Kurdish activist Khalid Marif terms Indians as followers of various religions, linguistic communities, tribes etc., and hence requests New Delhi to come forward and support the cause of freedom-aspiring Kurdish people.
– NJ Thakuria
Guwahati: Kurds have no friends but the mountains, says a proverb and it can be understood going through their struggles for a homeland where four Muslim dominated nations continue repressive actions against the freedom-loving Kurdish people. Even being a Muslim majority nation, Kurds have been systematically intimidated by the Turkish regime in Ankara.
However, few days ago Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during 74th session of UN in New York. The argument was to safeguard the interest of Kashmiri Muslims in the northern locality of India. Pakistan, which has been occupying large parts of J&K, was quick to endorse Erdogan’s action as Islamabad also bats for Muslim interests.
Lately, voices of opposition are slowly growing against the governments in Ankara and Islamabad as both the Islamic regimes continue using the religious cards for their selfish interests. However, both the governments have never shown dignified approaches to the Kurdish people and Balochis who are also fighting for a sovereign Balochistan out of Pakistan.
Meet an intelligent Kurdish activist, who had recently interacted with a group of scribes at Guwahati Press Club through video-conferencing from Vancouver, where Diary Khalid Marif thanked India for denouncing Ankara’s military offensives in the Kurdish-inhabited localities of neighbouring Syria. He also appreciated New Delhi’s advisory to its citizens travelling to Turkey.
Terming India a vivid followers of various religions, linguistic communities, tribes etc., Marif categorically stated that New Delhi should come forward supporting the cause of freedom-aspiring Kurdish people as they too nurture various religious faiths including Islam (both Shia and Sunni sects), Christianity, Judaism, Yazdanism, Yazidi, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism, etc with different racial groups. “India can be a natural ally to the Kurdish nation, as Hindustan is a concept of nationalism (not necessary an entity of Sanatan religion) and the Kurdish people also prefer to categorize everyone on the basis of a nation and not necessarily their religion.
Kurds never have prioritized religion issues and they are still fighting for their ethnicity,” commented Marif. Kurds are the world’s largest ethnic group with over 40 million population but without a State and they are divided mostly in four countries namely Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Unlike the common belief that every Muslim supports the Islamic State, they are different. Rather Kurdish people have successfully resisted Islamist terrorists in different junctures. “Every progressive and peace-loving nation, which expresses concern over the religious terrorism, should come forward supporting the Kurds,” asserted Marif, pointing out that unlike ISIS, the Kurdish people maintain mutual respects to the minorities and also the women.
The young political analyst revealed that the Kurdish movement has been enriched with the active participation of their women even in the armed struggles. A regular contributor of articles to The Pasewan, Awene Weekly, Daily Hawlati, Lvin, KNN TV etc, Marif reveals that there are over 20 million Kurds in Turkey and even it is around 20 percent of its population, they are denied their ethnic identity. Torturing, imprisonment and killings of Kurds are regular happenings where they cannot openly speak the Kurdish language. Similarly, Iranian Kurdistan supports nearly 12 million Kurds (around 17 percent population of Iran) who always suffer discrimination from 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. Iraqi Kurdistan gives shelter to around 6 million Kurds (around 17 percent of its population) where they initially enjoyed no rights. By Sixties only, rights for Kurds were included in the Iraqi constitution. Millions of Kurdish people were killed by various regimes in Baghdad, where Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain took the lead in massacring the Kurds.
In Syrian Kurdistan, there are over 3 million Kurds (around 10 percent of Syrian population) who also face difficulties in various political aspects. However, Kurdish national there enjoy the right to citizenship, study in mother tongue and speak their language, added the young political analyst. Humiliated by the successive governments of Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria etc for decades, the Kurdish people have to fight for their ethnic identity. Kurdish names & costumes are banned in most of these countries, where their language has also been restricted.
Despite facing all challenges, Kurds are running their struggle for a sovereign Kurdistan and thousands have already sacrificed their lives for the cause. Hails from Iraqi Kurdistan and a Pune University pass-out, Marif termed India as a favourite destination of Kurdish students for higher studies. He also admitted that he learned many things in India like democratic values, tolerance, dignity to minority communities and finally the unity in diversities. Marif still misses typical Indian foods, people with warm hearts and lush greenery of the country.