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Freedoms enjoyed by citizens were nothing more than an “illusion”: PDP’s news letter

Mehbooba Mufti put under house arrest ahead of her proposed Budgam visit
Freedoms enjoyed by citizens were nothing more than an "illusion": PDP's news letter

SRINAGAR: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the BJP of distracting citizens from “real issues” and likened the current governance to a magic show.

In the May issue of its monthly newsletter ‘Speak-Up’, the party said people watch in awe as the “magician” waves around his shiny handkerchief.

“Voila! He pulls a rabbit out of his hat, one that was empty a moment ago. You’re mesmerized and although you know you’ve been deceived, you want to believe that the magic is real. Welcome to the not so subtle art of misdirection,” the party said.

It said while he — apparently referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi “distracted you” with a shiny handkerchief dancing in the air, the real magic was happening elsewhere.

“Our very existence is under attack, the unemployment ratio is now at 46 per cent, our youth are rotting in jails for no punishable crime and agencies are on the prowl hunting journalists and businessmen while not even sparing ordinary civilians from their raiding sprees. And then the magician in his true showmanship, waves his handkerchief for thousands of cheering fans,” the newsletter read.

Referring to the prime minister’s recent rally in Jammu, the party said, “You are now watching his rally on TV. You’re told that the state being stripped of its special status is good for you. We are giving you progress, development, tourists and Panchayat Raj.”

Further, it said those raising questions against the government were being termed “an anti-national Pakistan-loving terrorists” and were being jailed. “And if you manage to get bail after spending half a decade in jail, you bet we’re going to put you right back inside on another charge,” it read.

‘Speak Up’ cited the example of journalist Aasif Sultan (36), who had been arrested in 2018 on charges of aiding militants.

“Sultan has been accused of aiding the terrorist outfit TRF, an organisation that did not even exist until he was already in jail. Sounds absurd until you realise this is BJP’s way of making examples of these men,” it said. The newsletter also took a dig at Union Home Minister Amit Shah saying the Chinese troops at the Ladakh border were having the last laugh.

“So, while (Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor) (Manoj) Sinha tells you we were visited by 80 lakh tourists, Chinese troops have been camping out in our backyard. As always, the real magic is happening elsewhere,” the party said.

Raising the issue of Freedom of Speech, the newsletter said at least 13 people had been arrested from outside Jama Masjid here for sedition and added that they will be slapped with the infamous Public Safety Act (PSA). The PSA allows for administrative detention for up to two years “in case of persons acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State”, and up to one year where “any person is acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order”.

Referring to the condition of people in other states, the party said the freedoms enjoyed by citizens were nothing more than an “illusion”.

“After bulldozing Muslims, they will come for Christians, Dalits and other minorities. Hindus with their diverse sects and castes won’t be far behind after that because a fascist regime will always need someone to go after. “After Jammu and Kashmir, it will be their turn. So, we stand here screaming but they’ve silenced and tuned us out. You see, they’re still mesmerised because they’re too busy watching the magic show,” the newsletter read. (PTI)


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Freedoms enjoyed by citizens were nothing more than an "illusion": PDP's news letter