In one of the rarest occasions in the history of Indian politics, parliamentarians including PM Narendra Modi bid an emotional farewell to Ghulam Nabi Azad, the veteran Congress leader, from the Rajya Sabha.
Leader of opposition in the Upper House, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s term as a Rajya Sabha member is due to end on February 15.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said that he considers himself among those fortunate people who chose to stay in India and not go to Pakistan.
“I have always felt that heaven is India. I am among those fortunate people who never went to Pakistan. When I read about circumstances in Pakistan, I feel proud to be a Indian Muslim,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad while delivering his farewell speech.
“If any Muslim should feel proud in the world, it should be the Indian Muslim. Over the years, we have seen how Muslims countries like Afghanistan and Iraq are getting destroyed. There are no Hindus or Christians there, they are fighting amongst themselves,” Ghulam Nabi Azad added.
Ghulam Nabi Azad got emotional while recalling the attack on tourists from Gujarat tourists in the Kashmir Valley in 2006, when he was serving as the Chief Minister of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said the incident was one of the five times that he had cried loudly in his life.
He recalled how the families and children of victims moved him to tears.
“I pray to God that militancy and terrorism end in this country,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
— Rajya Sabha TV (@rajyasabhatv) February 9, 2021
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also got emotional while bidding farewell to Ghulam Nabi Azad from the Rajya Sabha.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also recalled the deadly terror attack in Kashmir in 2006, when both he and Ghulam Nabi Azad were serving as Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir.
“I will never forget Shri Azad’s efforts and Pranab Mukherjee’s efforts when people from Gujarat were stuck in Kashmir due to a terror attack. That night Ghulam Nabi Ji called me. He cared for those people like you would care for a member of your family,” a teary-eyed PM Modi said.
“I would not let you retire, I will continue taking your advice. My doors are always open for you,” PM Modi said.
Watch my remarks in the Rajya Sabha. https://t.co/Cte2AR0UVs
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 9, 2021
News Agency ANI also shared an archival footage of a distraught Ghulam Nabi Azad meeting the family members of the terror attack victim, as he sought their forgiveness.
From ANI Archives 30 July 2007: Then J&K CM Ghulam Nabi Azad sees off terrorist attack victims from Gujarat
Earlier today, PM Modi got emotional in Parliament when referring to this incident pic.twitter.com/2v5LVAXU1c
— ANI (@ANI) February 9, 2021