Srinagar, May 29 : Asserting that the secular visage of the country was reeling under the threat from the surge of communalism in the country, National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said that need of the hour calls for making collective efforts for the protection of religious freedom and rule of law in the country.
Addressing various delegations, individuals, Dr Abdullah, who recently won Lok Sabha election from Srinagar parliamentary constituency, 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 that story of that development,” he 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 idea of India that was envisaged by the makers of our constitution. The biggest challenge ahead of the central government would be to stop such incidents from recurring again,” he added.
Addressing a delegation of women workers and functionaries led by party’s Women wing president Shameema Firdous, Dr Abdullah said, “The plight of girls remained 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. It was 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.”