A file photo of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on Friday.(PTI)
A file photo of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in an encounter in Anantnag district of south Kashmir on Friday.(PTI)

Burhan Wani: Better living than dead?

“He has gone to Allah,” Muzaffar Wani, the father of Burhan Wani, said before switching off his phone. Muzaffar was a proud father – a very proud one – when I met him at his village home in South Kashmir in October last year.
By Harinder Baweja | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 09, 2016 04:40 PM IST

“He has gone to Allah,” Muzaffar Wani, the father of Burhan Wani, said before switching off his phone. Muzaffar was a proud father – a very proud one – when I met him at his village home in south Kashmir in October last year.

In that meeting, we had discussed how his son, a brilliant student, had given up the comfort of his classroom and chosen to become a gun-wielding militant. The conversation is worth recalling.

So what is the main motto of Burhan and young boys like him?

Freedom from India. It’s not only his motto but everybody else’s. Even mine. Look at the current incident of beef ban where a truck driver was lynched in Jammu only because he was a Kashmiri, a Muslim. This has happened so many times before also. Beef is halal for us (Muslims), we sacrifice it, and they have banned it.

But isn’t it hard to win against the might of Indian Army? The insurgency is now 26 years old.

Yes, it’s very hard. Everyone knows it. It is a hard task, but a Muslim has his faith in God. He knows if he dies in the path of God, he goes to God. In our religion, whosoever dies because of the oppression from India, or by an Indian bullet, doesn’t die. He goes from this world to the other world (as promised in the Quran); there will be no disease in that world, no oppression. This is what our Islam tells. That’s why Muslims don’t fear that. We prefer dying with honour rather than living a life of shame under oppression.

You know Burhan will be killed one day… That is the outcome of the path he has chosen.

Yes, I do get a bit disturbed, but our Islam says that God, Quran and the Prophet are bigger than anything, even bigger and more important than our sons. It’s not the other way round. If our God is not happy with us then we don’t need our sons. Our God should be happy with us even if my son’s or my sacrifice is needed for that.

Watch | An interview with Burhan Wani’s father

Watertight security

Funerals of militants have been drawing huge crowds. In anticipation, the local police are making elaborate arrangements. “All roads leading to his village Sharifabad in Tral will be blocked,’’ one senior officer from the Jammu and Kashmir police said.

“But it is not only the funeral that we need to worry about. He had fired the imagination of the Kashmiri youth and we will have to watch out for those who might want to step into his shoes.”

Sixty percent of the Valley’s population is below the age of 30 and the Mehbooba Mufti-led PDP-BJP government has not succeeded in engaging with the youth.

The demographic bulge comprising the youth is hyperactive on social media and the army has been flagging its concerns on the issue.

What the army and the police do not say on record is the fact that the spike in the number of Kashmiri youth knocking on the doors of militant outfits is directly linked to the fact that the PDP, once known for its soft separatist agenda, has now joined hands with the BJP, who Kashmiris see as a threat to their very identity protected under Article 370.

Wani’s killing in an encounter will prise open the insecurities and fuel the deep sense of alienation that has grown under the current government. His funeral is only the first step in a new chapter that will be written in Kashmir.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Some saw it a justifiable tribute to the man who is a Gujarati icon, has contributed immensely to Ahmedabad’s infrastructure and also headed the state’s cricket administration (AFP)
Some saw it a justifiable tribute to the man who is a Gujarati icon, has contributed immensely to Ahmedabad’s infrastructure and also headed the state’s cricket administration (AFP)

The politics of naming and renaming public spaces in India

By Ronojoy Sen
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:24 PM IST
Modi is the first Indian prime minister in office to get a stadium, or any other public place for that matter, named after themselves. If one looks for examples outside India, he is not in great company either
Close
The CM is wooing women by providing maternity child care leave and instituting schemes in educational institutions (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)
The CM is wooing women by providing maternity child care leave and instituting schemes in educational institutions (Samir Jana / Hindustan Times)

When women shape political outcomes

By Shashi Shekhar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:24 PM IST
There are around 35 million women voters in Bengal who will play a significant role in this election. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who has been in power for the last 10 years, is aware of the power of women voters
Close
PM Modi’s first foray at peace-making with Pakistan had been directed at its civilian leadership. That completely miffed the generals. The situation is different this time, with a military-to-military statement (PIB)
PM Modi’s first foray at peace-making with Pakistan had been directed at its civilian leadership. That completely miffed the generals. The situation is different this time, with a military-to-military statement (PIB)

