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Valley Unrest

Socrates And The Separatist

Veteran Kashmiri leader Abdul Gani Bhat feels ­fellow secessionists should call for a dialogue

Socrates And The Separatist
Photograph by Javed Ahmad
Socrates And The Separatist
outlookindia.com
2016-11-18T17:06:58+05:30

On a Saturday morning, ­Abdul Gani Bhat is sitting in the Muslim Conference’s office at Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar wearing a pheran, with many of his admirers and workers listening to him intently. Bhat likes to speak in a philosophical manner, often quoting Rumi in between conversations. But in his conversation with Outlook, he is more straightforward. Keeping aside a book on Shams-i-Tabrizi, Rumi’s spiritual instructor, he says, “We (separatists) have our sincerity, while the pro-India politicians have brains. The clash is between sincerity and brains. And, obviously, those who have brains will win here.”

 The 81-year-old leader adds, rather ­regretfully: “If we cannot turn situations into opportunities, then we betray our sense of relevance to the situation. We went wrong in 2008 and 2010, and I am afraid we may be repeating the mistake in 2016.”  

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