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'I realised that ...': Shehla Rashid defends 'U-turn' on Modi government

Rashid said that it's the situation in Kashmir that has changed and not her.

March 19, 2024 / 07:10 PM IST
Shehla Rashid (Picture courtesy: News 18)

Shehla Rashid (Picture courtesy: News 18)

Former JNU students' union leader Shehla Rashid on March 19 defended her decision to become a supporter of the Narendra Modi government after years of being a fierce critic, saying that it's the situation in Kashmir that has changed and not her.

"A lot of people say that I took a 180-degree U-turn ... but the fact is that it is not I who has changed but the situation on the ground [in Kashmir] that has changed. I am only articulating and acknowledging that change," she said.

Rashid was referring to the developmental changes that have taken place in the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.

Speaking at the Rising Bharat Summit 2024, the fourth edition of the CNN-News18 marquee leadership conclave, Rashid said the main issues in Kashmir now are about making better roads and reducing power cuts as opposed to the demand for "freedom" 10 years ago.

“We saw how common Kashmiris were lining up for PM Modi’s rally recently. My agenda is not to butter up the regime. I agree that there are still issues to resolve, such as constant power cuts. But, this in itself is a change that there are issues related to roads and power cuts now. Years ago, the only burning issue was the demand for freedom," she said.

She said that even people are now raising complaints to a government that they "consider their own.”

The former student leader added that her stance evolved further during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I realised that sometimes, we were opposing crucial issues like masking up, vaccines and lockdown. Your opposition sometimes is because of camps that are created. The government had a different theory of change and we had one too. For instance, 10 years ago, we were opposing Aadhaar on issues of surveillance. But now, we use apps like Digi Yatra and Digi Locker,” she said.

She also praised Prime Minister Modi and said that there is no harm sometimes in listening to what your elders have to say. "Jitni meri umar nahi hai, utna PM Modi ka experience hai [PM Modi’s experience is far beyond my age].”

Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 19, 2024 07:10 pm

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