As a matter of fact, an illustrious scion of a high-profile Mirwaiz dynasty of Kashmir, Moulvi Mohammad Farooq, happened to be an accomplished Islamic scholar and cleric who had deep understanding of the holy Quran and Ahadis. He was an outstanding orator gifted with the mellifluous voice and mesmerizing accent to deliver the sermons and speeches on the occasions of religious importance and especially in Friday congregations.
Prof. Habib Ullah Jeelani
This is, by far, one of the harshest realities and cruelest ironies of history that when the time came for the big day of freedom to dawn upon the subcontinent way back in 1947, Kashmir which was a separate sovereign state at that time got submerged in the murkiest and muddiest waters of subjugation and suppression. Its sovereign status was malignantly subverted as a sequel to the so-called Instrument of Accession, albeit subject to approval by the people of Jammu & Kashmir, through the provision of plebiscite, which has not happened till date. And since that day forth, the intricate Kashmir imbroglio has been awaiting and eluding a permanent and durable solution, pending which tens of thousands of precious lives and scores of prominent personalities belonging to this hapless region were lost for ever. Pertinently, one prominent and towering personality who laid down his life at the altar of ongoing freedom struggle was Moulvi Mohammad Farooq, whose martyrdom ceremony is observed every year on 21st May as a token of profound love and deferential reverence to him for his outstanding contribution to the historical cause of freedom and right to self- determination.
Truly speaking, an iconic figure and effervescent personality, admirably endowed with myriad outstanding attributes of revolutionary leadership, symbolizing the epoch-making saga of life-long struggle, supreme sacrifice and exalted martyrdom sure to go down in the annals of freedom movement of Jammu & Kashmir in the letters of gold, the late Moulvi Mohammad Farooq will be remembered and revered by the grateful and freedom-loving people of this lovely land for the historical role that he vigorously played in championing the legitimate and widely-acknowledged cause of the people at every forum, ever since he made his debut in politics.
History stands an authentic and eloquent testimony to the fact that this revolutionary leader who stood deeply committed to the sublime cause of freedom was subjected to unprecedented brutalities and atrocities at the hands of the powers that be. It is pertinent to mention here that he suffered life-long hardships, prolonged incarceration and ultimately he embraced martyrdom at the hands of heartless and diabolical forces deadly against and intrinsically antagonistic to the sublime cause of freedom and right to self- determination.
It may be recalled that Moulvi Mohammad Farooq came forward to galvanize and mobilize the people of Jammu & Kashmir and inspired them to ventilate their deep anguish and shock over the agonizing incident that took place in December, 1964 when the most sacred relic of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was mysteriously displaced from the holy shrine of Hazratbal. It was on this somber occasion that Moulvi Mohammad Farooq emerged as a frontline leader of Kashmir and was unanimously elected as chairman of a new party christened as ‘Awami Action Committee’ which was an amalgam of 23 political and religious organizations. This newly formed party assumed wider popularity and dimension with the passage of time as its creation was based upon a revolutionary concept, indeed. Thus this party is credited to be the main rallying force to facilitate the articulation and communication of the genuine, legitimate and long- standing aspirations of the people of J&K and their sentiments for independence.
As a matter of fact, an illustrious scion of a high-profile Mirwaiz dynasty of Kashmir, Moulvi Mohammad Farooq, happened to be an accomplished Islamic scholar and cleric who had deep understanding of the holy Quran and Ahadis. He was an outstanding orator gifted with the mellifluous voice and mesmerizing accent to deliver the sermons and speeches on the occasions of religious importance and especially in Friday congregations. There is no denying the fact that his charismatic personality and captivating oratorical attributes won him enormous accolades and encomiums from the people of all walks of life and all shades of thought and opinion.
He epitomized in him a host of noble and commendable qualities like elegance, erudition, politeness, philanthropy, generosity etc. Known for his exemplary courage and temperate disposition, Moulvi Mohammad Farooq was a soft spoken, sincere and straight- forward human being. Besides being a great revolutionary leader, Moulvi Mohammad Farooq was an eminent scholar who had a thorough grasp of the religious matters. He was not only a symbol of revolution for freedom but also an emblem of revolt against the repressive voices. He gave a clarion call for Azadi and thus earned the wrath of the Indian leadership as well as the regimes of the time. He, however, launched a relentless and life-long crusade and vigorous campaign against the alien rule imposed by Indian leadership. He was a staunch revolutionary who fought for freedom all through his life. Though his cherished dream of freedom could not be translated into reality during his life time, yet he bequeathed this onerous legacy to the upcoming generations of J&K. He was deeply imbued with the spirit of Azadi and dignity for the people of J&K. He pursued the perilous path paved with tremendous hazards and hardships. He never yielded to suppression or repression inflicted upon him from time to time by the brutal powers that be. Nor was he lured by any sort of blandishment, whatsoever. Had he been spared for some years more, the ongoing freedom struggle would have definitely gained further momentum because it was his life’s mission as well as his cherished vision to attain the exalted goal of freedom for which he laid down his life.
There are no two opinions about the fact that if such a leader of towering stature and Himalayan determination had been alive today, he would have brought both India and Pakistan closer into the embrace of reconciliation—a sine qua non for the durable and dignified resolution of long-standing Kashmir issue, heralding an era of peace & stability in the sub-continent.
Volumes may, of course, be scripted & spoken, eulogizing the historically significant and substantial role played by this high-profile revolutionary leader in championing the just cause of right to self-determination as duly endorsed and acknowledged by the world community as a whole.
However, to wrap it up, the best and most befitting tribute that could be paid to the memory of this multi-dimensional personality would be to strive inexorably towards the set goal of the right to self-determination for the people of J&K as envisioned by him. It seems to be inevitable that given the way this extraordinarily courageous and charismatic leader nurtured with his precious life- blood the crucial cause of freedom movement of J&K he is apt to go down in history as the hero and darling of the present as well as the coming generations. Further, given the international support and opinion in favor of the inevitability of the resolution of the crucial Kashmir problem, hanging fire since 1947, this leader of revolution will continue to shine on the historical horizon of J&K for all times to come.
His sterling role and supreme sacrifice to infuse a new lease of life into the freedom struggle of this region will be remembered and recognized by every freedom-loving soul here.May his soul be blessed with eternal peace and serenity! Ameen.