18 questions for critics of land laws in Jammu

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Prof Hari Om

Sadly, Jammu-based NC, Congress, PDP and JKAP activists and some others outside these Kashmiri parties have unleashed a no-holds-barred misinformation campaign against the just-introduced land laws for the UT of J&K. They are intentionally or unintentionally speaking the language of Gupkaris, whose pro-Pakistan and pro-China credentials are too well known. Their whole objective is to create a sense of fear among the nationalist people of Jammu province so that they also joined the unholy, ill-conceived, ill-motivated and ill-designed crusade unleashed by Gupkaris, responsible for the 1990 migration of the miniscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus. They are seeking to misinform and misguide the people of Jammu province that the new land laws, if applied in their present form, will enable what they call “outsiders” to invade Jammu province, change its demography, occupy the region’s land, buy other properties, give a fillip to the crime-rate, dis-empower the local population, snatch government jobs and jeopardize the interests of the Jammu youth. They are denouncing these nation-making and progressive laws as “draconian” and “black”. The upshot of their whole mindboggling formulations is that the new land laws have all the potential of Dogra identity and these negate the contribution of Maharaja Hari Singh. To be more precise, they are saying day in and day out that “Jammu is on sale”.
It’s time to ask them at least 18 questions.

  1. Who conspired against the Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh in 1947 and threw him out of J&K to die in Bombay in exile?
  2. Who divided the Dogra-majority Udhampur district in 1948 on religious lines to create Doda district?
  3. Who drove Maharaja Hari Singh’s J&K away from the national mainstream in October 1949 by adopting in no time Article 306-A (Article 370) to help Sheikh Abdullah play subversive games, give a particular type of orientation to the state polity and erode the distinct identity of the Dogras?
  4. Who repealed and amended Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh’s agrarian laws to snatch land from Dogras in 1950 without compensation and distribute the same among no less than 5.4 lakh persons belonging to the religious denomination to which Sheikh Abdullah belonged?
  5. Who rigged 100% the 1951 Constituent-cum-Legislative Assembly elections in 1951 to set-up 100% National Conference House and to keep the Dogras of Jammu out of the Constitution-making and law-making body?
  6. Who denied citizenship rights to the Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan living in different parts of Jammu province since 1947?
  7. Who granted J&K citizenship in 1952 to Uyghur Muslims and Tibetan Muslim in 1959 and settled them in the Jamia Masjid area of Srinagar, but denied citizenship to the Jammu-based Valmikis and Gorkhas?
  8. Who applied Article 35A to the Dogra State on May 14, 1954 at the behest of Pakistan and that too w.e.f. May 14, 1944, when J&K was still a princely state and India still under London? And who applied these obnoxious laws without the sanction of Indian Parliament? Did the powers-that-be consult the Dogras?
  9. Who sealed the fate of the Dogras in 1974-75 by empowering Sheikh Abdullah to decide the fate of the Maharaja Hari Singh’s State and review all the Central laws introduced in J&K since August 1953?
  10. Who enacted the Agrarian Reforms Act in 1976 to further subvert Maharaja Hari Singh’s land laws?
  11. Who launched demographic invasion on Jammu and areas around Jammu in 1996?
  12. Who enacted the obnoxious Roshni Act in 2001 to help Farooq Abdullah and others to occupy the state land in J&K, especially in Jammu province?
  13. Who abused Maharaja Hari Singh in 2002 during election campaign in the Samba and Vijaypur areas, the land of Dogra soldiers and martyrs?
  14. Who settled thousands of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in the Duggar land, including Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Doda, Poonch and so on at strategic locations, on high hills, near railway station and vital army installations and along national highway?
  15. Who excluded the Jammu youth from the vital service sector to the extent that the unemployment rate in this province rose to over 69%?
  16. Who denied the Dogra youths proper share in the technical and professional institutions and Jammu-based Agriculture University?
  17. Who excluded the Dogras from all-powerful civil secretariat, seat of the government?
  18. Who destroyed the Dogra heritage – Mubarak Mandi, Dogra Forts, Dogri, Dogra culture?
    These are only 18 questions which the critics of the new land laws or the new messiahs of Jammu province and the Dogras need to answer before opposing the new land laws and abusing the Indians as outsiders. They should also tell the people of Jammu province or the Dogras what would the critics of the new land laws say if the rest of the Indians start calling the people of Jammu province outsiders not eligible for acquiring any type of property, setting up any business house and acquiring any job outside their region. They must ponder over. Their actions should not and must not directly or indirectly help the Gupkaris who are out to create a Kashmir-like situation in Jammu province. They must always remember what happened in Kashmir in 1990 and what has been happening in Jammu since 1996.

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