Farooq targets Malik, calls him BJP Governor
Srinagar, July 13: Governor Satya Pal Malik today skipped the official function at the Martyrs day in Srinagar inviting serve criticism from mainstream parties with National Conference (NC) president and former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, calling him Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Governor.
Advisor, Khursheed Ahmed Ganai and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, attended the official function and paid floral tributes to the martyrs of July 13, 1931. This is for the second time that the Governor skipped the function as earlier under PDP-BJP rule, the then Governor N N Vohra had also skipped the function.
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Dr Abdullah while speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the function when asked about Governor skipping the Martyrs’ day function, said that “he is a BJP Governor and how can he come here.”
Speaking on the occasion, the NC president while stressing for Assembly elections in the State said: “How can the ailing Valley of ours be redeemed in absence of popular Government? Today our State in particular the Valley of Kashmir inadvertently is caught in a blizzard”.
Dr Abdullah, without naming BJP, said that forces inimical to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir will try to create communal divide in the State. “The forces are as inimical to our special Constitutional position and will try their level best to widen the communal tension in the State. Such forces as want to rob our State of its flag, of its own Constitution and of its unique Constitutional identity will employ all sorts of dishonest routes to achieve their end. They will try to buy our conviction with money and muscle power”, he said.
“They will use their servile henchmen in the State to divide the voice of Kashmiri muslims. They will try to fan sectarian strife; however, it is the unity that affords us a universal remedy against the intrigues of our enemy. At the same time, the gravity of the situation demands us to remain cautious of the veiled enemies that are propping up in the every street of Kashmir playing catchy slogans”, he said.
The NC president said that no power on earth can snatch special status of Jammu and Kashmir. “Their main aim is to demean the prestige of the NC flag because they know until ‘Hal flag’ flutters high in the State no power on earth would dare to touch Jammu and Kashmir’s identity. The ‘Hal’ mirrors the aspirations of the State; it is the mirror of the objectives that were enshrined in the Naya Kashmir manifesto”, he said.
Farooq said the people of the State particularly the people of Valley are snowed under the relentless gags, diktats, bans, curfews. “The gap between the Government and the people has increased. On one hand we are fighting for our identity, on the other we are being denied our due share in development. Today the people of Kashmir are feeling alienated in their own land”, he said.
He expressed concern over targeting of local press by the Government. “Media plays a crucial role of gate keeping and exposing the ills of society in a democratic set up. It also exposes the loopholes in a democratic system which ultimately helps the Government to undo wrongdoings, thereby making the administration more responsive and efficient”, he said.
“However, the situation is much different in this part of the world. Today we are being denied a vibrant press. The sole reason behind the curbs is to pressurize the media fraternity from not reporting the issues of greater public importance. Today an unconventional version of democracy is being pushed on us. This all is done to suit the purpose of forces as are inimical to the special status of the State. The reason behind such unscrupulous and undemocratic gags on local dailies is to impede their impartial working. Putting curbs on the press is analogous to throttling democracy. It must end without any delay. The ban of Government adds to various local dailies should be revoked”, he said.
“The martyrs gave their life for securing dignity and self-respect of their countrymen. Never had Kashmir witnessed a forceful upsurge until 1931, a profound departure from the traditional stoism. It taught all shades of opinion not to imagine them separate of an all embracing Muslim identity which subsequently became vibrant with the toil of Sher-e-Kashmir. Not just muslims, Sheikh Sahib told masses that the ills of the masses can be remedied by carrying Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs together. It was the sincere sacrifice of the 1931 Martyrs that kept fueling Sher e Kashmir in his long struggle for justice and dignity”, the NC president said.
All the mainstream leaders have questioned the Governor’s decision of skipping the official function.