SRINAGAR: Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman, Syed Ali Geelani on Monday called for a statewide shutdown on August 15, the 69th Independence Day of India.
“We are not against the freedom of any country including India but until this country will accept the right to be free of the Kashmiri people and will provide them a chance to decide their future by allowing independent plebiscite, till then it doesn’t have any moral and constitutional right to organise the freedom celebrations on the soil of this state,” Geelani said in a statement.
While appealing the teachers, students and their parents for completely boycotting the August 15 functions, the 85-year-old leader cautioned the government machinery “not to force” the teachers and students of the educational institutions to participate in these functions.
Geelani said that India itself attained freedom from British rule on August 15, 1947 and became an independent country but only after 72 days of its freedom, this country snatched the freedom rights of the Kashmiri people and “forcibly occupied this region by landing its troops on October 27 and since then the occupation continues.”
“This country merely on the basis of its military might is riding over the shoulders of the Kashmiri people and has snatched the freedom of millions of the people of this region,” Geelani said.
He said that Kashmiri nation, for the past 68 years, was continuously demanding that India should call back its forces and “give us a chance to decide our future.”
“It is purely a democratic demand and India has also promised to fulfill the demand on national as well as international levels but the country backtracked from its promises and is now busy in suppressing the genuine and just voices of the Kashmiri nation,” he said.
Geelani said that organizing its freedom celebrations on the soil of Kashmir in these situations was like rubbing salt into the wounds of the Kashmiris.
“India has no right to celebrate its freedom day on our land, and if anything like conscience is present among the leaders of this country, then they should immediately stop this process and these functions should be limited to their own country,” Geelani said.
The Hurriyat (G) chairman expressed his deep concern and sorrow over what he said that the government machinery was forcing the people particularly the teachers and students of the educational institutions to participate in the August 15 functions and “they are asked that the bonus marks given in the exams will not be granted to them in case of refusal.”
Geelani also expressed his dismay over the reports that in the name of the cultural programs the students of the educational institutions are “prepared to dance and sing in these functions to entertain the ministers and officers of the Indian armed forces.”
He appealed the parents that they should stop their children from participating in these functions. “It is totally against our national pride and our religious as well as social values that our daughters will dance in front of the unknown persons particularly in front of the men in uniform,” he said.
He also raised questions over the role of some teachers and lecturers who prepare the students for these functions.