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Capital Grapevine
Capital Matters

Capital Grapevine

Virendra Kapoor

Having stilled global response, time now for India to win peace in Kashmir

Two prime ministers, two different speeches. One confident and full of hope and optimism for his people. Another depressed and dejected entirely unconcerned about his people, unmindful of their suffering from a backbreaking price-rise and doing the crybaby act for the bona fide citizens of a neighboring country. The contrast between Narendra Modi and Imran Khan, who addressed the UN General Assembly on Friday within an hour of each other, could not have been sharper.

Modi skipped mentioning a word about Kashmir, for it was India’s internal matter. Khan rambled on far beyond the allotted time only to dilate on his obsession with Kashmir, magnifying his own helplessness by evilly instigating more Pulwana-type attacks. It was a call to arms, as it were, to the Kashmiris since Khan and his masters in the Rawalpindi GHQ were themselves unfit to do anything bar shout for help to a world which seemed to be disinterested to heed the call of a nation which serves as the undisputed headquarters of the global Terror Inc. If Khan has still not grasped the cringe-inducing isolation of his country, he never will. We can only feel sorry for this aging playboy who at this late age is expected to wise up on things which do not strictly relate to his long-time pursuit of women and for raising donations for his hospital.

Having said that, we can only reiterate that the government does not seem to have all the time in the world to restore a modicum of normalcy in the Valley. Thus far the world has bought into our assertion that Kashmir is an internal matter but if this lockdown persists for a seemingly indefinite period, we can expect strictures from various human rights buys-bodies and even from our friends in the global capitals. Alice Wells, a senior US State Department official, indicated as much on Friday, telling the media that “we hope to see ~rapid action in the lifting of restrictions and in the release of those who have been detained in Kashmir…~ ”

The short point is that if the security czars in New Delhi believe that the longer they keep Kashmir under lock and key the lesser will be the chances of an eruption as and when the official siege is lifted, they are merely putting off the D-Day. Let us face it. Once the grip is loosened, which inevitably it must be at some point of time, there will be a quite legitimate airing of protest, a release of pent-up anger. This is normal and should be allowed. Peace-loving Kashmiris must vent their anger in a peaceful manner for having been locked up in order to keep from mischief a handful of the trouble-makers among them who perpetrate mayhem in their name. The majority needs the salve of official reparation and sympathy; the latter needs to be put down with the full force of the law without any quarter shown for their perfidious intent. But, more importantly, we must be ready to face the inevitable and allow Kashmiris to get on with their `normal’ lives. The clock may be already ticking in Kashmir. Even India’s friends will not be able to exercise restraint if things are not returned to `normal’ soon.

Interestingly, Khan appealed to the wider Islamic world to come to the rescue of Kashmiri Muslims. Yes, if only the wider Muslim world could stop the unremitting bloodletting in Afghanistan, not a Hindu or Christian nation by any stretch of imagination, or in Yemen, or even in Syria! Why, in Pakistan itself where the Sunnis have aside from a handful of Hindus made even Ahmemdiyas and Shias third rate citizens. Or in Baloochistan where the ISI kills them regularly, or in Karachi where Mohajirs live in terror of the killer squads of the police and the army. We can go on and on. But thanks to the same US official who sought `rapid’ return of normality in Kashmir we may like this self-styled defender of fellow Muslims to spare a thought for the Muslim Uighur majority in the Xianjiang. In the so-called autonomous region the Chinese jackboot is crushing millions of Muslim Uighurs in conditions worse than those in a Stalin-era gulag. If he really cares for fellow Islamist Khan will tell his all-weather friends in Beijing not to treat Uighurs worse than animals.

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Indian cricket: why blame dynasts alone

The Supreme Court-appointed committee wanted to rid the management of Indian cricket of cronyism and nepotism. But witness what is happening. In Tamil Nadu the long-time boss of state cricket N Srinivasan has got his daughter Rupa Gurunath elected as his proxy. In Himachal Pradesh Union Minister Anurag Thkaur’s brother Arun Dhumal is set to take charge of the state cricket association. In Saurashtra long-time overlord of regional cricket, Niranjan Shah’s son Jaydev is set to succeed his father. But looking at the affairs of the Delhi and District Cricket Association, it may not be right to overly worry about the dynastic rule in Indian cricket.

For Rajat Sharma, the DDCA boss, apparently the closest friend-cum-adviser of Prime Minster Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, has not really covered himself with glory. Since July last year when he was elected the head of the DDCA thanks to the support of Arun Jatiley, the late Union minister and a former head of the DDCA, Sharma’s actions have been most controversial, to say the least. His arbitrary appointments at huge salaries, enormous expenditure on organizing legal defence for self, his refusal to take fellow office-bearers along in decision-making and his working style have now led to an open revolt. It is noteworthy that since his election, the mandatory annual general body meeting of the DDCA members has not been called even once. A special meeting convened by a group of members was stymied by Sharma by hiring expensive lawyers and getting a stay.

He now seems to have set his eyes on the elective post of the President, Board of Control for Cricket in India. But without his name being forwarded by the DDCA general body he cannot contest, though through some jiggery-pokery he claims that the hand-picked executive has sent up his name, something quite questionable. But why should the nominated members of the BCCI endorse such a blatant sleight-of-hand remains puzzling, though Rahul Johri, the controversial CEO of the BCCI, seems keen to please Sharma, probably impressed by the latter’s claims of proximity to the PM and HM. Last heard, senior elected officials of the DDCA have officially lodged a complaint against Sharma to the BCCI, protesting against the unlawful manner in which he had forwarded his name to represent it in the apex body.

And you think only the dynasts in Indian cricket wreck havoc?