Monday, February 21, 2011

The Hindu : News / National : Kashmir will never be separated from India: Farooq

Patna, February 21, 2011
Kashmir will never be separated from India: Farooq
Shoumojit Banerjee

Farooq bemoans ‘secessionist' tag given to the State's Muslim populace

Despite inflamed socio-political conditions, Kashmir would not be separated from India, Minister of Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said here on Sunday.

Speaking at a conference on Urdu, Mr. Abdullah regretted that the events that had taken place in the strife-torn valley during the last few decades had deviated from Mahatma Gandhi's “vision of an ideal Hindustan.”

The former Chief Minister bemoaned the fate of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandits and the repeated allegations against the State's Muslim populace — who were being dubbed as “secessionists” and “militants” by divisive and anti-secular forces.

According to the former Chief Minister, the special place that Kashmir held in the hearts of the body politic in 1947 had steadily corroded as a result of the bloody strife that engulfed it in the early 1990s.

Lamenting the fact that the Muslim populace was often looked upon as a “fifth column” acting against the interests of the nation, Mr. Abdullah stressed that the people of Kashmir were not to be looked upon as Pakistani Muslims.

Mr. Abdullah took particular note of the fact that Kashmiri youth had been frequently denied lodgings in Delhi merely on suspicion that the latter had links with Pakistani insurgents.

“We have brought this misfortune upon ourselves. All of us are equally responsible for the Valley's troubled condition today,” he said.

Stressing the need to preserve Urdu, Mr. Abdullah said the Central government must accord it the status of a “second state language.”

He said the 40 Muslim parliamentarians would place demands before Parliament during this Budget session, calling for special status to Urdu, notably in the implementation of a “tri-lingual language formula” system in schools, as per the Ranganath Mishra commission's recommendations.

Keywords: Seccessionism, nationalism, Kashmir dispute

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