A pro-BJP think-tank held a session on the current unrest in Kashmir and the way forward while deliberating on various issues confronting the nation. India Foundation organised the 5th edition of Young Thinkers Meet 2016-–a two-day conclave of young intellectuals–and discussed various other issues confronting the society, nation and governments, apart from Kashmir at Patnitop health resort about 120 km from Jammu. The conclave concluded on Sunday.
The current situation in Kashmir Valley and the way forward was deliberated upon by various thinkers in the presence of some top BJP and RSS leaders at the conclave at Patnitop, sources privy to the deliberations said.
“A half-an-hour discussion on the ongoing situation in Kashmir was held in which speakers and experts put forth their point of view to the young thinkers,” the sources said. BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who also heads the India Foundation, however, said that the conclave had nothing to do with “Kashmir issues”.
“Thinkers Meet held at Patnitop is an annual event. Nothing to do with Kashmir issues except that d venue is in d state (sic). No kite flying,” he tweeted.
The sources said the role of security forces in dealing with the situation and how the ongoing unrest was being instigated and backed by Pakistan also figured during the deliberations. Fifty-four people have died and more than 6,000 injured in clashes between protesters and security forces in Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8. Normal life has remained parlaysed for nearly a month.
“The aim(of the conclave) is to educate young thinkers of the country which included researchers about the various issues confronting the country, government and society,” the sources said. The conference held behind closed doors amid tight security and even top police officers were not allowed to enter the hotel complex, where it was held.
Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani attended the first day of the event. Besides Ram Madhav, RSS leader Dattatreya Hosabale took part in the deliberations which was attended by around 60 thinkers, intellectuals and journalists. The sources said that neither any resolution was passed at the conclave nor any recommendation for a dialogue with separatists was made.
Apart from Kashmir, the issues discussed included ‘Impacting the National Discourse’, Academic Institutions: Controversies, Challenges & The Way Forward, Mainstream Media (MSM): Issues, Articulation & Personalities vis-a-vis the Art of Narrative Building, Role of Social Media–Construction and Manipulation of Dominant Narratives, Effective Nationalistic Intervention in Literary Area (Songs, Cinema, Theatre, Books etc.), Social Integration and Dalits.