OPINION
MIGHT IS RIGHT
The Ayodhya verdict — Sanctifying aggression: Well done, My Lords!
10.11.19 - Justice Markandey Katju
The Ayodhya verdict — Sanctifying aggression: Well done, My Lords!



I SUBMIT that the recent Ayodhya verdict of the Supreme Court will go down in the annals of Indian legal history in the same category as its decision in ADM Jabalpur vs Shivakant Shukla, 1975, the only difference being that unlike the latter, in this one there is not a single courageous dissent.

In substance it has said that might is right, and has laid down a dangerous precedent sanctifying aggression. It is like a bully snatching a kid's sandwich in school, and the teacher giving a 'balanced judgment' by allowing the bully to keep the sandwich, and giving the kid a slice of bread instead.

One need not go into the correctness or otherwise of the Court's finding that the Babri Masjid was built by one of Babur's generals after destroying a Hindu temple on the site.
 
It is true that many Hindu temples were destroyed by Muslim invaders, and mosques built on their sites, sometimes even using the material of the temple e.g. the Quwwat ul Islam mosque near Qutub Minar, Delhi whose pillars have Hindu carvings, or the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi whose rear wall has Hindu carvings, or the Atala Devi Masjid in Jaunpur.
 
But the point is this: is India to move forward, or backward? 

It would be a different matter if a Hindu temple is broken today and converted into a mosque. But where this was done allegedly 500 years ago does it carry any sense to go about restoring the structure to its Hindu original?
 
This revanchism will be stupid, and can only polarise society, serving the political agenda of some people who wish to keep the communal fire burning for getting votes. 

And it is stupid to think that the Ayodhya verdict will bring about communal peace. Appeasement to a bully, like the Munich pact of 1938, only whets the appetite of an aggressor.
 
Cries of "Abhi to yeh jhaanki hai, Kashi Mathura baaqi hai" were heard soon after demolition of Babri Masjid on 6th December 1992, and are bound to be repeated soon.
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----------
Sakshi Maharaj, the BJP MP has said that Jama Masjid, Delhi was built on a Hindu temple, which should be restored. Similar claim has been made about the Taj Mahal. Where will all this end?

To say that Ram was born at a particular spot is ridiculous. Even if he was a historical, not mythical, figure, how can anyone say where a person was born thousands of years ago?

India is passing through a terrible economic crisis, with GDP at a record low, manufacturing and business in steep decline, unemployment at a record height (even according to the Government's own National Sample Survey), appalling level of child malnourishment (every second Indian child is malnourished according to Global Hunger Index), 50% of our women anaemic, farmers suicides continuing unabated, healthcare and good education for the masses in a pitiable state, etc. 

Evidently our leaders have no clue how to solve these huge problems, so to divert attention from them they must resort to gimmicks like Yoga Day, cow protection, Swatchata Abhiyan, abrogation of Article 370 etc, and building Ram Mandir is in the same category.

After Partition of 1947, demolition of Babri Masjid by vandals, with the connivance of some people, was the greatest tragedy of India.
 
The Ayodhya verdict says it was illegal, but in the same breath sanctifies it. Well done, My Lords !

  
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. 
 
 
 
 
 ---------------------------
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Comment by: Dinesh

Idiot Markandu sorry to say that you being served as a justice comparing decisions of Supreme Court with your biased example !
You must understand that this was not just a mosques but it was intentional site of building that was selected to damage and suppress feelings of Hindus that time. There is no significance associated for Muslim other than just name and time it was build but for Hindus this was a birthplace of Lord Rama !

Only difference is it took 500 years for Hindus to get united in opinions to bring such competent person like Narendra Modi otherwise

There were plenty of space available in entire India to build such structures but why this mosque was build only at that place can anyone explain?

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Comment by: Sajid

Glorious Quraan 2:28
How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned.

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AYODHYA, LAW, JUSTICE AND US
The Ayodhya Verdict: A Political Judgement?
09.11.19 - Harcharan Bains
The Ayodhya Verdict: A Political Judgement?



FIRST OF ALL, we all know that it is a "political judgement." In the present case, that does not necessarily mean that it is a bad judgement.

As facts stand, neither the Hindus nor the Muslims could prove their legitimate title claims on the land before the court. Hindus could not prove that a temple was demolished to build the mosque. The Muslims could not prove that Hindus have not been praying here even after the mosque came into being.
 
The court agrees that that though the Hindus could not prove the existence of a temple precisely on this spot, the Muslims managed to prove the presence of the Mosque for as long as they claimed . But they could not prove that they always prayed here. This was funny. What else would the Muslims do with the mosque?
 
