National Conference President and former chief minister of J&K, Dr Farooq Abdullah has expressed grave concern over communalization of politics ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections and cautioned the BJP to desist from dividing the nation on religious lines.
“Polarised India is detrimental to growth, progress, unity, and peace”, Dr Abdullah said, apprehending the BJP to raise the religious pitch, as it has failed in delivering promises of development, jobs to youth and respite to farmers, among other sectors like education and health during over past four years.
He, the spokesman said decried the misuse of religion for political and electoral gains and said that politics of hate has emerged as a huge threat to the country.
Dr Abdullah was speaking at a function held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan in Jammu, held to welcome former Vice-Chancellor of Jammu University Prof R. R Sharma, former Director Information, Narinder Singh and former Additional Commissioner and retired IAS officer Mohammed Saleem in NC.
He said the division of people on religious lines is the biggest challenge to the country that has to be countered by effectively promoting the spirit of inconclusiveness. He reminded those sowing seeds of mistrust and hate for their political survival that the Indian tricolor was conceived by a Muslim. With such a contribution of Indian Muslims, he asked how the self-proclaimed hyper-nationalists could raise fingers on anybody’s patriotism.
He expressed concern over the sentiment of hate and intolerance spreading tentacles to Jammu and Kashmir and referred to shocking solidarity being shown to a rapist, shamelessly under the shadow of the national flag. He wondered how an alleged killer could be provided a shield of religion, saying a dangerous trend is being set, which is a bad omen for the unity of the State. He also expressed surprise over the decision of a ruling party Member Parliament in having separate cremation grounds for different castes.
Dr Abdullah, the spokesman said gave a clarion call to peace-loving people of Jammu to isolate the polarizing forces and invoked the spirit of the early 90s when Jammuities opened up their arms and welcomed displaced people from the Valley, irrespective of their religion, who left their homes and hearths for safety. “This is imperative for the unity of the state, as anything against Jammu’s pluralistic ethos may have an adverse impact in the Valley”, he said, adding that the spirit of harmony in the Jammu region will have a positive effect on thinking process of youth in Kashmir.
Elaborating on attempts of the wedge being generated by divisive forces in the State with an eye on ensuing elections, Dr Abdullah said that Jammu and Kashmir have to flourish and progress as a single entity. “NC alone can save the state from trifurcation and retain its unique feature of being the jewel in the crown of India”, he said.
He exhorted the cadre to assert their designated role in strengthening the bonds of harmony, amity, and brotherhood, bequeathed by towering leaders like Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, who rejected myopic political philosophy during the most difficult phase of the history.
Introducing and welcoming the new entrants into the party fold, Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said Prof R R Sharma, Narinder Singh, and Mohammed Salim have had a successful inning in their respective fields and hoped their joining will further strengthen the party at grassroots level.
He described the joining of three stalwarts into NC as a natural choice for public-spirited persons, as the party duly reflects the glorious ethos of the state. “Joining of a Hindu, a Muslim and a Sikh is in true consonance with the philosophy of National Conference’s cherished agenda of brotherhood”, he maintained.