NC pays tributes to Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah on his 116th birth anniversary
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Saturday paid glowing tributes to Baba-e-Qoum, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah on his 116th birth anniversary, terming him a man of iron-determination and incisive vision.
While paying rich tributes to Sher-e-Kashmir, Party rank and file called him father figure and political colossus, who helped change Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh from a feudal and colonial society to a free, democratic and secular one. An inspiring political icon, the functionaries said that throughout his prismatic political career, Sher-e-Kashmir symbolized the aspirations of the Kashmiri people as no single individual could have even dreamt of doing.
“Although rooted in Kashmir, he had attained a national standing with his name becoming synonymous in the minds of countrymen with the socialism, humanism, pluralism, and democracy. He was a popular leader and a social reformer who fought for the rights of the oppressed sections of the society, irrespective of caste, creed or religion and strived for the sustenance of secular and pluralistic values. Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s legacy denotes the State’s high traits of pluralistic ethos and inclusiveness. He nurtured and strengthened this characteristic and cemented the bonds of love between various sections of the society and different regions of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh,” the party functionaries said.
His visualization in the shape of Naya Kashmir manifesto had an unmistakably socialistic stamp that guaranteed freedom of press, freedom of assembly and meetings. The programme ensured equality of opportunity irrespective of birth and parentage, the functionaries added. “The vision of Sher-e–Kashmir espoused a reasonable standard of living for all people in the state irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and region. The basic agricultural and economic plan would be abolition of landlordism, land to tiller and people’s control over the resources of the state,” they noted.
“The spirit of secularism and tolerance possessed by Sher-e-Kashmir was the cumulative effect of the environment which generation after generation has fine-tuned the psyche of people of Jammu & Kashmir. Sher-e-Kashmir was not any different; he also exhibited the spirit of tolerance, mutual respect and camaraderie towards all sects and creeds. He all his life made earnest efforts to strengthen it; his political struggle for the restoration of people’s rights wasn’t exclusive, on the contrary it was inclusive. A mass movement organizer, Sheikh Sahib’s struggle was never aimed to alleviate the suffering of particular followers of a faith,” they said.
“He worked tirelessly, suffered incarcerations throughout for the total redemption of the entire human kind living in Jammu and Kashmir from abject poverty. He gave a new lease of life to the fear paralyzed people of all the regions of J&K; he not only restored the lost identity of the people of the state but also ensured its protection through various agreements with the center. The first cabinet he headed was insightful of his secular temperament; people like GL Dogra, Sardar Budh Singh, Kushak Bakula, and DP Dhar were given important portfolios in the cabinet. He didn’t let the communal frenzy of 1947 permeate into Kashmir; he educated his people about the merits of a progressive and a secular polity,” they added.
“He belonged to that glorious tribe of great men, who changed the course of history. He bequeathed people with equal rights irrespective of their regional and religious affiliations. A true democratic, he ushered in grass roots level democracy in J&K much before it was even thought of in other parts of the country. The path breaking land to tiller reforms, single line administration, abolition of big landed estates, abolition of debts, universal adult franchise, gender neutral education alleviated the sufferings of subjugated, underprivileged and wretched. The sleuth of people-friendly measures undertaken by him provided succor to the people living in all regions of J&K, not just Kashmir. He continued to clutch on the principles of secularism regardless of his sufferings at the hands of those at the helm of affairs in New Delhi.” the functionaries maintained.
The functionaries said that a sustained endeavor for the restoration of J&K’s our democratic institutions, defense of its unique socio, cultural and political identity and maintenance of communal harmony and brotherhood would be a befitting tribute to Sheikh Sahib. It is relevant to mention here that, party President Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Vice President Omar Abdullah will lead the party functionaries, workers and delegates in paying glowing tributes to Baba-e-Qoum at his final resting place at Mazar-e-Qaid, Naseem Bagh, Hazratbal tomorrow. Rich tributes to the greater benefactor of the people of Jammu and Kashmir will also be paid at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan, Jammu and at all district headquarters of the party across the length and breadth of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.