Jammu: Leading senior National Conference leaders and workers in paying floral tribute to Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah on his 38th death anniversary, National Conference today reiterated its commitment to preserve the idea of secular Jammu and Kashmir.
“This will be a befitting tribute to Sheikh Sahib, who all his life envisioned an inclusive Jammu and Kashmir with everyone, irrespective of religion or region, having equal opportunities to progress and prosper”, Provincial President Devender Singh Rana said at a function held at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this morning to commemorate 38th death anniversary of the visionary leader.
He said the National Conference has always espoused the cause of safeguarding rights of the people and ensuring that everyone enjoys the freedom to profess and practice his or her own religion without any fear and infringement of liberties of others. This has made J&K unique in the country and there is a crucial need for upholding this spirit of togetherness by isolating hate mongers, he added.
The Provincial President described Sher-e-Kashmir as a towering leader of an era and a contemporary of Mahatma Gandhi who tirelessly worked for promoting the idea of Jammu and Kashmir by strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood during most testing times when the sub-continent was undergoing a worst communal holocaust.
He said, “Preserving idea of Jammu and Kashmir is like preserving the idea of India”.
“The unflinching commitment of Sher-e-Kashmir in secular ethos was a motivating force behind converting Muslim Conference into National Conference, which remains guiding philosophy for the cadre”, Rana said, adding that the stature of Sheikh Sahib had transcended beyond boundaries because of his selfless leadership. This was hugely evident when he stood like a rock to preserve the distinct secular character of Jammu and Kashmir during the horrendous period of 1947 when the entire sub continent was engulfed by hate and violence. He lauded the vision of Sher-e-Kashmir for discarding two-nation theory and opting for a secular India, where equal opportunities are available to all, irrespective of religion, region, caste, creed or colour. This concept is not only needed to be preserved but promoted on a larger canvas to bequeath the rich ethos of unity in diversity to posterity, he added.
The Provincial President recalled the immense contribution of Sheikh Sahib, like the revolutionary Land Reforms Act, Single Line Administration and free literacy and said this made Jammu and Kashmir unique in the entire country. He exhorted the people to unite and fight the forces inimical to peace and tranquility.
“Sheikh Sahib’s struggle and sacrifice for the dignity of J&K and its people need to be emulated to fight divisive politics and sinister plans of political disempowerment”, he said adding that his life has been an inspiring story of selfless leadership. He said Sher-e-Kashmir fought for the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and left an indelible mark of sacrifice and selfless service.
Prominent among those who paid tributes to Sher-e-Kashmir included Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Abdul Gani Malik, Haji Mohd Hussain, Anil Dhar, Vijay Lochan, Abdul Gani Teli, Ch. Rehmat Ali, Charanjeet Bhagat and others