Whoever said that ‘politics is an art of possibilities’ should be given an award. I guess with 70 years of Democracy without any break, except for the aberration of 1975-76 Emergency, our politicians have mastered this art and made what appears to be impossible, for ordinary mortals like me, quite possible. Otherwise, how could BJP local politicians get the Defence Minister of India Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman for three not-so-important functions, at this time of engagement with Pakistan terrorists,
Manthana Mysore, claiming itself to be an Intellectuals’ Forum, had organised all these three functions under its auspices and in a meticulous way. The first one was held at J.K. Grounds where she addressed the leaders of the BJP Shakti Kendras (Power Centres). The next one was at the Hotel Pai Vista where she released a book titled Facets of Terrorism in India authored by R.N. Kulkarni, a retired Intelligence Bureau (IB) Officer. The book’s publication seems to have strangely coincided with the Pulwama terror attack that took place on Feb.14 and India’s retaliatory fighter-plane attack on terror camps inside Pakistan. Apparently, Defence Minister releasing the book gains significance and importance.
The whole of India knows that she is a good speaker. However, she did not display her virtuosity of oration because the occasion did not require it. All the same, she spoke befitting the occasion.
Her third and last function yesterday was at Hotel Southern Star, where every seat was occupied and people were seen standing around. It was showcased as a meeting of Defence Minister Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman with the intellectuals of our city.
I was surprised that the intellectuals gathered there appeared to be either BJP members or BJP sympathisers. Let it be. It is understandable. Since I was requested by our MP Pratap Simha for this meeting, I decided to attend. But on learning that there would be an interaction, I decided to prepare a few questions. In a hurry, I prepared five questions. However, on finding many in the audience raising hands to indicate that they wanted to ask questions, I selected just one question with a prelude:
‘I regret that some people who live in India continue to speak the language of Pakistan’ — Modi said this according to an article in The Hindu newspaper.
QUESTION: Is there a Fifth Column in India? If there is, will the Government identify them and take action as per law?
Apparently she was a bit flummoxed, but in a measured way responded saying that she won’t be able to say anything about this in public. What kind of action should be taken is a matter for the Government and the Military to decide. She could only say that whatever it takes for the security of the country would definitely be done.
Be that as it may, in case my readers are curious to know what are the other questions I wanted to ask her, I am producing them here. For answer, it is a case of GOK.
1. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wrote in 1973 that the Congress party’s Pakistan Policy was only an extension of Congress party’s Policy of Muslim appeasement.
QUESTION: From the utterances of the Congress President against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies, specially with regard to Rafale and the lateral comments on Pulwama retaliation strike on Pakistan terrorist camps, do you think that the Congress party’s Pakistan Policy remains the same since 1973 as stated by A.B. Vajpayee?
2. Modi Government tried to hold bilateral dialogue with Pakistan (as per Simla agreement, I guess) in 2014, the very year he was elected as the Prime Minister. But it was cancelled when Pakistan High Commissioner began meeting the Separatists.
Again in 2015 when Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff met at Ufa in Russia, they agreed to hold talks about terrorism beginning with the meeting of National Security Advisors (NSA) of two countries in Delhi and then take it forward to the Prime Ministerial level. But the Pakistan Army thwarted it saying that the Kashmir issue should also be included in the NSA talks.
QUESTION: Why then the Congress President and the Opposition are blaming Modi for not initiating a dialogue with Pakistan?
3. QUESTION: Now that the Pulwama terror attack, which killed our 40 jawans, has been avenged using our Air Force killing over 300 Pakistan terrorists, should India accept the invitation of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for a dialogue?
4. P. Chidambaram wanted more autonomy or greater autonomy to be given to J&K under Article 370.
QUESTION: What is the role of Mr. Dineshwar Sharma, who was appointed in 2017 as new Government of India Interlocutor for J&K in the matter of Article 370 and 35-A?
e-mail: [email protected]