‘Centre must rein in jingoistic elements’

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Farooq highlights crucial media role in promoting inclusiveness

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President and former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah on Monday underscored the crucial role of media in promoting spirit of inclusiveness in diverse Indian society, especially at a time when fringe elements were out to destroy the time tested fabric of religious harmony and unity.

“As long as we remain united, nobody will be able to weaken us”, Dr Abdullah said in an exhaustive interaction with the fresh batch of Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Jammu Chapter, here this afternoon, adding that intolerance has no place in a country that has potential of taking the world along at the strength of its glorious ethos.

Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana and President Press Club of India Rahul Jalali were also present during the interaction, which witnessed students raising several subjects including the prevailing situation in the state and across the country over various controversial issues.

“Here I invoke your important role as budding journalists to expose those who incite passions for furthering their political agenda and help in strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood between various segments of society”, he said adding that mistrust and intolerance were serving as termite which may turn the country hollow if the people fail in rising to t he occasion to isolate fringe elements.

Dr Abdullah said a duty has cast upon the Centre to rein in the fringe jingoistic elements which are creating an atmosphere of frenzy by inciting passions. “Loose cannons cannot be left free to generate animosity among the communities”, he said while reiterating that unity in diversity has been India’s greatest strength.

The National Conference President recalled his meeting with Mr Narendra Modi at a function in Gujarat in 2011 wherein he had invited the attention of participants towards strengthening secularism in larger good of the country. “I had told Mr Modi that I want to see the day in my life when I would look in his (Modi’s) eyes and would be able to see my Allah, and when he (Modi) looks in my eyes, he will see his Ram”. He exuded confidence that the prevailing screen of religious intolerance in parts of the country will evaporate but sought the intervention of the Prime Minister in restoring confidence of the people in system.

“The incidents like Dadri and Udhampur, in which a young boy lost his life, were demoralising and disturbing”, Dr Abdullah said and prayed for good sense to prevail on those misadventuring to weaken the country by exploiting religious sentiments of the people. He called for eschewing this dangerous trend and said the civil society and the media will have to play pioneering role in it.

He expressed shock over the death of Zahid Bhat and said the killers are needed to be served harsh punishment. He said such incidents were slur on the civilised society which has been corner stone of the state.  

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