The difficult path to Indo-Pak peace

By Vivek Katju
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:24 PM IST
Pakistan’s army is on board with the ceasefire. But unless it revises its position on terror and Kashmir, talks will hit a barrier
Close
Over the past year, the federal structure has come under strain. A BJP win in Bengal and presence in government in Tamil Nadu will strengthen the Centre’s hand — while a TMC win in Bengal and a DMK win in Tamil Nadu will strengthen the voice of states (SANTOSH KUMAR/HTPHOTO)
Over the past year, the federal structure has come under strain. A BJP win in Bengal and presence in government in Tamil Nadu will strengthen the Centre’s hand — while a TMC win in Bengal and a DMK win in Tamil Nadu will strengthen the voice of states (SANTOSH KUMAR/HTPHOTO)

The 2021 elections will shape politics for years

UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:56 PM IST
The polls will shape the trajectory of national politics, determine the balance of power between the Centre and states, and reveal the current strength of national and regional forces
Close
Disha Ravi has now been granted bail. However, in his judgment granting bail, Judge Dhamender Rana said, “The offence of sedition cannot be involved to minister to the wounded vanity of governments.” The government must heed this warning. (REUTERS)
Disha Ravi has now been granted bail. However, in his judgment granting bail, Judge Dhamender Rana said, “The offence of sedition cannot be involved to minister to the wounded vanity of governments.” The government must heed this warning. (REUTERS)

Securing India’s international image

By Mark Tully
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 08:09 PM IST
India is described as a flawed democracy in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index. It has slipped from 27 in the rankings in 2014 to 53 in 2020. But does the government care about this slippage or indeed should it care? Three recent events make me wonder.
Close
Ghazala Wahab, the author of Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India , believes there are external and internal forces that hold ‘Muslims in a pincer grip’. (REUTERS)
Ghazala Wahab, the author of Born a Muslim: Some Truths about Islam in India , believes there are external and internal forces that hold ‘Muslims in a pincer grip’. (REUTERS)

It’s not easy being a Muslim in India

UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 07:14 PM IST
Moderate Muslims are not just caught between two worlds but torn apart. “On the one hand, conservative or devout Muslims disparage them; on the other hand, Hindus suspect them”. So what choice do they have but to “keep their heads down and hope they won’t be called upon to take a stand?”
Close
Censorship and State monopoly on parliamentary telecast violate the democratic ideals of accountability, transparency, and keeping the electorate informed. (Mohd Zakir/HT Archive)
Censorship and State monopoly on parliamentary telecast violate the democratic ideals of accountability, transparency, and keeping the electorate informed. (Mohd Zakir/HT Archive)

Making parliamentary proceedings more transparent

By Kinshu Dang and Shreyas Narla
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 07:01 AM IST
If Parliament has to truly function as an “institution of accountability”, the General Purposes Committee, which oversees matters concerning the working of the House, must reform the telecast guidelines. It must also mull over the larger question of how accurate parliamentary records should be.
Close
The emotional turmoil of unrequited love is real, but we can put it behind us fairly quickly if we try. Take cues from the 2009 film 500 Days of Summer. (FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES)
The emotional turmoil of unrequited love is real, but we can put it behind us fairly quickly if we try. Take cues from the 2009 film 500 Days of Summer. (FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES)

Hooked on a feelin’: With Love by Simran Mangharam

By Simran Mangharam
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:47 PM IST
Heartbreak is bad enough. A heart that withers away when your feelings aren’t returned is a different kind of pain. Sometimes, it’s not them it really is you?
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vast appeal across so many social media platforms are tools that give unparalleled traction to India’s diplomatic outreach (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vast appeal across so many social media platforms are tools that give unparalleled traction to India’s diplomatic outreach (PTI)

