IKMT-ISK Unity: Two friendly Quarrels With Amaa Bu

Amaa Bu

Note: Amaa Bu is an anonymous Kargili, active on social media.

In his recent response Amaa Bu had pointed out two key points as a hurdle in the peace process between IKMT and ISK. Firstly, he said that despite of being Various similarities in religion, rituals, language, identity, ethnicity and innumerable other things, there are some key differences in terms of ideology between the two organisations. More exactly he said that differences are in interpretation of things, that are similar in outlook. Secondly, he questioned the cause for unity. Why Unity for materialistic benefits rather than for a greater cause like ideology or religion. I partially agree with the former and totally agree with the later.

Let me explain.

Firstly, in first friendly quarrel with Amaa Bu I would say that we have more similarities than differences. We have more point for agreement than points for contention.

Secondly, you said that those differences could understand only by few people, let’s say the intellectual class. My point is, why we need to fight over a point that we don’t understand? To solve such issues there should be discourse between clerics of both the organisation who have understanding of those differences. Moreover, these issues are differences of opinion which must be confined to opinion. It should not lead us to antagonist relations.

Thirdly, Interpretation is different by different scholars even for Quran and traditions of the infallibles. It is the beauty of Quran, traditions and the religion that give different lesson to different people according to his capacity to catch. But I don’t deny that there are elements who deliberately misinterpret Quran and tradition for their interest. But this is (potentially) not true in our case.

Fourthly, pursuing for differences leads to identity politics or ethnic conflict like that in Rwanda where the Tutsi and Hutu who had the only difference of their nose killed seven lakh people, that was 70 percent of the Tutsi population, only in a period of 100 days. However, if perceive for similarities, Hindus in India find their ancestral link to Imam Hussain (a.s.) in Karbala. Kashmiri find their links with Imam Khomeini (r.a.). Sometimes feels satisfaction in saying that Imam Khamenei had visited Kashmir when he was President of the country. When these people can unite on small ancestral links which could also be a myth why we can’t unite on basis of all these similarities which are true to the best of our knowledge?

Also Read: Syed Jamal’s three-point agenda for ISK, Peace Process on priority

Second friendly quarrel is not actually a quarrel but an addition to his point. Amaa Bu said that the unity, which is also a Quranic obligation, should be for a greater objective rather than mere materialistic cause. I agree with this. His realisation of such a critical issue reflects that Kargil has plethora of intellectual minds.

I believe that to reach at that level of understanding our society still need more time. At this moment only, few people like you has this issue a real concern. Majority of the people have concern for Roti Kapda and Makan. Most of the time or in almost all cases the ideological debate of the leader would influence or inspire only the maximum of 10-15 percent of the population. You can cross check in history. The slogans that influence the mass is Roti, Kapda and Makan. This is the reality and we have to accept the bitter reality.

So, what I suggest is, for a short period let them unite even for these material benefits. This unity itself would be a step to unite for the greater cause which you are concerned.

Keeping in mind the lengthy article the points have narrowed down. All points need to elaborate. I encourage young writers and novice thinkers to put forward their ideas also; either on this blog or on their own blog.

Your Friend/well-wisher

Anwar Ali Tsarpa


ISK-IKMT Unity Discourse at the Second Level

The three-members committee for peace dialogue meet with Aga Mehdavipur in 2015. 

In order to produce a framework literature to unite the religious organisations in Kargil, I took a small initiative in 2015. I interviewed some prominent figures, analysed and published them on my blog, expecting some response from the people so that the discourse could continue. Because literature is the base of every feasible plan. It also works as a document to know the history for future references. May be 2015 was too early to discuss these things. But when I shared the same thing few days back, I got a progressive response to carry the discourse on another level. A well-wisher with good intellectual potential wrote back some productive and deep analysis in response. I republish it here while requesting him and others (who want to write his feedback in this regard) to write back in a formal way. So that this could work as an authentic literature in future time.

Here you go for the response by @Amaa Bu

Salam alaikum…
The youth are future of the nation. And our society needs young guns like you.

There is a mistake in your analysis. Apart from disagreements regarding functioning and structure of the organisations, there exist conflicts in ideology and beliefs and not everyone is well aware of this. Yes the organisations have the same religion, same school of thought but still there are conflicts in interpretations of certain doctrines and practices. Only a few people understand this. If these issues are resolved, then the conflict will get solved in no time. These conflicts and disagreements didn’t started in Kargil, but yes in Kargil, a new colour was painted.
The core conflict exists even in the middle East, not only in Kargil. So if we are to solve this issue, obviously we need compromise, but the first thing we need is someone who has enough knowledge about Islamic philosophy, modern society/politics and jurisprudence.

Where the integration of the groups are vital, we also need to understand why?
Integration and unity of these two powerful organisations should not be aimed at just material benefits of our society. More emphasis should be laid on the need for religious reforms and other subjects which come under the umbrella of Islam and most importantly to take the society closer to God. The recent protests saw the cooperation of the two groups and most importantly, two ideologies, but for what? Was it aimed at pleasing the masses?
Let’s say tomorrow we protest, in the same way, for Zojila Tunnel. This is another burning issue. One can see how our people get outraged or disappointed at the organisations for not showing unity when we need these things, like Zojila Tunnel.
But tell me , as compared to this matter, how many people talk about a united Friday prayer in the Jamia Masjid?
You see, if not the majority, but an uncomfortable number of our people want the unity of the masses and the ideologies, for material growth of the society, and in a way which is not even sustainable and environmentally feasible. People are looking at the short term benefits and benefits we can get in the Duniya, compromising the environment as well as the Akhira.

