Chennai, Mar 1: National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah on Tuesday asked the progressive forces of the country to fight unitedly against the divisive forces aiming to hurt the idea of India.
This he said while addressing a function marking the release of the biography of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin “One Among You” the other day at Chennai.
Taking exception to rising intolerance in the country, Omar said, “It is my right to choose whether to wear a skull cap, sport a beard or wear a hijab. The right to follow my religion should not be denied.”
Ruing the abrogation of Article 370 he said that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, his father and himself “underwent a period of adversity he could seldom imagine.” “I don’t think any of us thought of what we would have seen on Aug 5, 2019. That is when we woke up to who our real friends were. Because, a lot of people who we thought were friends were silent. All the people we thought would speak up at the unjust way people of Jammu and Kashmir were treated said nothing. A lot of people we had great close personal relations with were not only just silent but were complicit and supportive of what happened on August 5, 2019.”
Taking a dig at the BJP-led NDA Government at the Centre Omar said what happened in his state, might not end there and might take place in other states. “My state was divided into 2 parts and downgraded to a UT without the consent of the people of J&K, what stops them from doing the same thing to Kerala or Tamil Nadu. This must concern us all,” he said.
He said he had come all the way from J&K to Chennai to highlight this. What we are fighting is for our rights. And it is a just fight, genuine fight and an imbalanced one. “We are not fighting a political party, we are fighting a complete machinery,” he added.
Omar also appealed to leaders of all like-minded parties, who were present on the dais and those across the country to unite to fight against such divisive moves of those in power. He further stated that the function served as an added cause of showing unity among the progressive forces of the country.
Later, Omar visited a hospital to enquire about the condition of a 27-year-old Kashmiri woman who was attacked with acid in Srinagar and brought to Chennai for specialised treatment.
Accompanied by Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian, and Political Advisor Tanvir Sadiq Omar Abdullah met the family members of the woman, who has lost her eyesight and whose face was disfigured in the attack.
The Tamil Nadu Health Minister assured Abdullah, the National Conference vice president, that he would personally look into the matter and do whatever is best for the woman.