People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 25

June 29 , 2008



Communal Forces Vitiating Atmosphere

M Y Tarigami, J&K state secretary of CPI(M), Hakim Mohd Yaseen, president PDF and Gh Hassan Mir, president JKDP have issued the following joint statement on June 23, 2008

THE derogatory, incriminating and highly provocative remarks hurting the sentiments of entire Kashmir society by an ordinary official Arun Kumar and the venomous utterances by Sangh Parivar chief Ashok Khajuria  deserve to be condemned unequivocally by every responsible citizen of India. Kashmiris, particularly Muslims, have been voluntarily aiding, helping and facilitating Amarnath Yatra for centuries not out of any compulsion or coercion but as a matter of their deep faith in multiculturalism, religious tolerance and brotherhood of humankind. Kashmiris have continued carrying physically weak and old pilgrims on their backs to the Cave at the risk of their own lives. The Sangh Parivar in the state has been althrough uneasy about this uniqueness of unity in diversity. The Parivar is hell bent on destroying this unity and divide people on communal lines, horizontally as well as vertically, for petty electoral politics.

Given their faith, Kashmiris have never been and can never be against Yatra. This is not because of Sinhas, Togadias, Khujurias, Kumars, Shiv Saniks or VHP. This is purely because of their faith in strong values they have inherited from the great saints and seers. Kashmiris are against politicisation as well as communalisation of the Yatra. They are against illegal transfer of huge forest land to the Board in ecologically most fragile zone. The state, particularly the valley of Kashmir cannot afford vandalisation of its resources. The transfer is unwarranted because Yatra was there even when no Board existed. It was managed jointly by Muslims and Hindus. The secular electoral politics cannot in any case afford prejudices propagated by the Sangh Parivar. We ask the Parivar to desist from adding fuel to the fire.

While condemning the statement made by the BJP chief, we reiterate our demand to immediately sack Arun Kumar, rescind the land transfer order and place before the public actual facts pertaining to the entire issue.

The press conference given by the chief executive officer of the SASB as covered in a section of the media has only compounded the confusion. Mr Kumar, who is just a government official has over-stepped his brief. He has unnecessarily meddled in the affairs which are beyond his jurisdiction. He is a public servant governed by set of conduct rules. He has unnecessarily attempted to draw parallel between the SASB and Muslim Waqf Board. The contents of the entire conference smack of contempt for the locals. That he should have the cheek to undermine the authority of the elected government cannot and should not go unnoticed.