Farooq Abdullah once defended India amid global backlash on Kashmir. Now, he has to defend himself

Riyaz Wani
Farooq Abdullah once defended India amid global backlash on Kashmir. Now, he has to defend himself

Any mention or thought of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), India’s troubled northern state, habitually brings to mind the image of Farooq Abdullah, an 83-year-old, tall, chubby man with wisps of gray hair on the sides of a bald pate, which is often crested with a Karakul—a Kashmiri sheepskin cap. A three-time chief minister, his most prominent political function has been to champion India’s cause in a state roiled by a long-running armed separatist movement and also claimed by Pakistan. On Sept. 16, New Delhi detained and slapped him with the Public Safety Act, a stringent law under which he could be in jail without trial for six months, extendable up to two years.