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Indian consul general in US suggests Israel model for Kashmiri Pandits’ return, kicks up row

In a viral video, Sandeep Chakravorty tells Kashmiri Pandits to keep their culture alive like Jews, and slams US Congress for dragging India into discussions.

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New Delhi: India’s consul general in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, has advocated the Israeli model for Kashmiri Pandits to reclaim their land and culture.

In a video that has gone viral, Chakravorty also slammed the US Congress for its uneasiness in dealing with an India that is asserting the strength of its Hindu majority in conducting diplomacy.

The government has not yet responded to Chakravorty’s speech, which took place at a private event with expat Kashmiri Pandits in New York. But Chakravorty himself tweeted Wednesday evening that his remarks were being taken out of context.

Also read: Build Kashmiri Pandit colonies in J&K, return properties — RSS sends ‘wishlist’ to Modi govt

The Israeli model

Responding to a woman’s statement that she does not feel like going back to Kashmir as she feels like an “alien” there, Chakravorty said: “The Jews kept their culture alive for 2,000 years outside their land and they went back. I think we all have to keep the Kashmiri culture alive, the Kashmiri culture is the Indian culture, it is the Hindu culture.”

“We already have a model in the world, I do not know why do not follow it. It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it. I think we should follow from there and push our leadership, otherwise what is the point (in revoking Article 370)? Things will remain the same,” Chakravorty added.

“I believe that in my lifetime we will have our land back, our people have to go back, because not everybody can live in the United States. My fellow Kashmiris are living in refugee camps, living in Jammu, living on the streets, they have to go back to their homes. And there won’t be fear for your life. Give us some time, I think that government done what is has done,” the consul general said.

“Such a big international risk the government has never taken only to make one amendment. You should think beyond. Today, we ran the risk of international opprobrium, the international community could have united against us, there was an international diplomatic struggle, we have successfully stalled it. Give some time, you see what is going to happen. I believe the security condition in J&K will improve, it will allow refugees to go back, and in your lifetime, you will be able to go back and you will visit your villages and go back to your roots,” he told the gathering.

‘1989 was a big failure’

The consul general began his speech stating that the mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in 1989 was a “big failure” on the part of the government of the day.

“What happened in 1989 was a big failure of the Indian state. We should not have allowed that to happen. India in 1989 was a very weak country, we had just come out of the terrorism and proxy war in Punjab and we had come out of Mrs (Indira) Gandhi’s assassination and we all know what happened in Punjab,” Chakravorty said.

“And then our enemy hit us in Kashmir. Our state should have done what we did in 1947-48, we did not do that and we let it deteriorate. And till 5 August (2019), more or less that same narrative was playing,” he said.

He also said the basic idea of why the Modi government chose to make Kashmir a union territory is because it wanted to bring the Valley under “direct rule of the Central government”.

“What happened on 5 August will have long-term repercussions for the Kashmiri people,” he said.

Also read: Right-wing exaggerates number of Kashmiri Pandits killed. Militants targeted Muslims more

US Congress doesn’t like India’s assertiveness

Chakravorty, who took charge as India’s consul general in New York on August 2017, also slammed the international community, particularly the US Congress, for “dragging” India into discussions and resolutions at various human rights council over the Kashmir issue.

He said the international community, including the US, is feeling uneasy as India is increasingly “asserting” its strength as a Hindu majority community in conducting diplomacy.

“We have never used the strength as a majority community, we have never used the strength of our Hindu culture, of our ancient civilisation, in diplomacy. We never used it. Now that we are doing it, people are feeling uneasy,” he said.

“Now that we are doing it, people are dragging us to Human Rights Councils, passing resolutions against us, the US Congress is dragging us… Why can’t they go somewhere else? You go to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, but you do not talk about that. Why do you want to come to us? They are not liking that we are asserting ourselves,” Chakravorty added.

Also read: Kashmiri Pandits in US decry unfair coverage, protest outside The Washington Post office


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  1. This Sandeep Chakravorty fellow should be sacked. There is absolutely no comparison between the Israeli and Kashmir situations. In Israel, the Jews BOUGHT large tracts of land from some greedy Arabs, became the owners of that land, and INVITED Jews from all over the world to come and sattle there. Hence the poorer Arabs become OUTSIDERS in their own land.
    In Kashmir BOTH the local Hindus and Muslims are legitimate owners of their respective pieces of land EVEN TODAY, and it is only because of (hopefully) temporary militancy that the Pandit are not able to return. OR THEY THEMSELVES DO NOT WANT TO RETURN, hoping that the Modi government would offer them some lucrative offers in Punjab or elsewhere. This is just my guess. Our army had successfully bottled up terrorism before 5 August, but “wise” Narendra Modi has unbottled the genie.

    • Dude the land originally belonged to Jews….. Muslims and Arabs were mostly invaders killing people, forcefully converting people, destructing religious places of other people. Totally uncivilized. Rape murder. There are religions came into being just to protect from cruel Muslim rulers.

      When they are in minority the ask for equal rights. When I majority they decimate every other community. Tell me one muslim majority country where minority is not ill treated.

    • India’s opposition is part of flawed policy imperatives. India should get out of Jihad apologia mindset and openly support Israel.
      7 million Israelis have asserted their might over oil rich Arab countries. If only 2 crore Indians start working towards replicating it, there is no one stopping India from bringing back ownership of Kashmir to its original inhabitants.

  2. That BJP plans a Palestinian fate for Kashmiris is clear to all – what is still a bit shocking is that this guy admits it freely.

  3. This guy is awesome, he has the guts to call a spade a spade. I hope the government shares his vision, even if they don’t say it openly yet. As the Chinese did, we need to keep our heads down and hide our strengths while getting stronger – until we reach a point when nobody will dare say a word against us, like the China of today. We need to bide our time for another 20 when we can take on the world as the third pole.

  4. For the damage that these statements will do to the profoundly important relationship with the United States itself, a recall would be warranted. Somehow, one does not think that will happen. People are reading the tea leaves and trimming their sails accordingly.

  5. For a serving diplomat to make remarks that can be taken so badly out of context itself reflects a certain lack of judgment, discernment, sophistication, even plain common sense and decency that is disappointing.

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