But matters got complicated as the Hindu side was able to prove that they had been praying on the site where the this "disputed structure" stood. The ASI records and maps could also prove or disprove nothing, one way or the other. There is evidence that some sort of worship was going on in Ayodhya during Guru Nanak's times, but exactly at what spot? Not clear. That the Hindus prayed at the same site even after the Mosque came up is mentioned in many travelogues.

So neither the Hindus nor the Muslims could prove "exclusive right" over the site beyond any reasonable doubt.

Thus, while the court could not have decided anything strictly on merit alone, it seems a lot went on through the back channels and some sort of an "out of court" understanding was reached but neither side had the courage to tell its followers about that understanding.
 
So it seems they mutually decided to give it a legal cover by getting the SC to formalise it in the guise of a judgement. This is proved also by the withdrawal of the Muslims a few days before the judgement.
 
Thus, the govt, the contending parties and the court were on the same page about finding a way out through a wishy washy judgement.

Nothing bad in all this if the goals of peace and communal harmony are achieved. The Muslim response to the judgement has been extremely sober and magnanimous, for which they deserve a salute. I hope the Hindus also refrain from going overboard in celebrating it as a defeat for the Muslims.

As for as religion is concerned, it makes no difference either to Allah or to Ram whether you have a mosque here or a temple. But it makes a difference to the "communities."

I am not bothered if this judgment is flawed so long as it achieves, with the active cooperation of both the Hindu and the Muslim parties, the goals of social cohesiveness. After all, social stability and communal harmony are far more important than legalistic exactness. Any judgement, no matter how flawed it might be, is noble if it can get the people to preserve peace, harmony and cohesiveness, and if it strengthens the country by preserving the social fabric.

Whether the judgement is good or bad will be known in how the two communities respond to it in the coming days. I am not obsessing too much with judicial fairness if the court achieves the desired goals through some other means. The law is for the people, and not the other way round.

My hunch is that they have managed to find a way out, and SC has merely helped in giving it a legal veneer. That is perfectly okay so long both communities are on board and agree to work together in maintaining peace.

That said , the whole thing can be sabotaged by just a handful of lunatics who may feel left out of the deal. That won't be easy if the government is determined to now to end the dispute, which it might be after getting the freedom to fulfil its promise on Ram Janambhoomi.
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The order on 5 acres to be given by the BJP government to the Muslim community has a strong symbolic significance. Otherwise, it has no meaning.
 
I doubt if the Muslim community will take the offer. And all this can be a part of a prepared script to let the Muslims assert their pride by refusing the offer- a very smart psychological play being enacted here, it seems to me. And it is for the good.
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All in all, a political judgement but maybe one that will be good for everyone concerned and for the country.
 

 

*(The author, a freelance journalist, has served as Advisor on National Affairs to former CM, Parkash Singh Badal. Needless to say, the views expressed herein are personal.)

 

 



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Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

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KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

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KASHMIRIS AND FREEDOM
Would Kashmiris reconsider the demand for Azadi?
07.11.19 - Justice Markandey Katju
Would Kashmiris reconsider the demand for Azadi?



Many Kashmiris demand azadi (independence) for Kashmir, and some non Kashmiris too e.g. some students of JNU etc who supported the demand. To examine the justification for this demand certain basic concepts need be cleared up.

The test of every political act or system is one, and only one: does it raise the standard of living of the people? Does it give them better lives? Keeping this firmly in mind, it is evident that azadi itself cannot be an end in itself, it can only be a means to an end. The end must be raising the standard of living of the people, and giving them better lives. If azadi leads to this end it should certainly be supported, but not otherwise.

Let us take a historical example. Kashmir was independent till 1587 when the last independent ruler Yusuf Shah Chak was deposed by Mughal Emperor Akbar, and Kashmir was incorporated into the Mughal Empire, whose capital was Agra.

Now this deprivation of azadi of Kashmiris in 1587 far from harming Kashmiris, benefited them, because it resulted in raising their standard of living and giving them better lives. By becoming part of the Mughal Empire Kashmiri handicraftsmen got a huge market in India for their handicrafts e.g. pashmina shawls, carpets, etc.
 
Kashmir got a share of the huge resources of the Mughal Empire, with which great works like the Mughal gardens (Shalimar, Nishat and Chashme Shahi) were built. There can be no doubt that Mughal rule benefited Kashmiris. It was like incorporation of many parts of Europe into the Roman Empire, which while depriving people there of their freedom in fact benefited them by the Roman technology, roads, aqueducts etc.

