Significance of July in Kashmir’s history

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The month of July has huge significance in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The world witnessed the volcanic eruption of the suppressed feelings and aspirations of the natives of the land for freedom on 13th of this month in 1931 in the form of a massive gathering outside the Srinagar Central Jail to catch a glimpse of and attend the court proceedings against the one Abdul Qadeer. He had been arrested on June 25 in 1931 for making a rebellious speech against the Dogra regime at a mammoth local gathering at Masjid Khanqah-e-Moalla in Srinagar, calling upon the valiant native Muslims to defy its writ and break free of its shackles.

By the time the magistrate reached and the proceedings were to begin, Zuhur time had arrived and, therefore, the protesting Kashmiris began falling into lines for offering the prayer. A guy climbed up on the Jail wall to start the call for prayer (azan). The police from inside shot him dead and as he fell off the wall, a second guy got there to continue the call, he was shot dead as well, however, the people didn’t relent and made history by completing the ritual taking 20 more casualties in the process. This bloodbath became the watershed moment in the resistance movement against the Dogra rule as it triggered a state wide unrest, uproar, agitation and defiance culminating in a popular demand for freedom. This day got the name of Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir or Kashmir Day and is being observed all across Jammu and Kashmir and around the world since that year in remembrance of those great martyrs.

Again, it was on July 19, 1947 that the prominent representatives of Jammu and Kashmir and its natives unanimously passed a resolution calling for the State’s accession to Pakistan at the residence of late Sardar Ibrahim Khan, the former President of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, at Aabi Guzaar, Srinagar. 19 July acquired huge significance because of this historic moment as Kashmiris declared in unambiguous terms their intent and desire to accede to the state of Pakistan that was to emerge on August 14 that year from the womb of epic and sacred movement of the Muslims of the subcontinent under the leadership of its founding father, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and on the basis of the June 3 Partition Plan. Since that year, Kashmiris across the state and across the globe are observing this day with the same zeal and fervor renewing their commitment to pursue and realise this dream for which hundreds of thousands of lives have already been lost.

Last but not the least, it was to happen in this very month that the Indian occupying forces martyred the young resistance icon, Burhan Wani along with his two valiant associates in a fake encounter in Kokernag area of the occupied territory. Burhan had entered the stage at a very young age of 15 and through his love, passion and undefeatable urge for freedom from the Indian subjugation infused an altogether new life and dimension to the ongoing resistance metamorphosing into a true revolutionary ideal and icon for the new nation. This lion-heart from a middle class family from Pulwama turned a new chapter in the movement and became a nightmare for the occupation regime as he inspired every single Kashmiri youth and smashed all Indian hopes of forcing the Kashmiris into submission to the ground. However, this genuine national hero finally fell to the Indian bullets on July 8, 2016 at Kokernag. And although, this young hero may have left the stage, he shall continue to be an eternal source of inspiration for the enslaved youth of the occupied territory and all around the word wherever, people are subject to bondage.

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Disclaimer: Significance of July in Kashmir’s history - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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