Political Parties Pay Tributes To July 13 Martyrs

SRINAGAR: Several political parties on Tuesday paid tribute to martyrs of July 13, 1931, saying the  July 13 martyrs will live forever in peoples’ hearts’.

All roads leading to martyrs graveyard at Khawaja Naqashband Sahib shrine in downtown Srinagar were closed with barbed wire to prevent assemble of people on Martyrs’ Day on Tuesday July 13, 2021. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

National Conference

The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and Member of Parliament from Srinagar Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday led the party functionaries in offering Fateh to the Martyrs of 1931 here at party headquarters Nawa-e-Subha, Srinagar.

According to a statement issued by NC, General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, Additional General Secretary Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani, State Women’s Wing President Shameema Firdous, Central Secretary Irfan Shah, Provincial Vice Presidents Muhammad Syed Akhoon, Syed Tauqeer Ahmed, District President Srinagar Peer Afaq Ahmed, Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar, Provincial Vice President North Zone Vice President Dr. Sajad Shafi Uri, YNC Provincial President (K) Salman Ali Sagar, Women’s Wing President (K) Er. Sabiya Qadri, Youth Leader Ahsan Pardesi, Adv. Shabir Ahmed, GN Tailbali, Qaisar Jalali, Dr Syed also joined the party president in paying homage to the revered Martyrs of  July 13, 1931.

In his address, Dr. Farooq recalled the supreme sacrifice of the martyrs of 13 July 1931 and paid homage to each of them and many such unsung heroes who laid their lives for dignity and political rights of people of J&K. “13th July is a turning point in the history of Jammu & Kashmir.  On the eventful day, the people of Kashmir unlocked themselves from the years of coyness that had snared them. The intrepid and dauntless heroism shown by our unarmed martyrs will continue to inspire forthcoming generations to eternity; no matter how many years pass the pain that was inflicted on the hearts of Kashmiri on that day will always remain the same. We will never fail to remember their supreme sacrifice for liberating the future generations from the years of bondage and despotic rule,” he said.

He said that it was Sher-e-Kashmir, who took it upon himself to carry forward the legacy of our fallen heroes. This distinctive feature of our community character, he held, was fashioned by many sacrifices and manifested in the ideology of the National Conference in the shape of appropriation of J&K’s aspirations for an environment that guarantees a suitable accommodation of our indigenous socio-political complexes within the Union of India.

“Our best tribute to our heroes will be to continue with our peaceful, democratic and constitutional struggle in getting our historical individuality back. With 13th July martyrs as our guiding stars, I’m sure we will steer Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh to safer shores,” he said.

He said that during his audience with the PM, he brought the ever increasing trust deficit between New Delhi and J&K to its notice and that it was for New Delhi to come out of its shell and recognize Jammu & Kashmir’s individuality shaped by the sacrifices like July 13, 1931.

Peoples Democratic Party

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also paid tributes to the July 13 martyrs, stating that their role in Jammu and Kashmir’s freedom struggle can neither be undone nor can be forgotten.

Party Chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti while paying tributes said that on Martyrs day gates leading to their graveyards have been locked up. Attempts to distort and rewrite Kashmir`s history is being done to create a sense of defeat and helplessness amongst Kashmiris.

“Nevertheless as we pay homage to the heroes of July 13, 1931 our resolve to strive for restoration of J&K’s dignity remains firm,” she said.

Meanwhile, the party organised a commemoration event to pay homage to the martyrs at the party headquarters in Srinagar. The event was attended and addressed by senior leaders of the party.

In a statement issued here, Party spokesperson said that the memory of  July 13 martyrs cannot be erased by stopping us from paying homage at the graveyard and offering Fateha Khwani as the brave hearts will live forever in the hearts and memories of every freedom loving democrat.

Speaking at the commemoration event party General Secretary G N Lone Hanjura said that PDP reiterates its commitment to the objectives of justice, empowerment and democratic rights that the martyrs have laid their lives down for.

“We will continue to struggle to resist demographic change, disempowerment, and oppression through democratic, constitutional and non violent means to rebuild the state in accordance with our traditions of tolerance, accommodation and amity,” he said.

Senior party Leader and former Minister Aasiya Naqash said that the martyrs laid down their lives for the empowerment of the people of J&K , for the cause of democracy, rejecting the suffocating religious, political and economic conditions imposed on the people.

“The call for Azaan of those brave hearts still reverberates in every nook and corner of the valley. This government should stop internalising its own propaganda and open its eyes to the reality and course correct its policies,” she said.

Party Chief Spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said that while we are barred from even offering fateha to our martyrs, no amount of coercion can take them, their memory,their respect and their contribution out of our hearts.

“Attempts to rewrite our history by reworking official calenders cannot change our history. Our history and our heroes live in our hearts. The collective memory of a nation can’t be erased. Though the incident happened in 1931 but the fact remains that even 2021 feels like 1931.Our martyrs inspire us in our struggle for our identity and rights, “Bukhari said.

