MAQBOOL BUTT: THE PARAGON OF PATRIOTISM
By: Azam Inqilabi
Maqbool Butt, the charismatic resistance protagonist who hailed from Trehgam Kashmir, joined Plebiscite Front in 1955 as a student activist. Snooping and prying eyes of the intelligence sleuths forced him to go into hiding and remain engrossed in literary activities. He passed B.A. examination in 1958 and migrated to Pakistan where he joined Peshawar University for higher education. He acquired Master’s Degree in Urdu. He worked as sub-editor of the Urdu daily Anjaam for some years. For Maqbool journalism was, in fact, a hobby which he used as a launching pad for revolutionary political activities aimed at the liberation of Kashmir from Indian yoke.
In moments of meditation and introspection Maqbool’s introvertive and intuitive inquisition would coax and cajole him to adopt the course of revolutionary political activism for the liberation of Kashmir. So he joined Plebiscite Front Azad Kashmir in 1965; he subsequently launched the guerrilla organization NLF on Aug. 13, 1965 in league with his proud friend Major Amanullah at Peshawar. Pakistan, despite a heroic role in the Sept. war of 1965, could not facilitate a breakthrough in Kashmir stalemate and log-jam. However, the Pak guerrillas who created a flutter through their activities in Kashmir valley in Aug. 1965 under the scheme of Operation Gibraltar infused and imbued the young Kashmiri revolutionaries with hope and optimism. These revolutionaries decided to indigenize the armed resistance movement. Maqbool Butt, as a prescient and prudent guerrilla strategist, used to emphasize the guerrilla assertion through indigenous and endogenous resistance movement. He, with his scintillating brain and poignant soul, could foretell and prophesy what was beyond the comprehension of his many contemporary compatriots.
Maqbool Butt, the pioneer of the indigenous armed resistance campaign of Kashmiri freedom zealots, had an indwelt proclivity and propensity for intellectual dialectics and disputation. Incisive Maqbool would delve deep into history of Kashmir to identify the reverses and lapses of the national resistance movement of the votaries of freedom. Eventually Maqbool’s prudentialism and futuristic guerrilla manoeuvre persuaded him to take an initiative on the militant front. Thus Maqbool, the guerrilla strategist with patriotic enthusiasm and exquisite insight, co-opted Maj. Amanullah Khan, Aurangzeb and a few more colleagues for guerrilla adventurism and expedition in Kashmir.
The chivalrous doctrinist Maqbool and his colleagues darted into Kashmir valley in June 1966 to organize the young revolutionaries of Kashmir for stiff and sustained armed resistance. The group of overzealous adventurists had an encounter with armed personnel of India at Nadihal Baramulla on Sept. 14, 1966; Aurangzeb died as a martyr and Maqbool was arrested and lodged in interrogation centre Srinagar. Maj. Amanullah dodged the army and repatriated to Azad Kashmir. Here it is worthwhile to mention that Maj. Amanullah had played an important role in Kashmir guerrilla warfare of 1947. And Indian army had ransacked and burnt his houses at Haie Hama Kashmir. Notwithstanding the death sentence that was passed by the so-called special court on Aug. 17, 1968 Maqbool Butt, with exemplary fortitude and stoicism, remained busy, with dexterity and adroitness, in the clandestine mission to break the walls of confinement. Eventually, he along with his colleagues Meer Ahmad and Yaseen, succeeded in crawling through the improvised tunnel on Dec. 9, 1968. The adventurists, after traversing the mountain ridges and perambulating the inhospitable mountainous terrain of Kashmir reached Muzaffarabad on Dec. 25. Pak army and friends received them all with love and respect.
Sheikh Abdullah’s professed catholicity and commitment as a resistance leader became a casualty due to Shimla Agreement of 1972 and Indira-Abdullah accord of 1974. Kashmiris, therefore, felt disillusioned and disenchanted with Sheikh Abdullah for his political somersault, tergiversation and abject surrender. He dismantled the fortress Plebiscite Front and revived National Conference. Sheikh was arrested in 1953 as prime Minister of Kashmir. He felt contended with his demoted position when he was installed as the Chief Minister of Kashmir in 1975. Kashmiri revolutionaries felt astounded and shocked. However the traumatized freedom zealots resolved to resist the onslaught of India with added fervour and vigour. Maqbool Butt − who was a perfect apostle of patriotic commitment, steadfastness, perseverance and invincible courage and determination – decided to repatriate to Kashmir as a guerrilla commander to reinvigorate the resistance movement and rejuvenate the benumbed feelings and emotions of the Kashmiris who were feeling dejected and distraught due to the perfidious and traitorous role of the Plebiscite Front leaders except Sofi Muhammad Akbar and Advocate G. N. Hagroo.
Maqbool Butt, the paragon of patriotism and revolutionary zest and zeal, therefore, entered Kashmir valley along with equally resolute colleagues A. Hameed Butt and Riyaz Dar in May 1976. Indian imperialists felt jolted, jittered and, in fact, psychologically unhinged, shattered and battered due to Maqbool’s presence in Kashmir valley. Maqbool and his courageous colleagues were arrested on June 7, 1976 at Langate (Handwara Kashmir). Maqbool Butt was lodged in Tihar jail Delhi where he, in solitary confinement, would recite Holy Qur’an, prostrate and pronate in the court of Almighty Allah like an ascetic and hermit; he would often find himself engrossed and lost in meditation and introversion.
