New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the nation at 8pm this evening, days after his government scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, and divided the erstwhile state into the Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
Since the address is being made just a week before his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, there is speculation that the address will be about Kashmir.
ThePrint looks back at Modi’s statements on Kashmir since he came to power in 2014.
8 December 2014: During campaigning for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections in Srinagar, Modi invoked former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous words — that the solution to the Kashmir problem would have to be sought within the ambit of “insaaniyat,
jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat” (humanity, democracy and the essence of being a Kashmiri).
7 November 2015: Addressing a public gathering at the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium in Srinagar over a year after the Kashmir floods, Modi said: “My mother did not give me more than Rs 11 on my birthday. But I was surprised when I went to my mother, and she gave me Rs 5,000 on my birthday and said ‘son, take this money for the flood victims of Kashmir’.”
15 August 2016: Modi caused an international furore by referring to Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Modi thanked the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and PoK for the “goodwill” they have shown towards him.
2 April 2017: At the inauguration of the Chenani-Nashri tunnel on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, Modi said the youth of Jammu and Kashmir have shown how the power of stones can develop the state. He added that the youth had a choice of two paths — the path of tourism and that of terrorism.
15 August 2017: He again referred to Kashmir in his Independence Day speech, stating: “On Kashmir, there is rhetoric and politics, but I am clear in my belief on how to win the war against separatism, which is spread by a handful of people. The problem will be solved neither by abuse or bullets — it will be solved by embracing all Kashmiris.”
Also read: No, Modi’s Kashmir policy isn’t new. He’s only continuing what Nehru started in the 1950s
7 February 2018: Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Modi attacked former PM Jawaharlal Nehru for “giving” a part of Kashmir to Pakistan, and said: “Had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the first prime minister, a part of Kashmir would not have been under the control of Pakistan today.”
19 May 2018: Inaugurating a hydropower station in Srinagar, Modi made a landmark
statement: “Na gaali se, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Not with abuses, not with bullets, the problem can be solved by hugging every Kashmiri).”
He then urged the youth of Jammu and Kashmir to contribute towards the welfare and development of the state, as “in the journey of ‘New India’, a new Jammu and Kashmir can be the bright spot”.
Modi also announced a package of Rs 80,000 crore for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. “I am glad that projects worth Rs 63,000 crore have been sanctioned in such a short span of time, and more than Rs 20,000 crore has already been spent,” he said.
15 August 2018: Modi once again invoked former PM Vajpayee’s Kashmir policy in his Independence Day address, and said his government would move ahead on the principles of insaaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat. “It is with these three basic elements we want to develop Jammu & Kashmir,” he said.
He went on to add that he wanted “balanced development”, whether it was of Ladakh, Jammu or the Kashmir Valley. “We want to move ahead with brotherhood in our hearts, and not on the road of bullets and abuses,” the PM said.
9 April 2019: In an interview to a news channel during the Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi blamed Article 370 and Nehru’s policies for hindering the development of Jammu and Kashmir. He admitted that the PDP-BJP coalition was a failed experiment, and said the people of Kashmir “want to get rid of families that have been aiding corruption for more than 50 years”.
28 July 2019: Modi’s most recent comment on Kashmir came in his Mann ki Baat radio programme. He appreciated the implementation of the ‘back-to-village’ government programme in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also asserted that the people of Kashmir are eager to join the national mainstream, and said: “Our brothers and sisters in Kashmir want good governance, and prove the dictum that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs.”
Also read: Modi’s Kashmir move is biggest test for Indian democracy – and for the silent liberals
“Modi caused an international furore…” Can you please specify what kind f international furore was caused? Or is it your way of sensationalising?
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