27 July, 2021

Saffron Ambivalence

RSS throws cold water on Centre’s overtures to Kashmiris. Not all are amused.

Mohan Bhagwat, RSS chief
Photograph by PTI
Saffron Ambivalence

When Sartaj Madani speaks politics, fellow netas, admi­nistrators and people take special notice. For, it’s only rarely that the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) interacts with the media. What’s more, his words are lapped up as the views of the government—to be precise, those of chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, his niece. Sartaj is considered as the main power centre in the PDP.

So, when he, as the vice-president of the ruling PDP, issued a statement a fortnight ago, the press in Jammu and Kashmir as well as outside got a heads-up. “I welcome the unconditional offer of dialogue from Government of India on Kashmir and expect that the same should evoke a positive response from all those interested in ending the stalemate,” he said. The note came on September 22, a day after BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, who is in charge of the saffron party’s aff­airs in the state, said the Centre was willing for unconditional talks with who­soever on the Kashmir issue.

That elated Sartaj, 63, unusually. He said the J&K...

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