Jiss dhajj say …
A Communist Party activist in India, having spent a decade in various jails around the country, has written his memoirs. Kobad Ghandy’s most interesting account in his recently published book is about Afzal Guru, the Kashmiri separatist who was convicted for his role in the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and hanged in Tihar Jail, Delhi, in 2013. He writes about Guru that “he had a knack for converting hot water into an excellent cup of tea”. He says Guru was “well informed” about world events, if not “scholarly”. Ghandy writes, “He introduced me to the Kashmir situation, Islam and its progressive aspects, and most importantly, Sufi thinking, in which he strongly believed”. The writer also reveals a romantic side to this so-called terrorist: “Once when he had access to someone’s mobile phone, I remember him singing ghazals on the phone to his wife, which continued for nearly an hour.”
Ghandy recounts the day Afzal Guru was hanged, “The staff was in tears on seeing his courage while going to the gallows. While he walked towards the phansi kothi from his cell, a 3 minute walk, he wished all the staff lined-up and asked the officers to take care of them. The staff respected him as he was not fanatical; he was highly disciplined, lived simply and was jovial.”
As Faiz Ahmed Faiz said, “Jiss dhajj say koi maqtal mein gaya, voh shaan salamat rehti hai.”
Our mole in London says that the now disgraced Quaid-e-Qiwam wants to return to politics. Apparently, the Quaid has sent appeals to his former followers in Karachi and Hyderabad, asking for “forgiveness”. He wants all of those, who are disappointed with the current “selected” leadership, to pardon his excesses and accept him once again as their leader. He is also trying to reach out to other political leaders to make common cause with them. He told our mole that he had called The Man of Steel to offer his condolences at his mother’s demise but was rebuffed. He also reached out to the leaders of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement but got no answer. He has sent them messages to say that he’s on the same page as them, but there’s no response. It will take a lot for the Quaid-e-Qiwam’s toxic brand to become kosher again.