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HindustanTimes Mon,20 Oct 2014

Modi wants to erode Kashmiri identity: Farooq

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, April 28, 2014
First Published: 19:57 IST(28/4/2014) | Last Updated: 09:43 IST(29/4/2014)

A day after National Conference Patron Farooq Abdullah said Kashmir cannot be part of “Modi’s communal India”, the war of words continued between the two parties.


Continuing the “Modi attack” Farooq Abdullah said the BJP's prime ministerial candidate wants to “erode Kashmiri identity and make Kashmiris his slaves”.

Addressing a public rally in Kangan in central Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah took on Modi, saying he was against his “divisive agenda”.

“We are not against Modi but his agenda for Kashmir. He wants to erode the identity of Kashmir. His prime agenda is abrogation of article 370 and he wants to do away with our special status, our identity,” said the senior Abdullah.

“He just wants us to be his slaves,” he added.

Reiterating what the senior Abdullah said Jammu and Kashmir Chief minister Omar Abdullah in a press conference said, “Kashmir will not be part of India if Modi takes the country to political extremes like what he did in Gujarat.”

Coming to his father's support, Omar said he did not mean that “Kashmir will separate if Modi becomes the Prime Minister,” he said.

Union minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said on Sunday that Kashmir wouldn’t be part of an India that is “communal” and that those who “vote for Modi should jump into the sea”. The comments had given rise to a controversy with Modi coming out to hit at the Abdullahs saying they were sinners of Kashmir and had made the state “communal”.

The Gujarat chief minister also said, “Kashmir is the only land from where Pandits were removed solely for their religion. The land of Sufism and harmony has been made communal due to your politics.”

“In our culture of thousands of years, the biggest harm on secular fabric done anywhere is in Jammu and Kashmir and it is done due to politics of your father [former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Sheikh Abdullah], yourself and your son [Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah]. It is due to your politics and politics of your son,'' Modi told a news channel.

“Kashmir is the only land from where Pandits were removed solely for their religion. The land of Sufism and harmony has been made communal due to your politics.”

Criticising the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his “lack of knowledge of history”, Omar said a person who is aspiring to become Prime Minister should “know his recent history”.

Calling Modi as “opposite of secularism”, Omar said Modi exposes his ignorance when he talks about history.

“Narendra Modi twists history according to what suits him. He should know that Kashmiri Pandits left Kashmir during the tenure of Jagmohan as governor of the state. He’s the same Jagmohan who was minister in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and is still a part of BJP,” Omar said.

“It was PDP’s Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as home minister at the centre and Jagmohan governing the state when the Pandits left,” he added.

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“Infact during our tenure in the last five and half years, Kashmir Pandits are coming back to the valley. It’s a small beginning but is very important,” he added.

Omar was reacting to comments made by Modi that Kashmiri Pandits left during Farooq Abdullah's tenure.

“BJP uses the pain of Kashmiri Pandits for their benefits. Modi addressed the entire state in his Jammu rally, but he forgot them. He doesn't have the guts to come and address people in the valley, though he has three people contesting,” he added.

Throwing a challenge at Modi, Omar said, “He will come to Jammu, he will come to Ladakh but will he ever come to valley.”

“He wanted a debate on article 370 but chickened out of it with BJP saying I was not his league,” Omar added.

Reacting to Narendra Modi's comments, Omar said that the day his family (Abdullah's) needs certificate of “secularism” from Modi, “he will leave politics”.

“Modi has not only called our family communal, he has called people of Kashmir communal, but we don't need certificates of secularism from him,” he said.

“Kashmir gave lessons of secularism to the rest of the country in 1947 when the country was burning in communal riots, Kashmir was peaceful. It was this place that Gandhi saw ray of hope,” he added.

Omar said the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley has been condemned by “all Kashmiri Muslims”.

“We were the people who have given the country slogan of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh itihad (unity). Even today lakhs of people visit Kashmir for Amarnath yatra which is conducted on the shoulders of the Muslims of the state.”

The poll campaign in the valley is revolving around Modi, as National Conference has been hinting at a “secret pact” between the BJP and opposition PDP.

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WHAT FAROOQ SAID

"Kashmir will not stay with India if it becomes communal. “They are saying that those opposing Modi should go to Pakistan, I am saying those voting for him should drown themselves in the sea.”
He later said his comments were in response to BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who had declared at a rally recently that critics of Mr Modi would be sent to Pakistan.


WHAT MODI SAID

"Instead of telling those voting for Modi to drown, Dr. Abdullah should look at himself and his family in the mirror and see how they ruined J&K “

"Dr. Abdullah, in the history of our glorious culture, if there is someone who has done most harm to secularism it is you and your family. We are secular not because the word was added in our Constitution. Secularism is in our blood”

Calls the family sinners of Kashmir and have made the state communal. "Kashmir is the only land from where Pandits were removed solely for their religion. The land of Sufism and harmony has been made communal due to your politics.”


WHAT OMAR SAID

“Neither my family nor the Valley require your secularism certificate. The day I get a secularism certificate from you, I think that will be the day I should resign.”

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