Jammu again sets example of secularism
4 February 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Jammu has once again presented an example that it is a land that believes in high traditions of secularism and universal brother- hood. This time, this example was set during the just concluded Jammu Municipal Corporation elections, as some of the results not only astonished people who believe in fundamentalism, but also silenced them and their ideology. Jaffar Javed Khan—— Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) candidate emerged victorious from ward number 2 of Jammu Municipal Corporation. Ward number 2 comprises Pacci Dhakki and Jullaka Mohalla localities which are pre-dominately Hindu majority areas. But the electorate of this Hindu belt chose to elect a non-Hindu. Not only these areas are Hindu majority, but this ward is also considered as citadel of Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). Since 1950’s, BJP or erstwhile Jan Sangh had taken lead from this ward in every elections be them Lok Sabha, Assembly or civic bodies. But this time inhabitants of this ward elected a Muslim- that too a candidate of PDP. By electing Jaffar Khan from this ward, people have once again presented Jammu’s age old tradition of unity, brotherhood and secularism. 'Neither it is victory of PDP or defeat for BJP. It is only a vote in favour of Jaffar Khan', said a staunch BJP supporter on the condition of anonymity, adding, 'Jaffar Khan is working in the locality for so many year so he was our first priority. Out of total 5802, numbers of Muslim voters are not more than 3 percent in this ward. 'My victory has strengthen Jammu’s tradition of brotherhood and secularism. ', elated Jaffar Khan told EXCELSIOR. 'I donot have words to express my gratitude to the people of Jullaka Mohalla and Pacci Dhakki, who have reposed faith in me', he said. 'It is all due to the love and affection of the people that I never felt even during election campaign that I am contesting from a pre-dominately Hindu majority area', Mr Khan said, who is a senior leader of the youth wing of the PDP. Jaffar Khan is among the few leaders who has been associated with PDP just after its formation in the year 1999. After Jaffar Khan’s success from ward number 2, victory of Sheikh Abdul Rehman from Jammu East seat refreshed the minds of Jammuites. Sheikh Abdul Rehman had won Jammu East constituency in 1972 Assembly polls when Dogra legend Pandit Prem Nath Dogra had asked the people to elect Rehman from a traditionally Hindu majority seat. Pointing his priorities, Mr Khan said that solving sanitation problem in the ward was his first priority. 'Like other parts of walled city, my ward is also confronting with the problem of sewerage', he said, adding, 'besides initiating some concrete steps to solve this problem, we will create awareness among masses in this regard'. He further said that services of Sulub Shochayala will be utilised to solve sanitation problem in some areas of the ward. Problems of street lights will also be given priority. Expressing his grave concern over conditions of two historical temples of his ward, Mr Khan said that renovation of these two centuries old temples was also on top of his list. 'Most revered historical Rani Khundari Mandir will be brought on the tourism map', he announced and disclosed that he has already taken up this issue with the Tourism Minister, Ghulam Hassan Mir, who has assured every possible help. 'Renovation of famous Radha Krishan temple will also be started very soon', he said.