The evolution of India’s Twitter diplomacy

By Syed Akbaruddin
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:25 AM IST
In a multipolar world rife with concerns about terrorism, contentious trade disputes among allies and adversaries, catastrophic environmental degradation, health issues, human rights advocacy, the security implications of new technologies have made social media platforms an arena of inter-State contestation
Close
That’s not a glowing pitch for the history books. But the ignominy will not be hers. It will rest on the shoulders of the US lawmakers who were unable to overcome, once again, their hypocrisy, sexism and even, racism (AP)
That’s not a glowing pitch for the history books. But the ignominy will not be hers. It will rest on the shoulders of the US lawmakers who were unable to overcome, once again, their hypocrisy, sexism and even, racism (AP)

What is blocking Neera Tanden’s rise to the cabinet

By Yashwant Raj
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:26 AM IST
If confirmed, she will become the first Indian-American to hold a Cabinet position in the United States (US) federal government, as director of the office of budget and management
Close
Working in the cramped environment of their homes with little or no contact with teammates, for longer hours, without the relief of social friends and yet being expected to deliver the same quality of work as before, is an unrealistic ask — yet the norm among corporates (Shutterstock)
Working in the cramped environment of their homes with little or no contact with teammates, for longer hours, without the relief of social friends and yet being expected to deliver the same quality of work as before, is an unrealistic ask — yet the norm among corporates (Shutterstock)

Stress hits the bottom line – in more ways than you think

By Raghu Raman
UPDATED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:24 AM IST
Corporates will pay a heavy price if they don’t understand the implications of mental health. Make well-being a priority for employees
Close
By toppling a Congress government in Puducherry, the BJP has sent a message to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where it is contesting the assembly elections with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, that the Congress is a greatly diminished force, and the party can be vanquished at any time. (PTI)
By toppling a Congress government in Puducherry, the BJP has sent a message to neighbouring Tamil Nadu, where it is contesting the assembly elections with the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, that the Congress is a greatly diminished force, and the party can be vanquished at any time. (PTI)

The BJP’s ruthless expansion drive

UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:30 AM IST
Puducherry is only the latest instance of the Modi-Shah playbook of expanding political power. In a sense, Puducherry is now part of a pattern of Machiavellian intrigue that has been repeated from Arunachal and Manipur to Goa, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh where a ruthlessly expansionist BJP seeks to consolidate its ascendancy by wangling either wholesale or retail defections.
Close
For China, there have always been certain issues that are core to its relationship with Myanmar. The latter is strategically important to gain access to the Indian Ocean as well as to Southeast Asia. It is economically important because of its natural resources such as timber, the hydroelectric possibilities stemming from its many large rivers, as well as oil and gas and minerals. Finally, China is committed to large-scale infrastructure projects in the country. (AFP)
For China, there have always been certain issues that are core to its relationship with Myanmar. The latter is strategically important to gain access to the Indian Ocean as well as to Southeast Asia. It is economically important because of its natural resources such as timber, the hydroelectric possibilities stemming from its many large rivers, as well as oil and gas and minerals. Finally, China is committed to large-scale infrastructure projects in the country. (AFP)

Myanmar-China ties: It’s complicated

By Manjari Chatterjee Miller
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 07:53 PM IST
While China needs to work with Myanmar, the generals make for uneasy bedfellows in a relationship that has had a long and turbulent history.
Close
Women constitute only 14% of the 280,000 personnel in STEM in India’s research development institutions (UN data). In addition, although women’s participation in the workforce is higher at entry-level, it gradually decreases at higher research, academics and administration levels. (HTPHOTO)
Women constitute only 14% of the 280,000 personnel in STEM in India’s research development institutions (UN data). In addition, although women’s participation in the workforce is higher at entry-level, it gradually decreases at higher research, academics and administration levels. (HTPHOTO)

A gender equality framework for India’s sciences and tech disciplines

By Barbara Wickham
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2021 06:32 AM IST
Greater gender equality in STEM is crucial, and in the larger interest of scientific progress and society. Currently, India is looking at a paradoxical situation where women are studying STEM subjects but there are not as many women in STEM careers.
Close
The BJP’s political dominance may, paradoxically in some ways, deepen social divisions (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)
The BJP’s political dominance may, paradoxically in some ways, deepen social divisions (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The disruptive social effects of Hindutva 2.0

PUBLISHED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:10 PM IST
It is the electoral hegemony of the BJP which can deepen the sense of betrayal among those who feel short-changed by the side effects of Hindutva 2.0
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP