With NC mum, Mufti buries beef Bills in Upper House too
○ Delhi gets two 'secularism resolutions' passed: One by NC in Assembly, another by PDP in Council
Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
SRINAGAR, Oct 9: Apprehensive of yet another polarisation on the religious lines in Jammu and Kashmir on the pattern of the 2008 turbulence, Centre on Friday managed to bury two private members' Bills in the Legislative Council after blocking three identical bills on decriminalisation of cow-slaughter and beef consumption in Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
Sources revealed to STATE TIMES that Omar Abdullah’s National Conference, that had moved the two pro-beef Bills in the Upper House had been "neutralised" overnight after New Delhi learned about its plans to hold a press conference and demonstrations against the Speaker's negative treatment to its three Bills in Assembly. Reports that could not be confirmed immediately said that some top BJP leaders managed to resolve the crisis through the NC patriarch Dr Farooq Abdullah.
Surprisingly, NC abandoned its plans of holding the press conference as well as the demonstration. Contrary to a many speculations, it did not make a murmur of protest in either of the Houses and extended unprecedented cooperation to the Treasury Benches and the Speaker. On certain occasions, it appeared that Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and NC President Omar Abdullah were members of one party.
In reply to one of Mr Abdullah's questions, Mufti assured the Leader of the Opposition that his government would formulate a detailed project report in near future and develop Tossamaidan of his Beerwah constituency as one of the best tourist attractions of the State.
Contrary to the chaos witnessed in both Houses in the last four days, there were no altercations, heated exchanges, clashes or walkouts on Friday.
None other than Mr Abdullah got up to propose a resolution to be passed in the Assembly that, according to him, would make an appeal to the people to maintain communal harmony. He asserted that a chain of developments, including some BJP MLAs' physical assault on the independent MLA Engineer Rashid, had created a situation that could vitiate atmosphere in the two regions of the State.
Chief Minister readily agreed and appreciated Mr Abdullah’s initiative. Following Mufti’s approval, the resolution was unanimously passed by the Assembly. Within minutes, an identical resolution was moved by senior PDP leader and Minister of Education Naeem Akhtar in the Legislative Council and was unanimously passed by the House.
Mufti and Akhtar asserted that the resolution would send a message of religious harmony and brotherhood "against the growing extremism across India".
Referring to BJP MLAs' assault on Er Rashid, Omar said that the message of extremism had gone across with the incident. “Whatever happened yesterday is not the real face of the J&K. Not only do the people talk about that unfortunate incident in India but also across the world. It is this place from where Mahatma Gandhi saw a ray of hope of secularism when the country was being divided,” Omar said in a brief address in Assembly. He said that the popular slogan "Hindu Muslim Sikh Ittihad" was coined in Kashmir.
Omar said that under a well planned conspiracy efforts were being made to divide the people in the name of the religion. “We have different religions but we must respect each other’s sentiments and maintain brotherhood", he said.
“Everybody’s religious sentiments must be respected and there should be no place for the extremism. We have to rectify what went wrong yesterday and pass a unanimous resolution to reject extremism and maintain brotherhood,” Omar asserted.
While seconding Omar, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said Mahatma Gandhi saw a raw of hope from Kashmir at the time of Partition. Usually unexpected from him, Mufti showered praises on the NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and recalled his contribution to secularism in the State.
“I will talk about pre-1947 when freedom struggle was going on across the country and during that period people of J&K under the leadership of Shiekh Muhammad Abdullah presented their different roadmap and strategy,” Mufti said. “Prior to 1947, when Mohammad Ali Jinnah came to Kashmir, people here under the dynamic leadership of Shiekh Mohammad Abdullah took a different stand and strengthened the Indian secularism,” he said.
Mufti was all praise for Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and said he had a vision for the betterment of J&K.
“Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah developed a different road map and turned Muslim Conference into National Conference to give good governance. In 1938, when Muslim conference was turned into National Conference, it gave a new roadmap under the leadership of Shiekh Abdullah who was a visionary personality but could not take his mission ahead due to we people. We are here because of Sheikh Abdullah", Mufti said.
“Now we have to show the way and reject extremism. India has diverse people and we have to economically empower it for that we all have to be united. Seventeen crore Muslims who live in India have maintained secularism. If we are divided in the name of religion then we will destroy the country,” Chief Minister added.
Taking a cue from the completely changed atmosphere in the Assembly, Chairman of Legislative Council Haji Inayat Ali declared adjournment of the day's Business at 1.00 p.m---exactly when the deliberations on calling attention motions ended. Consequently none of the 10 private members' Bills came up for discussion. NC MLC Dr Bashir Veeri's and Qaisar Jamsheed Lone's pro-beef Bills figured at serial numbers 7 and 8 respectively. Chairman ignored NC's lackadaisical appeal to extend time for a discussion on its beef Bills.
[Published in today's STATE TIMES]