In his Independence Day speeh from the Red Fort, Modi made a passionate plea asking Kashmiri militants to shun violence, join the mainstream and be part of India’s democratic legacy.
He said apart from the state government, every one in India was committed to help “develop Jammu and Kashmir, make Jammu and Kashmir progress and realize dreams of the common citizen of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Modi said the country wanted to restore the glory of Kashmir, a “paradise” on Earth.
“We are firmly committed to bring the state back to its pristine glory. And that is why I want to say that whatever is happening in Kashmir… There are allegations and counter-allegations. There is a lot of recrimination, everyone abuses the other.”
Taking a jibe at “a handful of separatists”, the Prime Minister said they were adopting new tactics to keep the pot boiling and problem festering.
“But I am absolutely clear about how to fight this battle. Neither brickbats can solve the problem, nor bullets can solve (it). The problem will be solved by embracing every Kashmiri,” he said, adding the country would move ahead with that resolve to “bring change” in the troubled state.
Asserting that there would be no let up in India’s fight against terrorism, the Prime Minister called upon militants to shun the gun and join the mainstream.
“We time and again call terrorists to join the mainstream of India where you have every right and where there is every arrangement to put forward your point of view through democratic ways. It is only the mainstream that brings in new energy in our lives.”
He cited examples of Maoist rebels who had surrendered. He was happy that “due to the efforts of our security forces, youths in large numbers in Left-Wing Extremism areas had surrendered and returned (to the mainstream)”.