He Showed his Resistance

BY SHERU

His wife’s expected date of delivery fell on the birthday of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.  He did not like it. He did not want his baby on what he called an inauspicious day. According to him, the leader who was born on December 5, 1905 failed his people and landed them in trouble.

He has a long explanation to offer to justify a decision he took while admitting his wife to the hospital for delivery.

The doctors told him that delay could prove fatal for the baby as well as the mother. But he did not budge.  He wanted them to deliver the baby on December 6 instead of 5. And surprisingly, the doctors agreed. The baby was born on December 6.

Sometime later, he created a major controversy by contesting the official date of birth of the Sher-e-Kashmir. He got a certificate from an old school where the leader had received his primary education.   A news report on the issue shook the National Conference – an organization the Sher-e-Kashmir founded.  According to the report, the Sheikh was not born on December 5, 1905.

On December 5, 2013, there was follow-up to the news report, which only deepened the controversy. The report quoted the Sher-e-Kashmir’s biographer, MY Taing, who not only contested the leader’s official date of birth but also the school record. He said that research for the biography had taken him to the Sher-e-Kashmir’s elder brother who, according to Taing, was furious and told him that the National Conference was out to turn the Sher-e-Kashmir into a prophet.  Taing said that the Sheikh was actually born on January 29, 1903. Interestingly his book on the Sher-e-Kashmir’s life, Aatish-e-Chinar, makes no mention of his date of birth.

The news reports on the august date of birth won acclaim, and went viral, rather for deepening the controversy about the Sheikh.  But somewhere deep in his heart, Sheru’s friend regrets the decision that endangered the life of his baby and wife.  What did he want to prove by deferring the date of delivery?

But then, this is how the sentiment has survived for more than sixty years.   Sheru has another friend whose grandfather had urged him to light a candle on his grave when Kashmir becomes Pakistan. His wish apparently did not help Pakistan but it did pass on the sentiment to the next generation.   This, too, is resistance, and Sheru’s friend showed his by delaying the arrival of his baby by one day! This definitely will not go un-noticed. The future historian will make a mention of it to show coming generations how Kashmiris offered resistance.

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