History is repeating… My Party will be observing its 60th birth anniversary this year. It was on the 21st of October 1951, Bharathiya Janasangh was born. First President of our Party was Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee, who had the credit of becoming the Vice Chancellor of prestigious Calcutta University at an age as young as 33.
Thanks to Rahul Gandhi’s great Grandfather’s act, Kashmir is still being haunted by the same issues for decades. Incidentally, the appeasing policies of Nehruvian Politics, detrimental to Indian Integrity made our Founding President walk out in protest from the First cabinet after Independence.
Many of you must know, the immediate days after Independence, the Chief Minister of Kashmir was called as Pradhan Manthri of Kashmir. Dark days as they were, one had to seek permit (Yes, Permit Raj of a different genre) to enter into Kashmir although it was an integral part of our Country. Under the able leadership of Dr Mukherjee, Jan Sangh took the revolt to the people. In fact, Dr Mukherjee raised a great slogan “Ek Desh mein Do Pradhan, Do Nishan, Do Vidhan Nahi Chalegi... Nahi Chalegi” and started a Kashmiri movement. Our seniors, even now recollect the great moments of his energizing address to a well – attended public during his visit to Bangalore during those days.
Dr Mukherjee, was a man of impeccable integrity and untiring principles. His commitment to oneness of this great Nation was an unquestionable issue. His strong willed commitment against the Permit Raj made him to take the extreme step of entering Kashmir without any ‘permit’. The result, he was abducted and incarcerated in Kashmir. He was no where to be seen for quite sometime. Finally, the news of arrival of his dead body shook everyone and it took a lot of time to get back to our normal being. Dr Sham Prasad Mukherjee had laid down his life as the first martyr of post independent India.
In 1992, four years after terrorism raised its ugly head in Kashmir, a separatist movement was picking up its heat. The Terrorists had openly challenged ‘Indians’ with a statement – “whoever had consumed his mother’s milk, might dare to come down to Lal Chowk and hoist National flag there”. This obviously confounded our sentiments and our Party had taken it as fitting challenge to overcome. Our then President, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, announced Ektha Yatra which was a huge success across the Nation. I still recount my participation too in “Ektha Yathra”. We had train-traveled all along to jammu from Bangalore to reach Kashmir in a bid to ensure the National Flag is hoisted at Lal Chowk. All we could dream was a fluttering tricolor on Lal Chowk. In mid way, all of us were rebutted when we had started our journey to Srinagar from Jammu. Never the less the then Union Government facilitated Dr Joshi and few members (There were few from Karnataka too) amidst the threat to hoist ‘Tiranga’ on Lal Chowk. Incidentally, the Chief Organizer of Ektha Yathra was Narendra Modi, who is the reformist Chief Minister of Vibrant Gujrat. Although, we couldnt be there at Lal Chowk, we were very happy, our motives were met.
Today, BJP’s attempt to counter the separatists’ challenge again is being countered more by the “secularist” establishment at the Centre. Only yesterday, the Opposition Party leaders of Loksabha and Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley were literally snubbed away from entering Kashmir. They were detained at Jammu Airport before being packed back to Punjab.
According to Dr Manmohan Singh, hoisting national Flag at Lal Chowk on the 26th would vitiate the atmosphere there. In UPA’s dispensation, “separatists’” call to question Kashmir as the integral part of India is tolerable secular act, while BJP’s attempt to take up the cudgels to prove Kashmir very much a part of India by hoisting tricolor is a preventable nuisance.
Is that not a dis-service by the UPA to the Indian sentiments? Is that not an act of crawling when the separatists ask the Government to bend? Is that not a case of “de-notifying” the national intentions by the UPA? Many hearts with sentiments of nationalism bleed although