Did Indian PM Narendra Modi unintentionally snub the Kashmiri Pandit community during the Howdy-Modi event in Houston, Texas?
PM Modi took time from his busy schedule and met the representatives of the Sikh community, Kashmiri Pandits and Bohra Muslims in Houston, US on Sunday, but some experts suggested that the Kashmir community was once again neglected by the Indian Government.
#WATCH: Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with members of Sikh community in Houston. During the interaction they congratulated PM Modi on some decisions taken by the Government of India. The community has also submitted a memorandum to the PM. #UnitedStates pic.twitter.com/uSBIgrEEfX
— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2019
The Sikh community submitted a memorandum to PM Modi on their long-standing demands including the genocide of the Sikhs in 1984, renewal of passports of asylees and issues pertaining to the registration of Sikh marriages under the Anand Marriage Act and not the Hindu Marriage Act.
PM Modi met Kashmiri Pandits who thanked him for revocation Article 370 and withdrawing the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir. The group thanked PM Modi for the move on Jammu and Kashmir and said that 7,00,000 Kashmiri Pandits were indebted to his government.
The delegation of Kashmiri Pandits submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister in which they requested the PM to set up a task force under the Home Ministry to bring the community together to develop the region and repatriate Kashmiri Pandits
Narendra Modi also met and interacted with members of the Dawoodi Bohra community. They felicitated Modi and recalled his visit to Indore last year to attend a program of their community. They also highlighted the Prime Minister’s association with Dawoodi Bohra leader Syedna Sahib.
#WATCH United States: Prime Minister Narendra Modi joins in reciting 'Namaste Sharade Devi' shloka while the Kashmiri Pandits meeting and interacting with him also recite it, in Houston. pic.twitter.com/pXZdAuvEvG
— ANI (@ANI) September 22, 2019
Did PM Modi Offend Kashmir Pandits?
PM Narendra Modi emphasized that diversity is the foundation of India’s democracy and the country’s various languages are an important identity of its liberal and democratic society, days after Home Minister Amit Shah evoked a controversy by pitching for Hindi as the national language.
Addressing the audience at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event, PM Modi said India has progressed for centuries with dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects.
“Our various languages are an important identity of our liberal and democratic society. For centuries, our nation has been moving forward with dozens of languages and hundreds of dialects. Diversity is the foundation of our vibrant democracy,” he said.
To accentuate the linguistic diversity of India, PM Modi said “all is fine in India” in several languages from Tamil to Bengali which drew massive cheers from the audience. PM Modi used the native language of the communities he personally met i.e. Punjabi (Sikh Community) and Gujarati (Bohra Muslims) but totally ignored Kashmiri.
Experts talking to EurAsian Times stated that probably PM Modi is not to be blamed but his key advisors and writers who drafted the speech should be held accountable.
However, had he (Modi) mentioned All is Well in Kashmiri also, the Indian PM would have not only pleased his historical supporters i.e. Kashmiri Pandits but also send a clear message to the world that…All is Well in Jammu and Kashmir.