So I appeal to Kashmiris to go a bit deeper and stop parroting azadi and talking of UN resolutions in the abstract.

What is the ideology of the present leaders of separatists and militants in Kashmir? It is Islamic fundamentalism.
 
So if Kashmir becomes independent today it will be hurled back into the Middle Ages, sharia law will be imposed with barbaric rules of stoning women to death for adultery, etc, and women will be compelled to wear the burqa

Consider another matter. Kashmir today has a massive handicraft industry, and this has a huge market in India. Almost every one of the hundreds of towns in India has shops run by Kashmiris, who bring their handicrafts from Kashmir and sell them there. Once I went to Kovalam beach near Tiruvananthapuram in southern Kerala, and found two Kashmiri shops there too. 

Now what would happen if Kashmir becomes independent?
 
This huge market would be lost to Kashmiri industry, since then Kashmiri traders would not be able to come to India without a visa, which would be very difficult to get. The result would be that much of Kashmiri handicraft industry will have to close down, throwing hundreds of thousands of people out of employment. Has this been considered by those demanding azadi?

I have always strongly criticised atrocities on Kashmiris by Indian security forces e.g. when some civilians were killed in Pulwama.
 
Although I am a Kashmiri Pandit, my DNA is the same as that of Kashmiri Muslims, whom I regard my brothers and sisters. So I feel their pain e.g. when there was a shutdown and cut off of communications in the valley after 5th August (which I have strongly condemned ). I have helped creating the Chinar Foundation for uniting Kashmiri Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs (for details contact Fauzia Jalali at fauziasyeda5@gmail.com).

Nevertheless, I appeal to Kashmiris to reconsider their demand for azadi. The correct demand, in my humble opinion, would be reunification of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (see indianreunificationassociation.co.in) under a secular government, which when attained, will automatically solve the Kashmir problem.

  
Justice Markandey Katju is former Judge, Supreme Court of India and former Chairman, Press Council of India. 
 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

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KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

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If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

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WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






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LAWYERS VS POLICE
Justice, like charity, must begin at home
06.11.19 - VIPIN PUBBY
Justice, like charity, must begin at home




The recent clash between lawyers and policemen in the national capital and the subsequent merciless beating up of individual policemen and even litigants by unruly lawyers is not just a matter of shame but of serious concern.

Videos of a section of lawyers acting like goons and pouncing on policemen in uniform have gone viral and have shocked the common people. All this led to an unprecedented protest by hundreds of policemen and their family members near the Police headquarters in Delhi.

It all started with a minor incident between a lawyer and a constable over parking of a vehicle in the Tis Hazari court complex on Saturday. Soon a large number of lawyers gathered in support of their colleague and additional police forces reached the site. Heated arguments led to a clash which left about 20 policemen and eight lawyers injured.
 
Lawyers, who claimed that some shots were also fired by police, also damaged several vehicles parked in the area. The ugly incidents did not end there. Videos shot at different locations show them targeting individual policemen and civilians and beating them.
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All this while senior police officers failed to intervene and the governments, both the central government and the Delhi government, did not condemn or tried to resolve the dispute. Senior police officers did not give permission even for filing an FIR.

On the other hand the Delhi High Court gave a partisan and one sided directive that no coercive action would be taken against the lawyers who indulged in violence. At the same time the high court directed suspension and transfer of some of the policemen. Such a directive was apparently not fair and generated resentment among the policemen and the general public.

Advocates and police force are two pillars of law and order machinery. They are protectors and defenders of law. They have interdependent relationship and they are expected to uphold the rule of law. Instead of their sacred duty if they try to become law unto themselves, it is a sure sign of the the collapse of law and order machinery.
 
While it is rare that policemen come out in such large numbers to protest despite the provisions in service conditions that they cannot form a union or hold protests, there have been several incidents of lawyers taking law in their hands. A recent example was the beating up of journalists and litigants when Kanhaiya Kumar was to be produced in the Patiala House Court in 2016. Prior to that lawyers had indulged in hooliganism in Hyderabad and had held public to ransom.
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Higher judiciary must come down with a heavy hand on the lawyers who indulged in merciless beating of policemen. Justice, like charity, must begin at home.
------------
It is also well known how the lawyers tend to go on strike and force closures of courts at the drop of a hat. There have been dozens of such instances in Chandigarh and neighbouring states which put litigants to a lot of inconvenience.

