Surprised over the assertions made by some leaders about Article 370 without having its full understanding, Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah challenged Narendra Modi to fix the time, date and venue to discuss the efficacy and essentially of this law.
“We are ready to talk to anyone on the subject even if you select Ahmadabad in Gujarat as a venue for the same”, Omar asserted saying many people in India who have held and are holding high offices are equally ignorant about the nature, importance and essentially of Article 370.
Omar said he is astonished hearing some people talking about Article 370 who have not even properly and completely read this Article. “They connect domicile rights of the people of the State, land grant issues and other similar matters to the Article 370 which has nothing to do with these matters”, Omar said maintaining that these leaders should know that Article 370 governs the relations of the State with the Union of India. Omar was addressing a large public gathering at Hazratbal on the birth anniversary of his grandpa Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
Omar asked Modi not to talk of Gujjar of J&K whose development and prosperity is a focused concern of the State and they enjoy Schedule Tribe status here. “You should instead be concerned about the Gujjar of Rajasthan who are struggling for Tribal status and are far behind in the development process” Omar told Modi advising him to first know whether Muharram is the month of mourning or the occasion of celebrations and then talk of Shias of J&K.
Chief Minister criticized state leaders who change their politics on seeing the direction and the way towards which the wind blows. He opined that these leaders have no courage to face the reality and take decisions for safeguarding the interests of the people and the state like that of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah who took even hardest decisions for the people’s cause and got these approved by the masses.
Stating that Late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah regarded the interests of the State and its people above all considerations, the Chief Minister said that Indira-Sheikh Accord was a step in this direction when the great leader Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the true friend of the people and the guardian of their interests, observed that a sea change has taken place on global spectrum, the map of the sub-continent has been redrafted and three wars fought between India and Pakistan on Kashmir resulted only blood-shed and destruction, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah saw only options to seek protection, honour and political dignity of the people of the State by talking to India. “This resulted in the Indira-Sheikh Accord”, he said, adding Sheikh soon after this Accord went to people for getting their consent for his decision which he received in 1977 State Assembly Elections by a thumping majority and whole hearted support of the people.
“This was not an easy decision to take for Sheikh Sahib but he took it for the interest of the State with the view that he will put it before the people to approve it or not and he went in the Elections in 1977 and received complete assent of the people”, Omar said and mentioned the similar historic decision taken by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1947 and putting it before the people for their agreement.
“Sheikh Sahib considered the people basis of power and recognized them as the real decision makers. He believed in democracy and public referendum as such he put his all decisions before the people for approval”, Omar said elaborating that the life and struggle of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah explains well his sincerity towards the state and its people. “Sheikh Sahib never indulged in putting the people of the State to trouble. He never took any step that would have endangered the life, education, economy and public safety. He put himself and his companions to the trouble and faced atrocity instead of putting people to difficulties and marring the future of youth”, Omar maintained and highlighted the high principles of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and his stupendous agenda for the State in his visionary document of Naya Kashmir.
The Chief Minister said that Sheikh Sahib was not like today leaders who create problems and difficulties for people in all fields of life even marring the educational carrier of students. He said that the propagandist elements and those nurturing enmity against Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and National Conference attempt at belittling the life size achievements and sacrifices of Sher-i-Kashmir and his companions which the history bears testimony.
Omar said anti Sheikh and anti National Conference forces try their best to veil and make people forget the role of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah particularly the one he played before 1977 and the decisions he took to revolutionize the socio-political conditions of the people of J&K. “These elements want youth not to read the chapter of struggle spearheaded by Sheikh Sahib and atrocities and difficulties he faced for the cause of the State and the dignity of the people”, he said and added that those who target Sheikh Sahib for participating in 1977 Elections themselves fought more Assembly Elections than Sher-i-Kashmir.
The Chief Minister said his party National Conference upholds the highest principals of public service, unity, solidarity, amity and equitable development of all the regions and sections of the society irrespective of any considerations, preached and practiced by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah throughout his life.
“We are here to connect the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, strengthen Hindu-Muslim-Sikh unity trait, ensure comprehensive and equitable development for all the residents of the State in all the regions and sub-regions and seek peace and political stability for the peaceful and modern Jammu and Kashmir”, Omar said and underlined the need for making new generation aware of the glaring and stupendous role Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah played for the cause of the State and its people. He said that youth should also be given full account of the struggle spearheaded by Sher-i-Kashmir right from 1931 and the atrocities he faced for people’s cause.