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Opposed to independent Kurdistan, Turk President's Kashmir stance 'baffling'

By Nava Thakuria*
Long and cherished history of freedom movements by various groups-communities-nations always attract journalists. Not without reason, the relentless struggle by the persecuted Kurdish people, who are spread all over the world, was of great interest when a top Kurd activist-writer talked of an integrated sovereign homeland for Kurds.
Interaction with Guwahati scribes to understand some parameters of their ongoing violent freedom struggle, this activist said, Kurds believe that they have no friends but the mountains and the Kurdish proverb can be comprehended going through their fight for a common homeland when four neighbouring countries, Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria, continue repressive actions against them.
A Muslim majority ethnic group, Kurds have been systematically intimidated by these regimes, said Kurd political analyst, who is based in Vancouver (Canada) and is a regular contributor to "The Pasewan", "Awene" weekly, daily "Hawlati", "Lvin", KNN Television etc., with a mission to gather support for establishing a Kurdish sovereign state carved out their habitat covering mountainous localities of the four nations of West Asia.
Diary Khalid Marif, interacting with a group of scribes at the Guwahati Press Club through video-conferencing, talked at length on the need to set up a homeland for 40 million Kurds, who are one of the world’s largest ethnic group, yet are without a state. He admitted that they have endless challenges ahead, but recalled, hundred thousand Kurdish freedom fighters had already sacrificed their lives for the cause.
Diary Marif revealed that there are over 20 million Kurds in Turkey. Even though their inhabitants are around 20 percent of the Turkish population, they are denied their ethnic identity. Torture, imprisonment and killings of Kurds are regular happenings. They cannot openly speak their Kurdish language. Moreover, he said, Kurdish names and costumes are banned.
Iranian Kurds, numbering nearly 12 million Kurds (around 17 percent of the population of Iran), suffer at the hands of the rulers of the Islamic Republic in Tehran. Arbitrary evictions of Kurdish families, restricted access to housing, education and health are primary issues for Kurds in Iran. In fact, an independent state for Kurdish people (Republic of Mahabad) existed inside Iran for some time in 1946, but soon Tehran crushed it.
In Iraq there are around six million Kurds (around 17 percent of population) where they initially enjoyed no rights. By 1950s, the Kurds got legitimacy in the Iraqi constitution. However, things changed. Uncounted number of Kurds was killed by various regimes in Baghdad. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein took the lead in massacring the Kurdish people.
In Syrian, there are over 3 million Kurds (around 10 percent of Syrian population) who also face difficulties. Syrian Kurds do enjoy the right to citizenship, study and speak their mother tongue. Even then, they were humiliated by various government forces. They have had to fight for their ethnic identity.
Hailing from Iraq and a Pune University pass-out, Diary Marif terms India a natural ally of the Kurdish nation. Hindustan, he thinks, is a concept of nationalism, and the Kurdish people also prefer to categorize themselves as a nation. The Kurds' priority is not religion; they are fighting for their ethnicity, he said.
Appreciating India as a vivid follower of various religions, linguistic communities, tribes etc., Diary Marif said that Kurds too want that people pursuing various religious faiths, including Islam (both Shia and Sunni sects), Christianity, Judaism, Yazdanism, Yazidi, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism, etc. and those with different racial group, to live together.
Unlike the common belief that every Muslim in the world upholds the idea of Islamic State, he said, Kurds are totally different and Kurdish fighters have successfully resisted terrorists at different junctures. “Every progressive and peace-loving nation, which expresses concern over the religious terrorism, should come forward supporting Kurds,” said Diary Marif.
The Kurdish movement has been enriched with the active participation of their women even in the armed struggles, Diary Marif said. After USA, European countries, and the United Nations extended supports for the Kurdish movement, the Indian support can emerge as a vital inspiration to them.
While thanking the Indian government in New Delhi for denouncing the recent Turkish military offensives on the Kurdish-inhabited localities of neighbouring Syria, Diary Marif also appreciated its advisory to Indian nationals travelling to Turkey.
Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during the 74th session of UN in New York. The argument was to safeguard the interest of Kashmiris after the abrogation of Article 370 by New Delhi. But his government has never shown dignified approaches to the Kurdish people, underlined Diary Marif.
Making a fervent appeal to New Delhi for supporting the cause of freedom-aspiring millions of Kurdish people, Diary Marif acknowledged that he personally learned democratic values, tolerance, dignity to minority communities and unity in diversities from India.
Terming India a favourite destination of Kurdish students for higher studies, Diary Marif also admitted that he misses typical Indian foods, people with warm hearts and lush greenery of the vast country.
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*Guwahati-based journalist

Comments

Jabir Husain said…
International community behaviour in relation to healthy pluralism, coexistence, with deference, peace, love, tolerance on diversity with establishing Chair of Understanding, would shape students of future generations, locally, also globally!

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