Congress mocks at nationalist Indians

Congress mocks at nationalist Indians

Congress mocks at nationalist Indians

Callous comment

The Pioneer Edit Desk

The Prime Minister is absolutely right when he says that political parties should be mindful about the situation that prevails in Jammu & Kashmir and rise above partisan politics to tackle an issue of national importance. There is, however, a problem with such assertions: Unless those who preach a non-partisan approach to solving national problems practice it themselves, they tend to be ignored. Hence, it is not surprising that the Prime Minister’s comments have not fetched a supportive response, either in Delhi or in Jammu, leave alone Srinagar. For, the Prime Minister appears to be unmindful of the fact, either deliberately or due to lack of comprehension, that his own party has played the most duplicitous role ever since trouble erupted over the Jammu & Kashmir Government’s decision to allot — and not hand over — 97 acres of land at Baltal to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, a creation of the same Government, for setting up temporary facilities for pilgrims who trek to the hill shrine every year. Rather than stand up to the separatists and Islamists who blew the entire issue out of proportion, described the annual yatra as an unwanted ‘Hindu cultural’ intrusion, and claimed it was aimed at diluting the Muslim majority character of the Kashmir Valley, the Congress chose to appease them through a pliant Governor eager to please his political patrons in Delhi. Having committed that original sin, it now pretends great surprise at the fallout in Jammu and elsewhere in the country, while the Prime Minister waxes eloquent on the need to rise above partisan politics, slyly hinting that the problem is the creation of ‘others’ and not the Congress. Worse, instead of feeling contrite for its monumental blunder, the Congress continues to poke nationalists in the eye, describing the Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti and the All-Party Hurriyat Conference as the two sides of the same coin. Are we then to believe that the Congress, to which the Prime Minister owes his job, cannot distinguish between the Indian tricolour and the Pakistani flag? For, while the protesters in Jammu — including Muslims — have been proudly holding aloft the Indian tricolour, the Hurriyat’s followers have been waving the Pakistani flag and carrying posters of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Nationalists and separatists, common sense would suggest, can never be the two sides of the same coin. But such is the decline of the Congress that even common sense eludes the party; as for the Prime Minister, who is given to thinking out of the box, he is happy to indulge in banalities and thus believe he has done his job.

If such be the attitude of the party that rules India and the Prime Minister who presides over the Union Government, then we can only look forward to further grief. It would be futile to expect the Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti to scale back its protest and sit across the negotiating table. It would be equally futile to expect the separatists to be told where they get off. The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister’s perception of Jammu & Kashmir is at variance with India’s belief that it is an integral part of this nation. The Congress has no perception other than abiding faith in it capacity to appease Islamic fanatics; it perceives capitulation before separatists as a solution to the problem, rather than strengthening those who hate India and despise the very idea of India. The least that is expected of the Prime Minister and his party is that they will desist from ridiculing nationalist Indians.

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