Children of J&K are nationalists, but motivated in wrong direction: RajnathUpdated: Jan 22, 2020 23:58 IST
NEW DELHI The children in Jammu and Kashmir are “nationalists” but they are sometimes motivated in the wrong direction, defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.
Addressing mediapersons on the sidelines of a function at the National Cadet Corps Republic Day Camp in New Delhi Singh said, “The children of J&K are nationalists. They shouldn’t be seen in any other way.”
Singh’s comments have come days after Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat advocated the need to start deradicalisation programmes for the youth in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We should start counter-radicalisation programmes while identifying who are the people to have been radicalised and to what degree. Then look at them who are completely radicalised and then look towards the future. What we are seeing in Kashmir, young boys and girls as young as 10 years old have been radicalised, but they can still be isolated from radicalisation in a gradual manner,” General Rawat had said at the Raisina Dialogue 2020 last week.
The defence minister said, “Youngsters are youngsters only. Sometimes, the way they should be motivated, people do not motivate them. In fact, they are motivated in the wrong direction. That is why the kids should not be blamed for this. The ones who are wrongly motivating them should be blamed.”
Singh said that Indian values considered all religions to be equal. “We said we would not discriminate among religions…Our neighbouring country has declared that their state has a religion. They have declared themselves a theocratic state. We didn’t do so,” he said.
“Even America is a theocratic country. India is not a theocratic country…Because our saints and seers did not just consider the people living within our borders as part of the family, but called everyone living in the world as one family,” he said, adding that India never declared its religion and people of all religions could live in the country.
Earlier in the day, Singh awarded Raksha Mantri Padak and Commendation Cards to NCC cadets for their exemplary performance and devotion to duty.
“NCC plays an unparalleled role in transforming the youth into future leaders. Today, NCC cadets can be found in almost every field, including armed forces, politics and sports. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is taking our country to newer heights, was an NCC cadet,” said Singh, who himself was an NCC cadet.