Divide Kashmir, make Jinnah laugh: Farooq
25 October 2000
The Asian Age
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday attacked New Delhi for “put-ting me to test every now and then and trying to bend me.” Dr Abdullah paraphrased Oliver Cromwell to say he would have been better off had he served his God the way he served the Centre. “Do not try to bend me,” he warned, adding that such attempts would en-gulf the country in a fire difficult to control. Dr Farooq was addressing the Fore-sters’ Conference here when he suddenly changed the topic and attacked the Centre for accusing him of non-governance. “Kya kya bataoon kon se chhure lagate hain,” he told the audience and then quoted Oliver Cromwell. He expressed sadness over calls for the trifurcating of Jammu and Kas-hmir and said it would only vindicate Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s belief that Hindus and Muslims could not live together. “The day you div-ide the state, Jinnah’s soul will laugh at you,” he said, adding that those who want to divide Jammu and Kashmir along religious lines should be ready for another Pakistan and a separate state for Christians as well. The chief minister, sore over the Planning Commission not finalising the state plan despite a series of meetings, said a new excuse is put forward every day. “I narrated the whole story of Laila-Majnu to them throughout the night and in the morning they ask me about the relationship of Laila with Majnu,” he said to illustrate the indifference of the Plan-ning Commission. He said he was told that until he did not investigate the alleged swindling of funds meant for the development of the Dal Lake, the plan could not be finalised and wondered how the two things were related. He said those who accuse him of non-governance should first see the situation in the states where they run the governments themselves. He said that in four years he had increased revenue from sales tax collections from only Rs 100 crores to Rs 600 crores and asked if this was non-governance. A furious Dr Abdullah said he was being tested by New Delhi every now and then. “I am a Muslim but an Ind-ian Muslim, and not a Pakistani or Chinese or Russian Muslim,” he burst out, adding, “I am not going to have it anymore. Enough is enough.” He said if somebody thought he could be bent, then that somebody was wrong. “Do not challenge me or such a fire will be ignited which you cannot control,” he said.