Changing names of cities across India is an attempt to change the “pluralistic visage” of the country and a premeditated attempt to divert the attention of people from the prevailing developmental deficit, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said Wednesday.
India, Farooq said, has historically been a “point of convergence of different cultures and the names of various cities reflected the pluralistic culture of the country.” India is a mosaic of cultures and the contribution of Muslims cannot be belittled, he said.
“The contribution of Muslims to the cultural pool of India is discernible in linguistics, crafts, food and other art forms. Such attempts reveal the antipathy of BJP-led government including the incumbent UP government for academics and historical facts,” he said, according to a statement issued here.
Farooq said such “irrational acts bring bad name to the celebrated traits of India’s ethos, known for forbearance. It seems to be a considered attempt to divert the people from real issues that the country is faced with. BJP, which is at the helm of affairs, has been serving people mere catchwords as development.”
“People are watchful of their willies and are seeking answers from BJP for not fulfilling the promises they made during the run-up for 2014 elections,” he said.
“History bears testimony to the fact as to how Muslims watered the pluralistic values of our country. The contribution of Muslims in India’s freedom struggle cannot be derided. People like Fakrudin Ali Ahmad, Maulana Azad, Dr Zakir Hussain, and APJ Abdul Kalam and others contributed a lot towards India’s development,” he said.
Farooq said that the people should remain “cautious of such devious machinations that aim to divide the country on religious lines.”
Meanwhile, Farooq, according to the statement, condemned the “recent exertions of a right-wing group to vitiate the atmosphere of Jammu wherein they had instructed a particular community in Jammu not to sell properties to Muslims or lend properties to them on rent.” “People have always shown steadfastness in upholding secular fabric of our state in the most trying times. I am sure they will keep up with the tradition of not lending ear to such obnoxious propaganda,” he said.