The morning newspaper of 21st July brought a sad news. Shabir Salaria, Former advocate General of the State & M.P had passed away, the previous day at the age of 83. Ina lillahi wa ina illahi rajaoon.
Many persons have since expressed their grief and condolences to the bereaved family. Among them are leaders & stalwarts of National conference & People democratic party, the two political parties responsible for salaria’s death long ago, metaphorically if not literally. The grief expressed by these two parties is, only perfunctory & ritualistic.
Why I say so?
Shabir Salaria was barely 13, when his immediate & extended family of 35 members were massacred before his eyes by the RSS thugs & marauders in Jammu in 1947 . He miraculously escaped the murderous attack but was evicted from his home in an injured condition, to be occupied by the predators patronized by Mahraja’s administration. Even medical aid or stay in hospital was refused to this child which speaks volumes about the conditions prevailing in Jammu at that time.
In utter panic & confusions he opted to migrate to Pakistan. Not finding a seat in the first Kafila of around ten thousand people, he waited for the second one to leave the next day. The buses & vehicles which took the first Kafila, returned much before the expected time and it soon became clear what had happened to them. Mahraja’s army duly supported by Patiala forces had mounted their machine guns on vintage points on Jammu-Samba Road. When the Muslim Kafila approached nearby, the Machine guns were emptied on unsuspected people. RSS thugs providing logistic support to the army came rushing from hidden places to loot the valuables of dead, rape & abduct women surviving the carnage.
On the instructions of Bhakshi Ghulam Mohd., the tween salaria was brought to Srinagar, wherefrom started his long & arduous journey to first become a law graduate, then rose from ranks to become advocate General & then a member of Parliament .
You must be wondering how National conference is responsible for the metaphorical death of Shabir Salaria? My explanation is simple. Can a tween child be said to be alive in any sense of term when 35 dead bodies of his family are lying scattered before him? If the answer is no-then Child Shabir was killed long ago in 1947. And when the carnage was in progress, Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah wielded much authority both as the tallest leader as well as the chief emergency administrator of the State. The Muslim Conference leaders from Jammu, notably Chowdhary Ghulam Abbas, Allah Rakha Sagar, Chowdhary Abdul Hamid were languishing in Jails. From Jail, Abbas sent repeated messages to Abdullah to take effective steps to prevent the mayhem in Jammu and even suggested some ways to do it. All accounts & eyewitnesses suggest that Abdullah turned a blind eye to the carnage just for political & personal reasons. Abbas’s daughter was abducted by Sanghis and recovered after few years from an army camp. Chowdhary Hamid’s two sons were massacred in broad daylight and he later died in a mentally deranged condition looking for his sons. In March 1948, Abdullah became Prime Minster of the state with unfettered powers. His administration didn’t try even a single actor involved in the bloodbath & mayhem. Instead the directors & supervisors of the massacre were rewarded with promotions & Plum postings.
Coming to the other political party i.e PDP, less said the better. Elected to power to keep RSS/BJP at bay, its patron Mufti Mohd. Syed embraced the same people & ideology which was responsible for genocide of Muslims in 1947. It’s one of the Minsters is on record to have said that RSS has a right to be in Jammu & Kashmir. This arrangement conferred a fair degree of legitimacy on the people who endorse and propagate the evil ideology of RSS.Is there any surprise then when a Minster of the ruling coalition taunted a delegation of Jammu Muslims with a derogatory rant-‘Tum ko 1947 yad Nahi hey Kya’?
Shabir Salaria- Rest in peace-Though your killers are still around
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)