Jammu: Maintaining communal harmony and remaining united is the most befitting reply to divisive forces, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah said on Monday.
Addressing mass communication post graduates here, he underscored the crucial role of media in promoting spirit of inclusiveness in diverse Indian society, especially at a time when fringe elements were out to destroy the time-tested fabric of religious harmony and unity.
“As long as we remain united, nobody will be able to weaken us,” Abdullah said adding that intolerance has no place in a country that has potential of taking the world along at the strength of its glorious ethos.
“Here I invoke your important role as budding journalists to expose those who incite passions for furthering their political agenda and help in strengthening the bonds of amity and brotherhood between various segments of society,” he said.
He maintained it is the duty of the central government to rein in the fringe jingoistic elements which are creating an atmosphere of frenzy by inciting passions.
“Loose cannons cannot be left free to generate animosity among the communities,” he asserted.
He expressed confidence that the prevailing spate of religious intolerance in parts of the country will evaporate, but sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in restoring confidence of the people in the system.
“The incidents like Dadri and Udhampur, in which a young boy lost his life, were demoralising and disturbing,” he said, expressing shock over the death of Zahid Bhat, a helper who succumbed on Sunday to injuries sustained when his truck was firebombed in Udhampur, and said the killers are needed to be served harsh punishment.
On response of the Peoples Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir to various challenges confronting to the state, he said they have failed in providing good governance and in building an atmosphere wherein various segments of the society live in peace and harmony.