“Our people have shown remarkable resilience and valiantly braved the brutal assaults on our identity and shared history. These assaults are directed to brand our thriving civilisation as an aberration bereft of history and drill a sense of helplessness into our psyche. We reiterate our firm resolve today to strive for the restoration of J&K’s dignity. Democratic means will be our compass and restoration of constitutional positions our goal, “the statement further said.

Those who attended and addressed the commemoration event also included senior leader & former minister Naeem Akhter, State Secretaries Ab Hamid Kosheen, Gh Mohiuddin Wani, Party spokespersons Dr Harbaksh Singh, Najm us Saqib, District President Budgam Md Yaseen Bhat, former VC Haji Pervez, DDC Member Pulwama Abdul Qayoom Mir, Zonal Presidents of all assembly segments of Srinagar and leaders Rouf Bhat and Arif Laigaroo, said the statement.

CPI (M)

Paying tributes to the martyrs, CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Monday said Naya Kashmir which was drafted with their blood was dismantled on August 5, 2019.

“It was due to the supreme sacrifices of July 13 martyrs that ultimately led a way for Naya Kashmir which is notable for its humanistic view of development. By virtue of it, J&K made significant strides including landmark Agrarian Reforms, free education to all, political and economic rights to women, upliftment of weaker sections of population, including peasants and tenets got empowered.  Similarly, it ensured the empowerment of ethnic groups, including Dalits,” Tarigami said in a statement.

“The constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir was also the outcome of the ‘Naya Kashmir’ and J&K’s special status under Article 370 was the outcome of the struggle of the 1931 martyrs,” he said.

“However, unfortunately on August 5, 2019, BJP government unilaterally dismantled whatever little was left. With a stroke of pen, J&K’s special status under Article 370 was abrogated and erstwhile state was downgraded and bifurcated into two union territories,” he added.

“New narrative of BJP government is to make a ‘Naya Kashmir’ where even you are not allowed to mourn and visit the graves of the July 13 martyrs to pay homage to them. In the last two years silence of people, achieved by force, is being projected as acceptance of BJP government’s unconstitutional and arbitrary decisions. But in reality treating silence by force as acceptance is a biggest mistake,” said Tarigami in a statement.

“On ground developmental activities have been halted in J&K and government employees are being terminated without being given a chance to defend themselves which is their constitutional and legal right. It is quite arbitrary. Similarly, people are not even allowed to protest over livelihood issues and issues pertaining to day-to-day life. On ground there is fear,” he said.

“Perception about Delimitation Commission among people is that it has been constituted to further dis-empower them politically. Despite repeated assurances by the government, full-fledged statehood is not being restored to Jammu and Kashmir. The Supreme Court verdict is yet awaited on pleas challenging unconstitutional scrapping of J&K’s special status under Article 370,” he added.

In a statement Tarigami said that the present government is relentlessly pursuing a policy to demolish the political significance of July 13 further. J&K administration’s decision that there will be no holiday on Martyrs’ Day on July 13 is an attempt to distort history. The movement of July 13 martyrs was peoples movement which reflected the aspirations of the entire population of J&K as the tyrannical regime was equally repressive for people of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh. It was not the struggle of one community or one region.

“ It is high time that political parties in J&K rising above ideological difference introspect as what went wrong and unitedly strive for the rights of people of erstwhile state of J&K. That would be the best tribute to the martyrs of July 13, 1931,” he said, adding that July 13 is commemorated as the struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for upholding social justice, democratic and human values. It is a historic event and its significance will remain for future generations as well.”

“The uprising against the tyranny and autocratic rule of Maharaja by the people laid a strong edifice for unifying the people, rising above narrow considerations that finally culminated in initiating a process of their empowerment. The supreme sacrifices by the martyrs led to the dawning of a new era in Jammu and Kashmir,” said Tarigami in a statement.

 Congress

The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Martyr’s laid down their lives for justice equality and against barbarism, their sacrifices shall always be remembered.

Remembering 1931 Martyr’s, the J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) said that the sacrifices of 1931 Martyr’s shall always be remembered, as that, they fought against the autocracy and barbarism, besides honour of the people.

“The best way to pay homage to 1931 Martyr’s was to defeat those  forces, who were hellbent upon to harm the age old tradition of brother and unity in J&K,” JKPCC added and paid glowing tributes to them (Martyr’s).

Apni Party

Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari said that the martyrs of 13th July, 1931 were the first torch bearers for establishing democracy in this region.

In a statement issued here, Bukhari said that the martyrs of 13th July were the pioneers who without bothering for the consequences raised their voice against the autocratic regime in order to establish a democratic set up in Jammu and Kashmir.

“These great unarmed men laid their lives for a sacred cause and sparked a movement for establishing a democratic system whereby the people are masters of their fate,” he said, while censuring the government for not allowing the Party leaders to pay floral tributes at the Martyrs’ graveyard in Khwaja Bazar Nowhatta-Srinagar.

Bukhari said that the contribution of Martyrs of July 13, 1931 in upholding the flambeau for rule of the people is immense and will be counted among the early struggles of the 20th century for putting an end to autocratic regimes across the globe.

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