September 2019 News

Would Bet On PM Modi To Transform 'Newly Integrated' Kashmir: Columnist

23 September 2019
ANI


Washington DC: Coming less than two months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution, eliminating special privileges for Jammu and Kashmir, the 'Howdy, Modi!' in Houston, Texas on Sunday was as 'freighted with political significance', an op-ed piece in the New York Times by columnist Roger Cohen has said. In a column titled 'Don't mess with Modi in Texas', Mr Cohen wrote, 'The question, however, is whether (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi had any choice in Kashmir and whether, over time, the revocation of an article conceived as temporary breaks the Kashmiri logjam, pries open the stranglehold of corrupt local elites and offers a better future. I think it might.' Terming PM Modi a 'self-made man', Mr Cohen said, he would bet on him to transform India including the 'newly integrated' Kashmir region. 'Modi will not turn back from his elimination of Kashmir's autonomy. That phase of Indian history is over,' Mr Cohen wrote. Mr Cohen, on US President Donald Trump and PM Modi, wrote, 'Trump and Modi are both forceful, media-savvy politicians. But they are not alike. Modi, a self-made man from a poor family, is measured, ascetic, not driven by impulse. Trump was born on third base. He's erratic, guided by the devouring needs of his ego. I'd bet on Modi to transform India, all of it, including the newly integrated Kashmir region.' However, the columnist has also criticised detentions and communication restrictions imposed in Kashmir in the aftermath of the scrapping of the special provisions of Article 370. These restrictions since then have been gradually eased since then and the region has been limping back to normalcy. 'Still, by Kashmiri standards, bloodshed has been limited; and India insists the communications blackout was intended to block social-media incitement to more violence,' he wrote. 'We revoked a temporary constitutional provision that slowed down development, created alienation, led to separatism, fed terrorism and ended up as a deadly national security problem. We know the last 70 years did not work in Kashmir. It has bled us. It would be Einsteinian insanity to do the same thing and expect a different result,' Mr Cohen quoted foreign minister S Jaishanker as saying. Mr Cohen said the reaction of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been 'wild' and that 'his bluff has been called'. Mr Cohen also said the US President could not 'resist' an audience of more than 50,000, on the eve of an election year. Saying that Pakistan's covert backing of 'militant groups' in Kashmir goes back decades, Mr Cohen also mentioned the comments made by Prime Minister wherein he took a jibe at Pakistan. 'India's actions within its boundaries are causing discomfort to some people who are unable to manage their own country. These people have put their hatred for India at the centre of their political agenda,' Mr Cohen quoted PM Modi as saying. PM Modi and Donald Trump addressed the 'Howdy, Modi!' event at Houston's NRG stadium.

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