`Campaign brings to forefront issue of fully integrating J&K`

Senior BJP leader LK Advani Wednesday said the agitation has brought to the forefront the issue of "fully integrating" J&K with the rest of the country.

New Delhi: Likening BJP`s plan on flag
hoisting at Lal Chowk to party ideologue Shyama Prasad
Mookerjee`s Kashmir campaign, senior leader LK Advani Wednesday said the agitation has brought to the forefront the issue of
"fully integrating" J&K with the rest of the country.

"Those who have been arrested in Jammu and Kashmir
have brought this issue before the whole country. I think our
Yuva Morcha and our two leaders in Parliament (Sushma Swaraj
and Arun Jaitley) have gone there and what they have done with
a lot of courage has brought this issue and that of unifying
the whole of Kashmir to the forefront," Advani said.

Advani recalled the movement launched by BJP ideologue
Shyama Prasad Mookerjee "to unify the whole of Kashmir with
the rest of India" and the NDA regime`s amendment of the Flag
Code allowing all Indians the right to hoist the tricolour on
all days.

"It is a result of this that we have started this
agitation so that we can say that we have unfurled the flag at
Lal Chowk," he told reporters after unfurling the tricolour at
his residence on Republic Day.

In the early 1950s, Mookerjee had launched an
agitation against the permit system to visit Jammu and Kashmir
and a separate flag and Constitution for the state. He was
arrested after his entry into J&K and died while in jail.

Asked about the role of the Centre and the Jammu and
Kashmir government in arresting senior BJP leaders and
preventing hoisting of the flag at Lal Chowk, Advani said,
"This is not the occasion for saying anything. My colleagues
have already spoken.

"I want to say that Republic Day is a day which should
make every Indian feel proud of being an Indian... feel proud
of the idea of India, of it being a secular democracy," he

The 84-year-old leader recalled his association with
Mookerjee`s agitation.

"I would only like to speak about our campaign for the
tricolour that people like me who have been active in politics
since Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee`s time and who took part in
his campaign and were witness to his sacrifice," he said.

He maintained that the NDA government amended the Flag
Code in 2002 to give every Indian the right to hoist the

"Whatever happened yesterday in Jammu and Kashmir
reminds us of Mookerjee`s sacrifice and the Kashmir agitation
he started to fully integrate it with India. We should keep
working in this direction... it also reminds me that the NDA
government amended the flag code to give every citizen the
right to hoist the tricolour from January 26, 2002 onwards,"
Advani said.

He insisted that before the amendment those who waived
flags "when a Sachin Tendulkar or Dhoni or a Pathan hit a six
used to commit a crime".

"Nobody said anything but it was a crime. From 2002,
this situation changed," Advani said.


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