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From India’s Independence to till date, Gujjars Bakarwals still deprived of political space in J&K
11/30/2019 8:34:31 PM
Shamsher Hakla Poonchi

The Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir are divided into 3 tribes, settled, half-settled and unsettled nomadic.The needs and problems, language and the culture of Gujjar Bakarwal tribe of J&K are quite different from other communities of J&K. That is why this Tribe has its own peculiar position and has its own identity, customs and a unique way of life. The Gujjar Bakarwal tribe belonging to Islam religion has its habitation in 20 districts of J&K and mostly resides in hilly, far-flung and mountainous areas near forests and on the Indo-Pak LOC and International Border(IB) of J&K with the population of over many lakhs. Most habitation areas of Gujjar Bakarwals tribe in Jammu and Kashmir are lacking in facilities like road communication, electricity, water supply schemes, medical facilities and educational facilities which put Gujjar Bakarwal tribe in lots of hardships and troubles. The previous J&K State Govt.s had not taken any concrete steps to solve their needs and problems and for their welfare and upliftment. The Gujjar Bakarwals tribe has always demanded to govt. for opening of boarding schools in all the district of J&K on the pattern of Nodya Vidyalaya for Boys and Girls student of Gujjar Bakarwal and also for establishing a tribal university in J&K for Gujjar Bakarwal students but the J&K State Govt. did not take their demand to the central Govt. of India. Because of being neglected & discriminated by previous J&K state Govt's the Gujjar Bakarwals tribe of J&K is unable to step ahead in the education sector.
Among all the communities of Jammu and Kashmir, Gujjar Bakarwal Tribe is the most backward. They have been under this boon of backwardness from the very day of India's Independence in 1947 to till date. The tribe of Gujjars Bakarwals in this era of development and upliftment, is still educationally, economically, politically and socially backward which is a matter of great concern. Various regional parties of J&K such as Congress, National Conference (N.C) and People's Democratic Party (P.D.P) which have been operational since Independence of India have not taken any interest for the development and upliftment of Gujjar Bakarwal tribe of J&K. Instead they always tried to put obstacles in the every effort put forward by Govt. of India for the welfare of this Tribe, due to which this have been suffering till today in this bright and opportune era of development.
The need of hours in present situation of J&K on becoming a Union Territory (U.T) is to take concrete steps for the welfare and upliftment of Gujjar Bakarwal tribe of J&K on first priority which in true essence will be the development of J&K.
The educated Gujjar Bakarwal youths of J&K are facing a large No. of unemployment during the present stage and this all is because of being neglected & discriminated by previous J&K state Governments.
Gujjar Bakarwals tribe generally speaks Gojri language and their mother language is Gojri. Even passing through ups and downs of its history, the Gojri language continued to retain its originality.
The Previous J&K state govt.s had not taken any strong step for the welfare & upliftment of Gojri language. The Gujjar Bakarwal tribes have always demanded to Govt. for the inclusion of Gojri language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution but the J&K state govt.s had not recommended it to the govt. of India for the inclusion of Gojri language in the 8th schedule of the Indian Constitution which is a great injustice to them. That is why Gojri language of Gujjar Bakarwals tribe has become a backward language.
Recognizing the backwardness of Gujjar Bakarwal tribe of J&K. Govt. of India granted scheduled tribe status to Gujjars Bakarwals under ordinance No. 03 of 1991 under article 342 of constitution of India on April 19, 1991, So far their participation in the state administrative and political setup of J&K is concerned under scheduled tribe status norms, there should have been reservation of assembly segment and Lok Sabha Segments for Gujjar Bakarwal in J&K but it did not happen any were in the J&K by previous J&K state Govt. It is a big injustice to Gujjar Bakarwals. In J&K there are 31 (thirty one) state assembly segments out of 87 (eighty seven) assembly segment of J&K and 2 (two) Lok Sabha segments out of 6 (six) Lok Sabha segments of J&K which are inhabited by Gujjar Bakarwal tribe, and such segments should be reserved for Gujjar Bakarwal tribe because of schedule tribe status but due to indifferent attitude of the J&K state Govt, the Gujjar Bakarwal tribe stands deprived of this political reservation right.
The Gujjar Bakarwal Electorate inhabited Assembly Constituency in Kashmir Division Assembly Constituencies %age of Muslim Gujjar Bakarwal Electorates.
Because of Schedule Tribe (S.T) status granted to the Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K under ordinance No. 03 of 1991 under article 342 of constitution of India on April 19, 1991 the below mentioned Assembly constituencies must have been reserved for the Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K state.
S. No. Name of Constituency %age of Gujjar Bakerwal Electorates
1. Karnah 32%
2. Handwara 28%
3. Kupwara 37%
4. Bandipura 28%
5 Uri 38%
6 Kangan 40%
7 Ganderbal 27%
8 Shopian 30%
9. Kulgam 32%
10 Pahalgam 33%
11. Shongas 32%
12 Kukarnag 30%
13 Doru 31%
Jammu Division Assembly Constituencies %age of Muslim Gujjar Bakarwal electorates.
Because of Schedule Tribe (S.T) status granted to the Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K under ordinance No. 03 of 1991 under article 342 of constitution of India on April 19, 1991 the below mentioned Assembly constituencies must have been reserved for the Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K state.
S.No Name of Constituency %age of Gujjars Bakarwal Electorates
1 Indewal 37%
2 Baderwah 25%
3. Ramban 33%
4 Gulab Garh 43%
5. Gool Arnas 41%
6 Reasi 31%
7 Jandrah Gharota 28%
8. Billawar 28%
9 Kathua 26%
10 Akhnoor 28%
11 Nagrota 36%
12 Kalakote 37%
13 Nowshera 28%
14 Darhal 64%
15 Rajouri 50%
16 Mendhar 57%
17 Surankote 50%
18 Haveli Poonch 41%
Two Lok sabha segments namely Baramulla, Kupwara & Jammu, Poonch of Jammu & Kashmir which are 37% (thirty seven) Gujjar-Bakarwal electoral.
Because of Schedule Tribe (S.T) status granted to the Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K under ordinance No. 03 of 1991 under article 342 of constitution of India on April 19, 1991, the above mentioned Lok Sabha segments must have been reserved for the Gujjar Bakarwal community of J&K state.
It would be appropriate to mention here that all the efforts made by govt. of India for the development and welfare of Gujjar Bakarwal tribe of J&K , have been deliberately obstructed by the previous J&K state Govt.s headed by National Conference, Congress Party and Peoples Democratic Party for the past many decades which resulted in the utter political, Educational, social and economical backwardness of Gujjar Bakarwals tribe of Jammu and Kashmir.
The previous J&K state Govt.s ruling from 1947 to till date had not made any policies or schemes for the permanent settlement & upliftment of some of the unsettled and nomadic people of Gujjar Bakarwal tribe of J&K who have been living Unsettled ,Nomadic life from past to till date
Presently the need of the hours and requirement for development and welfare of Gujjars Bakarwals is establishing a tribal development council in J&K with the financial and developmental power by the Govt. of India.
In the past general census were conducted by the govt.during 2001 & 2011 in summer season but during that time, some of the Gujjar Bakarwals along with their families and livestock moves towards the hilly mountains(Dhoks) of J&K state and because of this reason, those census could not clearly describe the exact population of Gujjars Bakarwals in J&K.
So, now the Govt.should conduct a new special survey during the winter season, so that the exact population of Gujjar Bakarwal Tribe of J&K can be found.
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