Jammu: Without naming the BJP, National Conference (NC) president Dr Farooq Abdullah today decried the machinations of those playing religious card for furthering political objectives, saying they would always see religion in danger whenever elections were round the corner.
“Lord Rama or almighty Allah can never be in danger, the politicians may be,” he said, while addressing a day-long convention of JKNC SC Cell at Sher-i-Kashmir Bhawan here this afternoon.
At the outset, two minutes of silence was observed as a mark of respect to CDS General Bipin Rawat, his wife and other ranks who died yesterday in a tragic helicopter crash in Tamil Nadu.
He also reiterated that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would peacefully seek restoration of their snatched rights as they were yearning for getting them back. He said elections were going to be held and it was only a matter of time.
Reiterating his concern about curbs on the media for reporting freely and objectively, Farooq took exception to the government response that nothing like this was happening or no such order was issued to impose curbs on the media. Reference was to the government’s reply in the Parliament on this issue.
Farooq said, “This is yet another lie being spread by the government as the media persons know what they face for writing the truth, which at times is against the interest of the executive also. The editors of some media houses have told me what they are made to face for writing the truth. But the day is not far when the government will be shown the mirror vis-a-vis muzzling the press.”
He said religion was not to divide the people but to serve humanity. “Dividing and discriminating against the people in the name of religion is exploitation which has to be opposed. This was appalling to see how Scheduled Castes were still being discriminated against in most parts of the country and deprived of their rights. Though a change has taken place due to reservation as a result of which the community can take pride in producing good doctors and engineers yet the backwardness and economic deprivation is still continuing,” NC president stated.
He exhorted the community to unite and to take sagacious decisions during elections so that their elected public spirited representatives could bring about a desired transformation in their socio-economic and political emancipation. He said the National Conference always espoused the cause of the community and ensured their participation in the decision making by getting their representatives in the Legislative Council. He regretted that the conditions of the Scheduled Castes had not improved despite the nation getting independence nearly 75 years ago.
“I urge the SC community to unite under the banner of the National Conference to ensure their overall growth and progress,” he said and exhorted them to identify honest representatives who could be given mandate for elections.
The National Conference president also referred to the poverty and exploitation of the poor over seven decades ago, saying it was his party that took pioneering and revolutionary measures by making tillers owners of the holding they were toiling with their sweat and blood. He said the people had been enslaved and the dignity of women was at stake.
He also referred to growing unemployment among the educated unemployed including doctors and engineers and said that he had taken up the issue of engaging the local skilled and unskilled workforce in various projects during the visit of the Union Surface Minister Nitin Gadkari in SKICC Srinagar. He said the poor people of this state also deserved sustenance, which was being denied to them. Not only this, the people from other states were brought to deprive locals of their due.
The NC president also highlighted the crucial role of women in bringing about transformation and harmony in the society and urged them to come forward and contribute towards this objective.
Farooq exhorted the cadre to strengthen the National Conference at the grassroots level for meeting challenges to Jammu and Kashmir. “We have to steer the state from the difficult times,” he added.
The convention was organised by provincial president JKNC SC Cell Vijay Lochan. It was addressed by the senior party leaders. Prominent among those who spoke on the occasion included Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamaal, Rattan Lal Gupta, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra and Sheikh Bashir Ahmed.
The convention was also attended by Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Jagjeevan Lal, Ajaz Jan, Babu Rampaul, Abdul Gani Teli, Swaran Lata, Deepinder Kour, Surinder Singh Bunty, Vijay Laxami Dutta, Anil Dhar, Pardeep Bali, Israr Khan and Thakur Yashu Vardan Singh besides others.