Maqbool Butt – the conscientious patriotic ideologue surcharged with exuberant and ebullient love for his homeland – faced trials and tribulations in his solitary confinement as well. He, without vacillating and wavering, remained wedded to his stand and stance as high profile freedom icon and doctrinist who used to derive inspiration and solace from Nimaz and Murakaba (meditation). He was an ideal monotheist averse to conformist mindset and fixation. In fact, eclectic dialectics and discourse was dear to him. He was a lover of Allama Iqbal and his puritan poetry. Supreme Court of India, instead of ostentatiously exhibiting judiciousness as custodian of democracy and humanism, displayed chauvinistic impulsiveness and superciliously rejected the mercy appeal of the victim of vandalism.
Thus authoritarian, despotic, ego-centric and fascistic imperialists of India became brash and rash in ordering the execution of the resistance supremo of Kashmir. Hanging of Maqbool Butt on Feb. 11, 1984 in Tihar jail Delhi was stark violation of the norms of justice. The episode was in contravention of the international law as well. However, the administrative hooliganism and rowdyism of the hubristic and haughty rulers of India boomeranged and backfired. Political backlash and whiplash was glaringly conspicuous when Gen. Ashfaq Majeed Wani and his proud colleagues blazed a trail by having recourse to brawn-assertion. Half a million Kashmiris attended the funeral procession of Ashfaq Majeed Wani when he was martyred on March 30, 1990 by the barbarian forces of India. His martyrdom marked the beginning of convulsive large scale uprising and upheaval in Kashmir.
Kashmiri young revolutionaries adopted the course of resilient resistance. Yes, it looked like a volcanic eruption when pent-up patriotic feelings and emotions exuded with cathartic implosion. That is how Maqbool’s hanging triggered off insurgency in Kashmir. And Syed Salah-ud-din, as successor doctrinist spearheading the armed resistance under the banner of UJC, is an epitome of patriotic subjectivity and existentialism. It was not a rhetoric when he, while addressing a press conference on Jan. 26, 2015 at Muzaffarabad, asserted like a warrior with indefatigable resolve and, without mincing words, said in categoric and emphatic tone and accent, “If Indian rulers do not divest themselves of the abhorrent intransigence and obduracy which hampers the efforts to find a peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue Kashmiri freedom zealots will wage a multi-dimensional war of attrition (Comprehensive Jihad) that will culminate in the ignominious discomfiture of India and its imperialism.”
Let Indian liege lords try to understand that Kashmiris have reposed trust in Allah Almighty in whose realm of governance billions and trillions of stars and planets adhere to the order of precision journey in their respective orbits. Earth, the space van gyrates around the sun with a speed of 29 km per second (i.e. 107632 km an hour). Can you manufacture a mountain size satellite which will revolve around the earth with only half of the speed of this space van? Even the joint technophilic research endeavour of ISRO and NASA will be a complete flop show and technological failure. Well, can your scientists present a graphic view of the galaxies and nebulae which adorn and embellish the universe? When you test a missile I murmur with sarcasm and satire – “Yes, your boys are playing with toys.” A country where 30 crore people are living a life of penury and destitution should not boast and brag. You are basically paranoiac sadists who relish the misery of Kashmiris when your unbridled armed forces go berserk and run amok in Kashmir thereby slaughtering and butchering the innocent people.
Remember that all Kashmiris are the metaphysical disciples of lord Arjun, Pandow supremo who fought a pitched battle against Koraws who had usurped and vandalized Pandows’ right to live a life of dignity and honour. Arjun’s rights movement has inspired Kashmiris. Kashmiris, as the ideological descendants of Martyr Syed Ahmad (of Balakote) and Protomartyr Maqbool Butt, will continue to tread the path of resistance. Allah Almighty will not leave us in the lurch. He will certainly come to our rescue. We pay obeisance to the six lakh martyrs of Kashmir including the iconic leaders Moulvi Farooq, Maqbool Malik, Kh. Abdul Gani Lone, Afzal Guru, Dr. Qazi Nisar, S. Hameed, Sheikh A. Aziz, Jaleel Andrabi, Moulana Shoukat, Shamsul Haq, Ashfaq Majeed Wani, Maqbool Illahi, Dr. G. Q. Wani, Adv. Hisamu-ud-din, Dr. Guru, Dr. Ashaie, Adv. A. Qadir Salaani, Prof. A. Ahad Wani. We identify ourselves with all the martyrs who fought for the liberation of Kashmir. Right to self-determination is our cherished cause célèbre.
Nawaz Sharief, the Pak Premier, while addressing the joint session of AJK Assembly on Feb. 5, 2015 (the Kashmir Solidarity Day), declared like a candid outspoken and straightforward political strategist in unambiguous and unequivocal parlance: “Peace in South Asia will be nothing but utopian and romantic dream unless India comes to the negotiating table for peaceful honourable and permanent settlement of Kashmir issue.” The message is loud and clear for the global pacifists who feel neither weary nor wary when they emphasize pacifism for global peace and tranquillity.
Muhammad Azam Inqilabi is Patron JK Mahaz-e-Azadi
Nageen, Hazratbal, Srinagar. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org