Maqbool Butt: The symbol of supreme sacrifice

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By: Azam Inqilabi

Protomartyr Maqbool Butt was 46 when he, on Feb. 11-1984 (Saturday), achieved his cherished objective of martyrdom in Tihar Jail Delhi. The resistance icon Maqbool was in absolute trance and communion with God Almighty when he was gibbeted at 7.30 a.m. Analysts will continue to anatomize the metaphysical aspect of his dynamic personality. Dialecticians will certainly delve deep into the dynamics of his exemplary struggle as a conscientious and committed patriot of Kashmir. In Maqbool’s case voluntarism and determinism remained ambivalent and concomitant in determining the course of resistance he was destined to adopt as fatalistic ordainment. Maqbool’s consequentialism made him tread the hazardous path of adventurism with volition and prudence. Maqbool’s intuitivism would make him oscillate between introversion and extroversion. He was, in fact, an ideal ambivert who, in moments of solitude, would meditate for communion with his God and, in moments of political crises, would subjectively assert to emphasize his idealistic objective. He was an overzealous expeditionist whose will and resolve always entailed risk and uncertainty. Yet his heart was tranquil. He did not vacillate or waver when, in moments of adversity, even friends would fall off and skedaddle.

Elegant and graceful Maqbool would bewitch and fascinate anybody who had an occasion to interact with him; and concourse and congruency of ideas of the two would become vividly palpable. Maqbool the highbrow with scintillating brain, mystic vision and militant disposition would become cynosure for the people who would surround him during his scholarly expatiation and prolix. His scholastic dialectics would always have an indelible imprint on the mind of his admirers. He believed that high profile resistance movement of freedom zealots of Kashmir valley would eventually and inevitably coax and cajole their compatriots across the LOC to adopt a proactive role on the auxiliary resistance front. All Kashmiris vail their hats off to Maqbool Butt for his supreme sacrifice. All the factors   Maqbool’s innate urge to merge with Absolute Truth, his ardent pursuit of the objective of Azadi and tantalizing Kashmir-centric politics of India and Pakistan ultimately crescendoed and culminated in his martyrdom. Posterity will eulogize, acclaim and preconize Maqbool as the enviable icon of resistance movement. Now protomartyr Maqbool is indisputable pinnacle of prominence and prestige.

It was the overbearing and domineering demeanour of Indian rulers which enticed and allured them to act in haste with jackbooted and dictatorial arrogance to create unjustified and unwarranted concatenation of events Mathre’s murder in London and Maqbool’s case of incarceration. This administrative brinkmanship of Delhi liege lords boomeranged. Kashmiris felt humiliated, offended, infuriated and, in fact, instigated and fulminated to resort to violence en masse in 1988. History, under the law of retribution, avenged mysteriously. Youth of Kashmir valley, especially the freedom votaries of Maqbool Parivar, opted for insurgency; and their resilience and invincibility imparted lasting vigour and valour to the resistance movement. Today Kashmir political resistance movement is a force to be reckoned with. Hurriyat Conference ideally epitomizes the impregnability and indefatigability of our resistance movement.

Supreme court of India, while displaying judicial impulsiveness by overlooking the lawyers’ appeal to have reappraisal of the whole case Maqbool Butt had been implicated in, superciliously rejected the mercy appeal of the victim and obtruded to ratify the death sentence. Maqbool, immured within the four walls of the cell in Tihar jail, remained languishing there for long eight years. Maqbool was a staunch proponent of Kashmiris’ inalienable and immutable right to self-determination. He faced all the trials and tribulations with perseverance and patience. He, with unflinching faith in God Almighty, remained steadfast in his stand and stance like a rock. He did not budge. So every freedom votary of Kashmir would want to emulate his style of resolve, determination and grit and guts especially when the situation at the crossroads of history is exacting. Toadies and sycophants who are always poised to skulk, funk and flit will not be allowed to act as mole within the resistance movement. Every freedom zealot is on the qui vive. Reminiscences related to Maqbool will arouse every indolent Kashmiri from the slumber.