Lawyers are called "officers of the court” because they are supposed to help the court to deliver fair judgement. Unfortunately some lawyers, and particularly the "briefless lawyers” who do not get cases to fight, do not appear to understand and appreciate their role in the society. They think they are above the law.

It is time such lawlessness is nipped in the bud. Disaffection among police forces and can pose a serious threat to the rule of law and senior officers must intervene to assuage their hurt feelings. It is an irony that the protectors of law are left to defend themselves. At the same time any police personnel who indulges in use of excessive force need also to be punished. Neither the police personnel can manhandle anyone nor the lawyers can behave like goons.


All eyes would now be on the appeal filed against the Delhi high court judgement which was evidently not fair. Higher judiciary must come down with a heavy hand on the lawyers who indulged in merciless beating of policemen. They can be easily identified through videos. Justice, like charity, must begin at home. 

 

*(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.) 



Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles:

 

KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI

Three Women of 1984

 FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?   

REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE     

KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt

Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal

Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?

In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties  

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE         

 OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES 

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION         

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL       

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA

BAD, BAD WOMAN!

 


 

_______________________________________________________________

Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT





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GAIRON PE KARAM, APNON PE SITAM
European MP's pleasure trip in locked down valley is questionable
02.11.19 - VIPIN PUBBY
European MP's pleasure trip in locked down valley is questionable



 
THE CENTRAL government’s decision to allow visit of 27 members of the European Parliament visiting India to visit the Kashmir Valley has raised eyebrows and is a cause of concern particularly when Indian members of parliament have so far not been allowed to tour the area since August 5 when the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir was withdrawn.
 
The Valley has remained locked down for nearly three months now despite government withdrawing some of the restrictions imposed after Article 35 was abrogated and Jammu and Kashmir was downgraded to two Union Territories.
 
It took over two months for the government to restore landlines services which was followed by restricted restoration of mobile services. However the local residents still don’t have access to the internet and social messaging sites such as WhatsApp.
 
There is also a sort of Janata curfew where local people are themselves not coming out of their areas. Even shops open just for a couple of hours every day and people are not sending children to educational institutions even though these have been declared open by the government. 

All opposition political parties have been demanding access to the Valley to interact with the people and look into the normalcy claims by the central government.
 
A delegation of MPs from these parties was forced to return from the Srinagar airport because they were not allowed to step out of the airport. Several other MPs, who had tried to enter on their own, were also disallowed.
 
All top leaders of the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party like former chief minister’s Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah continue to remain under house arrest.

It is in this context it was very surprising that the delegation of MPs from Europe were allowed to visit the Valley.
 
It shows lack of confidence and trust among our own Members of Parliament who are representatives of the people and should have been given the first right to visit the Valley. 

If the current impasse has to be broken it shall have to be done through political process and by taking involving the local people. No region or people can be subjugated just by force. There is no way but to involve the common people in restoring normalcy in the area.
 
The government’s attempt to force down block level elections, which was boycotted by major political parties such as National Conference, PDP and the Congress, was not adequate or advisable. The voting was very low in the Valley. It has also jeopardised locals who had come out to vote.
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Government has not taken adequate steps to assuage the feelings of the Kashmiris and to give them confidence. To restore normalcy the government has no choice but to involve local representatives. It must also take into confidence elected representatives of all the parties.
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As it often happens in such situations, it is the common people who would bear the brunt. Those who did not come out to vote would be looked with suspicion by the security forces and those who voted can be the target of the wrath of the terrorists.

Government allowed these MPs even while it had denied permission to an American senator who had applied for permission to visit just last week.
 
Observers have pointed out a strange coincidence that at least 22 of the 27 MPs belong to right-wing or far-right parties in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
 
They had been broadly in favour of anti immigration laws and had been supporting Brexit. They are not on an official visit to India but are here on the invitation of a non governmental organisation.

It is this composition of the delegation that prompted CPM’s Sitaram Yechury to say that "this unofficial group is overwhelmingly from ultra-right wing pro-fascist parties having relations with the BJP”. He said this composition explained why the Modi Government had not allowed opposition MPs to visit the Valley.

While it was understandable that restrictions had to be put initially to prevent Pakistan sponsored anti national elements to indulge in violence but three months is too long a period to restore normalcy in the Valley.
 
Government has not taken  adequate steps to assuage the feelings of the local people and to give them confidence.

To restore normalcy the government has no choice but to involve local representatives. It must also take into confidence elected representatives of all the parties.
 

 

 

*(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career.)

 

 

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