August 2016 News

Patnitop Meet Discusses Kashmir, Readies 'report'

7 August 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Dinesh Manhotra

Jammu: Even as BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav sought to downplay the two-day conclave at Patnitop, a comprehensive discussion on the prevailing Kashmir situation was held in the presence of RSS joint general secretary Dattatreya Hosable. Although various national issues were discussed in the eight brainstorming sessions of the conclave, the focus was on Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Valley which has been reeling under a vicious cycle of violent protests in which over 50 persons have lost their lives and thousands, including a huge number of security personnel, have been injured. Highly placed sources said after discussions and interactions among intellectuals, a report had been compiled which would be finalised and submitted to the core group of India Foundation. The sources said during the discussion on the theme of 'Controversies, Challenges and the Way Forward,' a detailed discussion on the present situation on Kashmir was held during which a number of participants expressed their views in the presence of Hosable and Ram Madhav. The participants, who hailed from different parts of the country, opined that formation of the PDP-BJP government was a big achievement but it was a big challenge for the nationalist forces also because of the diametrically opposite ideologies of both parties. Besides Hosable, RSS 'prant pracharak' of J&K Ramesh Pappa also attended the conclave. Their presence in the meet assumes importance because they have to play an important role in setting the agenda for Kashmir. Being the head of state RSS unit, Pappa's opinion and suggestion is must to formulate any policy to deal with the Valley. In the last session of the conclave, a detailed discussion on Dalit unrest was also held. Some participants emphasised on the need of formulating a comprehensive policy to counter vicious propaganda which has been launched by some forces to exploit Dalits. Participants suggested that some concrete steps should be taken to stop atrocities on Dalits. Meanwhile, Ram Madhav, who was instrumental in holding this conclave at Patnitop, sought to downplay the event. After being stuck at the venue due to landslides near Udhampur on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, he tweeted, 'Stuck at this picturesque place on the way (from) Patnitop to Jammu thanks to a landslide. Young Thinkers Meet held at Patnitop is an annual event. Nothing to do with Kashmir issue except that the venue is in the state. No kite-flying.' Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who was scheduled to attend conclave today, could not reach the venue due to the landslides. The event concluded without participation of any local BJP leader.