‘Atal Samman’ award conferred
NOIDA, Aug 29: Speaking after being conferred the prestigious “Atal Samman” award by Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma at a commemorative function here today, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said that Kashmir militancy is being sustained by vested interests, both from the separatist lobby as well as from the mainstream polity, whose political agenda thrives in an atmosphere of violence, disturbance and uncertainty, and who have over the last two decades got used to survive in vacuum with minimal democratic competitiveness.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he is too humbled to be conferred an award instituted in the name of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He said, as a humble tribute to the former Prime Minister, all that he can do is to correct and redeem the wrong impression being sought to be perpetuated by certain political parties and so- called intellectuals about Vajpayee’s approach towards Kashmir. He said, the matter of fact is that Vajpayee had never compromised on the status of Jammu & Kashmir and had, as Prime Minister, even rejected the autonomy resolution passed by the National Conference Government in the State.
Even prior to that, he said, Vajpayee had followed a consistent line and was, in fact, a member of the team led by Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, when the latter courted arrest for having entered the State of Jammu & Kashmir without permit. Similarly, he said, way back in early 1960s, it was Vajpayee who had raised in the Parliament in the presence of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru the demand to change the nomenclature of the J&K Chief Minister who was then designated as “Prime Minister”.
Describing the Kashmir freedom struggle as a “manufactured” freedom struggle and the Kashmir terrorism as “mercenary” terrorism, Dr Jitendra Singh said, time has come to expose the so called Kashmir protagonists and the so called intellectuals who neither have the conviction, nor the courage to call a terrorist a “terrorist” but would betray their cowardice by making unsubstantiated allegations against the Indian Army.
However, Dr Jitendra Singh asserted that the common masses of Kashmir, particularly the common youth are aspirational and have become a part of Prime Minister Modi’s development journey, and do not wish to deprive themselves of the enormous opportunities which the Modi Government has made available for the youth across the country.
Reiterating that there is no such issue as Kashmir issue, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the only issue is to retrieve back the Jammu & Kashmir which continues to remain under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.