Kamal Morarka : The newspapers were full of reports of Prime Minister’s visit to Israel, the first prime minister to do so in the history of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As usual this government has perfected the art of giving selective information. While they say that Narendra Modi is the first prime minister to go to Israel which is correct, the fact that diplomatic relations were establish 25 years ago which is also correct but they want to hide the fact that who was the prime minister 25 years ago – it was P.V. Narsimha Rao of the Congress! This credit they don’t want to give. Well, these are some of the games that political parties play, but this can take you short distance not beyond that. Secondly, in Indo-Israel relations people must understand that 41 percent of the total arms produced by Israel are bought by India, we are their big customer. It is not that they are giving arms free or that some great cooperation is taking place. We are their biggest arms purchaser!
Nevertheless, the other issues which Narendra Modi has correctly pointed out is that there is a lot of technology in Israel especially they also have desert area. Drip irrigation – how to grow maximum crops with the minimum of water – is the technique that they have developed, which has already come to India. There is lot of Indo-Israel cooperation going on in various fields, and there is no harm in appreciating that and trying to take advantage of that. There are two fields you can take advantage from Israel. One is agricultural research and second is the security environment. They are right in the middle of the Muslim zone and yet they are strong and their security apparatus is in top shape. It does not mean the security should be such that neighbor should be threaten; but at least there should definite possible defence. In India unfortunately while we talk big, we threaten people but our own security is very lax. Sleeper cells of the ISI are there throughout the country. Anybody can do a bomb blast on behalf of ISI of Pakistan. Where is our security? Why don’t we unearth them and hammer them according to the law. Rajnath Singh has made a statement that we are proud that not a single Muslim joined ISIS. Correct! That is because in India, the Muslims are treated fairly. Of course, they are poor but the whole country is poor. A Muslim man knows that if something happens to him and he goes to police or goes collector, he will not be discriminated against just because he is a Muslim.
Of course, what Mr. Modi said I cannot object to. In Israel he said that India’s biggest strength is its diversity. Hamari sabse zayada shakti logon ko sweekar karne ki hai (we tolerate people from everywhere that is our biggest strength). It looks very nice when he says it, but unfortunately the RSS and the VHP they are catching hold of people. To save the cow they kill the human being. I don’t think that Indian public is impressed by this. You can go on doing your propaganda but when elections take place you will know that you are losing your popular appeal. With this kinds of acts, what you lose will not win by having a mid night session of parliament. That is the different thing; you must behave in a fair manner. A citizen should know that he is being treated fairly. As it is the poor people are poor. What can they do in a world of rich, middle class? Every middle class man is buying Mercedes cars, while poor man has not even a cycle, all these you cannot correct. Mr. Modi cannot correct it in a day. The feelings that justice will be done, there will be no foul play and there will be no discrimination are very, very important feelings.
Unfortunately in the three years this feeling has not been strengthened. Majority of us are Hindus, so you can say what you want. No, you are missing the point, during emergency the same thing happened. Mrs Gandhi thought everything was going fine, rail was running on time, power production had gone up but people threw her out in 1977. People of India are very, very wise lot. If Mr Modi wants to remain the prime minister, he has to tone down his rhetoric. Of course Hindus will have their say because they are in majority, but not at the cost of the Muslims, not at the cost of minorities. You cannot break the hearts of people and win this country, it is not possible. Anyway Indo-Israel relations will become little better after the prime minister has visited that place.
Now comes again the minor thing. Governor of West Bengal is trying to needle Mamta Banerjee, Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry is needling Narayansami. Unfortunately, they take a cue from Delhi, somebody in Delhi, maybe the party or people. Political battles cannot be won by misusing administrative power; you have to work among people, if you want to come to power. Kesri Nath Tripathi antics cannot win you West Bengal; Kiran Bedi’s antics cannot win Pondicherry for the BJP. It is not possible. And that is why in spite of all provocation Ramnath Kovind did not harass Nitish Kumar. He played governor’s role like a perfect gentleman and I am happy that he has been rewarded with Presidential nomination. We need a governor like that; we need a President like that who is not affected by the party’s interest but only by the position he is sitting in. I hope whoever is running all these backroom games, whether it is Modi himself or Amit Shah or anybody else, they should take these lessons. Whatever they have gained will lose, if they don’t stop this tactics.
Of course there is no clear policy on Kashmir, and even the Congress did not do much to solve the issue. But there is open behavior of the police and the authorities to show Muslims their position. Voices like Iran which we are now hearing will come that if Muslims in Kashmir are in danger the world Muslims should go for their help. It is dangerous thing, unacceptable thing. Of course Nawaz Sharif is saying he could go to International Court of Justice. He can go where he wants. Kashmir issue is not a land dispute. It is an issue about plebiscite etc. which is not a land dispute. Kashmir was acceded to India by the Hari Singh’s accession according to India Independence Act 1947. That is not the issue; it is beyond the purview of International Court of Justice. There is no land issue at all. The issue is how to resolve the issues related to various conflicting stakeholders in Kashmir. It needs lot intelligence. India and Pakistan had opened a dialogue; Musharraf was very keen to solve it. He has come to Agra. Again, it was the RSS which played spoilsport and did not allow the agreement to take place. We would have a different kind Kashmir today, if RSS would not have spoiled that game when Musharraf was here. Anyway history is history, it is replete with mistakes. You cannot correct history but you must stop making mistake. Let us see.