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In Kashmir, demand in Jammu and Ladakh for empowerment is considered anti-Kashmir
6/19/2019 12:06:39 AM
Early Times Report
JAMMU, June 18: Kashmir became part of the Jammu kingdom comprising Jammu province and the vast Ladakh region in March 1846. 173 years have passed but there is hardly anything on which all the three regions speak in one voice.
On the contrary, the people of Jammu and Ladakh, barring a few disgruntled elements here and there, consistently oppose the Kashmiri leadership, its ideology and its attitude towards the minorities in the state. They always look towards New Delhi for the redressal of their grievances, social, economic and political. They have no faith whatsoever in the Kashmiri leadership and they always seek a dispensation that is of them, for them and by them or that is independent of Kashmir. And this has been happening since October 1947 itself, when J&K linked its destiny with India for better, for worse.
Kashmiri leadership is responsible for the existing mistrust or distrust between the regions and the communities. Kashmiri leaders of all hues have been consistently opposing the demand in Jammu and Ladakh for empowerment. So much so, the Kashmiri leaders even oppose those demands of the people of Jammu and Ladakh which are legitimate, constitutional and democratic. The latest example is the formation of a front in Kashmir to oppose the demand in Jammu and Ladakh for a proper representation in the assembly. MY Tarigami, Ghulam Hassan Mir, Hakeem Yaseen are some of the members of this so-called third front formed against Jammu and Ladakh.
In Ladakh, the newly-elected BJP MP has demanded 6 more seats for the region, saying that Ladakh constituted almost 60% of the state's land area and 4 lawmakers in the assembly couldn't do justice to the very vast region, which remains cut off from the rest of the world for almost 6 months every year. He has said: "Ladakh region needs a minimum of 10 seats in the assembly". Besides, he has said that grant of UT to the region alone could be a lasting solution to the Ladakh issue and that he joined the BJP because the BJP supports the UT demand.
In Jammu, the people are demanding 11 more seats on the basis of land area, population/voters, accessibility and nature of terrain. If they are to obtain their legitimate due share in the state's polity, they have to have a proper representation in the assembly has been the upshot of their whole argument.
It is this that has stung the Kashmiri leadership and stung to the extent that not one but all Kashmiri leaders opposed in one voice the very idea of delimitation. They not only termed it a dangerous demand but also described it as a conspiracy against Kashmir. The point is that anyone in Jammu and Ladakh who opposes discriminatory policies and Kashmiri domination, speaks for India and Indian Constitution, denounces the demands in Kashmir for autonomy, self-rule, azaadi and merger with Pakistan and demands stringent action against terrorists in Kashmir is dubbed in Kashmir by Kashmiri leaders as "anti-Kashmir", "reactionary", "fundamentalist" and "Sanghi".
No wonder then that the gulf between the regions is widening with each passing moment.
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