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Revisiting April 4, 1979

Revisiting April 4,  1979
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Arshid Aziz*

Let’s celebrate 4th April as “a day of forgiveness” and make it a symbol of persistence.

4th April is an important day in the history of conflict ridden state of J&K. This day takes us back to the history and reminds the year 1979. It narrates the tale of woe.

In the words of Charles Dickens; “ It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair”

De facto Jamaat-e-Islami came into being in 1941 with the noble cause of the “Establishment of the Islamic System of Life” governed by the Quran and the Sunnah. It faced many trials and tribulations since its establishment. Time tried to weaken it and gusty winds wanted to shake it, but in vain. It proved its stand and remained persistent and committed to its goal. This day gives unambiguous message to those who thought that, after 4th April 1979, Jamaat will be eradicated from Kashmir.

On 4th April when news broke out that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto has been executed by General Zia-ul- Haq, in no time, paradise changed into hell and rioting started at a supersonic speed.  Jamaat members were attacked , their houses were damaged and looted by their own people. The irony was that, Bhutto was killed in Pakistan but Kashmir was made Kabristan (graveyard). There is a need to understand, what was the fault of Jamaat in Kashmir? They were not responsible for Bhutto’s execution, then why they were treated as sinners. Now the question arises, was this rioting spontaneous or it was pre-planed? Some political analysts are of the view that 4thApril was a deep rooted conspiracy against Jamaat and was politically motivated. It raises questions, the way state administration played its role during the rioting. It is open secret that something was behind the curtain. Stage was staged before the doleful theatre was staged. It was Sheikh Abdullah regime who was responsible for this bloody mess.

4th April was the matter of sustenance of Jamaat. Two senior members of Jamaat were martyred namely Mohd. Akbar Lone (Sopore) and Abdul Rehman (Anantnag) and “the property destroyed was estimated nearly 40 crore with 1245 residential houses set ablaze, 466 of them looted, 338 shops gutted, 513 granarces burnt, 70 Apple orchards destroyed, 509 cow sheds blazed down and 24 Jamaat offices destroyed” (Tehreek-e-Islami, Volume 2 by Aashiq Kashmiri).

Besides, 45 Jaamat run schools, 683 libraries and 10 mosques were destroyed during the rioting. It is very unfortunate that the copies of the Tafheemul Quran (Interpretation of holy Quran by Syed Abul Aala Maudoodi) were desecrated in every nook and corner of the valley.

Although 4thApril jumped out at Jamaat and tried to knock down it. But the Islamic movement kept its foot on ground and. Obviously Jamaat is a slow walker, but it never walked back.

Allama Iqbal has put it nicely, “jhapatna, palatna, palat kar japatana, lahoo garam rakhne ka hai ek bahana”, meaning ” to swoop, withdraw and swoop again, is only a pretext to keep up the heat of the blood”

Alfred Tennyson’s verses also suits best, “Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will, To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”

Last but not least, Jamaat showed great courage, determination and mettle in times of trials and tribulations especially on 4th April. May be in future some untoward will happen, the leadership of Jamaat should be all set to face it. Let’s celebrate 4th April as “a day of forgiveness” and make it a symbol of persistence. Let us all sing with revolutionary poet, Shelly, “If winter comes can spring be far behind”

*Author is studying at University of Kashmir and can be reached at arshidshah.uk@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Oracle Opinions.

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