Kashmir Incomplete Without KPs: Mufti
30 January 2003
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Holding politicians also responsible for the present situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today exuded confidence that Kashmir will soon return to pristine glory and best destination in the world with the cooperation of entire nation. It is not fair to put the blame on common man who himself is victim of the situation. Speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of the Gandhi Memorial College of Education, Mufti Sayeed said that though he is not an astrologer but as a political student he is confident that peace and normalcy would dawn soon in the State. ‘How shameful it is for all of us that miniscule minority of Kashmiri Pandits had to leave their homes and hearths from the same land which gave ‘ray of hope’ to the father of nation during the communal holocaust that gripped the sub-continent in the wake of partition . He said it his mission to ensure gradual and dignified return of Kashmiri migrants to their homes. Unlike the proposal of previous Government of involving huge funds, he has started on a humble note and taken up renovation of structures around two famous hindu shrines. He said Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits. . Referring to the present situation in the State, the Chief Minister said we have to address the alienation of the people and create conducive conditions for restoration of lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the recent fair and free elections have provided a historic opportunity for us to give a turn around to the situation and added that though the task is challenging but with the cooperation of one and all peace and normalcy would be restored. For this, good governance is also one of the pre-requisite. He said stick is no answer to the problem and there is need to apply balm on the wounds of the people. The police and security forces have been asked not to harm any innocent while dealing with militancy and referred to the action taken against police officials for their involvement in custodial killings in Kashmir. The Chief Minister said that seeing the impartiality and objectivity of operation clean up in Kashmir, the people are now voluntarily removing the encroachments. This is because the Government has been able to establish its impartiality and credibility with the people. We are basically not against any one but want to restore beauty of Kashmir. He said the operation is being extended to the scenic and breath taking locations like Boulevard and Dal lake and notices are being given to the encroachers there also to clean the area.. Referring to the coalition Government, he said, he does not go by the numbers as the Government is run on the basis of the confidence it enjoys among the people. The Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs. 5 lakh for the educational fund being raised by the Hindu Education Society, Kashmir for helping the needy to pursue their education. He also released an updated edition of a book, History of Kashnmiri Pandits, written by late Mr Justice J L Kilm. He also presented Acharya Abinavgupta Samman, 2003 to Justice Jia Lal Kilm and Pt. Shiv Narain Fotedar (posthumously), Maharaj Krishan Kaw, Pt. A. N. Dar, Padam Shri Pushkar Bhan, Dr. Ashok Hanjura, Dr. R N K Bamezai, Pt. Gokul Dembi and Dr. Vimarsh Raina. Earlier, the Chief Minister lighted the traditional lamp to mark the celebrations. The Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. Mangat Ram Sharma in his speech called upon the educationists to join hands for formulating a strategy that benefits all rather than exceptionally a few. ‘Imparting education should be a mission and not commerce’, he added. While expressing satisfaction over the mushroom growth of private institutions particularly at primary level, Mr. Sharma expressed concern over whopping fee structure that generally keeps poor and the talented youngsters at bay. He urged the private sector to expand their activities in rural areas where major chunk of population lives. ‘Unless the light of education reaches the farthest corners of the State, the cherished objective of enlightening the State would be a distant dream’, Mr. Sharma observed. He lauded the Kashmir Hindu Education Society for their role in spreading the education in the State. In a thought provoking and highly illuminating lecture that mesmerized the audience for 50 minutes, Dr. Sompaul, Member Planning Commission (Education) said that purpose of education is the manifestation of perfection and releases from bonds of narrowness. He differed with the usual definition of teacher and said that entire universe is a teacher as none better than nature that teaches the man in real sense. He said apart from the usual teacher, even parents and the society are the teachers in one way or the other. Dr. Sompaul said that the purpose of education is not only to acquire academic knowledge, but also to bring out and develop the hidden potentialities of a child. Referring to Kashmir, he said when you look at the Indian map, you find Jammu and Kashmir ahead of every State. He said Jammu and Kashmir is the leader that have always guided the country in crucial matters and referred to the communal amity that it demonstrated when the sub-continent was burning. He said the scenic splendour with which Kashmir abounds is unparallel. ‘When you fly over Pir Panchal range you forget even Switzerland’, he said. The chirping brooks and gushing water of rivers and rivulets, round the year snow-clad mountains ;present a unique blend of natural beauty and salubrious climate that makes Jammu and Kashmir a destination worth undertaking. A cultural programme based on Gandhiji’s bhajans and depicting the pangs of migration of Kashmiri Pandits was also presented on the occasion.