News Kashmir special
With the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on 7 th January 2016 marks an end of political era for the Jammu and Kashmir state. He left a noted impression on the political spectrum of the state via his political skills and knowledge. Pertinently on 24th December, the 79 year-old leader was airlifted to AIIMS in the national capital from Srinagar after he complained of exhaustion.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was born in Baba Mohallah at Bijbehara in January 12, 1936. Having graduated from S.P. College in Srinagar, he went on to obtain a degree in law, and a post-graduate degree in Arab History from Aligarh Muslim University. He started a law practice in Anantnag / Islamabad.
Pertinently since childhood days Mufti Sayeed was interested in the world of politics as he in 1950s, had joined the Democratic National Conference (DNC) led by G.M.Sadiq. He was appointed district convener of the new organisation, the first formal post he held.
Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was elected to the Assembly from Bijbehara in 1962, and retained the seat in 1967.
As a result, he was appointed a Deputy Minister by G.M. Sadiq. In 1972, he became a Cabinet Minster and also Congress party’s leader in the Legislative Council.
In 1975 he was made the leader of the Congress Legislature Party and president of Pradesh Congress. In 1986, he was appointed as the Union Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. He quit as tourism minister in 1987, left the Congress and co-founded Jan Morcha with V.P. Singh. In1989, he won the Lok Sabha election from Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh as a Janata Dal candidate and became the Union Home Minister in Prime Minister V.P. Singh’s cabinet. He achieved the distinction of being the First Muslim Home Minister of the country . However, saw his image dented to an extent when the government headed by V P Singh accepted the demand by a militant group that five of their men be set free in exchange for release of kidnapped Rubaiya, one of his three daughters.
After national stint Mufti Sayeed focused on local politics once again. In 1998, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed won the Anantnag / Islamabad Lok Sabha seat, but soon resigned from both his position and the Congress party to launch his own party Peoples Democratic Party in the state. He was unanimously elected the first president of the party.
PDP participated in 2002 assembly election and went on to form a coalition government with Indian National Congress.
In 2002, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir for a term of three year and in 2015 surprising all he formed alliance with BJP.
During his more than 5 decade long political career, Politically, the highlight of Mufti Sayeed’s career is that he stood firm against the Abdullah family’s and the NC Party exclusive dominance over the Jammu and Kashmir’s politics. He had opposed the Rajiv-Farooq accord through which the Congress forced an NC-Congress alliance in 1986 – with catastrophic consequences, including the ham-handed rigging of the 1987 elections. Without a hint of ambiguity he would have obtained a senior ministerial position for himself in the state if he had fallen in line. But he took the much tougher decision at that juncture of the history and it was to leave the party with which he had been associated since his youth.
As the news of death reached the online world as well as the real world got filled with tributes and even rivals cutting across political divide paid tribute.
“Mufti Sahab’s demise leaves a huge void in the nation & in J&K, where his exemplary leadership had a major impact on people’s lives. RIP. What stood out about Mufti Sahab was his statesmanship. In his long political journey he won many admirers across the political spectrum. Mufti Sahab provided a healing touch to J&K through his leadership. He will be missed by all of us. Condolences to his family & supporters.”
Narendra Modi (Prime Minister)
Heartfelt condolences on the passing away of J&K CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed
Pranab Mukherjee (President)
Deeply pained to learn of J&K CM’s demise.He was known for his love for common people, specially the underprivileged.
Rajnath Singh (Home Minister)
Deeply saddened by the demise of Mufti Sahab, he was a rare politician. My condolences to his family & supporters in this hour of grief.
Amit Shah (BJP President)
Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference Mirwaiz Dr Molvi Muhammad Umar Farooq has also condoled the demise of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
“Condolences on the demise of Mufti Mohammad Syed, express my sympathy with the bereaved family,” Mirwaiz said in a tweet.
On the otherhand, Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani condoled the demise of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
In a statement issued the octogenarian leader expressed sympathy with the family of Sayeed, who passed away early morning today at AIIMS in New Delhi.
“Death is an ultimate truth. Whether one is a king or a commoner, everyone has to die,” Geelani was quoted as saying in the statement. “Every death is a lesson for a wise human being and a reminder that his name should be remembered for good even after his death.”
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his shock and sympathy at the demise.“Just heard the terrible terrible news of Mufti Sahib’s passing away. I’m shocked & deeply saddened. May he rest in peace,” tweeted Abdullah.
“My heartfelt sympathies to Mrs Syed, Mehbooba & the entire family in this most difficult of times. My & my family’s prayers are with them,” he added.
Under the visionary leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed PDP has now emerged as a dominant force in Jammu & Kashmir politics and is considered a strong political force and contributions of Mufti Sayeed in this regard stand out.
Be it political, negotiating, diplomatic, building grassroots, bold decisions and above all maturity Mufti Mohammad Sayeed had all of them and logically the political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir will miss him . From an simple lawyer to becoming the only Muslim Home Minister New Delhi has seen so far was an achievement in itself . Mufti Mohammad Sayeed carved a unique position for himself in national and Jammu and Kashmir politics. This demise definitely marks an End of an Era.