Our beloved professor Dr Rafi. Bhat

By Arshid Aziz

 

 

 

 

Our dear professor, we the students of Kashmir University consider ourselves very fortunate, and are very proud that we had such an erudite and genius of a teacher.

Now that you left us forever, we may never hear your scholarly lectures again, but your martyrdom has taught us many other things. The whole campus is mourning, and all of Naseem Bagh is weeping. Every bird on every bough is lamenting your loss. Everybody is in deep shock. We all are at a loss to understand why you chose this thorny path. We acknowledge that we have lost a great asset, a great mentor, and, above all, an excellent teacher.

Besides that, you were philanthropist, a bleeding heart and a warm and amicable person. Your deeds proved what you always said: that you were a human first and then only a Muslim. Sir, you were an ocean of knowledge, and the way you delivered your lectures was awesome. Your attitude and behavior were always par excellence.

Thus, we can say, your versatile personality was appealing to many people. For us, you were the lamp and we were the moth. Our beloved professor, your death has given rise to many questions, and especially on social media your death is being debated by many. It is being mourned as well as celebrated. Some people are against your decision, and some agree with you. But nobody delves deeper and ponders why exactly you took the decision to join a militant outfit.

Those who favor your decision say that Aazadi needs sacrifice, and because of such sacrifices the freedom movement has survived so far. These type of people think that blood fuels resistance the way petrol powers an engine. They appreciate your sacred wounds and holy blood. Another category of people disagrees with your decision and says that you could have contributed more on an intellectual level. They argue that you were articulate, politically mature, and above all academically so strong that it would have been better if you had lived and shunned this path. Such people do have a strong argument. They say that occupation is always multidimensional or multi faceted.

Thus, it is imperative for the occupied to resist multi-facedly. They wished you had kept contributing to the Kashmir cause on a different front. But as a  matter of fact something must have been there which motivated you to take this extreme step. And that is obviously the very nature of the “Occupation.”

The way India has turned all of Kashmir into a military garrison, and has occupied every nook and cranny of our land illegally must have convinced you like all of us that occupation is nothing but a curse. Sir, you must have been fed up with the barbarism meted out day in and day out on the Kashmiri people by the “largest democratic” country in the world. Throughout your lifetime, you must have witnessed many atrocities and even rapes committed by the brave Indian army on our soil.

Every bird on every bough is lamenting your loss. Everybody is in deep shock. We all are at a loss to understand why you chose this thorny path. We acknowledge that we have lost a great asset, a great mentor, and, above all, an excellent teacher.

We are sure that it was the “Conflict” that pushed you against the wall, and you must have been pining away to see the age old slavery fade away. You were not among the people suffering from intellectual slavery and a mind that had been colonized by the colonizer. You were a free thinker. You didn’t collaborate and you resisted. With your act, you wiped out India’s propaganda that the intellectual class has nothing to do with the freedom struggle of Kashmiris. You challenged the state’s narrative that those who demand freedom are lumpens, miscreants and above all illiterate. Sir, you were not only literate but more importantly highly educated. Hats off to your determination, courage, and valor. Our glorious tributes are dedicated to you. You are our inspiration and a real role model. You were the “Shaheen” of Iqbal.

We salute that you stayed true to your motherland, and we also salute your brave parents and your courageous better half that supported you and remained steadfast. Last but not least, you were our very own intellectual guide and dear professor sahb. We will miss you forever. May all mighty Allah grant you jannat ul firdoos.

Arshid Aziz studies English at the University of Kashmir  

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