Vice President Ansari calls for rebuilding Kashmir economy

June 20th, 2009 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 20 (IANS) Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari Saturday said here the economy of Jammu and Kashmir, devastated by two decades of militancy, needed to be reconstructed.
Addressing the 17th annual convocation of the Kashmir University, Ansari said, “The politics of polarization and manipulative practices have no place in our country.”

He focused his speech on the youth who, he said, constituted 40 percent of the state as also the country’s population.

He said India was the largest multi-cultural society in the world and as such had its peculiar challenges in which identity, autonomy and integration had to be achieved.

“Our country has multiple identities grounded in religion, language, tribe, caste, class, community, race and region. Accommodation of diversity is a distinctive feature of the Indian state,” Ansari noted.

“Living in isolation is not the objective. Integration is necessary and desirable. Assimilation is neither desirable nor practical,” he said.

Ansari stressed the need to accommodate various identities in the country in a constitutional and democratic framework.

“Globalisation has produced a counter trend of national assertions, in which there is an interplay between identity and integration,” the vice president said.

Ansari quoted profusely from Persian and Urdu poets.

Chancellor of the university Governor N.N. Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the pro-chancellor, shared the dais with the chief guest at the convocation hall of the university on the banks of Dal Lake.

Elaborate security arrangements were in place and all entry and exit points to the university were sealed off.

All movements were regulated through a three-tier security system.

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