htm)
So was it fair to kill these personnel Mr.Malik? The answer in all likelihood meant YES.
Yet once again when a respected columnist and someone who runs an online periodical asked him this ,” I find it strange, because it was your organization JKLF that killed most of the innocent Kashmiri Pandits and yet the blame goes to the so-called fundamentalists.” he had no answer. What then prompted INDIA TODAY to call his so called movement a secular one?
When quizzed” But you are responsible for such killings as Chief Commander?
Malik’s answer was :No I am not… and I don’t want to talk about it further
Praveen Swami, writes in his column titled” J&K: Veils and Daggers – The Perils of India’s Secret Search for Peace “What did surprise observers was the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s choice of chief guest: the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) leader, Mohammad Yasin Malik. Ever since the JKLF renounced ‘armed struggle’ a decade ago, after its decimation at the hands of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Malik has repeatedly asserted on more than one occasion that he is committed to the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Malik has also claimed the JKLF’s struggle is ‘secular’, despite its past involvement in attacks on the Kashmiri Pandit community, while the Lashkar-e-Taiba makes no secret of its loathing for Hindus, Jews and other ‘unbelievers’.( http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/sair/Archives/4_31.htm)
Now if INDIA TODAY would have cared to know a little more about its “Youth Icon” they would have known that the man on board is a remorseless killer and a kidnapper who doesn’t mind sharing space with the most fanatic organisations like Lashkar.I am at my wits end trying to read what could have prompted INDIA TODAY to invite such a man to their conclave.Could it be that Yasin Malik a former terrorist and a dreaded man even now, may have a vision for India.Doesn’t his vision flow from the power of the AK-47 that he first brought to Kashmir.How could a multicultural Indian ethos draw its vision from a man whose entire philosophy has been based on hate.It was he and I remember vividly, when he shouted “Azadi Ka Matlab kya…and his followers responded La-illah Illalah”.If this is his vision for India I can only say”Ya Allah mujhe nijaat aise vision se ya maut de” and I am sure Yasin Malik is still capable of giving me death as he done to my fellow Kashmiri brethren in the past.
Is the sacred thread of secularism in India so fragile that it would have broken had Yasin Malik not been invited to this conclave. Let us for arguments’ sake accept that Yasin Malik has indeed given up us rogue ways and is now following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. Does it mean that we are condone his sins of past? Are we to simply press the delete button on and forget his sinful,ferocious and perverse past? Should there be no retribution for his sins? If Sanjay Dutt is to imprisoned time and again for having a Kalishnikov ,are we to accept that Yasin Malik is above the law. Don’t we all know it was he who brought guns and thus violence to Kashmir? Despite all his acrobatics he remains but a killer, an ordinary criminal on street.
There is no doubt that the government has been lax on its part in dealing with criminals like him. There still isn’t a charge-sheet for either his involvement in killings of IAF officers or for kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed. Even if he has changed sides now, as we are made to believe, isn’t the government trying to buy peace at a very high price. Sorry maybe I have lost plot but how different is the INDIA TODAY group from our sick government. How could it not read and know what this man’s past and even his present. When a local newspaper called Chattan wrote against him, he had them threatened and even their office destroyed. Murtaza Shibli writes in his description of him that,” He is known for his bad language - he swears and smokes regularly despite a heart condition”. Wouldn’t it be funny to say the least that in his fit of anger (probably a dirty baggage of his militant past, when he could get angry and kill ) he assaults Aditya Mittal much like he did to a much older and almost venerable Abdul Ghani Butt in a Hurriyat meeting.
I am appealing through this blog to the INDIA TODAY group to re-consider its decision to invite a remorseless killer, kidnapper and a terrorist to its conclave. His presence at their conclave would only blemish their spotless reputation as a responsible media house. It is also my humble request to the other speakers to raise their voice and refuse to share dais with a hardened criminal and a terrorist.
If anyone still has any doubts about his past,here is the BBC Hard Talk video,which leaves nothing to imagination.
In anticipation of sanity