Indian author and politician Shashi Tharoor yesterday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had forgotten his own “prescription”, which he had announced months before the turmoil in Kashmir.
“You have to embrace the people of Kashmir and not curse them. That prescription, which he had announced a few months earlier, he forgot,” Tharoor said during a panel discussion at the Dhaka Lit Fest, which concluded yesterday.
By suspending the state assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, and introducing a governor there, the Modi government had launched a policy where it considered “consent” to be whatever it wanted it to be, he said.
Tharoor said this was “no way for a democracy to conduct itself”.
Responding to a question from the session moderator Prof CR Abrar on the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya, Tharoor said he would not comment on itas “it is best to leave the verdict to speak for itself.”
“I hope that people on all sides of this vexed question will see this as an opportunity to announce closure and move on,” the author said.
“It seems to me that we have suffered enough over social divisions... We have far bigger challenges to face in the years ahead.”
He added that the current Indian government put politicians in jail despite knowing that they were elected by the people. The government had “violated the spirit of the Indian constitution”.
“This is not how Indian democracy is supposed to function,” he added.
Meanwhile, the ninth edition of Dhaka Lit Fest ended yesterday amid high hopes that literary minds would get a chance to uphold freedom of speech.
At the closing ceremony, Poet Habibullah Siraji, director general of Bangla Academy, said, “It is important to have literary festivals.
“We have Dhaka Lit Fest, we have Ekushey Boi Mela. The more we are intertwined with literature, the more we will be interconnected with positivity, love, and benevolence.”