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Modi backs ‘freedom’ in Balochistan, Pakistani Kashmir

In a first for any Prime Minister, Modi referred to Pakistani human rights abuses in both Balochistan and the part of Kashmir it controls

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New Delhi, August 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, August 15 openly came out in support of “freedom” for Balochistan and “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir” and said India will never tolerate terrorism.

In his over 90-minute Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister also stressed that his government’s main aim was to empower the common Indian.

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In a first for any Prime Minister, Modi referred to Pakistani human rights abuses in both Balochistan and the part of Kashmir it controls.

“The world is watching. People of Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan and occupied Kashmir have thanked me a lot in the past few days. I am grateful to them,” Modi said, referring to his comments last week on excesses in Pakistan’s largest province and in the Pakistani part of Kashmir.

He said the way people from these Pakistani regions “wished me well, gives me great joy”.

In thanking an Indian Prime Minister, “they have thanked the whole population of my country”, he said. “I want to offer my gratitude to these people.”

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Modi had said at a meeting on Kashmir last week that it was time for Islamabad to explain to the world “why it has been committing atrocities on people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan”.

On Monday, Modi also hit out at Pakistan for supporting terrorism. This, he said, was in contrast to the way Indians reacted with sorrow when terrorists slaughtered school children in Peshawar.

“That is the nature of India. But on the other hand, look at those who glorify terrorists. What kind of people glorify terrorists? What kind of people celebrate when people are killed?”

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Modi’s third speech from the Red Fort came amid continuing violence in the Kashmir Valley that has left 56 people dead in five weeks of street unrest.

Modi avoided any reference to Kashmir but warned those disturbing “unity in the country”.

“All those who are killing innocents … I want to tell them that this country will not tolerate terrorism and militancy. Return to the mainstream. The road of militancy and terrorism does not help anyone.”

Modi said his governance objective was to deliver the fruits of economic development to the last Indian.

He said he was promoting transparency in governance and listed measures the NDA government had taken over the past two years to make life easier for ordinary people.

He explained how certain shortcomings were hindering India’s progress. He urged people to fight against such practices and strengthen social harmony for an overall development of the country.

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“Every citizen should fight against the differences in the society on the basis of caste and class. Only economic development will not help in the development because without social harmony and unity, the development will not be complete.

“We have to take everyone together be it Dalits, tribals, oppressed and people from the financially weaker section of the society.”

The Prime Minister said in India there “are a lot of problems but we also have 1.25 billion people to solve them”.(IANS)

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An insight into the biggest political parties of India

The next state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi to prove his mettle as a leader

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The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons
The recent clash of BJP and Congress have re-balanced the political scenario of India. Wikimedia Commons

NEW DELHI: Indian being a political democratic country, houses a lot of political parties. Since independence, many new parties have emerged to take up the fight for various sections of the society. One of the examples of such a party is AAP (Aam Admi Party). AAP came up with strong political ethics to root out issues faced by a commons man but now the very existence of this party is in question due to poor performance and incompetence of some of its top leaders. But the most prominent of all of the political parties in India are BJP (Bharatiya Janta Party) and the Indian National Congress.

BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons
BJP encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. Wikimedia Commons

In 1980, BJP surfaced from a former party known as Bharatiya Jana Sangh which was founded by Syama Prasad Mookerjee. BJP’s agenda during the 1980s focused on the ‘Ram Janambhoomi movement’. The party encouraged the construction of the temple of God Rama at the site of the Babri Masjid. This issue gave the Hindu colour denomination to BJP and in 1996; it emerged as the largest party in the parliament. After being kept away from the power for long, Narendra Modi led the BJP to unprecedented heights in the last elections and the competition was put up by him was unmatchable.

On the other hand, Congress is a more matured political party of India. It got established in the year 1885. After the independence, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Nehru was the front face of the political governance in India but after his assassination, his daughter Indira Gandhi took the charge and became the prime minister in 1966. Unfortunately, Indira Gandhi also got assassinated and her son, Rajiv Gandhi took up the reigns of the party. In the sequence of assassination, Rajiv Gandhi was the next target. Sonia Gandhi came to power in 1998 and she led the party from the front in 2004 elections. This resulted in the political rule of Congress under Manmohan Singh.

After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons
After the independence, Congress head Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru became the leader of free India. Wikimedia Commons

The recent Assembly election of Gujarat was a real eye-opener for many, as the people’s right to vote was seen quite considerably y exercised. The Congress resistance in the very own fortress of Narendra Modi was a heavy blow to the Modi wave that swept the country. Although, BJP had the last laugh in the election results but the close fight Syama Prasad Mookerjee from the Congress side was appreciable. The new trend seems to be rebalancing the political scenario in India. The tussle between the BJP and Congress will definitely go down in the history of Indian politics.

Nowadays, Twitter is another playground for political parties. The rule of social media platforms has pushed Indian leaders to communicate in the same manner. It’s vividly seen that people take up to twitter to express their views and differences. Rahul Gandhi vetted his displeasure over the performance of BJP in the latest series of attacks by Rahul against Prime Minister Modi.

Last month only, Rahul Gandhi was crowned as the party head. Therefore, the state polls of 2018 will be an acid test for Rahul to prove his mettle as a leader. It will be interesting to see the new strategies that will be deployed by Congress to take an edge over their arch rivals, BJP.