Bold Modi tackles Muslim Kashmir head on


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A Hindu nationalist prime minister of India addressing a big election rally in Muslim majority Kashmir, the most troubled and disaffected corner of his nation.

That’s the bold political move Narendra Modi made on Monday.

It’s a sign of his style – highly engaged, politically courageous, much more pragmatic than his detractors expected – but offering few concessions on what he sees as the issues fundamental to rebuilding India’s national confidence and standing.

In his six months in office, Modi has often startled and surprised observers, and shown a boldness rarely evident at the top level of Indian politics in recent years.

He has established a dominance of the country’s political landscape arguably unparalleled since the death of Indira Gandhi 30 years ago.

Taking to the podium at a cricket stadium in the Kashmiri capital, Srinagar, Mr Modi sported a pheran, the woollen cape-like garment which is as typically Kashmiri as you can get. Much more of a political statement than a fashion statement.

“Start Quote

I have come to give you justice”

Narendra Modi Prime Minster of India

And a move that attracted approving newspaper headlines in Kashmir even before the crowds started gathering.

It was many years, he declared, since an Indian national leader had addressed an election rally in the main part of the historic Sher-e-Kashmir stadium.

The stadium’s name translates as Lion of Kashmir – the title given to the iconic Kashmiri nationalist leader from the 1940s to his death in 1982, Sheikh Abdullah.

At times in his long political career, Sheikh Abdullah supported Indian rule – at times, he called for self-determination for Kashmir and spent many years in Indian jails as a result.

The current state assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir are the occasion for the prime minister’s visit, and he pointed to the high turnout in early rounds of voting as a sign that Kashmiris had rejected violence.

Categories: Asia

2 replies

  1. Narandra Modi seems to be a good prime minister for INDIA if his words are taken in face value. But he is not above suspicion as his hit man and mendacious Amit Shah and hard core Hindu zealots RSS, are for making India a purely Hindu nation. It is obvious from various statement made by his few ministers of his cabinet quite recently.

  2. Nation ia not seen by one person. Modi is good face of bad government. He keeps saying Development and other things but reality is that the Groups attached Like RSS, VHP and other Hindu groups are taking their own course.

    Hindu nation is the dream; pushing Sanskrit as language and then saying we will stop spread of other religion in India. These are not positive developments.

    today there is news that in Agra 200 muslims are converted to Hinduism by RSS. More 5000 are waiting for conversion.

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