TRIBUTE TO MUFTI

An era of post independence first generation leaders of J&K came to end as the last doyen of the generation Mufti Mohammad Syed breathed his last at the AIIMS in New Delhi two years ago on January 7, 2016. Mufti’s demise created a huge vacuum especially in J&K where his exemplary leadership through his healing touch had made a major impact on people’s lives irrespective of the region to which they belong. Today on his second death anniversary, it needs to be recalled that this crown state of India has been witness to the working of many chief ministers till date and undoubtedly Mufti holds a special place so far as his political acumen and statesmanship are concerned. Unlike others he translated his words into deeds on ground as a result of which he continues to be remembered as an astute administrator in the state. While remembering the great leader today one can’t miss to recall that though Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has to his credit a long list of contributions for the nation especially for Jammu and Kashmir, yet his initiatives towards cross border trade and reining in the separatists and terrorists soon after taking over as the CM of the state during his first tenure deserve special appreciation. Having a clear understanding of the issues of this subcontinent he realized that peace and prosperity in the region is not possible without improvement in the Indo-Pak relations for which he believed people to people interaction could prove most beneficial. It was on the basis of this vision that the Central government believed that facilitating free movement of goods and people through the traditional cross-LoC routes in Jammu & Kashmir would help the policymakers on the two sides of the divide to facilitate the political changes that the people in the region so badly need. Beginning trade via Srinagar-Muzaffrabad and Poonch-Rawalakote roads along the LoC is undoubtedly a stepping stone towards forging a new economic alliance in the region which is definitely going to pay dividends in the times to come. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s most difficult and testing time was the post election victory prior to his second tenure when he proved his mettle, political acumen and realistic approach by opting to forge a coalition Government in the state with the Saffron party knowing fully that this would not go well within his constituency in view of the two parties being ideologically arch rivals. Despite critics making predictions of collapse of the coalition he displayed the knack of carrying all with him in forging ahead towards improving the state through Coalition agenda aimed at development and good governance. Responding to the people’s innermost yearning for peace and dignity, Mufti with full sincerity pursued the ‘Healing Touch’ policy to repair the people’s hurt psyche, salvaging their bruised dignity, rekindling a new hope in their hearts and motivating them to mould their destiny through a participatory political and democratic process. It was the result of his healing touch that he till his last breath wanted the displaced community to return back to Valley with full dignity and honour and despite resentment among a part of his constituency back home he even agreed to demarcate land for separate township of the displaced community which later had to be amended to composite dwellings under pressure from the local constituency. Despite great obstacles posed by both the opposition as well as the separatists Mufti’s daughter Mehbooba Mufti being the first woman chief minister of J&K, has been aptly carrying forward the precious legacy of her father and leader of the masses whose political as well as social mission focused on connecting communities and regions of this state into one conglomerate of harmonious diversities and today the best tribute to the great leader would be an endeavour by one and all to contribute sincerely in achieving his cherished dream of transforming J&K into vibrant entity of ideal harmonious diversities.