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Riding on Dogra sentiment
Dr Raja Muzaffar BhatSatwant Singh Rissam8/23/2018 10:43:01 PM
As the nation celebrated its 72nd Independence Day, Jammuites too celebrated this occasion. From politicians to social workers, from government employees to civil society members - all took steps to express their pride on this occasion. However, in past some weeks an attempt to raise pro-Dogra sentiment is made in Jammu. I believe there is nothing wrong in it but the way it is being done, by an organization, is totally wrong. I want to talk about, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan, an organization floated by Choudhary Lal Singh (a former Congress leader who joined the BJP before the 2014 Lok Sabha election) who is presently the BJP MLA from Basohli and former minister in PDP-BJP coalition government (ousted from cabinet for participating in rally organized in favour of accused in Kathua minor rape and murder case). Ever since the launch of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan, this organization is claiming that it would work for dignity and unity of Dogra's in Jammu region only.
Although it is claimed that Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan is an apolitical organization but as per my observations it seems to have strong political motives which is clearly visible in the issues raised by this organization. Among the top priorities of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan is the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and its resources, and that the post of chief minister should be rotational for three years between the Jammu and Kashmir regions of the state. This is not all, the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan has asked the government employees to proceed on mass leave on 23rd September, 2018 to observe the birth anniversary of Maharaja Hari Singh (which BJP failed to get declared as public holiday during its government). After noticing this all, I am sure anyone who is not associated with Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan will get convinced of its high political intentions. This issue also gets supportive evidence because in the past these issues were very close to all parties who raised their voice only for Jammu. Now, only difference is that Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan seems to have hijacked these issues from them.
I am quite surprised, while this all is going on the BJP in J&K has turned a mute spectator to the activities of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan run by its own MLA. Previously for BJP, it was the Congress party in Jammu with which it has to fight over the issues of Jammu region to get the votes. However, with the emergence of Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan the situation seems to have slipped entirely out of the hands of both parties. I think that the BJP for this failure of not taking any action against its own MLA may have to pay a heavy price as elections to Lok Sabha are round the corner. On the other hand, the Lok Sabha elections could be the reason that BJP is not interested in taking any action against its MLA who has a strong hold over udhampur parliamentary constituency. This all what is going on between Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan and BJP doesn't seem natural as per Indian politics and gives me another reason to consider Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan as an authorized off shoot of BJP. The entire purpose could be to keep the Dogra sentiment burning so that later it can be used either way. I may not be wrong for all those who remember how the Dogra's participated in Amarnath land agitation and this agitation was later en-cashed by BJP.
Although, Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan has become a dream merchant and is riding on Dogra sentiment yet many people in social circles of Jammu have common questions for Lal Singh. I don't have answers for them so I would like to highlight their biggest question i.e. why during his tenures as a minister in all earlier governments Lal Singh didn't ever protest for pro Jammu cause? In the end, I would say that it's been 70 years since the debate on the issue of discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh is going on and none can bring the change on it in overnight. Moreover, when the system remained unchanged even under the BJP (from whom a major change was expected after 2014), therefore nothing appears to come too soon for Jammuites. This story telling method (used for Jammuites) is not new because presenting a rosy picture to Jammuites is an old method used by many leaders who later converted it for their own political gains. Basically, the idea of spreading hatred within regions by highlighting discriminations won't take us in right direction ever. In such a situation, it is easy to infer that in near future such propaganda may only harm the entire state. This rhetoric adopted by some Jammu politicians against Kashmir and similarly it being done by some people in Kashmir hasn't got us any results till today. I firmly believe that if it continues then nothing good may come our way.
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