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JAMMU: The highly provocative speeches of some speakers in Jammu during a seminar alleging that growth of Muslim colonies in and around Jammu “was a concerted effort to change its demography” is not only highly condemnable but against the ethos of pluralism. Unity in diversity is the strength of India and as well as Jammu and Kashmir. There are many languages, castes and ethnic groups and this is the specialty of the country and the state. Any attempts to divide people of Jammu and Kashmir on any name or at any level is against the interests of people of the state and the country.

The state has off and on faced many difficult situations owing to terrorism sponsored from across the border, which has caused disturbance in the state. However, the people of the state have preserved its unity and its secular character despite the heterogeneous ethnic, linguistic and demographic character of the state. Composite pluralistic culture of Jammu and Kashmir state is its strength and any move aimed at segregating the society would prove counterproductive. Attempts are being made to divide people of Jammu and Kashmir and some persons spearheading a bigoted and communal campaign of “demographic change” in the province and are trying to divide the communities. Different varieties of fundamentalism is complementing each other by creating division and hatred among people.

Jammu, is a pluralistic society and during difficult and odd times people of the region have maintained communal harmony and brotherhood. I am sure the people of Jammu, who have always rejected these fringe elements, who try to create wedge between the communities, will this time also make their efforts unsuccessful. In the last turmoil in Kashmir, the patience shown by the people of Jammu, when lot of people from the Valley took shelter there, is worth praise. Even during turmoil in Punjab, lot of people took shelter in Jammu irrespective of faith. It is a contribution of people of Jammu to strengthen the ethos of pluralism.

The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was an unfortunate incident which shattered the very fabric of Kashmiryat. The strength of Jammu and Kashmir state is pluralism. The issue of rehabilitation of Pandits is purely a humanitarian issue and the same should be resolved through purposeful dialogue between different communities. CPI (M) always believes in communal harmony and we appeal our Jammu brothers not to fall prey to these elements who want to divide people in the name of religion and region.