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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Did Jammu Dogras vote BJP for Kashmiriyat promotion?

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Prof Hari Om

December 26 was one of the darkest days for Dogras of Jammu, who had created a vast kingdom comprising Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, including the almost 50 per cent area which has been under the illegal occupation of both Pakistan and China, since decades. That day, BJP taunted the Dogras twice and spoke the language of those in Kashmir, who had been seeking to create Greater Kashmir consisting of Kashmir, Ladakh’s Kargil and Jammu’s Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Pooonch and Rajouri districts.
The case in point is BJP’s two declarations and one assertion. The BJP declared that it was committed to apply late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s ‘Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat’ doctrine to UT of J&K in letter and spirit. “J&K has been moving forward on the three Mantras given by former PM late Atal Behari Vajpayee of Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat,” it said. The BJP also declared that J&K will not be bifurcated. “The District Development Council (DDC) polls have clearly established that there is total polarisation in the UT and, hence, Jammu will not be separated from Kashmir or vice-versa”. But BJP was not content with what it said about the policy it would continue to pursue in the UT. It went a step further and divided Jammu province into two parts, including so-called Chenab Valley’ and the rest of the Jammu province. “The politics in Kashmir, Jammu and Chenab Valley is different,” it asserted. By Chenab Valley, the BJP meant Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban districts.
It is indeed a matter of grave concern that the ungrateful BJP made these outrageous, humiliating, divisive and unsettling declarations and assertion only four days after declaration of the crucial DDC poll results. The BJP had won 72 seats in Jammu province and a paltry three in Kashmir, got more votes than seven-party secessionist Gupkar formation got and emerged as the single largest party in J&K for the first time in 73 years. The BJP should have saluted the Dogras for the confidence that they reposed in it overlooking its umpteen acts of omission and commission, but it was not to be. It thought it politically prudent to taunt them and sing the Kashmiriyat song. How sad?
What are the implications of what the BJP declared and asserted? Very serious implications. Kashmiriyat negates the concept of the other. It means total exclusion of the other. It also means many other serious ramifications. Kashmiriyat, if applied to Jammu, would simply mean application of a concept that would cause wholesale migration from Jammu province, of a particular community, like it happened in Kashmir in January 1990 and creation of another Kashmir. Pakistan and its agents in Kashmir have striving to the hilt to convert Jammu province into Kashmir since 1994, so that Islamabad could accomplish what it calls ‘unfinished agenda of partition’.
It needs to be noted that the term Kashmiriyat was coined only in Jammu in 1976 by a Jammu-based supporter of Sheikh Abdullah and ilk in Kashmir and his whole objective was to win over them to further his own selfish interests and present them to the nation as the ‘most secular and liberal persons’.
The BJP would do well to abandon the idea of applying Kashmiriyat to Jammu province. Kashmiriyat may be an elixir of life to Kashmiris. But it means for the Jammu Dogras what it meant to the miniscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus, Sikhs and Punjabis in Valley in 1990, and even earlier. It would be in the interest of the nation if this concept remained confined to Kashmir. Dogras are happy with their Dogriyat, which has been accommodating victims of fanaticism since 1947, when Nehru transferred political power from Jammu to Srinagar and converted Jammu and Ladakh into Kashmir’s colonies to fulfill the most cherished dream of his friend Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.
Similarly, the BJP needs to apply to Jammu province the model, it applied to the strategic Trans-Himalayan Ladakh. It was not for nothing that PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah segregated Ladakh from Kashmir and conferred on it the status of UT. They knew it that radical forces in the Valley would swallow the whole of Ladakh, if it was not separated from Kashmir. That’s the reason that they appreciated the age-old demand of Ladakhis and created out of J&K state, UT of Ladakh. The situation in Jammu province is no different. It is dangerous. The radical forces in the Valley have been changing the demographic profile since decades using our democratic and political institutions and elements in establishment, both in J&K and New Delhi. They want to swallow Jammu province, which is one of the most richest regions in the country in terms of water, forests, minerals, land and weather. The BJP must appreciate these facts and apply the Ladakhi model in Jammu province, before it is too late. There is no other option available and the Indian Constitution permits the Union Government to exercise this option. Besides, the BJP must stop speaking the language of Kashmir. There exists no such valley as Chenab Valley in Jammu province, and anywhere in the world. To walk and talk Chenab Valley would be only to walk into the Pakistani trap and break Jammu province into smithereens and help the forces hostile to the nation.
It is hoped that the BJP think-tanks would advise the Union Government to do the needful at the earliest and discard those concepts and imaginary things which have potential of negating the historic decisions, which Narendra Modi Government took on August 5 and 6, 2019. They would also do well to recognise the fact that Dogras of Jammu province repeatedly voted for BJP for the promotion of the unique and tolerant Dogriyat, and not for the promotion of Kashmiriyat in Jammu province.

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