Seeking to strike a chord with the people of Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent out a message of ekta (unity) and mamata (love) to them on Sunday, saying that these are the mantras for addressing the Kashmir problem, while he severely reprimanded all those who were pushing “innocent” young people into violence and pelting stones, saying these people would “have to answer” for this some day.
In his monthly radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat, Mr Modi said that if any life was lost in the Valley, whether of any youth or any securityman, “that loss is ours, of our own, of our own country”. Speaking on the unrest in the Valley, he said: “From the interactions I had with all parties on Kashmir, one thing emerged from those, which can be put in simple words — as ekta and mamata.
These two things are the basic mantra.” He said all political parties had spoken in one voice on Kashmir, sending out a “message to the world, as well as the separatist forces”, and conveying “our sentiments to the people of Kashmir”. The Opposition parties like the Congress and the JD(U), however, picked holes in Mr Modi’s remarks during this Mann Ki Baat broadcast, asking why the government was not able to lift the curfew in Kashmir yet if only five per cent of the people were involved in creating trouble.
“If PM believes that only five per cent of the people are creating trouble, then why are the Central and state governments not able to contain it? Why is the curfew on for 51 days?” Congress leader Manish Tewari asked on Twitter. He also asked Mr Modi to hear the “Mann ki Baat of the Kashmiri people... rather than (hold) a one-way monologue”.
On J&K, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said the people of the country wanted a lasting peace in Kashmir, but the statement of J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti does not prove it so. Janata Dal (United) leader K.C. Tyagi said: “Every political party supports the PM if any initiative is taken. He tried to normalise the relationship with Pakistan. Tell me the name of one political party that opposed him. He has not done anything ... to ensure peace in Kashmir.”