Two of India’s top investors made statements deriding the nation’s arch-enemy Pakistan, as a wave of populism sweeping the country extends to a segment typically averse to political commentary.
“Go invest in Pakistan,” Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, widely considered to be India’s wealthiest individual stock investor and known locally as the country’s Warren Buffett, told Subhash Thakrar, former Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce, during a televised debate in Mumbai on Friday when the latter questioned India’s employment rate. Jhunjhunwala later apologised to Thakrar for the tone of the argument, according to Moneycontrol.com.
Motilal Oswal, Chairman of Mumbai-based Motilal Oswal Financial Services, tweeted against Turkey after its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged India to hold talks with Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir.
“Turkey is the only country openly supporting Terroristan (Pakistan). I urge all the Indians as well as global tourists to boycott the country. There are much better destinations for the tourists,” — Motilal Oswal (@MrMotilalOswal) tweeted.
India is facing a resurgence in populism, like the US, UK, and other major democracies, as economic growth slows and unemployment lingers at a 45-year-high. India and Pakistan traded barbs at the United Nations General Assembly last week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unexpectedly scrapped 70 years of autonomy in Kashmir.
His Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan alleged that the move was unconstitutional and warned of unrest once Modi lifts a long-running curfew in the state. In response, India’s representative accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist attacks — including one on Indian soldiers just before national elections this year. Modi swept that vote on a shrill campaign pledging to act strongly against India’s enemies. The UN speech was followed by the Indian state broadcaster calling Pakistan “Terroristan” in a Twitter message.
The state firm defended its tweet by saying the term “has been part of official Indian Diplomatic parlance in the United Nations as far back as 2017.”
“As an Indian national, I am seriously concerned about Turkey openly supporting Pakistan when the whole world is with India about Kashmir and the Article 370 move being an internal affair,” Oswal said in an email through his representatives. “It amounts to supporting countries who have openly accepted about supporting terrorists on their land.” Under Article 370 of India’s constitution, which Modi revoked, the state legislature of Jammu and Kashmir was free to draft its own laws except in certain specified areas.
Jhunjhunwala — whose quip was akin to the “go to Pakistan” retort Modi’s supporters use on his critics — wasn’t immediately available for comment.