‘Propagation of hatred to disintegrate India’

Farooq launches direct assault against Centre
‘Propagation of hatred to disintegrate India’
National Conference president and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah. Mubashir Khan/GK File

Jammu: National Conference (NC) president and the Member of Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah on Thursday cautioned “those ruling at New Delhi that India would disintegrate if they continued to promote and propagate hatred” among the communities.

He was addressing party workers and functionaries here at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan.

Invoking former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and his doctrine of “Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat and Kashmiriyat”, Farooq even reiterated that the dialogue with Pakistan was imperative to bring peace in Kashmir.

In this context, he also recalled Vajpayee’s famous address at the Teethwal where he had spelt out - “we can change our friends but not neighbours” and had extended the hand of friendship for mutual benefit.

In his no-holds-barred assault against the central government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP and RSS and that too in his distinctive style, Farooq minced no words as he said, “The propagation of hatred (among different communities) is their potent weapon to win elections and I’ve been a witness to it. This has been their ploy since independence which they’ve successfully applied by dividing the two communities.”

“The last election was fought and won on the plank of “Balakote (surgical strikes).” Did it change the Line (of Control)? Did we get any part of our territory back from Pakistan? That line (LoC) still exists there only unchanged. Rather we lost our own chopper there. So what did we get out of it (Balakote strike)? Nothing but yes, BJP stormed to power yet again. Today yet again they are up to the same manoeuvre. They are propagating hatred merely to win UP (Uttar Pradesh) elections,” he continued his tirade.

Farooq weaved his narrative about Jammu to touch the right chord. He recalled that Jammu witnessed a wave of hatred in 1947 as well. “It happened as Muslim League was also here in Jammu but Kashmir was spared of this bloodbath because of National Conference. Our line of thinking never matched that of theirs. Jammu carnage happened because of this difference in two ideologies. I take this opportunity to warn those ruling at New Delhi that if they continue to promote and propagate the same hatred, India will fall to pieces, beyond one’s imagination and none will be in a position to save it. Being a Kashmiri, I’ve nothing to do with those inhabiting Tamil Nadu in terms of culture, living style and ethnicity. Ditto is about Bengal, Maharashtra and other states of the country. All have their different ethnicities, culture, language, climate, traditions and lifestyle but it is one thought that binds us all and that is – to live together in harmony despite all differences – to make India an abode of ‘unity in diversity’,” he said.

Right from the word ‘Go’, NC president was direct in denouncing BJP-ruled central government, party and its parent organisation. In between he made oblique references to the developments which caused a setback to NC in Jammu province.

“I don’t have time to delve into the historical accounts. We’ve to fight communalism and dismantle the wall of hatred being created between Hindus and Muslims. To end and bury this hatred is the only solution to save India and J&K. Neither India nor J&K will survive if this hatred is allowed to flourish. Hatred is being spread in your own Jammu in the garb of a new narrative by those who are parroting “Jammu, Jammu, Jammu...” Jammu is the gateway of Kashmir and the latter is the gateway of Ladakh. I want to caution all those who think that they can disintegrate this state. Beware! Don’t have a line of thinking which will disintegrate this nation. Never ever forget - this nation has been created by Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and even atheists were part of those who fought against the British for India, which belonged to all. They could not see the first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru to unfurl tricolour at the ramparts of Red Fort in independent India,” Farooq linked history to present scenario.

Continuing his assault against the central government and BJP, he said, “But there are people who have a different (prejudiced) line of thinking. Initially we’re branded as Pakistanis. NC was referred to as Pakistanis Later, they scared people here in the name of Pakistan to garner votes that the people from would capture their lands and they would be hounded out of their houses. I kept on telling you that nothing of this sort would happen till New Delhi permitted so. But you did not listen to me.”

“Now ask them who were raising slogans – who came and captured your lands, who settled here and who were thrown out? We’re repeating the same mistake yet again in the name of safeguarding the interests of Jammu, even if it happens at the cost of other parts of the state. But mind it, Jammu will not be safe till (idea of) India is safe,” he warned.

Farooq said that NC workers, who were the soul of the party, would have to fight against all those elements propagating hatred and dividing people. They would have to expose their canards, white lies, he said.

“Sagar Sahib rightly said that NC lost its 3000 workers, functionaries including the ministers but we never allowed the tricolour to go down. We always kept the flag of India flying high even while sacrificing our lives. Despite their all efforts to demean us, our loyalties would never shift to the other side (Pakistan) as we belonged to India and it belonged to us. Situation could have been different in 1947 but it was Sher-e-Kashmir who told Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah in unequivocal terms that two-nation theory was not acceptable to Kashmiris,” Farooq had another take from the past.

Next in line was a dig at both the BJP leadership as well as those who left NC.

“If you want to rule, why do you want to achieve this objective through propagation of hatred? This buying of people will not bring you power. You cannot rule through inducement. Our people know everything. They know what you are doing and why you are doing so. They also know that the heart of those, (who have shifted loyalties) does not lie there (read BJP). They have switched to the other side just to grind their own axe,” NC president maintained.

He also took dig at the Centre for spiralling prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas (LPG) cylinders and pulses. “I ask the Prime Minister, what happened to the promises you made to us? See, those, who had promised to make J&K a real heaven, turned it into a hell. I ask them to keep their word to make it to heaven and then win the election,” Farooq said.

He also aimed barbs at the central ministers visiting J&K as a part of centre’s much-hyped “public outreach programme.” “They came. But did they visit our villages? They went to Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Sonamarg....enjoyed and went back. And the ruling clique boasted that the central ministers visited J&K for outreach. How far can you hoodwink gullible masses? The people are now literate even in far off villages, hilly terrains. One cannot befool them.”

Then NC president moved to the media as he said, “See the plight of the media. Media has not been allowed to write facts. It is being suppressed through arm-twisting methods. If they dare, their editors are threatened with consequences. The provisions of black laws are being slapped against them.....”

“If some newspaper would muster the courage to write that the government’s failure to tackle Covid 19 consumed 50 lakhs lives in the country and not five lakhs as the government was projecting, the editor would be behind the bars,” Farooq alleged while mentioning the case of a popular national daily.

“This is not India, where Nehru would quietly and gracefully listen to Lohia censuring him in the Parliament. The rulers should not be under this impression that they would always remain in power. Their rule too will end and the media will regain its voice highlighting their black deeds with any fear. Don’t be afraid of them, just afraid of the almighty. This is the time when the Babus (bureaucrats) don’t take (our) calls. But the time will change. They claimed that they brought the real Panchayati Raj by conducting DDC elections. But did the DDCs, Panchs get the real power which was promised to them? Officers don’t listen to them. Our fight was not against Maharaja Hari Singh. We only fought to win power for the people,” NC MP said.

“I had raised my voice for Jammu in the Parliament when people here were dying due to lack of oxygen during the second wave of Covid pandemic,” he recalled while taking a dig at the Prime Minister’s “Vaccine diplomacy.”

He exhorted the media and people to shoulder the responsibility to keep India intact, maintain communal harmony. “India will get harmed by the internal dangers and not the dangers from Pakistan or China. Strengthen NC. People come and go. There’s nothing to worry,” he said while narrating a moving incident of small Muslim girl being worshipped as “Maa Bhagwati” during Navratras reflecting true soul of India, quoting Prof Badri Raina.

NC general secretary Ali Mohammed Sagar, additional general secretary Ajay Sadhotra, the provincial president Rattan Lal Gupta too shared the dais with Dr Abdullah.

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