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August 10, 2016

Do not distinguish between Kashmir the land and Kashmir the people: Trinamool

Do not distinguish between Kashmir the land and Kashmir the people: Trinamool

Taking part in a discussion on the prevailing situation in Kashmir, leader of the party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien appealed to the government not to make distinction between Kashmir, the land and Kashmir, the people.

Highlights of the speech

Message to Pakistan

Pakistan must not meddle in our internal affairs and not shed crocodile tears for the people of Kashmir and not give bogus lectures on pluralism and democracy, concepts of which Pakistan’s generals and politicians and establishment have little knowledge and appreciation.

Trinamool is always with the government on matters of foreign policy.

Laptops vs Stones

The Prime Minister recently said, “youths who should be holding laptops, volleyballs, cricket bats, books are being handed stones”. The ground situation in the Valley is such the youth would still throw the laptops and books.

It is one thing to play the Rambo in Opposition and run a country in government. We all must take cognizance of the epic human tragedy in the valley.

Nationalism vs Patriotism

Years ago I read a definition of the difference between a nationalist and patriot. The nationalist loves his country, the patriot loves the people of his country. This one-liner came back to me recently as I considered the volatile and worrying situation in the Kashmir valley, and how some people in India, on social media and on prime-time shows but in real life as well, unfortunately, seem to make a distinction between Kashmir the land and Kashmiris the people. As if the first is all-important to India and the second is less of a priority.

Stand of BJP on Kashmir

The person who spoke on behalf of the government in Lok Sabha a few days ago on the Kashmir issue (MJ Akbar) had different views 20-25 years ago. In fact, he had written a book in which Sardar Patel was blamed for compounding the problems in Kashmir.

Many in BJP had wanted to burn his book at that time in the 1990s. Should the book ‘Kashmir, Behind the Vale’ be recommended reading for our friends in BJP?

Move beyond statistics

The Home Ministry has given us data on the violence in Kashmir Valley. The report says that number of deaths in 2010 violence was six and there have been three deaths this year. We have to go beyond the statistics. It is almost like saying there are fewer injuries now so we have committed a smaller sin.

Internet penetration

One of the things that has changed in Kashmir is internet penetration, it is up from 3% in 2011 to 28% as on March, 2016.

In fact, the Home Minister had tweeted on 9 July, 2016: “I appeal to the people of J&K to remain calm and maintain peace. Centre is working with the State govt. to bring normalcy in Kashmir valley.”

When this was tweeted, authorities had suspended mobile internet services in the valley.

From 2013, the highest occurrence of internet shutdown was in Kashmir (13 times) followed by Gujarat (8 times).

Burhan Wani

Burhan Wani, who had a wide following on the internet and among the youth, was more dangerous on the internet than on the streets.

Burhan Wani is more dangerous in his grave than in his living room.

Burhan Wani is more dangerous dead than he was alive.


Kashmir is non-negotiable. Similarly, the welfare of Kashmiris should also be non-negotiable.

Two months is a long time for the expert committee to give its report on the use of pellet guns. People are dying.

The pellets have not only hurt the children but also the consciousness of Kashmir.

“Ek do jagah nahi,

Saara badan hai chhalni

Dard baychara parayshan hai,

Kidhar se uthhay”