‘They stood like a rock with India since 1947, also deserve sense of ownership of this great country’
SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 07: Emphasising upon the need for affirmative action for social up-liftment of 17 crore Muslim population of the country, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed,Wednesday said India’s largest minority see their future in secular India.
Referring to the Sachar Committee Report, he called for creating environment conducive for the development of Muslims, who have stood like a rock with India since 1947, when the country was divided on religious lines.
The Chief Minister was addressing a large public meeting, here this afternoon.
He was flanked by the Minister for Public Works, Floriculture, Gardens & Parks, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, Minister for Education, Naeem Akhtar, MLCs, Zaffar Manhas, Khurshid Alam, Yasir Reshi, Saif-ud-din Bhat and Firdous Tak, besides senior PDP leaders Nizam-ud-din Bhat, Rafi Ahmad Mir and Peerzada Mansoor.
Describing India as a confluence of distinct cultures, the Chief Minister said if India has to realize its dream of becoming a world leader, it will have to take all people, including Muslims, along and deal with those with an iron hand who try to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere of the country. He said the Sachar Committee Report reflects the state of affairs of the Muslims in India, who lag behind, like Dalits and other weaker sections of the society, on all parameters of development.
Referring to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s slogan of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, the Chief Minister said we need to win the hearts and minds of the Muslims, who also deserve sense of ownership of this great country.
The Chief Minister observed that the essence of democracy in India flows through its powerful people who have brought stalwarts, belonging to different schools of thought, including Indira Gandhi, Morarji Desai, Rajeev Gandhi, VP Singh, Deve Gowda and Atal Behari Vajpayee to power as country’s Prime Ministers.
Describing growth of democratic institutions in India as its real pillars of strength, Mufti Sayeed, said on the contrary, in the neighbouring country such institutions have failed to evolve. “Pakistan is going through a prolonged phase of instability and is fighting its own battle. In J&K, we created Hill Development Councils in Leh and Kargil, which is a real example of democratic decentralization of powers,” he added.
Referring to the turmoil in countries like Syria, Iraq and those in the Middle East, the Chief Minister drew the attention of the people towards looming crisis there, as people are fleeing their countries and taking refuge in Europe. “It pains me to see the great civilization of Arab nations being destroyed in such gruesome manner. Gun is no solution to any problem. For how long can people be held to ransom,” he said and called for spreading Islam’s noble message of peace with no strings attached.
The Chief Minister credited former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in building confidence amongst the people in the democratic institutions of the country and ensuring free and fair elections in 2002. He said his party took over two months to reach an agreement with its coalition partner, the BJP. “Lot of thought was given to various contentious issues and eventually a calibrated conclusion was reached to forge an Agenda of Alliance. “Strenuous efforts were put in to protect the unique identity of the state, as enshrined in the Constitution of India,” he said, while referring to his earlier tenure between 2002 and 2005 that entrenched peace and brought in cohesive development of all the three regions of the state.
Calling for an end to uncertainty and turbulence, Mufti Sayeed said the real challenge was to bond the three distinct regions of Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, enabling the state to connect with the rest of the country. “It was a historic opportunity which we seized for ushering in an era of peace, harmony and development in the state,” he added.
Highlighting the achievements of his seven-month-old government, the Chief Minister specifically mentioned the initiatives taken to strengthen the R&B, Education and Health sectors in the state. He also made a mention of the Prime Minister’s Special Scholarship Scheme which provides opportunity to 5000 students to study in institutions of higher learning across the country.
Mufti Sayeed also referred to his decision to brand and price-tag export-oriented handicraft products, which resuscitated the state’s economy when it fell on hard times.
Flagging unemployment has one of the biggest challenges before the government, the Chief Minister stressed upon linking education with jobs so that our educated youth are gainfully employed, especially in the private sector. “After we took over, we have also made institutions like PSC and SSB fully functional so that all vacancies are filled up in a fair and transparent manner,” he added.