STATE TIMES NEWS
KATHUA: Making a passionate appeal to all those in public life to rise above politics and work towards restoring the inclusive character of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Saturday said the Jammu Declaration is a way forward in strengthening religious bonds among communities besides reinforcing trust and unity between diverse regions.“Coming as it is from the pluralistic region of Jammu, the declaration encompass all the religions, ethnic groups, regions and sub-regions, which actually represent the idea of J&K and will engage the people in inter-region and intra-regional dialogue to bridge the fault-lines that have unfortunately surfaced due to trust deficit over the years”, Rana said while interacting with the office bearers of the party of District Kathua Rural ‘B’, organized by its District President Shyam Narain Mehta.Rana said the Jammu originated concept does not represent any individual or political thought but reflects the glorious ethos of the region, which has all along braved the victitudes of history and withstood test of times. This spirit was hugely in display during three decades ago when Duggarland opened up its arms for all those in distress, irrespective of religion or caste, he asserted.“Let this spirit guide us all to restore J&K to its glory of co-existence with no space for fundamentalism of any sort”, Rana said, adding that peaceful, harmonious, inclusive J&K will offset the misconceptions about its people across the country. Eventually, the idea of Jammu and Kashmir will lead to strengthening the idea of India, he said and regretted over misgivings created about the people of this part of the country, who were nationalists to the core and progressive in their thoughts. Rana vehemently pleaded for initiating effective confidence building measures; between the two regions and within the regions and their sub-regions; between religious and ethnic groups and between different shades of opinion. Intra-regional and inter-region dialogue based on mutual respect and love has assumed immense significance in the wake of misplaced suspicions gaining ground across the country. Therefore, a collective effort is needed to find out the genesis of the unfounded suspicions and to suggest ways and means for course correction. He said sooner such initiatives are set in motion, the better it would be for heralding a new era of trust, understanding and spirit of inclusiveness among peoples. “Time has come when such a proposition should fan out from Jammu, the abode of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians and bring into its compass the regions of Kashmir and Ladakh, given our time-tested spirit of unity”, Rana said, adding the template of such an initiative should be apolitical with the singular motivation of further strengthening the bonds of brotherhood and tranquility between communities fulfilment of aspirations of the people in the two regions and their sub-regions. No region or the sub region should nurture a feeling of discrimination in respect of jobs, development and implementation of various welfare schemes, he said, adding that equitable opportunities of progress should form core of such a charter. Rana hoped that the sagacious people of the Jammu region will take upon themselves the initiative of restoring the pristine glory of their heritage based on inclusive co-existence. The Provincial President urged the people at large and intelligentsia in particular to forcefully combat the machinations of those trying to divide the people on the basis of region and religion. The spirit of unity has not only to be sustained but promoted as well at every level. The divisive tendencies would not only retard the growth but also create dent in the traditional harmony. We must guard against such influences, he added. “For successful implementation of the Jammu Declaration, we have to unite and rise above religious, regional and political biases for achieving the larger goal of securing the lives of our people, ensuring their prosperity and heralding a new era of peace and goodwill between regions and religions”, he maintained.
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