Asserting that there is no place for hate mongering and extremism in any civilised society, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Friday stressed upon sending across a clear message of peace and communal harmony from the state’s Legislative Assembly, which he described as one of the most powerful institutions in the country.
He said the message of inclusiveness preached by great leaders must not get eclipsed by the action of those who create panic leading to insecurity amongst the minorities of the country. “We are on the crossroads of history and have to again become torch-bearers of secularism, pluralism and tolerance in the country,” he said, while reminding people of the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who saw a ray of hope in Kashmir when the entire county was burning in a communal frenzy that led to the partition in 1947.
The Chief Minister said this while making a forceful speech in the Legislative Assembly today. He was speaking during Zero Hour while supporting a resolution moved by opposition leader and former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, to maintain peace and communal harmony.
The resolution was later unanimously passed by the House thus:
“This House unanimously resolves to reiterate the firm and unshakable faith of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in its age-old tradition of secularism, pluralism and tolerance. This House as the representative body of the will of the people of Jammu & Kashmir reasserts the need for strengthening further the bonds of brotherhood and fortify the values that have distinguished Jammu & Kashmir in the entire Subcontinent in the most trying circumstances that led the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, to see a ray of light from here. This House further urges leadership at the national level across the party lines and seeks the support of the people throughout the country in creating an environment of peace and harmony so that all sections of the society become real stakeholders in the idea of India”.
Describing J&K as an embodiment of peace and communal harmony, Mufti Sayeed drew the attention of the members to the country’s freedom struggle and the role played by its illustrious leaders who believed in inclusiveness and religious tolerance. He said he was young when the country was fighting its battle for freedom. “We in J&K, in tune with our own cultural diversity, have been an epitome of multiculturalism that has given space to people holding different shades of opinion in all the three regions,” he said, while describing the transition of Muslim Conference into National Conference in 1938 as the turning point in the state’s history.
Mufti Sayeed praised former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, for bringing back Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah that changed the environment of the state. He said when Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to Kashmir, the whole of J&K stood up and conveyed to him that their path was different. “After Sheikh Saab assumed power, the state saw good governance and transparency and a space was created for leaders like me and Tarigami,” he said, while stressing upon taking forward the message of inclusiveness.
Asking people to endorse country’s rich diversity, the Chief Minister said if India wants to become a leading world power, it will have to win the hearts and minds of the minorities, particularly Muslims, having a population of 17 crore. He said the unity and integrity of India will be shaken if its people fight in the name of religion. “The Muslims of the country cannot be ignored. They have supported different leaders like V. P. Singh, Mulayam Singh and others from various political parties and need to be given a sense of security,” he stressed.