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Farooq pitches for collective efforts against rise of communalism 

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Srinagar, May 29: National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday asserted that the secular visage of the country was facing threat from the surge of communalism in the country and that the situation demanded collective efforts for the protection of religious freedom and rule of law in the country.

Addressing various delegations, individuals who had called on him to express their greetings on the massive win of the party, senior Abdullah, according to a party press release said, “The spur in the targeted attacks on the Muslims at various places across north India is just painful.  The rise of the communalism in India has to be countered by all the right-thinking secular parties of the country.

“The fascist syndrome of communal strife if allowed to grow unchecked will eventually munch the very secular fabric of our society, which otherwise has been known for tolerance. The strife of communal hatred is one of the biggest challenges for our society. It is for the new government to decide if they want to let the mammoth of communalism grow unhindered. The idea of development is impossible if 25 Cr Muslims are not a part of the story of development,” Abdullah said.

“Government cannot think of taking the country forward without taking along the Muslims. Now we get to see Muslims men and women being attacked by unruly mobs across the country. The other day we saw how a Muslim boy was thrashed for wearing a skull cap. Is this the idea of India that was envisaged by the makers of our constitution?” he asked, adding the biggest challenge ahead of the central government would be to stop such incidents from recurring.

Addressing a delegation of women workers and functionaries led by party’s Women wing president Shameema Firdous, Abdullah said, “The plight of girls remains an utmost concern.  However, education is the key to reducing discrimination against girls. Gender inequality is a multifaceted issue. The need of the hour is to do away with the gender assumptions by educating society.”

He said it was the National Conference that started the idea of co-schooling in the state of Jammu and Kashmir besides giving gender neutral voting rights to the people. “Under the dynamic leadership of Omar Sahib, the forthcoming state government will work on numerous issues affecting girl child including nutrition, security, lawful rights, and education.”

Extolling party functionaries for their hard work, NC president said, “The spectacular verdict in favor of the NC from all the parliament seats of the Kashmir division is suggestive of the fact that the people of Kashmir have made their mind to rout such forces from the state as are inimical to the integrity and identity of state.

“The support that people have reposed in us is suggestive of the fact that people are yearning to see a party in power that could work for the protection of the state’s special character and put the state back on the path of development and prosperity. The results that elections have thrown up are reflective of the fact that people are the better judges of the disposition of all political outfits. People remember the struggle and sacrifice our party has rendered from time to time in upholding the dignity of the people of the state,” Abdullah claimed.

“The impressive win that the party has been able to achieve is an outcome of the collective effort of our party-men. I congratulate you all; however, there is no need to be complicit. The momentum and the fervor have to maintain until the party wins the final battle ahead of us.

“The scope of the work ahead of us is very immense. On one hand, we have to make amends to the wrongs committed by former BJP-PDP government, and on the other, we have to put up a strong front against the forces as are contriving hard to destroy our identity. I am sure that with the active support of people the party will be able to achieve all the anticipated goals,” Farooq Abdullah said.

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