Syed Ali Shah Geelani is one of the renowned leaders of Islamic Movement and the All Parties Hurriyat conference. He is one of the few leaders of the held Kashmir who raised their voice effectively and forcefully against the Indian occupation. He has spent more than 9 years of his life in prison and has thus become one of the few public leaders to speed so long a period of life in prison.
He is one of the few persons who strengthened the Islamic Movement in Kashmir and is, again one of the few persons who have been leading the Islamic forces quite admirably. During the past 30 years he has manfully braved persecution and faced tremendous difficulties.
Syed Geelani commenced his struggle in 1950. Afterwards he associated himself with the Islamic Movement which, under the name of Jama’at-e-Islamic had started its crusade against the Indian imperialism right from 1947 when India committed her ignominious military interference under the grab of a questionable Accession arranged with the fugitive autocratic ruler of the state.
It was on August 28, 1962, at the age of 30 years, that Syed Geelani was for the first time arrested and imprisoned. He had to remain in prison for 13 months. During this imprisonment his father passed away but he was not allowed to participate in his obsequies.
On 17th of March 1965, Mr. Geelani, along with several of his companions, was arrested and imprisoned on charges of having secret contacts with Pakistan. He was set free after one year and ten months.
In between 1967 and 1977 he was several times alternately jailed and released.
In the month of October, 1983, when a cricket match between India and West Indies was scheduled to be played in the State Capital, Srinagar, it was Mr. Geelani who vociferously opposed the holding of the match on the plea that Kashmir, being a disputed territory and not a legitimate part of India, could not be a proper venue for the match. He was jailed and tried in the court of law at the behest of the government of India. Seeing that crowds of people would remain in and outside the court room during the proceedings, the government arranged to hold in-camera trial.
Again from 1983 to 1986 he was several times put behind the bars.
In 1972 Mr. Geelani was returned to the State Legislative Assembly on the ticket of Jama’at-e-Islami, Jammu and Kashmir.
For sometime i.e. from 1987 to 1989, he was actively associated with the combine of eleven parties, namely, The Muslim United Front, whose appearance had a far-reaching effect on the politics of the state. It was after his release in 1983 from a fairly long incarceration that he started a campaign for attracting the Muslim youth towards Jihad (holy War) against the continued occupation of Kashmir by India. Almost all of his lectures and discourses were full of powerful rhetoric in favour of jihad. On 7th of September 1986 during his incarceration he experienced cardiac trouble and was kept under intensive care. During the illness the rumour of his death brought his followers and well-wishers on to the streets in rallies and processions. Upon the contradiction by the government broadcast over the radio the worried followers and admirers across the Valley heaved a sigh of relief.
From March 1987 to 1989 Syed Geelani effectively led he Muslim United Front within the Legislative assembly and kept on highlighting the Kashmir problem to the utter chagrin and discomfiture of the Indian government and its local supporters. When in 189 the armed resistance against the continued Indian presence in the State began, he, along with his colleagues in Front, resigned his seat in the Legislature to join the public in support of the said resistance. All the pro-freedom parties joined in a new combine under the name of Tahreek-e-Hurriyat with the reputed advocate. Miyan Abdul Qayoom, as its chairman. The Indian government responded with a ban on all the constituents of this combine and got the leaders of these constituent arrested. Mr. Geelani was among those arrested and shifted to torture centre before being sent to different prisons in India.
By the end of 1991, Syed Geelani, along with the other jailed leaders, was brought to the Indian capital, New Delhi, where they were offered conditional release which they rejected vehemently.
To sum up, Syed Ali Shah Geelani is a since, capable and courageous leader who has been constantly influencing he Kashmiri youth with his sincerity of purpose, perseverance and steely determination. Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Sahrai, Miyaan Abdul Qayoom and Professor Ashraf Sahrai are some of the significant leaders who have been inspired by his indomitable fighting spirit which has kept the flame of the struggle for the Kashmiri sight of self-determination burning in the hearts of the millions of the freedom-loving people of the state.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani- A Profile
Name: Syed Ali Shah Geelani
S/O: Syed Peer Shah Geelani
Place Of birth: Zoori Munz, Tehsil Bandipora, District Baramullah
Date of birth: 27-9-1929 (twenty seventh September, Nineteen Hundred and twenty nine)
Elementary Education: Primary School, Botengoo, Sopore.
Secondary Education: Government High School, Sopore
I) Adeeb-e-Aalim, Oriental College, Delhi Darwaza Lahore, Affiliated to Punjab University.
II) Adeeb-e-Faazil, University of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar.
III) Munshi Faazil, University of Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar
Started his career in 1949 as a government teacher and taught in the following institution during a brief tenure:
Primary School, Pather Masjid, Srinagar
High School, Rainwari, Srinagar.
Middle School, Kani Kadal, Srinagar.
Middle School, Bomai, Sopore.
Intermediate College, Sopore.
Middle School, Dangarpora, Sopore.
MIGRATED in 1950 from Zooni Munz to Duroo, Zainageer, Tehsil Sopore. Became member of Jama’at-e-Islam, Jammu and Kashmir in 1953.
RESIGNED from the government service in 1959.
Held the following offices in the Jama’at-e-Islami:
Ameer-e-Halqa Sopore; Ameer District Baramulla; Qayim-e-Jama’at; Chairman Political Bureau; editor ‘Tuloo’.
Details of participation in various elections to State Legislature:
Year of Election Result
Resigned the Assembly seat on 30th August, 1989
Present Public Positions:
Chairman, tehreek-e-Hurriyat Jammu & Kashmir
Chairman , All Parties Hurriyat Conference.