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Kashmir: Rahul Gandhi-led Opposition Must Stand With The Govt Not Against Them

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On August 25, 2019, Rahul Gandhi led a team of opposition parties to Srinagar despite knowing the fact that the Governor Satya Pal Malik objected to their political visit citing some probable escalated disturbances. As expected, the team was sent back from Srinagar Airport. It’s not that Rahul Gandhi and his team didn’t know what would be the result. But for the sake of politics, they chose to do such a misadventure.

Their response on Kashmir using terms like “terrifying situation”, “taste of brute force”, “draconian government”, “curtailment of liberty, dignity” etc. may be aimed against ruling BJP government or Narendra Modi, but the only beneficiary of such comments is Pakistan which used such reports as propaganda claiming that India is doing something horrible inside Kashmir.

An opposition delegation led by Gandhi reached Srinagar last Saturday but were sent back by the govt.

Political rivalry must be there, but when there’s an issue of national interest mature approach is the best option. You may disagree with the method adopted by the Narendra Modi government, but why speak Pakistan’s language? When the entire international community is standing with India, the opposition appears to be standing with Pakistan. What type of politics is this?

Do Congress and other parties think Kashmir is a Muslim issue? Not at all. There are a lot of Muslim countries like U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, etc. which openly expressed that Article 370 and Kashmir is India’s internal matter. Even Pakistan, which tried to hard-sell Kashmir issue as a Muslim identity linking “two-nation theory” failed to get the attention of the international community. Pakistan’s foreign minister openly admitted that “international relations are above religious sentiment” while commenting on U.A.E. and Bahrain’s top civilian award to Narendra Modi.

Now, what do Congress and opposition want? Do they want disturbances in Kashmir (especially the valley) to escalate? Does the opposition consider J&K as an integral part of India or not? And what did Narendra Modi government do that Congress never wanted to do? During the Congress government starting from Nehru till Indira Gandhi there were a lot of presidential orders which already diluted the original provisions of Article 370. Even Nehru and his home minister wished to scrap Article 370. What they wished; Narendra Modi government did. Why so much hue and cry?

Regarding detaining of Kashmiri leaders like Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, should I refresh Rahul Gandhi’s memory on how many years Sheikh Abdullah was behind the bar during Nehru and Indira Gandhi’s time? Now, you are terming your sending back as draconian? Congress government repeatedly arrested starting from Shyama Prasad Mookerjee to many such leaders who tried to visit Kashmir during the tense period with an apprehension that there would be disturbances.
This is a crunch moment. Jammu and Ladakh are in normal state. The valley can’t be normal in weeks or a couple of months. Recall Burhan Wani encounter; the valley was closed for months. Thus, it will take time. The restrictions are there to prevent law and order situation and contain the separatists from provoking the common people.
Rahul Gandhi must listen to some of his young Turks who supported the government on Article 370. It’s time to stand for the nation and not indulge in petty politics. There would be a couple of seats in J&K which Congress may be eyeing, but such politics which is helpful to Pakistan and separatists will reduce Congress’ credibility in the eyes of the rest of India. If Rahul Gandhi is interested in sending the Congress party to oblivion, it’s his choice.

Opposition in a democracy has the responsibility to be the critic of the government. However, there’s a very thin line between criticism and cynicism. Rahul Gandhi’s present politics on Kashmir appears to be petty and cynic. Rahul Gandhi and opposition must shun such cynical politics that has an angle of national integration, sovereignty, and security. Rivalry politics is alright, but national interest should always be above all.

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  1. Jay Velury

    Author wants Congress to meekly follow the Prime Minister like sheep to the slaughter house! The Prime Minister freely and unfairly blames Congress for Kashmir Problem, digs up graves to blame long dead Jawaharlal Nehru and plunges the nation into biggest gamble. Congress is neither allowed to provide contrary views nor to even complain of the unfairness BJP politics! Sounds extremely convenient!

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Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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