New Delhi: Outgoing Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Tuesday said he feels proud to be an Indian Muslim. Delivering his farewell speech in the Upper House of Parliament, the veteran Congressman recalled his association with several leaders, including stalwarts from other parties, which helped him learn many things.
In his 28-minute speech, he used couplets and hoped for the restoration of peace in Jammu and Kashmir and the return of Kashmiri Pandits back to the valley. Recalling his journey, Azad, who started his political career when he was still a student, said reading about Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharal Nehru and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad made him patriotic.
He said it would take weeks to narrate his legislative experience of 41 years and recalled how his political career started during his school days. "When I was a college student in Jammu and Kashmir, both August 14 and August 15 used to be celebrated. The majority used to celebrate August 14. I was among those few fortunate people, about a dozen, who used to celebrate August 15," Azad said.
The former Union minister said he is one of the "lucky" people who have never gone to Pakistan. “When I read about the state of affairs in Pakistan, I feel proud I am a Hindustani Musalman.”