New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs seems to have distanced itself from the comments made by India’s Consul General in New York Sandeep Chakravorty, who was seen in a video promoting the Israeli settlements in West Bank as a model for Kashmiri Pandits to follow in claiming their land back in the Kashmir Valley.
It has been more than a week since the video emerged and went viral, but the MEA has not made any statement. A senior official told ThePrint on the condition of anonymity that this is because while Chakravorty was speaking to Indian nationals, especially Kashmiri Hindus, he did not “inform the headquarters of his participation in the event”.
The official added that since the event was a private one, it was imperative for Chakravorty to “weigh the pros and cons” before talking on “anything that the government does not endorse”.
The official also said the ministry thinks the video was “leaked”, and that it was shot “without the knowledge” of the Consul General.
Consul General was speaking in ‘official capacity’
However, in the video, Chakravorty had said he was speaking in “official capacity”, and that Kashmiri Pandits should follow the “Israeli model”.
“The Jews kept their culture alive for 2,000 years outside their land and they went back… We already have a model in the world, I do not know why we 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? Things will be the same,” he had said.
Chakravorty also said the Modi government should build houses in the Kashmir Valley just as Israelis are building in the occupied West Bank — something rejected and labelled “illegal” by the world community.
Since the video came out, there has been only one tweet from Chakravorty, stating that his remarks were “taken out of context”.
I have seen some social media comments on my recent remarks. My remarks are being taken out of context.
— Sandeep Chakravorty (@CHAKRAVIEW1971) November 27, 2019
ThePrint’s messages and phone calls to the Consul General in New York went unanswered. The Ministry of External Affairs also declined to comment.