History was created in Srinagar on June 23rd 2010-Syama Prasad Mookerjee Martyrdom day was observed in Kashmir for the first time
Strong India alone can face neighbours' challenges-Gen. V.P.Malik, former army chief.
Muslims need reforms from within-India secular because of Hindu majority-M.J.Akbar, eminent editor
Youth power can bring glory and strength to India-Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, vice chancellor, Kashmir University
A history was created at Srinagar when Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee' who had attained martyrdom in a Srinagar jail on June 23rd 1953 for demanding complete merger of Kashmire with rest of India,was remembered by a selected intellectual elite in Srinagar in a national seminar dedicated to his memory.
The seminar was on the theme -Rising India-Challenges of a troubled neighbourhood.It was inaugurated by former army chief Gen.V.P.Malik. Eminent editor M.J.Akbar, Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, vice chancellor, Kashmir University, Ambassador TCA Rangachari,Lt. Gen. Aditya Singh ,Maj. Gen Vinod Saighal were distinguished participants. A galaxy of leaders from various walks of life in Srinagar, faculty and students from Kashmir University and Islamic University, intellectuals and officers attended the seminar.
The programme began with lighting of the lamp before the pictures of Bharat Mata and Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee by all dignitaries and singing of the national anthem. It was pointed out by the local participants that even the national anthem was sung perhaps for the first time after many years in any public function in Srinagar.
Shri Bal Apte President of Dr. Syama Prasad Research Foundation welcomed the guests and expressed satisfaction on having the day observe in Srinagar. Shri Tarun Vijay , Director gave a vivid introuction to Dr. Mookerjee's illustrious life and underlined the significance of the day being observed in Srinagar.
Gen. Ved Malik said that challenges of China and Pakistan can be met with a strong India-which is strong economically, socially and militarily.
M.J.Akbar spell bound the audience with his sharp remarks and said that India cant be said to be rising unless Muslims also get into the mainstream of progress. He said like Hindus had reforms from within, Muslims must also change for a better social dynamics. He said that India is secular not because of the fifteen percent Muslim minority but because of the Hindu majority.He also said that Muslim women's progress alone can define Islam's progressive face.He said that Koran says 'to each his own' meaning freedom of thought.
Prof. Riyaz Punjabi, vice chancellor of Kashmir University welcomed the idea of such a high level seminar in Srinagar and said that only youth can take India ahead with a secular, non-sectarian vision and modern outlook.
Lt. Gen Aitya Singh and Maj. Gen. Vinod Saighal spoke about creating awareness regarding challenges from China and Pakistan and asked to create an awareness about China amongst people. Ambassador Rangachari gave descriptive details of the present status of India-China relations and underlined the need to learn Chinese and get acquainted with the latest Chinese affairs creating an atmosphere of mutual trust.
The programme has been hailed as a milestone in creating bridges and removing fear psychosis regarding Kashmir.
Amongst those luminaries who attended the seminar were Shri Ashok Bhatt, speaker Gujarat assembly, Shri K.G. Bopiah Speaker Karnataka Assembly, Shri Ram Lal, all India Gen. Secy. (Organisation) BJP,Shri Shamsher Singh Manhas , President J&K state BJP,Shri Sufi Yusuf vice president J&K, BJP, Shri Chandra Prakash Ganga, vice president J&K, BJP, Shri Jugal Kishore , BJP, MLA, Shri Manohar Lal , Org. Secy, North zone BJP,Shri Ramesh Arora, State BJP spokesperson, large number of students and teachers. Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Secretary of the Foundation and Shri Arun Singh, trustee welcomed the guests.
What i saw was an attempt to regain the political goodwill the partyâ€™s legendary leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had cultivated through his widely hailed pacifist moves including the historical olive branch he had extended to Pakistan few years after Kargil crisis.