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Haryana

Those who indulged in violence were also victims, subject to machinations’

January 28, 2020 06:16 AM

COURTESY TOI JAN 28

Those who indulged in violence were also victims, subject to machinations’
‘I'm sure, any person born in Jat community would never resort to violence against women’
Haryana’s former finance minister Captain Abhimanyu recently accepted apology of the accused responsible for setting his house on fire during the February 2016 Jat quota violence. He tells Ajay Sura that there is always a process of reconciliation in social institutions and the key ingredient is that the truth must be brought out. Excerpts from the interview:

On the initiative of Jat mahapanchayat, your family accepted apology of those accused of attacking your residence during the February 2016 violence. How do you see this development?


I will not comment on the ongoing cases as the matter is sub judice. As far as the social aspect is concerned, I am proud to be part of this system and respect the spirit of such a social institution. There is always a process of reconciliation in social institutions and the key ingredient is that the truth must be brought out and reconciliation settled. Once the truth is brought out, the pain and suffering on both sides is expected to reduce.

Do you feel the social rift in the community has been effectively addressed by the mahapanchayat’s move? Should it have come earlier?

I am sure, any person born in the Jat community would never ever indulge in cowardly act of violence against children and women unless there was an evil design by conspirators. Those who indulged in violence were also victims because they were subject to their machinations and manipulations and indulged in violence. Not only was the social fabric of Haryana torn in the February 2016 violence but there was a visible rift-like situation between different communities.

For the past four years, I was struggling hard to inform the society that the violence triggered by political conspiracy can, even in future, jeopardize the career of many other youngsters unless the society wakes up to this political conspiracy.

Your former colleague O P Dhankar said recently that had the truce been effected before the Haryana elections, both you and he wouldn’t have lost (the election). Do you agree?

I don’t look at these things for political gain, but purely from a social point of view. Such a thing should not happen again. People of Narnaund gave me nearly 41% votes. My constituency is one of 2-3 constituencies in the state in which (BJP) increased its vote share in comparison to the Lok Sabha polls, whereas generally, there was a significant reduction of votes (for BJP) in other constituencies. As far as loss in the (assembly) elections is concerned, I can humbly conclude that each one of us individually and collectively must look into the reasons for our performance in an objective manner rather than in such a superficial way.

Dhankar also accused AIJASS, especially its leader Yashpal Malik, of damaging the social fabric of Haryana?

Elements that give call for violence or instigate, promote, or endorse violence are against the interest of society. Because of violence, not only did the movement die but the leaders too are disrespected. I will not name any individual but cannot stop condemning persons who instigated violence at that time, including some leaders of political parties.

What are you looking forward to now? Are you looking for a role in the organisation or any assignment at Centre?

I am neither looking forward to nor eyeing any role for myself. I am a party worker and there is nothing bigger than that. The party has the first right on my time and life and my abilities. I am an ideologicallycommitted person and believe that my party is rightly suited to serve the nation. I am a soldier, I keep my self-respect and, at the same time, serve with utmost sincerity. Discipline is primary character of my personality.

With Narnaund JJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam unhappy with his party, how do you see this dispute panning out? Will it affect development in Narnaund constituency?

I cannot comment on anything happening in another party, especially when they are our alliance partner. Onus to fulfil the aspirations/promises of the people of any constituency is on the leader from which he or she has been elected. I think, he has lots of time to work for the people of Narnaund constituency.

How do you react to Gautam’s allegations of an underhand deal between you and Ajay Chautala?

He did mention in one of his statements initially and I believe he corrected or retracted it later. But I want to make it clear that not only me, but no member of my family ever attended such a meeting. It is childish of a political leader of such high stature to make such a statement.

Do public battles like tussle between Anil Vij and Haryana CM over CID department affect the image of the government?

The cabinet functions on the principle of collective responsibility. The chief minister is first among equals. It is very important in democracy that all work in unison. In a democracy, differences of views will happen but for the people, principle of collective responsibility must be kept in mind. Any message that goes out contrary to this definitely affects the image of the government. But I am happy that everything has been resolved.

Water sharing is becoming a major issue, with Punjab advocating constitution of a new tribunal and not in a mood to give water to non-basin states. What should Haryana do now?

I am surprised and astonished that political parties in Punjab are resorting to such tactics with a parochial mindset. If the right of a state is deprived by another state in such a manner, how would federal structure of the country function? Disrespect of various accords on water between Punjab and Haryana is also like challenging the spirit of the Constitution. I am sure Haryana would make every possible effort with the support of the Union government to get the legitimate rights of the state.

Why do you think CAA and NRC are not an issue in Haryana as there has been no public discourse on these in the state?

Largely, there is no opposition to CAA or NRC in the country. Protests reported in some parts of the country are politically motivated and are being held in areas where they are getting media attention. Everyone must see how important national register is in other countries. Even Congressled UPA government had tried it. It is unfortunate that we could not maintain national register even after seven decades of independence.

How can the unemployment in Haryana be addressed as young people are finding it difficult to get jobs?

Employment would come from manufacturing and service sectors and thus the focus should be on expanding both these sectors. Regional imbalance in spread of industries in Haryana is also one of the factors of unemployment. More industries all over the state, especially hinterland, can help in increasing employment. Besides this, for the first time the government has created an environment in Haryana where youngsters preparing for government jobs are being provided jobs on merit. Haryana also caters to migrant population, especially in NCR areas, and discharges its duties by providing them job and employment opportunities.

Being a senior office-bearer of the Indian archery association, what are your plans to make this sport popular in Haryana?

Archery has become very popular in Haryana for the past 10 years. There are 3,500 registered archers in the state. There are coaches in every district and academies in rural areas. Haryana won one medal at international level. We organised national championship. We are focusing on 2024 and hopeful that player from Haryana may bring an Olympics medal in archery

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