Former Indian Prime Minister and current Rajya Sabha MP HD Deve Gowda on Friday urged that "nationalist rhetoric should be toned down" in a statement released on the India-China conflict. The statement comes ahead of an all-party meeting, on the border issue with China, set to be held on Friday evening.
"In order to ensure that we do not escalate matters, I sincerely urge that nationalist rhetoric should be toned down. This is not the time for a language of provocation and revenge. Media outlets spreading fake information and cheap rhetoric endanger the lives of our soldiers and diplomatic staff," Deve Gowda said.
He suggested that the Indian government should take steps to check "social media retribution" while also allowing for "critical mainstream opinions, analyses and reporting" on the issue.
He further called for a senior serving military officer and diplomat to make a detailed presentation to be made to opposition leaders on the ground situation and the progress of talks with China.
My statement on the India-China Border issue in the backdrop of the Prime Minister’s meeting with opposition leaders. pic.twitter.com/wYTu4sI6LO— H D Devegowda (@H_D_Devegowda) June 19, 2020
Deve Gowda also condemned the attempts to politicise the Indian army. "When they (Army) remain a professional force, they will advise the government of the day fearlessly and correctly. As we are on the topic of the armed forces, it is important to institute an enquiry on the deaths of soldiers in the Galwan Valley, and know exactly what led to the tragic event," Deve Gowda said.
He also asked the government to not encourage any economic boycott since it will have deeper implications.
"A senior serving military officer and a senior serving diplomat should make a detailed presentation to opposition leaders on the ground situation, and the progress of talks. Only with this information could there be a meaningful exchange of ideas between the government and opposition leaders," Deve Gowda stated.
He called for the BJP-ruled central government to be transparent about the incident on the border with China.
"It is the duty of the political leadership to ensure that such anxiety is quelled with proper information. It is important to keep the nation informed at all times. Underplaying certain developments and overstating certain information may be a bad strategy in the long run," Deve Gowda added.