The addresses on the occasion of the Inauguration of the Gurjar Centre for Culture & Heritages

“....in the fight against the militancy in the border areas, Gujjar community leads”


Madam Sonia Gandhi addressing on the occasion of the Inauguration of the Gurjar Centre for Culture & Heritage

Omar Abdullah ji, Farooq Abdullah Ji, Ghulam Nabi Azad ji, Saif ud Din Soz ji, Masud Choudhary ji, Prithvi Raj Chouhan Ji, & Tara Chand Ji. All the elderly folks, ladies & gentlemen.

I owe thanks to all of you for the warm welcome extended to me. First of all, I thank the entire Gujjar community and the Gurjar Desh Charitable Trust for having called me for the inauguration of this magnificent building as also the Cultural Complex it houses.

Our country has always emerged strong and secure even in the face of several challenges and the credit for this goes to our culture is riveted on strong foundations. Our civilization has always taught us to protect and follow our national ethos. There is no denying the fact that whatever costs had to be incurred, the Gujjars & Bakarwals never compromised on the basic principles of their living. There is hardly any parallel to the sacrifices made by these communities during the freedom struggle.

All of you know, the relationship between the Congress and Gujjar community is not new and that Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira ji and Rajiv ji were all the time deeply concerned about this community. This community is an integral part of our society and country. My conviction is that it should be our priority to do all we can to mitigate the sufferings of this community. I know that these communities are still mired in poverty and backwardness but I also know for certain that these communities are always in a state of preparedness to safeguard their self respect for which they can pay any price or were second to none in any struggle for any rightful cause.

The tribal brethren of Jammu & Kashmir bravely confronted the enemy in 1947, 1965 and confronted other troubles & tribulations with courage and bravery. Gujjar community is still in the lead in protecting our borders and in the fight against militancy.

Because of nomadic living this community couldn't make educational advancement which perhaps otherwise possible. It gives me immense satisfaction to underline the fact that the Gujjar community is all poised to impart quality education to its members. A great job has been accomplished in this direction with the setting up of Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri. In very short span of time this university has made rapid strides. I congratulate Chaudhary Masud and his team for having taken up highly demanding responsibility in the interests of welfare of all of you.

The UPA-led government at the center has formulated several Policies and programs for the progress and development of the stat of Jammu & Kashmir. Likewise, we will always be willing to lend all our support and help through the GOI as well as the state government to push forward any programe focused on better education for the Gujjar community. It is our firm belief that o society or country can make any worthwhile progress in the absence of access to quality education. Our country is moving forward with the same pace as the rest of the world. It is therefore imperative that all of you move forward with same speed.

Need of the hour is to extend the outreach of science and technology as well as the use of computers to Gujjars and Bakarwals so that they bring in qualitative changes to their lives. It is my earnest wish that the youth of these communities do not circumscribe the area of their education advancement. I would also equally emphasize the need of popularizing education among women with special focus on their healthcare so that change and transformation are brought about in realistic terms.

In the melting pot of globalization, all the civilizations are slowly losing their exclusivist traits. However, it is a matter of immense satisfaction that amidst such changing scenario, Gujjars have still been able to preserve and protect their unique ethnic identity. This Cultural Complex, I understand, will help conserve ancient arts and crafts of Gujjar community, their heritage and literature and will provide stimulus to the advancement and progress of this community in a more meaningful manner. It is my unwavering faith that for all such initiatives Gujjar community will get all the possible help and support.

It is my most earnest desire to see Gujjar-Bakarwals communities always progressing and prospering so that they become active players in the development and progress of the country as a whole. I congratulate everyone associated with the Trust while I inaugurate this Cultural Complex!

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