Amid the India-Pakistan tensions, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy backed the call for a ban on Pakistani artists from working in India, saying the consciousness of the Indian people cannot be diluted by allowing them to perform in the country.
“Today we are in a situation where we have to prepare the country’s mind that it may be a possibility in future that we may have to go to war. We have been at war with Pakistan four times already, it is not an unusual event,” Swamy said at a conference titled ‘India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair’ organised by the students of New York University here.
“To prepare the mind of the people, we cannot allow these dilutions of cinema artists and cricket players coming to our country and playing. We cannot allow that. The day normalcy comes in Pakistan, we will be the first to resume cricket and cinema,” he said at the conference on Friday.
Swamy said while war is no solution, the Narendra Modi government will not tolerate terrorism and “if it comes we will retaliate by means that are available to us”.
“The mood of the country that I see over the years is only getting hardened and it reflects itself in places where many people would think we shouldn’t be really stepping in, for example on (Pakistan) artists not coming (in India). But that is the mood in the country that they don’t want any dilution of our attitude to Pakistan at this present moment.
“It is a gloomy picture for negotiated settlement and dialogue. We will not allow dilution of this consciousness because if you have to prepare for something, then you cannot allow dilution of consciousness... so all this naach-gaana business will go as a consequence of it,” he said.
Swamy added that no one should normally object to culture and arts in a political warfare, but given the current situation between India and Pakistan, where “we are not in a war-like situation but (there is) a possibility of war by miscalculation..., we have to be prepared.”
Swamy was heckled by a student at the conference when he made the remark that after the Mosul attack by American support forces, many Islamic State members were now thinking of taking sanctuary in Pakistan.
Swamy asserted that the “one mistake” India has made in Kashmir, apart from going to the UN on the issue, is “not to make it absolutely clear that no discussion will ever take place with Pakistan on the status of Kashmir. The only discussion that will take place is how to end terrorism”.
Swamy said unless the political authority begins to assert itself in Pakistan to discipline its army, to discipline its Inter-Services Intelligence and put an end to all the terrorists living freely in Pakistan, “I think it will be impossible for any government of India to have a dialogue on wide ranging items”.
“Political normalcy between India and Pakistan is something which we in India think is fruitless and therefore should not be engaged in,” he said.