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Are people of Jammu, Ladakh not Indians?
Kashmiri hegemony
4/4/2018 11:21:21 PM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Apr 4: Are the people of Jammu and Ladakh, who inhabit over 88 per cent of the state's land area and constitute more than half of the state's population, not Indians? Have they no rights? Have they no aspirations? Are they destined to live only under the hegemony of "pampered" and "over appeased" Kashmir? Why should they not get what they rightfully deserve as Indian citizens? Is the Preamble of the Indian Constitution not applicable to the people of Jammu and Ladakh?
Why these questions? Because in the ongoing session of the Parliament, the ruling BJP has been conducting itself in a partisan manner. All the Government responses to questions put by the ruling and opposition members are Kashmir-centric. A ruling party member asked the Government as to what was its stand on Article 370? The Government said: It had no plan to repeal it. When another member of Parliament asked the Government as to what was its stand on Article 35-A? The Home Ministry said: "It has no plan to repeal it". And when yet another member asked the Government as to what was its stand on the illegal settlement of Rohingys in Jammu? The Home Ministry would say that it would be taking up the issue at diplomatic levels. And the BJP-led Government would take this stand at a time when the Government of India deported 500 Pakistani Hindu refugees from Rajasthan to Pakistan where they were forcibly converted. In fact, it would apply Foreigners Act in a wrong manner. It would invoke the Foreigners Act to deport Pakistani Hindu refugees but would take a different stand on the illegal Rohingya and Bangladeshi immigrants settled in Jammu and other parts of the country.
It bears recalling that the people of Jammu and Ladakh have been demanding abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 since decades, saying these were discriminatory and these have jeopardized their legitimate civil and political rights, but with no result as the rulers in Delhi go with Kashmir, which has been exploiting these Articles to the hilt to hurt the people of Jammu and Ladakh. The BJP has crossed even the red line by giving in righting that it would not touch Article 370, despite the fact that it all through demanded its abrogation and despite the fact that it won all these seats from Jammu and Ladakh.
Similarly, the people of Jammu have been demanding deportation of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis since months now, warning that their presence in Jammu could threaten national security as they have been settled at strategic locations, but with no result. In fact, the BJP, like the Congress, has been taunting the people of Jammu by toeing the PDP's and separatists' line. All the Kashmir-based leaders -- "mainstream" and separatists - are solidly behind these illegal immigrants.
New Delhi needs to adopt a holistic approach towards the state taking into consideration the fact that the state has three distinct regions - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh - housing people having different aspirations so that all feel that they are equal citizens of the country.
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