JAMMU – National Conference on Wednesday regretted dropping of Sher-e-Kashmir prefix from Srinagar’s premier International convention complex, popularly known as SKICC, saying it is yet another attempt of distorting the reality and undermining the stature of the party founder late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
“Changing of names won’t change the history, which stands testimony to the role and contribution of Sher-e-Kashmir towards the nation in general and Jammu and Kashmir in particular”, senior National Conference leaders said in a statement here this morning.
Expressing anguish over the ‘myopic decision’ of the government, they said this will in no way undermine the towering personality and stature of Abdullah whose contribution in democratic awakening of his people cannot be ignored, as it stands acclaimed nationally and internationally.
The statement added that the party founder was a visionary mass leader and statesman who stood for the just cause of the people alongside his contemporaries during the freedom struggle.
“His stature cannot be confined in the myopic prism of regional politics, as he fought for democracy when the entire nation was struggling to break the shackles of British under Mahatma Gandhi,” the NC leaders said.
“Being contemporary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Frontier Gandhi Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Maualana Abul Kalam Azad and many other national leaders, Sheikh Sahib fought for the marginalized people of Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of region, religion, caste or creed. His exemplary role during the horrendous days of Partition was acknowledged by the suffering masses of the entire sub-continent which got reflection in the sentiments of the Mahatma, who had observed ‘light of ray emanated from the soil of Kashmir’, the statement added.
The NC leader’s said Abdullah’s political standing was so inspiring that the first Prime Minister of the country Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had described Sheikh Abdullah as Jammu and Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir as Sheikh Abdullah while Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee had called Sher-e-Kashmir as identity of J&K. The statement noted what Mr L K Advani had to say about Sher-e-Kashmir, “For decades, Kashmir’s politics has come to be identified with the personality of the Sheikh”.
The statement said that Abdullah occupies special place in the hearts and minds of the people for his selfless contribution. It referred to the pioneering role of Sheikh Sahib in introducing Land Reforms Act, one of the most progressive legislations of independent India, devolution of power under Single Line Administration and empowerment of Panchayati Raj System.
“Sheikh Sahib was man of the era, who inspired compatriots for his unflinching faith in democracy and secularism’ which was not just a concept but way of life and political philosophy for him. The great leader demonstrated this in 1947 by protecting the people of his land and thereafter till his death”, the statement added.
The senior leaders said that NC founder was a mass leader and his contribution will continue to inspire the generations, adding that no historian can afford to ignore him while penning the history of Jammu and Kashmir, no matter the machinations to erase his cherished memory
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