Shehla Rashid, previously known for her strong criticism of PM Narendra Modi's decisions on Kashmir, recently surprised many by praising the government's actions in the region.
Former student leader at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Rashid, on Tuesday (November 14), spoke to news agency ANI, emphasizing that Kashmir shouldn't be compared to Gaza.
EP-115 with Shehla Rashid premieres today at 5 PM IST— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2023
"Kashmir is not Gaza..." - Shehla Rashid praises PM Modi and HM Shah
Tune in here: https://t.co/LLgzRg3fCS #ShehlaRashid #ANIPodcastWithSmitaPrakash #JammuKashmir pic.twitter.com/ahMuNkJ4r0
Shehla Rashid's unexpected change in stance, particularly regarding Jammu and Kashmir, has drawn significant attention. Well-known for criticising the government's decision to revoke the region's special status in 2019, her recent appreciation of their actions has sparked discussions nationwide.
Rashid attributed the changes in Jammu and Kashmir to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah's policies, stating they brought about a "bloodless" political solution.
This isn't the first time Rashid has praised the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
Acknowledging her previous alignment with stone pelters in Kashmir, Rashid said addressed her past sympathies with stone pelters, admitting, "In 2010, yes. But today, when I see it, I am much more grateful for today's situation," Rashid said.
She said that it has become clear that Kashmir is not Gaza, because Kashmir was just involved in these back-and-forth protests and sporadic incidents of insurgency and infiltrations.
#ShehlaRashid has said that Kashmir is not comparable to Gaza. She expressed gratitude for the current situation, crediting PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for a "bloodless" political solution in the region.— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) November 15, 2023
Read more :https://t.co/36dRMnwr2O #Kashmir #PMModi #AmitShah… pic.twitter.com/P3xGPQtX9x
She also attributed the changes in Jammu and Kashmir to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah's policies, saying, "All of those things, somebody needed to break the ice, and for that, I would like to credit the present government, especially the Prime Minister and the Home Minister."
Rashid also discussed her experiences during the JNU controversy, notably after the arrest of Umar Khalid and Kanhaiya Kumar on charges related to the northeast Delhi riots.
"It was not just a life changer for the three of us, the entire university's life, the entire university sort of suffered the consequences of that incident, because there was so much backlash against anything to do with JNU," Rashid told ANI.
She said that after the controversy, overnight, from being an elite university, the queen of liberal arts and social sciences, JNU became a slur, it was almost like a cuss word.
"No such slogans - as 'Bharat Tere Tukde Honge,' 'Laal Salam' - have ever been raised at JNU," Rashid clarified.
Rashid's journey from a firebrand critic to a supporter of certain government policies has not been without controversy. Her involvement in the 2016 JNU controversy, where allegations of anti-national slogans being raised surfaced, positioned her as a prominent figure defending free speech.
However, her support for certain slogans during that period garnered criticism from various quarters.
Furthermore, her withdrawal of pleas against the scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, along with other petitioners, including Shah Faesal, adds complexity to her evolving political stances.
Rashid's association with Faesal in opposing the Article 370 move had initially portrayed a different narrative compared to her recent acknowledgments of the Modi government's efforts in Kashmir.
Apart from her political engagements, Rashid faced personal challenges as her father accused her of engaging in anti-national activities and making defamatory statements against the Indian Army in 2019. He voiced concerns that her statements were causing distress to the family.
Additionally, Rashid has encountered legal challenges due to her social media posts and statements, facing defamation cases over allegations against the government and security forces.