Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti today emphasized the need for reviving Jammu and Kashmir as an abode of peace, amity, communal harmony and brotherhood. She cautioned people against falling prey to the scourge of extremism and communalism, “which, if perpetuated, will only bring miseries to the people and devour the State’s socio-economic fabric.”
“I urge upon the people, especially the youth, to come forward and contribute towards consolidating the peace and reconciliation efforts in the state,” the Chief Minister said while addressing a function organised in connection with the inauguration of the New Examination Block at Jammu University here this morning.
Advisor to the Chief Minister, Prof Amitabh Mattoo, Vice-Chancellor Jammu University, Prof R D Sharma and Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Jammu, Prof Ashok Aima were present on the occasion.
Ms Mehbooba said the people of the State are the strong votaries of secularism and democracy and these have been the guiding principles of governance in the State. “I hope the emancipated people of Jammu would continue to uphold the greatest traditions of amity and communal harmony, which they have practised over the years,” she said and added that due credit must be given to the people of Jammu for warmly welcoming the migrants including Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims and Sikhs when turmoil erupted in Kashmir in early 90’s.
Appreciating the people of Jammu for fostering the secular ethos and bonds of amity, the Chief Minister said that Jammu has always been a symbol of brotherhood where the people of all regions and religions have been welcomed with open arms. “I hope the people of Jammu would continue to uphold the same values of communal harmony and don’t fall prey to the machinations of some vested interests who are hell bent upon disturbing peace and tranquillity in the region,” Ms Mehbooba said and added that while militancy devoured Kashmir’s social, cultural and economic fabric, the scourge of communalism has the potential of doing same in Jammu.
She said that the need of the hour is to stand out in unison against all those divisive forces which are trying to disturb the peaceful environment in the state and exhorted upon the youth to shoulder this responsibility to preserve and promote the harmony and goodwill.
Ms Mehbooba said Jammu and Kashmir can show the way to the whole nation. “People of the State have over the years defeated the divisive and communal elements and strengthened the secular forces. I hope that this would happen in future as well and we would not fall prey to the communal forces that are hell bent on dividing the people of State. The people should remain vigilant and defeat the communal as well as divisive elements,” said the Chief Minister adding no development and progress is possible without sustained peace and communal harmony and brotherhood.
Ms Mehbooba said J&K is facing varied problems and students can play an vital role in defeating the nefarious designs of the elements who try to disrupt the peace and tranquillity in the state. She exhorted upon the students to be the harbinger of change and work in unison for the betterment of the society and development of the state.
Hailing Jammu University for launching various initiatives to further academic excellence, the Chief Minister, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of the University, said the government wants the Universities to work independently and it was with this objective in mind that the Government has given full financial autonomy to the state’s varsities. “The universities can now generate the resources and use the same judiciously so that higher education becomes accessible to our youth in every nook and corner of the State,” she said and added that Universities are the institutions were we can channelize youth energies for the betterment of the society.
The Chief Minister said the educational institutions are the nurseries where the seeds of future are nurtured and the universities being seats of knowledge should aim at fostering new ideas among the students and channelize their energies in a positive direction. She said the universities should emerge as hub of new ideas where a vision for future is sown and nurtured.
Ms Mehbooba said the onus lies on the institutions and the faculty to provide not just quality education to the students but make them future-ready to face the challenges of life with optimism. She said the youth of Jammu and Kashmir have immense talent and intellect and they need proper guidance and optimal opportunities to create a niche for themselves. “I hope more and more students from J&K shall follow their counterparts who have cracked the prestigious competitive exams like IAS, IFS etc and bring laurels to the state,” she said.
Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr Pawan Kotwal, Special Secretary to Chief Minister, Mr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and other officers of the Jammu University and District Administration were present.