Pro-Pak slogan: act against J&K MLA

Pro-Pak slogan: act against J&K MLA

Pro-Pak slogan: act against J&K MLA

The shouting of "Pakistan zindabad" slogans by a National Conference legislator Akbar Lone in the Jammu & Kashmir Assembly recently is not just an objectionable action that deserves condemnation. The member should be proceeded against under the law and punished, because what he did was a treasonous act. Lone's explanation made it worse. He said that he was a "Muslim first", and that he raised the slogans because he was hurt by the anti-Pakistan slogans of the BJP members in the House. Everyone in the country is an Indian first, and then a Kashmiri, Kannadiga or a Punjabi, a Muslim or a Hindu, or a Congress man or an RSS volunteer or anything else. It is also wrong to claim that being a Hindu is the same as being an Indian, as those from the country's dominant party seem to increasingly assert. In fact, such assertions may prompt others to forefront their factional and smaller identities, as Lone did.  

Lone is a senior member of the National Conference. He is a former minister and a former Speaker of the Assembly. He says he was responding to the BJP members' sloganeering. A leader of his position and maturity should not have been provoked by the anti-Pakistan slogans raised. The BJP members, on the other hand, should not have raised the slogans - any slogans - in the Assembly as that is not the venue for sloganeering. Unfortunately, they have the notion that patriotism and nationalism means opposing Pakistan. While this is patently wrong, and opposing Pakistan is no sign of nationalism, raising of pro-Pakistan slogans in the Assembly is unpatriotic.  That is why Lone should be made answerable for his action. The action also showed how insensitive he was because it came in the wake of a terrorist attack in which two soldiers were killed.  

Lone has so far expressed no regret or remorse about his action and has said that he stood by what he did. He seemed to be defiant and even proud of it. His party, the National Conference, has distanced itself from the action but has not even admonished him. The leaders of the PDP-BJP alliance, which rules the state, have decided to ignore it. What he did was different from the pro-Pakistan shouts sometimes heard in cricket stadia. It was certainly much worse than what the  government and the BJP said the young students of JNU did on their campus two years ago. The government said the students were traitorous and their words and actions seditious. What does it think of Lone's action? Why hasn't it acted against him? Isn't the law the same for Lone as it is for the JNU students?

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