The Chhattisgarh

Beyond The Region

How PM Modi has reduced Imran Khan, Rahul Gandhi to placard holders

e do not know the truth about Kashmir. We-journalists who have not been to Kashmir after Article 370 was abrogated, journalists who have been to Kashmir since then and walked around with the security forces or been lathi-charged, Bourbon naxals, Champagne socialists, Twitter nationalists, or even Kashmiris who now spend more time in Khan Market than in Kashmir – we do not know what is happening across Kashmir. In this post-truth age, where a WhatsApp forward has far more takers than “ground reports” by serious-minded, bearded editors who have built careers over bombast, facts are the first casualties in times of unrest.

Then there are things we know.

We know former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, who are currently under house arrest, still have no telephone or internet facilities. They do have television and are getting newspapers daily. And schools have opened.

We know that Imran Khan, who till yesterday was the prime minister of Pakistan, is today the Ambassador of Kashmir, a region of the world he cannot even visit, not in the foreseeable future anyway. “We will go to every global forum. We will go to the International Court of Justice. We are mobilising the global community of Kashmiris and you will see a historic number of people come out,” Imran Khan said.

We know that before Rahul Gandhi was kissed by a man in Kerala during his Wayanad visit, his desire to roam around Srinagar was thwarted by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. We also know that Rahul blamed the “draconian administration” in Jammu and Kashmir when he and other Opposition leaders were stopped from leaving Srinagar airport and made to go back to Delhi.

We know by saying so, Rahul Gandhi walked right into Pakistan’s trap by opposing the Centre at a time like this, even as prominent leaders of his own party like Milind Deora and Jyotiraditya Scindia said the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 was the right one.

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