BENGALURU: On the day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an all-party meeting to discuss the bilateral tension at Galwan Valley along the India-China border, former prime minister and JDS supremo HD Deve Gowda said the meeting will be fruitful only if Opposition leaders are given detailed, truthful information about the ground situation.
In a detailed six-point statement, Gowda stressed the need to tone down nationalist rhetoric to ensure that matters are not escalated. “This is not the time for a language of provocation and revenge. Media outlets spreading fake information and cheap rhetoric endanger the lives of our soldiers and diplomatic staff. Social media retribution is of particular concern. By this, I do not mean that critical mainstream opinions, analysis and reporting should be stopped,” Gowda said in his statement.
Appealing to the opposition to not use intemperate language at a time when cooperation is important, Deve Gowda said domestic politics and national security interests cannot be equated. He, however, stressed that it doesn’t mean that the government should not be questioned.
Don’t politicise Armed Forces, Gowda tells Centre
Gowda, a seasoned politician, said the government should quell anxiety among citizens that we are surrounded by hostile nations and that it is important to keep the nation informed. “Underplaying certain developments and overstating certain information may be a bad strategy in the long run,” he noted.Criticising the continuous attempts to politicise the Armed Forces, Gowda termed it dangerous and stressed on the need to keep it a professional force that will advise the government of the day fearlessly and correctly.
He demanded an inquiry into the deaths of soldiers in Galwan Valley to understand what exactly transpired. “The government should not encourage reactionary language of economic boycott. Its implications are deep. Here, we should be guided by pragmatism,” Gowda said, referring to political leaders calling for a boycott of Chinese-made products.