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It's time we moved beyond Kashmir

It
Highlights

The UN General Assembly is the world's Parliament. All the UN's 193 members States are represented there with their own views on everything from climate change to their neighbours to the world's hotspots.

The UN General Assembly is the world's Parliament. All the UN's 193 members States are represented there with their own views on everything from climate change to their neighbours to the world's hotspots.

Though each State gets one vote, its votes are not binding on the membership, except in budgetary matters. One could say the UN Security Council is more powerful as it can pass binding resolutions and is dominated by five permanent members, the US, China, the UK, France and Russia which have veto powers.

If the General Assembly is not the most powerful body, what is its use? Well, it could reflect the world's opinion, make recommendations to the Security Council and elect the Council's non-permanent members.

This being the case, what should Indians be looking forward to? Is Pakistan all about the session? Don't we have better things to do? We can treat Pakistan with the contempt it deserves at the UN while explaining to the world our stand clearly.

While the world pays heed to its great talking shop these days as part of the annual diplomatic calendar and while Narendra Modi makes the most of it in his speech of 15 minutes to orate before the world his viewpoint, India no doubt earns its place in the high table.

But, let us remember that the importance of the General Assembly peters away in a day or two of top world leaders speak. Of course, we in India and our counterparts in Pakistan will be huffing and puffing till our leaders come to terms as they continue to score some brawny points just as their predecessors had done in the last 70 years.

What is more important for us is the meetings on the side-lines of the General Assembly. It is not just us two - Pakistan and India - which will be seeing sparring. There is the US itself trying to take on Iran and the latter energetically planning to attack the former.

The world is certainly more concerned with the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. We should also realise that both India and Pakistan have set aside all domestic engagement and regular governance apart to concentrate our energies on Kashmir.

Let us keep a watch on our petrol prices, our floods, inflation, job losses, farming crisis, dues to sugarcane farmers, our GDP growth rate etc. Let us also not forget that there are far more important issues haunting us like gender discrimination, violence against women and children, tribal issues and intolerance.

Then we have an issue with the two most powerful in this country as they don't seem to be on the same page on the status of Hindi. While our Home Minister and the second most important man in the government Amit Shah claims that Hindi must be the first among equals (compared to other languages), our numero uno said in the US that 'Bharat mein sab Atchaa hain" on multiple Indian languages.

He went ahead and praised multiple languages, cultures, cuisines of India and said such diversity was a cause for great celebration. Let us not cloud everything else with Kashmir alone!

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