East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet... Rudyard Kipling might have had no inkling of what 2019 would bring to the connotation of his lines. But thanks to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik -- the lines make more sense than ever.
The verbal volleys being exchanged between Rahul Gandhi and Satya Pal Malik may finally, and yeah, finally, open a window for a meeting between the two leaders.
It all started with Satya Pal Malik hitting out at Rahul Gandhi for his remark that sporadic incidents of violence were reported from the region, in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
Malik begged to differ. He said he would send an aircraft for the Congress leader to visit the Kashmir Valley and observe the ground situation.
"I have invited Rahul Gandhi to come here. I will send you a plane, to observe (the situation) and then speak up. You are a responsible person and you should not speak like this," Malik said, on Monday.
Rahul Gandhi had made the remark on Saturday (August 10), in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370.
"Scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A was for everyone. There is no communal angle (for scrapping it) in Leh, Kargil, Jammu, Rajouri-Poonch and not here either (Kashmir valley). There is no communal angle to it," Malik further said.
To this end, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said Malik's invitation to Rahul Gandhi to visit the state was a "tool of propaganda" and never sincere.
He said alleging that Rahul Gandhi has put conditions is rubbish, as he only asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers.
"J&K Governor's invitation to Rahul Gandhi was never a sincere invitation. It was a tool of propaganda. To say that Rahul Gandhi put conditions is rubbish. Rahul Gandhi asked for freedom to meet everyone, including soldiers. How is that putting conditions?," he asked on Twitter.
"Can a visitor not ask for freedom to meet different sections of the people and to enquire about the welfare of the soldiers?" he further asked.
But Rahul Gandhi needed to ensure the promise had some weight. He took the onus and tweeted, on Wednesay: "Dear Maalik ji, I saw your feeble reply to my tweet. I accept your invitation to visit Jammu & Kashmir and meet the people, with no conditions attached. When can I come?"
So, shall the twain ever meet?
The ball is in 'Maalik ji's court