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Published On: Sun, Jun 21st, 2020

‘Don’t Emotionally Manipulate People’: Kamal Hassan On Indo-China Conflict

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Kamal hassanCHENNAI/ NEW DELHI: Actor-politician Kamal Haasan has cautioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi against trying to “emotionally manipulate people” over the violent face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley last week, in which 20 Indian troops died for their country and dozens more were injured.
Haasan also commented on the PMO’s statement that those who were questioning Modi’s remarks at Friday’s all-party-meeting, were attempting to “give mischievous interpretation”. I sincerely request the Prime Minister and his supporters to stop doing that,” the Makkal Needhi Maiam chief wrote.
“The mischief lies in continuing to emotionally manipulate people with such statements. I sincerely request the prime minister and his supporters to stop doing that,” the politician wrote, mentioned the NDTV report.
“Questions cannot be treated as anti-national. The right to ask questions is the base of democracy and we will continue asking till we hear the truth,” he added. He further acknowledged that certain information may be classified but urged the government to have “some transparency and accountability for a change.”
A day after PM Modi said there were no foreign incursions into India, his office has clarified that his “observations that there was no Chinese presence on our side of the LAC pertained to the situation as a consequence of the bravery of our armed forces”.
After an all-party meet held on Friday to discuss the India-China border situation, PM Modi had indicated that China did not cross the border or take over any Indian post.  His remarks at the meeting had drawn a sharp reaction from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who said that he has “surrendered Indian territory to Chinese aggression.”
“Questions cannot be treated as anti-national. Right to ask questions is the base of democracy and we will continue asking till we hear the truth,” he said, pointing out that the Prime Minister’s statement during the all-party meet “contradicted statements of the Army and Ministry of External Affairs”.
After Friday’s meeting the opposition had criticised the government, saying it had not fully explained the situation along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) that led to the brutal attack on Indian soldiers.

In his statement Kamal Haasan acknowledged that some information might be classified but added that the government had a duty to keep the country better informed, particularly at sensitive times.
“We know certain information will be classified but you can manage communication better than by just saying, ‘don’t doubt the army’ and ‘don’t be an anti-national’. We are beyond all that now. Let us have some transparency and accountability for a change,” he added.

The actor-turned-politician also pointed out that the last week’s violence meant that diplomatic success claimed by the government after Prime Minister Modi and China’s Xi Jinping meeting in October last year rang hollow.
“Eight months later, the Chinese stab us in the back by killing our unarmed soldiers. If that is the result of the government’s diplomacy, then either their strategy has failed miserably or they failed to read the intentions of the Chinese correctly,” Kamal Haasan said.
“In both cases, it is the government who needs to answer a few more questions,” he added. Also demanding to know how Indian soldiers’ lives were being guarded, Kamal Haasan said the nation’s armed forces were among the best in the world but their lives could not be taken for granted.
“We need to know what is being done to control China’s belligerence. It is not the Army’s job to do that. The army is the last resort when diplomacy fails. What should have been achieved through peace talks and goodwill is being expected by our soldiers by sacrificing their lives!” he wrote.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).

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