Getting rid of the BJP will be a bigger development than the freedom struggle against British rule, former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said today, as she accused the BJP of "sowing seeds of hatred" among communities.
The existence of Jammu and Kashmir is in danger under the BJP, the president of the People's Democratic Party said and urged the youth to stand up against the challenges faced by the country by spreading "love and friendship" without feeling intimidated by a party that she claimed uses government agencies to browbeat its opponents.
"They have ruined the country... in the present situation, one feels insecure and does not know whether he/she will be alive tomorrow. The arrests and raids by ED and other government agencies against the opposition leaders have become the order of the day and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is much worse than the rest of the country," Ms Mufti said.
"History gives an opportunity to play a role and people of India availed this opportunity to free the country from British rule. Today, we have an opportunity to get rid of the BJP (to save the country). This development will be much bigger than the freedom struggle against British rule as they (BJP) are hell-bent to break this country."
Referring to the hate speeches at a recent Dharma Sansad in Haridwar, she said, "The speakers openly called for genocide of Muslims and the BJP leadership preferred to remain silent. Those who spoke said everyone has a right to speak their mind."
Jammu and Kashmir had joined Mahatma Gandhi's India and "we will not allow this country to become Nathuram Godse's nation", Mehbooba Mufti said.
"They are praying to Godse... Gandhi was the biggest Hindu, a vegetarian, and a secular leader who did not have any hatred against anyone, even the non-vegetarians," she added.
If anyone speaks against the BJP, they claim that they are abusing Hindus and the nation, she alleged.
"You are not the godfather of Hindus and this country. We have to stand up and face the challenges together, irrespective of our religion, caste, and creed and counter them by spreading love and friendship," she said.
"Eight decades from now, the coming generations will like to know what our stand was (after the BJP revoked Article 370 in 2019. They will question whether we fought this onslaught or surrendered. If we stay silent, nothing is going to happen," she said.
Asking people not to be afraid of the BJP's "arm twisting tactics", Mehbooba Mufti said there is no scope for violence, guns, or stones to achieve the goals.
"If today we are scared, we are dead. We have to face this challenge by digging our feet and fighting with determination. You have to stand behind me," she said.
"We have to fight the fear created by them. We will not resort to violence or take guns or stones; we will fight our struggle with pen and in a non-violent manner."
The veteran politician also criticised the BJP for raking up names of Mughal emperors like Babur and Aurangzeb in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, saying that leaders are misleading the people in the name of temple and mosque since they have failed to provide good governance, create jobs, and ensure development there.
"Had they done their job perfectly, the people should not have been forced to throw their dead relatives into Ganga during the second wave of Covid," she said.
Under the BJP's rules, the poor have become poorer and the list of the rich has added more names, Mehbooba Mufti claimed.
"They have failed to develop UP and are claiming to develop J&K. They are forcibly taking the land from our people and are looking to give it to outside investors as the land here is limited," she said denouncing the anti-encroachment drives conducted by the government agencies in both regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
"We need to stay united and foil any attempt to divide the people on the basis of region or religion. They want to divide us and dub those opposing their policies as anti-national and pro-Pakistan. Even Hindus are not spared by them."