Bullets Won’t Resolve Kashmir Problem, Hugs Will: PM Modi


New Delhi—Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he was firmly committed to fight problems in Kashmir with love because neither bullets nor brickbats will solve the dragging issue.

In his Independence Day address Modi also slammed violence in the name of faith, saying it was “not acceptable” and that communalism and casteism were a “poison” that would do no good to the country.

“Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se… Samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (problems of Kashmir cannot be addressed by either bullets or by abuses. The change can come by embracing all Kashmiris),” Modi said in his fourth Independence day speech from the ramparts of historic Mughal era Red Fort.

He said apart from the state government, every one in India was committed to help “develop Jammu and Kashmir, make Jammu and Kashmir progress and realize dreams of the common citizen of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Modi said the country wanted to restore the glory of Kashmir, a “paradise” on Earth.

“We are firmly committed to bring the state back to its pristine glory. And that is why I want to say that whatever is happening in Kashmir… There are allegations and counter-allegations. There is a lot of recrimination, everyone abuses the other.”

Taking a jibe at “a handful of separatists”, the Prime Minister said they were adopting new tactics to keep the pot boiling and problem festering.

“But I am absolutely clear about how to fight this battle. Neither brickbats can solve the problem, nor bullets can solve (it). The problem will be solved by embracing every Kashmiri,” he said, adding the country would move ahead with that resolve to “bring change” in the troubled state.

Asserting that there would be no let up in India’s fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister called upon militants to shun the gun and join the mainstream.

“We time and again call terrorists to join the mainstream of India where you have every right and where there is every arrangement to put forward your point of view through democratic ways. It is only the mainstream that brings in new energy in our lives.”

He cited examples of Maoist rebels who had surrendered. He was happy that “due to the efforts of our security forces, youths in large numbers in Left-Wing Extremism areas had surrendered and returned (to the mainstream)”.

During his hour-long speech, Modi also asserted that India is capable of tackling any kind of security challenge, be it the sea or borders, a remark that assumes significance in view of the standoff with China in Doklam.

He said India’s stature in the world is rising and several countries are cooperating with India in fighting the menace of terrorism.

“It is clear that security of our country is our priority. Internal security is our priority. Be it sea or borders, be it cyber or space, India is capable of tackling every security challenge,” he said.

“Our army, our bravehearts, every personnel in uniform and not only the Army, Navy, the IAF (Indian Air Force), have shown their capability and grit whenever there was a situation. Our heroes never shied away from sacrifices,” he said.

India stands for peace, unity, and harmony, he said, adding “poison” of casteism and communalism will not help the nation.

“Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,” Modi said while invoking Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha.

“Bharat Jodo” (connect India) should be the slogan like “Bharat chhodo” (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle, he said.

He also referred to the issue of ‘triple talaq’, saying he paid regards to the women who had to lead a pitiable life because of it and had started a movement which has created an environment in the country against the practice.

Talking about the roll out of GST on July 1, he said it was a key illustration of cooperative federalism.

He said an abolition of inter-state check posts after the implementation of GST has reduced the time for movement of goods by 30 per cent and saved thousands of crores of rupees.

Mentioning his resolve to curb black money, he said demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November had helped bring over Rs 3 lakh crore of hereto unaccounted wealth into the banking system.

He said over Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been deposited in banks post note-ban and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income are under government scrutiny.

“Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today,” the prime minister said, vowing to continue the crackdown on black money.

Modi also asked the countrymen to shed ‘chalta hai’ attitude and instead adopt an approach of ‘badal sakta hai’ (can change) for positive change.

Invoking Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s slogan of swaraj (self- rule), he said now their motto should be ‘suraj’ (good governance) as he underlined his vision for a ‘new India’ by 2022.

In ‘new India’, he said, “Tantra se lok nahin, lok se tantra chalega (people would be the driving force behind the establishment rather than the other way around).” He lamented that democracy has been confined to ballots.

The nation had shown its collective strength between 1942 and 1947 culminating in India’s Independence, he said, asking people to show the same resolve to create a ‘new India’ by 2022.

He emphasised that everyone is equal in the nation and together they can bring about a qualitative transformation.

Highlighting the problems in work culture, he said while the nation had the capability of sending ‘mangalyaan’ (Mars mission) in nine months, on the other hand, a rail track project had been pending for over four decades, leading to disappointment among the people over the situation.

He said his government has put the decision- making on the fast-track.

Concluding his speech, he called for a ‘new India’ where the poor would have houses and access to water and electricity; where farmers would be free from worry and would earn twice of what they earn today; youth and women would get ample opportunities to fulfil their dreams.

Also, an India which will be free from terrorism, communalism, casteism, corruption and nepotism and an India which is clean and healthy, he said.

‘Many countries helping India in war against terror’

Many countries are actively helping India in the war against terror, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

Addressing the nation from the Red Fort on India`s Independence Day, Modi thanked these countries but did not name them.

“India`s stature in the world is rising. The world is with us in fighting the menace of terrorism. I thank all the countries actively helping us,” he said. 

Mehbooba welcomes PM’s Kashmir remark

 Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has welcomed the remark of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi about Kashmir during his Independence Day address today.

In a statement, the Chief Minister said she has all along believed that dialogue and peaceful means only can help in resolving issues as the futility of violence has been established all around.

Mehbooba Mufti said the slogan-Bandook say na goli say/Baat banay gi boli say coined by her Party some 15 years ago is as relevant today as it was then.

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