indica News Bureau-
Congressman Rohit ‘Ro’ Khanna, who recently kicked off a storm in the Indian American community with his forthright stand against ‘Hindutva’, has ticked off Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan and said he needs to cool down his “absolutely ridiculous” war rhetoric.
‘It’s the duty of every American politician of Hindu faith to stand for pluralism, reject Hindutva, and speak for equal rights for Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhist(s) & Christians,’ Khanna wrote on Twitter on August 29. ‘That is the vision of India my grandfather Amarnath Vidyalankar fought for.’
Vidyalankar (1901-1985), was jailed during India’s freedom struggle and became a member of Parliament later in free India.
Khanna also referred to an 18,000-word profile of fellow Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, published by Caravan magazine in August, and called it an “important article.” The article documents how Gabbard’s early congressional career was heavily financed by leaders and members of American affiliates of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Speaking to members of the Indian American community at Fremont, California, on the same day, Khanna, who recently joined the Pakistani congressional caucus, said, “Kashmir is an internal matter for India’s democracy and … Imran Khan needs to cool his heated rhetoric and not escalate to a war or conflict.”
Pakistan’s prime minister and many members of his government have ratcheted up their attacks on India after the Narendra Modi administration revoked the special status of Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and decided to divide the state into two Union territories, Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
Khan has gone to the extent of threatening war with India. He has also claimed that India would try some covert operation to divert attention from Kashmir.
Last week, his railway minister, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, said he believes a “full-fledged war” will be fought between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in October or November.
“The time of the last battle for the liberation of Kashmir has arrived and this time the war with India will be full and final,” Ahmad said.
Khanna, who represents the 17th district of California and is a national co-chair of Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, called such rhetoric “absolutely ridiculous”.