There is ‘rhetoric’ on Kashmir, ‘abuses, bullets’ won’t solve it: Modi

Time & Us
Last Updated: August 16, 2017 at 3:05 am

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reached out to Kashmiris, saying “abuses and bullets” will not resolve their problems but embracing them will.
He also said that “there is rhetoric and politics on Kashmir” and that New Delhi was committed to restore the state to its former glory “so as to experience the paradise that it was, once again.”
“On Kashmir, there is rhetoric and politics. But I am clear in my belief on how to win the war against separatism, which is spread by a handful of people,” Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort in New Delhi.
“(Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se (The problem will be solved neither by abuse or bullets – it will be solved by embracing all Kashmiris). Such is the legacy of 125 crore Indians. Hence, neither by abuse nor by bullets, change will come by embracing all. And we are moving forward with this resolve,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi said that his Government will “take strict steps against terrorism” and asked leaders of Hurriyat Conference to join the mainstream.
“There is no question of being soft on ‘terrorism or terrorists’. We have been asking the extremists to join the mainstream. Democracy provides an equal opportunity and rights to be heard for all. The process of engagement can take place only by their joining the mainstream,” Modi said and “appreciated” the efforts of government forces in curbing what he termed “the Left Wing extremism which mobilized a lot of youth from these regions to surrender and joined the mainstream.”
He said that it was not only the J&K government, “responsible citizens also have a responsibility” for the development and progress of Jammu and Kashmir, its prosperity, and “fulfilment of the aspirations of the citizens.”
“We are committed to restore the state to its former glory so as to experience the paradise that it was, once again,” he said.
In his speech, the shortest of the four times he has addressed the country, he also rebuked those who resort to violence in the name of religion, adding that casteism and communalism are like poison.
Wearing his trademark half-sleeves kurta, churidar pajama and a Rajasthani headgear, Modi spoke from the ramparts of the Red Fort to thousands of spectators including schoolchildren dressed like Lord Krishna, as well as crores of television audience watching the live telecast of his speech across the nation.
He said over Rs 1.75 lakh crore has been deposited in banks since the note-ban, and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income are under government scrutiny.
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.
Referring to recent incidents of natural calamities in various parts of the country as also death of children at a state-run hospital in Uttar Pradesh, he said sympathies of the entire nation are with the affected families.
“Many parts of the country faced natural calamities in the recent past. Children died at a hospital. The entire nation is with them,” Modi said.