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J&K LG seeks clergy’s support in de-radicalisation, Fourth Generation Warfare

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha

The Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has sought unflinching support from the clergy of different faiths, the spiritual leadership and other organs of the civil society to counter the demon of extremism and radicalisation which, he said, had its footprints ‘across the border’.

Addressing an assembly of clergymen and the Art of Living activists at a Gujjar welfare trust in Jammu on Wednesday, Manoj Sinha said that a concerted campaign of indoctrination and radicalisation of the youth was being sponsored with the State support from across the border to disrupt the time-tested fabric of religious harmony across India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.

Calling it ‘Fourth Generation Warfare’, Sinha said that the uncontrolled social media had grown as the most potent vehicle of radicalisation which needed to be countered and neutralised with a synchronised response from the government and the civil society, particularly the clergy, and other influencers and community leaders.

The LG’s lecture was organized by Jammu and Kashmir Nationalist Peoples Front (JKNPF) party which is inspired by The Art of Living Foundation and has blessings of the global spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. A large number of influential Muftis, Maulvis and Khatibs drawn from different parts of the Union Territory participated in the conference.

Stressing on the need to monitor activities of the mischievous elements with modern technology, Sinha said that his government was working not only on de-radicalization but also on the counter-radicalization process. “Through de-radicalization, we are bringing back the radicalised youth while through the counter-radicalisation we are preventing potential targets and vulnerable youths from getting radicalized,” he said. Sinha referred to an instance of 2014-15 in Telangana where some brain-washed youth were counselled and de-radicalized after being taught true meaning of Islam by the community leaders and Muftis.

Sinha said he was aware of many incidents when parents noticed change in the behaviour of their children after surfing websites and social media. However, with the help of elderly persons, they were brought back to the right direction. He asserted that radicalization was actually rooted in drug addiction but it was being exploited for religious extremism.

“We must focus on comprehensive measures involving community, family and much required stress on positive messages, introducing books on prominent Muslim figures like Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Maqbool Sherwani and Salim Ali besides chapters on peace and harmony in schools and madrasas”, Sinha said. “J&K has been home to values of equality and fraternity, cultural relations, communal harmony and Sufi traditions”.

“We must check propagation of non-contextual as well selective messages from holy books. If anyone is treading a wrong path, it’s our responsibility to show him the right path”, Sinha told an attentive audience.

The LG said that different religious leaders had also spread the message of unity, tolerance and community activities. “But, at the same time, there are some disgruntled elements also who have sown the seeds of hatred to divide the people. I hope that the religious leaders here will show the right path to elements spreading hate and to the disoriented people”, he said.  “There is no other nation in the world where even after so much diversity, so many cultures live together harmoniously with love”.

Highlighting various initiatives for the welfare of youth, Sinha observed that the UT government had initiated a mission for progress and development. The youth had been provided with means of skill development and self-employment for starting work according to their interest. A young boy, Khurram, from Udhampur had not only started his own business but also employed other youths in his community.

Sinha said that with the unprecedented Rs 28,400-crore industrial and developmental scheme, new as well as the old depressed industries would be benefitted. As many as 4.50 lakh youths would get fresh employment avenues.

For a stable livelihood for youngsters, Sinha said his government had started a programme, titled “Mumkin”. It would provide the youths with small commercial vehicles with zero margin money. Apart from this, under the Himayat and Mission Youth programmes, skill training for employment was also being given to the youth.