National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Monday said that secularism was under severe strain with reactionary and fascist forces working overtime to divide the nation on religious, regional, ethnical and caste lines.“Compartmentalizing society on religious lines is against the idea of India”, Rana said while paying homage to Baba-e-Quom Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah on his 111th birth anniversary at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this morning. Prominent among those who paid floral tribute to Sheikh Sahib also included former ministers Mohammed Shaffi Uri, Surjeet Singh Slathia and Ajay Kumar Sadhotra.He said beneficiaries of polarized politics might have derived short term dividends but continuation of this trend could prove detrimental to the larger national interest. In this context, he referred to the malicious outburst of the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat recently in Jammu about India being a Hindu Rashtra, and said such a myopic mindset will impede country’s growth as a vibrant, forward looking, progressive and dynamic nation, capable of emerging as a world leader at the strength of its glorious civilization and human resource.
Emphasizing crucial need of strengthening and sustaining time tested unity; the Provincial President reminded secular forces of their responsibility in isolating divisive elements for overall good of the nation. He said no society will progress if its foundations are laid on myopic considerations. “This (secular bonding) is the spirit which has all along guided National Conference”, he said while recalling the cherished slogan of ‘Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist ethos’ raised by Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah during horrendous era of the Partition. He said National Conference has never deviated from the path of secular traditions, which is why the people, irrespective of caste, creed and colour were feeling secure under its umbrella.“Maintaining secular ethos is the best and befitting tribute to Sheikh Sahib, a towering among tallest of leaders of his times in the sub-continent”, Rana said and urged the people to foil the machinations of all those conspiring to divide the state. “Single entity of the state is guarantee to progress of Jammu and Kashmir”, he declared.
He also made a mention of polarizing attempts being made by the present dispensation and expressed concern over uprooting of people on selective basis from homes and hearths of their ancestors.“Let us vow and make a resolve today to carry forward the mission of Baba-e-Quom to strengthen bonds of amity and unity among the people”, he added.Paying tribute to Sher-e-Kashmir, former minister and Sr State Vice President Surjeet Singh Slathia recalled the glorious role of Sheikh Sahib in strengthening amity and regional unity at a time when the entire sub-continent was in communal frenzy. “We are proud inheritors of this legacy”, he said, adding that National Conference has a premier role in sustaining this unique feature of the state that is under threat from the divisive forces.Slathia lashed out at the PDP-BJP dispensation for landing Jammu and Kashmir into unprecedented crisis, saying while unrest is taking alarming proportions in the Valley, Jammu is braving the brunt of border skirmishes and terror attacks.The former minister decried the BJP for its failure in keeping the commitments, made during height of electioneering in 2014, with regard to construction of bunkers, safe shelters and allotment of plots to people of forward areas along LoC and International Border. He said the BJP stands exposed for its exploitative and opportunistic politics.In his homage to Baba-e-Quom, senior leader and former MP Sheikh Abdul Rehman cautioned against emergence of communal forces, saying it is not good omen for secular and progressive India. He said the slogan of Sheikh Sahib in strengthening the bonds of amity and unity has immense relevance now than ever before.
Rehman also urged the cadre to work towards unity of the state amid the voices of disintegration being raised in certain quarters.Earlier, floral tributes were paid to Sher-e-Kashmir by Syed Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Mohammed Yousf Taing , Rattan Lal Gupta, Th Kashmira Singh, Th Rachpal Singh, Vijay Bakaya, Rahim Daad, Haji Mohammed Hussain, Qazi Jalal-ud-Din, Bimla Luthra, Satpal Lakhotra, Sheikh Bashir, Depeender Kour, Vijay Laxmi Dutta, Choudhry Haroon, Gurdeep Singh Sasan, Anil Dhar, S Peter, Satwant Kour Dogra, Vijay Lochan, Abdul Gani Teli, Dharamveer Singh Jamwal, Pradeep Bali, Chander Mohan Sharma, Warris Gil, Ayub Malik, Rakesh Singh Raka, Somnath Khajuria, Ch Rehmat Ali, G H Malik, Dilshad Malik, Daljeet Sharma, Rashida Begum, Ashok Dogra, Anju Grover, Veena Oberoi, Rohit Bali, Rohit Kerni, M L Munshi, Kr Yashu Vardhan Singh, Somraj Taroch and others. The homage-giving function began with all religious prayers. The senior functionaries offered fruit and other eatables to the inmates of Vridh Ashram at Amphalla here.The 111th birth anniversary of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was also observed at all the district headquarters of the Jammu region with local functionaries paying floral tribute to Baba-e-Quom. (KNS)