Where unity is the demand and need of the hour, having so much potential as well, we need to channel it in the right way. In a way such that it pleases Allah s.w.t and also is environmentally feasible.

Note: Will publish some more analysis on above debate.

Syed Jamal’s three-point agenda for ISK, Peace Process on priority

Ex President and current Chief Patron of the Islamia School Kargil (ISK), Syed Jamal kept three point agenda to accomplish in his tenure. The three agendas he mentioned in an exclusive interview with the correspondent of Ladakh Express are: to continue the Peace Process with another influential religious organisation of Kargil “ Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust”, not to re-establish the Youth Wing and keep politics at bay from the organisation.

Aga Jamal

He mentioned the same point earlier also in his address on the occasion on which he himself was appointed as the Chief Patron. A new row of controversy has been emerged in the organisation after the “illegitimate election” conducted by only “a portion” of the organisation “without the consent” of the continuing president, Syed Jamal.

Syed Jamal announced to conduct the five-yearly election for the executive bodies of the Islamia School Kargil. On the day of election on 5th May, a faction asked to launch ballet box system about which Syed Jamal was not aware. However the former trend was to raise hands by the electoral board which is only 310 in number. This new demand for ballet box was declined by Syed Jamal by saying that it need proper arrangement and moderate conducting team. This issue soared into a full-fledged conflict; as a result Syed Jamal postponed the election and walked out. In the absence of the opponent the rival group declared Sheikh Nazir-ul-Mehdi Muhammadi as the new president showing a majority of votes gained by Sheikh. After the Friday prayers on 6th of May a proper announcement was also made declaring Sheikh Nazir as the new President. On the same day Syed Jamal issued a new public notice to the media and declared that the election has been postponed and the result shown by the rival group is not true. He also posed himself as the continuing President of the organisation. On 8th of May a public meeting was also conducted in Sankoo by the Syed Jamal faction, in which the election process was condemned and declared as illegitimate.

On 10th of May, in a Public meeting Syed Jamal was nominated as the Chief Patron in which Syed Jamal accepted Sheikh Nazir as the new president and pledged to support in all affairs, “if Sheikh believes on him”. He kept the three point agenda for the first time on that day. On the occasion of Eid e Baraat (Birth Anniversary of the 12th Imam) Sheikh pledged to reform the Youth Wing and maintained that the peace process is a long way to peace. He proposed to go 30 years back in order to sustain peace in Kargil. These two agendas seemed to be in contrary to Syed Jamal. To get more insight into the matter Ladakh Express conducted an exclusive interview with Syed Jamal.

Syed Jamal declared the election as an “act of goons” sponsored by some political figures. He declared the election as “illegitimate, goons act and politically motivated” both in his meeting at Sankoo and during the interview. Syed Jamal accepted the position of the Chief Patron and conceded election of Sheikh Nazir as the new President. Explaining his acceptance to the “illegitimate election” he told that “Clerics made down-to-earth request to him” which forced him to accept it. He accepted the position of the Chief Patron on the condition to have the same powers as “(Sheikh Hussain) Zakiri of IKMT enjoins”. The power sharing formula between the Chief Patron and the newly elected President is still inconclusive. As per Syed Jamal this is expected to be decided soon in a couple of days.

Syed Jamal has vowed to continue the Peace Process with the IKMT for which he will urge the appointed committee to continue or will replace it by a new one if needed. Secondly Syed Jamal is totally against the formation of Youth Wing. He believes that like the past “we (ISK) are not in a state of war; neither our opponents are in such a state, so we do not need a youth wing at all”. Lastly, he wishes to keep politics at bay from the organisation which creates lot of problem. He wants the people interested in politics to meet with the ISK Command in their office and not allow them to carry out political functions in the organisation premises. This stand of the Chief Patron has been advocated by the newly chosen President of the ISK, Sheikh Nazir Mohmmadi as well.

In case of not fulfilling the three agendas, Syed Jamal has vowed to “compete with them (the rivals within the organisation)”. He told that to be an antagonist of the IKMT is not good for the welfare of the society. He said that he has no problem in sending supplications to the soul of Imam Khomeini who was a Mujtahid, of whom he himself was a follower. Politicising and propagating this conflict is not good only but disadvantageous as well. Similarly in celebrating the death anniversary of Imam Khomeini is not bad as like we celebrate the death anniversary of Gandhi and Nehru, nonetheless “Khomeini was our Marja-e-Taqleed”.

ISK has received a letter from Mehdavipur to send back the representatives for peace process to Delhi to resume the talks as soon as possible. Accordingly Syed Jamal has planned to sent the delegation to Delhi and resume the peace talks. The continuing ‘Mehdavipur Peace Process’ is slightly different from the ‘Karcha Peace Process’. The Karcha Peace Process was embarked when a group of clerics from Karcha took an initiative to mediate talks for integration between the two influential prominent organisations of Kargil. The representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Mehdavipur also encouraged the effort for integration. The prominent well-wisher and representative of Ayatollah Sistani, Molana Qalbi Sadiq from Lucknow also urged the two organisations to cooperate in integrating the two groups. Unfortunately the Karcha Peace Process didn’t last for a long time. In the later stage Ayatollah Mehdavipur called five members delegation from both the contending parties to Delhi to embark a new round of talks.

In the past talks both the parties almost have been agreed to negotiate the Peace Talks. As a move towards a comprehensive peace agreement an incremental peace agreement was signed between the two contending parties in which both agreed to abandon hate speech against each other. This move could be seen as an availability of potential to continue the peace process. Unfortunately the current reshuffling in the apex body of the Islamia School Kargil has stalled the peace talks for a time being. With the pledge of Syed Jamal this is expected to resume soon.

By Anwar Ali Tharpa