Sheikh was misunderstood: Farooq

ZAHOOR MALIK. Dated: 9/8/2013 11:52:45 PM

SRINAGAR, Sep 8: National Conference (NC) president and union minister Dr Faooq Abdullah today said Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah is a misunderstood leader and person and that people did not acknowledge his real worth.
Speaking at a book release function here Dr Abdullah said, “Very strange things are being said from Delhi to Srinagar about Sheikh Sahib. In Delhi he is being projected in one way and in different ways here in Kashmir. Nobody could understand him correctly. Sheikh Sahib was basically a Kashmiri and he died as a Kashmiri. Sheikh Sahib never wanted to be a leader of India. He was offered leadership by Indian Muslims a number of times but he rejected it on the grounds that he needed to do a lot of work for his people in Jammu and Kashmir.”
Dr Abdullah added that Sheikh dedicated his whole life for the people of Jammu and Kashmir but regretted that they could not understand him.
The book release function was jointly organized by Sheikh Mohammad Usmaan and Sons and Gulshan Books Kashmir. NC president released two books “The Blazing Chinar (English version of Aatish-e-Chinar), an autobiography of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and historical Sikh shrines of Jammu and Kashmir. Some other books were also released at the function.
The function was among others attended by Dr Abdullah’s sisters, Begum Khalida Shah, president Awami National Conference (ANC), Suraya Mattoo, brother Dr Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, wife Molly Abdullah and daughter.
Dr Abdullah said said, the destruction of beautiful Kashmir started in 1947 when India and Pakistan got independence. “Both the countries thought J&K is in their pocket. They never bothered about the wishes of the people here and thought they can command them like a herd of cattle. Then the destruction of J&K created Line of Control. This line inflicted miseries on Kashmiris and more and dangerous miseries are in store for the people of the state because of this line in future also,” he said.
Dr Abdullah said he was a college student in1953. “The other students used to tell me that my father has sold Kashmir to India. I used to tolerate this and tell my mother. She used to tell me that these people have not understood my father. A day will come when this whole nation will acknowledge the real worth of Sher-e-Kashmir,” Dr Abdullah said.
NC president said the campaign to tarnish the image of Sheikh gained momentum from 1953. The rulers and others left no stone unturned at that time to paint him wrongly and resort to mudslinging to finish his name and party. “Those who seemed kind turned unkind and gave lot of trouble not only to Sheikh Sahib but people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Dr Abdullah said when Plebiscite Front was converted into NC after 22 years, he asked his father whether it was a right decision. “Sheikh sahib told me that our whole nation is moving towards destruction. If we do not put a break today this whole nation will perish. But our people could not understand Sheikh sahib till now. We the people in J&K are a strange nation. We say one thing in morning, other in afternoon and some thing different in the evening. We are unable to differential between right and wrong I asked my father once as why are we like this. He told me that we are like this because we were slaves for a long time and we still carry the slavery effects with us,” the NC president said.
The union minister said the need of the hour is that Kashmiris must think about their real destination.” We have to live in peace. In 1947 the raiders invaded and tried to occupy using the slogan Allaho Akbar. But Kashmiris, who were being humiliated with word ‘Hattu’ and considered lower castes and cowardice, together fought against the tribal raiders. In 1947 when India was burning with communal riots, no Hindu was touched in Kashmir. But in early 1990s the Hindus had to flee for their safety during nights. I regret that we could not muster the courage to protect them. Now instead of loving each other we hate each other. Why is this hatred so deep-rooted? This is because we tried to distort our history,” he said.
Dr Abdullah said during the famine days in Kashmir, he and his family were surviving on “vat” (made up of maize). “We had no cars. We were going to school on cycles amid rains also. In 1953 when Sheikh Sahib was arrested he was having a cash of Rs 30,000 or 40,000 with him and it belonged to education department. He handed it over to my mother with the instruction that it must reach to the then head of education department Kazmi sahib at any cost since it belonged to the people of the state. See the scenario today. We have scams all around. Jammu and Kashmir stood strong because of communal harmony. The tradition of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh brotherhood has to be maintained,” he said.
The union minister cautioned the people against the communal tension being created in the country in the name of elections.” Let me caution you that we are heading towards disaster as communal card is being played in coming elections in country. Some people are trying to join the electoral fray in the name of Ram Mandir and others Babri Masjid. This battle in the name of religions is going to lead us nowhere but to miseries,” he said.
Dr Abdullah paid rich tributes to Sheikh Abdullah for his contribution in different fields of life particularly education, health and women up-liftment.



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