Kashmiris felt dejected, traumatized and crestfallen due to Simla Agreement of 1972 and Indira – Abdullah accord of 1974. However the highly indoctrinated freedom zealots including M. Maqbool Butt and Sofi Muhammad Akbar rejected these “agreements” and vowed not to waive their right to self-determination. They raised hue and cry against the defeatism and escapism of the Plebiscite Front leaders. They were vociferous in declamation against these detestable and ignominious agreements. And Maqbool Butt, the undaunted resistance warrior, again darted into Kashmir valley in May 1976 to rope in the revolutionaries of Kashmir for a decisive revolt and insurrection against the Indian stranglehold. He reinvigorated the distraught and desponded people to such an extent that thousands of youth made up their mind to follow in the footsteps of their chivalrous leader Maqbool (Sher-i-Trehgam). And thus thousands of Kashmiris laid down their precious lives for the cause célèbre right to self-determination.

It is unfortunate that Indian rulers, due to their chauvinistic and fascist mindset, continue to exhibit intransigence and obduracy on Kashmir front. They, through all modes of skullduggery, shenanigans and prevarication, want to checkmate the chances of peaceful and honourable settlement of Kashmir issue. Politics of polemics, recrimination, imprecation, procrastination, temporization and dilatory detour cannot de-escalate the volatile situation on LOC. And ultraism with all its inherent potential to wreak havoc will continue to pose a challenge. Kashmir is, in fact, a fuse in the tinder-box of South Asia. Then, are we inadvertently prioritizing belligerency and awaiting a nuclear holocaust?

Kashmiris feel disillusioned and disenchanted with the murky Indo-Pak peace process; and their hope and optimism flickers creating an ambience of consternation and trepidation. Your “atoot-ang” mantra and monomania is nothing but travesty of truth and a fallacy. India and Pakistan, the two nuclear powers engaged in blame game, are dodging each other through every sort of gambit. Are Kashmiris an expendable pawn in your tug-of-war for one-upmanship? And in the presence of sadistic pastime of headhunting your clamour of democracy in Kashmir is mere braggadocio and fanfaronade. We will continue to remind you of the solemn pledge (vachan) made by Pt. Jawahirlal Nehru to allow a referendum and plebiscite in Kashmir to determine the political future of Kashmir. We empathize and identify ourselves with the protomartyr Maqbool Butt and other six lakh Kashmiri martyrs including Gen. Ashfaq Majeed Wani, Shamsul Haq, Moulvi Mohammad Farooq, Kh. Abdul Gani Lone, Maqbool Malik, Dr. Qazi Nisar, Maulana Showkat Ahmad, Jaleel Andrabi, Dr. G. Q. Wani, Advocate Hissamud-deen, Dr. Guru, Dr. Ashai and Maqbool Ilahi. In Kashmir every Indian soldier is keen to act as Gen. Dyer hell-bent on orchestrating the episode of Jallianwalla Bagh massacre. How can we condone the barbaric crimes of those who killed 52 innocent people at Gawkadal on Jan. 21-1990, over fifty citizens at Sopore on Jan. 6 -1993, 26 civilians at Handwara on Jan. 25 – 1990 and 27 inhabitants of Kupwara on Jan. 27 – 1994?

OIC, the organization of Islamic Countries, should realize that it can play an effective and decisive role in global politics only when it assumes the form of a superstate like European Union. Supranationalism should supersede the localized national identity. Revival of Caliphate should be the prime objective of the Muslim world. Confraternity of Muslim countries should assert for guaranteeing sectarian harmony through emphasis on nonconformism and eclecticism. And technophilic research should be prioritized if at all you are averse to subservience in the arena of global activism. Why should you play the second fiddle in the global theatre? OIC should be proactive in its diplomatic peripateticisim to facilitate an early peaceful and honourable settlement of Kashmir issue. Remember that even fractional reduction in your oil export to India can serve the purpose of a perfect psychological siege and blockade which will in turn constrain the Indian rulers to review Kashmir policy objectively and realistically.




M. Azam Inqilabi

Nageen, Hazratbal



JK Mahaz-e-Azadi.

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