The Hush Post| 8.49 am | two-minute-read
Ghalib, the son of Afzal Guru, who was hanged after conviction in the Parliament Attack in 2001, says he is “proud” of owning an Aadhaar card. It has been quite a task for Ghalib to stay away from terror-infested militancy.
Apart from him, the real heroes in protecting him from the vicious atmosphere in the Valley are his mother Tabassum and his maternal grandparents. His doting maternal grandfather Ghulam Mohammad and mother Tabassum, insist that Ghalib should now an Indian passport.
“I am proud of my grandson; he scored 95 per cent in Class X and 89 per cent in Class XII. He is pursuing an ambition which his father could not complete. I am sure he will definitely become a doctor,” says Ghulam Mohammad.
“I will be a proud Indian citizen when I get my passport,” says Ghalib, while explaining how it will open doors for abroad for higher education. The teenager, who is in the middle of his preparations for the medical entrance exam, NEET, scheduled on May 5, says, he would prefer to make it to a medical college in India, he wants to hedge for a situation if he doesn’t. “If I don’t qualify here, I would like to go abroad. A college in Turkey may give me scholarship later on,” says Guru’s son, underlining that he is only fulfilling his father’s dream.
“We learn from the mistakes of the past. My father could not pursue his medical career (at Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences). I want to complete it,” says Ghalib, looking at Tabassum.
Ghalib credits his mother for “isolating” him from the pressure of homegrown militancy.
Since Ghalib’s father was arrested and convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack, terror groups have indoctrinated youth in Kashmir to take up arms to avenge his hanging.
The Pulwama suicide bomber Adil Ahmad Dar, for example, was part of the ‘Afzal Guru suicide squad’ arm of Jaish-e-Mohammad.
“The credit goes to my mother. She created an isolated space for me ever since I was in class fifth. She always said that even if someone said anything to me, I shouldn’t react. My priority is my mother and not what people say,” he says.
Ghalib’s grandfather and mother rally behind him, saying that none of the family members ever engages in any debate on Kashmir with anyone.
Just a few hundred metres ahead of the Guru residence, soldiers of 44 Rashtriya Rifles guard the village, which stayed relatively peaceful even during the post-Burhan Wani violence. Ghalib says he never faced any harassment from the security forces in the village. “Never,” he says emphatically.
“I mean, there have been certain instances when I met them. But they always motivated me. They told me if I wanted to pursue medicine, they will never interfere with my studies or my family. They said I should stay focused on my dream and become a doctor,” he says.
His source of inspiration, Ghalib says is his 73-year-old maternal grandfather who did post-graduation in history more than half a century ago.