JAMMU: National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress and the BJP for playing villains to democracy in Jammu and Kashmir, nurtured and sustained by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah over the years.
According to a statement issued here, leading party leaders and workers in paying homage to the Baba-e-Quom on his 113th birth anniversary at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan, Mr. Rana said: “The Congress made repeated assaults by conspiring against democratically elected governments in 1953 and 1984, to quote a few, in a bid to weaken democracy in Jammu & Kashmir and the BJP’s recent dubious role will also go as a bad chapter in the annals of democratic history of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Senior leaders Mr Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Mr Surjeet Singh Slathia, Th Kashmira Singh, Sheikh Abdul Rehman, Mr Brij Mohan Sharma, Qazi Jalal-ud-Din, Mr Vijay Bakaya, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Babu Ram Pal, S. Tarlochan Singh Wazir, Mrs Deepender Kour, Dr. Chaman Lal Bhagat, Mrs Bimla Luthra, Mrs Deepender Kour, Mr Master Noor Hussain,Mr Gurdeep Singh Sasan, Mrs Vijay Laxami Dutta, Mrs Satwant Kour Dogra, Mr Surinder Singh Bunty and others paid floral tributes to Sher-e-Kashmir.
He said the conspiracies have all along failed and the National Conference has, in fact, emerged stronger after every political assault due to support of the people in all the three regions of the State.
“Now that the elections are round the corner, National Conference under the leadership of Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah will go with renewed strength to the people and shall seek mandate for a strong and stable majority government in the State”, he said, adding that the people want a single-party government as dispensations with crutches cannot satiate their political, developmental and economic aspirations.
Urging the cadre to gear up for the elections, Mr Rana said emergence of a strong National Conference will steer out the state to peace, prosperity and development. He cautioned against conspiracies to divide the people on religious, regional and caste lines and said maintaining the unity and single entity of Jammu and Kashmir will be a befitting tribute to Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. He emphasized the crucial need of strengthening and sustaining the time tested unity, saying no society will progress if its foundations are laid on myopic considerations. “This (secular bonding) is the spirit which has all along guided National Conference”, he said while recalling the cherished slogan of Hindu, Muslim, Sikh Itehad raised by Sher-e-Kashmir during most turbulent times.
Earlier, senior leaders and the party workers paid floral tributes to Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and pledged to work for steering Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh as peaceful, progressive and a politically stable state, which was the dream nurtured by the tallest of the tall leaders of the time all his life. The senior leaders paid their respectful homage to the architect of Naya Jammu and Kashmir and recalled his contribution in overall transformation of the State.
The highlight of the day was a seminar on ‘The Legacy of Sher-e-Kashmir’, held for the first time at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan, in which young speakers dwelt on various facets of the life, political struggle, sacrifices and role of Baba-e-Quom in laying strong edifice of Jammu and Kashmir with focus on politico-economic empowerment and emancipation. They included Mr Zalaj Choudhary, S. Tejinder Singh, Mr Zamir Quershi, Mr Faizam, Mr Haamid Hashmi, Mr Sushant Abrol, Mr Mohit Aryan, Mr Ishtiq Ahmed, Mr Sajjid Haider Malik, Ms Eram Shamim, Ms Nafessa Liaquat, Mr Omer Altaf, Mr Bhavishya Chaman and others.
They were unanimous in acknowledging that the high point of Sheikh Sahib’s legacy has been inclusiveness, tranquility and harmony between people belonging to various faiths and regions of the State. They emphasized the need for carrying forward this legacy to build progressive, secular and peaceful Jammu and Kashmir, which is facing numerous challenges posed by divisive elements.
“Maintaining secular ethos is the best and befitting tribute to Sheikh Sahib, a towering among tallest of leaders of his times in the sub-continent”, the speakers said and urged the people to foil the machinations of all those conspiring to divide the state.
The speakers recalled the glorious role of Sheikh Sahib in strengthening amity and regional unity at a time when the entire sub-continent was in communal frenzy. “We are proud inheritors of this legacy”, a speaker said.
In their homage to Baba-e-Quom, the participants cautioned against emergence of communal forces, saying it is not good omen for secular and progressive nation. They observed that the slogan of Sheikh Sahib in strengthening the bonds of amity and unity has immense relevance now than ever before.
The speakers were of the view that whenever the history of Jammu and Kashmir will be re-written; it will be incomplete without the mention of Sheikh Sahib. They recalled the landmark and pioneering Land Reforms Act, which empowered the farmers by making them masters of their own destiny overnight. They said that progressive outlook and vision of Sher-e-Kashmir transformed Jammu and Kashmir as a vibrant state where the people of all the faiths enjoy equal opportunities of progress and development.
Describing Sher-e-Kashmir as a towering leader of his times, the speakers said his vision and far-sight helped the state to grow as a vibrant entity.
While paying homage to the legendary leaders, , the speakers threw light on various facets of Sher-e-Kashmir’s life and recalled his sacrifice and contribution to ameliorate the lot of people, especially those belonging to weaker and down-trodden segments of society.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mr Bashir Ahmed Wani, Mr Jugal Mahajan, Ch. Haroon, Mr Dharamvir Singh Jamwal Mr Vijay Lochan, Mr Abdul Gani Teli, Mr Chander Mohan Sharma, Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Pardeep Bali, Mr Ravi Dogra, Mr Rakesh Singh Raka, Mr Sanjay Gupta, Mrs Rashida Begum, Mrs Daljeet Sharma, Mr Nar Singh, Mr Mohinder Gupta, Mrs Veena Oberia, Mrs Anju Grover, Mrs Kuldeep Kour , Ch Shafi, Mr Arif Mir , Mr Sian Dass, Mr Waris Gill, G. H Malik, Ch. Saleem Retd , Ch. Salam Din, Mr Subash Mehra, Mr Rohit Kerni, Mr Tanveer Hussain Babzada , Mr Nitish Kumar, Mr Iftkahar Choudhary, Mrs Amrit Versha, Mr Ashok Dogra, Ch. Akhter, Master Aslam, Mr Mohit Mehra and others.
The 113th birth anniversary of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was also observed at all the district headquarters of the Jammu region with local functionaries paying floral tribute to Baba-e-Quom.
The homage giving function started with Quran Khwani and all religious prayers. The National Conference leaders also distributed among the inmates of Old Age Home at Amphalla here.