Deception and deceit are the hallmark of the Chanakiyan school of thought. And who could be more committed to this mindset than India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his speech on India’s Independent Day on Tuesday, he talked of embracing the Kashmiris. “Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se … samasya suljhege gale lagaane se [Kashmir’s problems can be solved only by embracing the people of Kashmir, not with bullets or abuses).” This is a classic double-talk on the part of India’s prime minister. When he was talking of this “parivartan” in the Occupied Kashmir, the authorities had suspended internet and mobile services, imposed curfew and other tough restrictions on movement of people throughout the Valley. Of course, curfew and bans are standard response by New Delhi on such occasions. But what was not there before is the Modi’s talk of embracing the Kashmiris. The question whether or not this is a lollypop for record only or a change of heart – forced by the Kashmiri freedom-fighters’ insatiable appetite for martyrdom – will find a plausible answer anytime soon. One thing is however certain; the Kashmiris won’t be taken in by Modi’s sweet talk, and as usual Indian troops will not desist from attacking the protesting Kashmiris. How serious and committed is the Kashmiris’ struggle the attitude of even those who had turned up to attend the government-sponsored India’s Independence Day function at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar is an instance remained seated when India’s national anthem was played. There are half a million Indian troops in Occupied Kashmir but Intifada remains strident.
Modi’s double-talk abounded in his independence day speech even when he talked about the obnoxiously inhuman treatment of religious minorities, particularly the Muslims and Dalits. “We will not tolerate violence in the name of religion,” says the mastermind behind the Gujarat pogrom without regard for the fact that whatever little was left of his country’s so-called secular image his Sangh Parivar is demolishing it brick by brick. Some say his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, a historic monument built by Muslim rulers of the subcontinent, was “light” on foreign policy, as he did not mention, albeit directly, India’s arch rivals Pakistan and China. But he couldn’t resist claiming that “India is strong enough to defend its borders – be it the sea or the borders, cyber or space.” He is busy maligning these two neighbours day in, day out with a view to pleasing his foreign masters in particular. Having tilted at windmills located abroad for good three years, Modi seemed to have turned his focus inside his own constituency. When 60 children die amid shortages of supplies in a government-run hospital in a state (UP) governed by his fellow-traveller, Yogi Adityanath, the general public won’t be sold to revival of Hindu nationalism. Setting his sights on the next general elections in 2019, Prime Minister Modi is speaking of delivering a “new India” by 2022. He may boast about his fight against corruption but the reality on the ground shows that he is polarizing Indian society – mainly along religious and caste lines. His language that appears to be earnest and meaningful but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense.