SLAMMING PRIME Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday said that the PM, during his “Red Fort performance’’, only mentioned atrocities in Balochistan and forgot to touch upon the Dalit rally at Una in Gujarat and the ongoing violence in Kashmir.
“Five more civilians died in Kashmir on August 15. But Modi decided to evade the Kashmir issue altogether. He would rather talk about PoK, which is considered an integral part of India since the 1994 resolution, and the human rights violation in Balochistan. But Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan, as we have said that Kashmir is an integral part of India. Nobody has any right to interfere in that. So if you raise the issue of Balochistan, Pakistan gets the opportunity to raise the issue of Kashmir,” Yechury said, while addressing the media after CPM’s state committee meeting here.
Branding the foreign policy of the Narendra Modi government as “knee-jerk diplomacy”, Yechury said the Centre should immediately send an all-party delegation to Kashmir and start talks with Pakistan to address the issue of terrorism.
“On one hand, security forces are dying and on the other, the Kashmiri youth. This is not an acceptable situation. Vultures swoop in to feed on corpses. So naturally Pakistan will feed on the Kashmir issue while there is blood flowing in the Valley. The Indian government is pursuing a policy on Kashmir which will have further ramifications. What the government needs to do is address the issue at hand. They should send a delegation of Indian Parliament to Kashmir to look into the ground level situation,” he told reporters here.
“They are saying that the last time an all-party delegation went, nothing fruitful came up. We are saying that now you have reports of all the working groups, including that of the interlocutors who were appointed last time. On that basis, the government should prepare certain proposals. And we have been saying to stop the use of the inhuman pellet guns,” the CPM leader said.
Yechury also criticised the recent statement of Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar who had said that terrorism was “central” to its relation with Islamabad, whose different views and attitude have made it difficult for bilateral ties to grow. The Left leader said the Foreign Secretary stated nothing new.
“This government announced a package of Indo-Pak dialogue, but later on withdrew the talks. Then all of a sudden PM Modi dropped in to Pakistan to have lunch and said talks would again resume. Now they are saying there will be no talks. What is the government now planning to do? Is it planning to start Indo-Pak dialogue? You need to start it for our sake, to restore normalcy in Kashmir. We have to expose Pakistan, shame Pakistan in international arena. But the foreign policy that Modi government is pursing is classic knee-jerk diplomacy,” Yechury said. He noted that there was confusion about which course to follow, whether to follow the course of “56 inch sarkar or dropping by all of a sudden to have biryani”.
Continuing his attacks on the Prime Minister’s Red Fort speech, Yechury said this was the first time in the history of the Prime Minister’s Office that it had to officially withdraw its tweets on the Prime Minister’s speech afterwards.
“Things that the Prime Minister had said at the Red Fort were found to be entirely incorrect. For instance when he talked of that village being completely electrified, and that was not the case. This has never happened before,” he said.
Referring to the prosecution of Dalits in Gujarat, Yechury said the incident has brought to the fore the reality of the BJP-governed state. “The highest number of scavengers operate in Gujarat. The traditional job of skinning animals is given to Dalits and this is what they are being persecuted for now. Implement land reforms and give Dalits their land,’’ he said.
Launching further attacks on the Centre, Yechury said that the wages in rural India had not increased in the past two years while employment growth in industry and manufacturing has actually come down by 60 per cent. Even agriculture crisis has deepened and farmer suicides continue on a large scale, he added.
Under the Modi government, industrial production has declined by 0.6 per cent and manufacturing has declined by 0.7 per cent in 2015, he said, adding that out of 280 million workers in the country, only 80 million have received their Aadhaar cards. “All claims of development and progress by Modi over the past two years is just a propaganda,’’ said Yechury.
With PTI inputs