Poison will reach other places as well: Tarigami

Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami.

Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami.   | Photo Credit: Aadesh Choudhary

“Kashmir is expendable, but this is just the beginning. The poison will reach other places as well,” Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, a four-time MLA from Kashmir’s Kulgam district and leader of Communist Party of India (Marxist), said in Mumbai on Sunday.

He tore into the Central government for claiming to have restored normalcy in Kashmir, but expressed faith in the youth. Mr. Tarigami was speaking with journalist and author Raghu Karnad at a session titled ‘What’s happening in Kashmir’ as part of Mumbai Collective.

The CPI (M) leader was the first political leader from Kashmir to hold a press conference after the removal of Article 370, and along with others, moved the Supreme Court against it.

Describing the run-up to Article 370 being scrapped, Mr. Tarigami said, “Suddenly, one day they shut down the Amarnath Yatra, told the tourists to leave. The BJP had called for a meeting of its senior leaders in Delhi and we knew something was wrong. All political leaders of Kashmir met on August 4. That same night, the phone lines were disconnected. After that, we did not know what happened in the outside world. But [the Narendra] Modi government has done something that brought our youth out of slumber and I thank him for that. I am a Kashmiri Muslim, my religion did not teach me to discriminate. ‘Mazhab nahi sikhata, apas me bair rakhna’.”

Speaking on the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India, he said, “We rejected the appeal of Muslim Pakistan back then, chose Hindustan. The Hindu Maharaja was reluctant to go with India and Gandhiji also did not side with him. But when Pakistan sent militants, we said, ‘No, we will not go by force’.”

Mr. Tarigami said Kashmir was annexed to India after negotiations for five months, based on certain guarantees. “The Constituent Assembly argued and passed [Article] 370 for Kashmir, the [article] that was buried on August 5. On August 5, you broke the heart of every Kashmiri. Back then, we made a relationship with secular India. They are claiming normalcy in Kashmir and that not a single bullet has been fired. But look at the bullets fired in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. We will ask you for hisab (answers), you will have to give it. Kashmir is expendable, but this is just the beginning. The poison will reach other places as well,” the CPI (M) leader said.

He lauded the courage of the youth and women leading protests in the country.

Replying to a question from an audience member about Kashmiri Pandits, Mr. Tarigami said, “I have no hesitation to say Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their houses out of fear. Even then I told the Governor these people have been driven out. Kashmir is their own house. The day they return, it will be like Eid or Mahashivratri.”

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 11:29:40 PM |

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