Makkal Needhi Maiam chief Kamal Haasan has said a plebiscite could have been an option in Jammu and Kashmir earlier to foster peace and disagreed with calls for an immediate surgical strike to avenge the Pulwama killings. Sharing some of his random thoughts on the Kashmir issue at an event here largely attended by students Sunday, the actor-cum-politician deprecated 'jihadists' being glorified in Pakistan.
He also indicated casualties can be avoided if the leadership of India and Pakistan "behaved properly". "Why plebiscite - to get to know everyone's view - was not held there. Why it was not done.? what is their fear?.
The country was ripped apart into two (India and Pakistan). Why don't you ask them (people of J & K) again, they (political leadership) won't do it." On the recent killing of 40 CRPF jawans at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, he said: "If there is bleeding, the first job is to stop it...to talk immediately of surgery (indicating surgical strike was not an option) is... (pauses for a moment)." In the same breath, he said, "..surgery should also be arranged... Okay, but when there is blood loss, place cloth or ice to ensure coagulation, so that there is no further loss (of blood).
"I mourn this day," he said and recalled that years ago when he ran a magazine he had predicted "exactly," that such things would happen in Jammu and Kashmir. Haasan condemned Jihadists being glorified by putting them on a stature similar to that of sports stars in Pakistan.
In so-called "Azad Kashmir," big posters on trains could be seen glorifying jihadists and "that is madness too." India should not repeat such madness and we have to "prove that India is a far better country." On the Pulwama attack, he said killing 40 CRPF personnel was 'heinous', "but considering that, if your parents tell you to not join the Army, just tell them that more people die in road accidents in Tamil Nadu than in the Army." He recalled that when he made this pointed observation at the Officers Training Academy here earlier, they were very happy.
Citing a view that there was unemployment, he said "there are a lot of opportunities in the Army. Whether we have the valour to join Army is the question." "Those who are qualified could even get higher positions in the Army," he said.
"One thing, I truly regret is when you say that army soldiers go (join the army) only to die, I don't believe..," he said and wondered why soldiers should die. "If the two politicians behave properly, there is no need for any soldier to die, the line of control will be under control," he said in an obvious reference to the leadership of India and Pakistan.
He said the concept of an "army itself is an old fashioned thing," and beating one another will have to be stopped one day. Before Haasan spoke on the attack and his views over it, the event anchor apprised the gathering that the MNM chief had spoken to the advisor to the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Vijaya Kumar on the matter and wondered if any other politician from Tamil Nadu would have done that. He also recalled his conversations with the family members of the two slain CRPF jawans from Tamil Nadu to condole their deaths stressing it had nothing to do with politics.
(With inputs from agencies.)