Farooq calls for unity against ‘forces inimical’ to J&K

Says State subjected to hardships, decries advertisement gag on local newspapers
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah offers floral tribute to July 13, 1931 martyrs. Habib Naqash/GK
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah offers floral tribute to July 13, 1931 martyrs. Habib Naqash/GK

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah Saturday urged political parties to rise above respective political ideologies and unite to defeat "forces" who want to damage the state for their vested interests.

Addressing party workers and activists after paying tributesto the martyrs of 13 July 1931 Dr Farooq said, "In 1931 people sacrificed theirlives to protect their nation."

"The 1931 was the culmination of growing unrest againstoppressors and tyrant. People gave their life for securing dignity andself-respect of their countrymen. Never had Kashmir witnessed such an uprisinguntil 1931," said Farooq, the MP from Srinagar.

"It taught all shades of opinion not to consider themseparate …not just Muslims, Sheikh Sahib told masses that ills can be cured bycarrying along people from all religions including Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs,"said the NC leader.

He said sacrifices offered by people in 1931 inspired theNational Conference founder for his long struggle for justice and dignity.

"Since its inception National Conference has symbolizedsacrifice of martyrs of 1931. The revolutionary party manifesto of Nayakashmirwas a comprehensive document that also echoed genuine aspirations of people ofKashmir in particular and state in general," he said.

Speaking over prevailing situation in the State, Dr Farooqextended his support to local media. While decrying advertisement ban onvarious local dailies he said that "media plays a crucial role of gate keepingand exposing ills of society in a democratic set up.

He said media also exposes loopholes in a democratic systemwhich ultimately helps government to undo wrongdoings, thereby makingadministration more responsive and efficient.

However, he said, the situation was "different" in Kashmir."Today, we are being denied a vibrant press. The sole reason behind the curbsis to pressurise media from not reporting about issues of greater publicimportance. Today, an unconventional version of democracy is being pushed onus. The reason behind such undemocratic gags on local dailies is to impedetheir impartial working. Putting curbs on the press is analogous to throttlingdemocracy. It must end without any delay. This ban on government advertisementsto different local dailies should be revoked," said Dr Farooq.

Urging workers and functionaries to strengthen the party, heasked: "How can this ailing Valley of ours be redeemed in absence of a populargovernment?  Today, our state is caughtin a blizzard. The forces inimical to J&K's special constitutional positionwill try their level best to widen communal tension in the state.  Such forces want to rob our state of its ownflag, of its own constitution and of its unique constitutional identity. Theywill employ all sorts of dishonest means to achieve their end. However it isthe unity among us that will give us power to stand against the enemy."

Dr Farooq said people of the state have faced gags, diktats,bans and curfews. "The gap between government and people has increased. On onehand we are fighting for our identity and on the other we are denied our dueshare in development. Today, people of Kashmir are feeling alienated in theirown land," Abdullah said.

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