Er P L KhushuRecognition is gaining ground amongst some of the important political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir that Jammu division has been ignored so far. A principle political party of Jammu & Kashmir, having ruled Jammu & Kashmir for a long time, admits through its tall mentor that Jammu has its own problems and issues while submitting memorandums to the Delimitation Commission very recently, through the leaders of this party belonging to Jammu. Amid criticism that National Conference’s proposal to the Delimitation Commission in Jammu echoed BJP’s demands, the party president said as per press reports, that the issues in the two regions of the Union Territory were different from each other. Speaking to the reporters, the president of this party said the different issues projected by the party’s Jammu unit should not worry the people. It is an honest admission and a bold confession of facts, whatever the reasons of compulsion for such an admission. Better late than never. This change in the stand has to be appreciated in view of the fact that during the meeting with the Delimitation Commission Members, majority of Kashmiri political parties decried delimitation exercise as ‘unconstitutional’ because of its freeze in the Parliament till 2026. Such a statement is a very good statement, which is based on facts. Coming back to memorandum submitted by Jammu wing of the main political party of Jammu and Kashmir, to Delimitation Commission, it is a recognition of the fact that semblance of existence of Jammu and its people on the developmental and socio economic plan has been certainly lagging or has been kept lagging for Jammu, than that of Kashmir. Why did a need arise for submitting a different memorandum to the delimitation commission for Jammu saying that it has its own problems, when this very political party governed the earlier state of Jammu and Kashmir for years together. This political party had been claiming equanimity in the development of Jammu in synchrony with Kashmir division, which is now turning to be farce. It gives credence to the fact that that Jammu remained ignored, or was ignored in all respects of development and socio political growth, with an honest admission by the seasoned, mature, political leaders of this political party belonging to Jammu, when their parent political party ruled Jammu & Kashmir for decades, by submitting a separate memorandum to the Delimitation Commission for the cause of Jammu.Allegiance to a political party is the birth right of a person as per one’s fundamental rights, but when it comes to the development of the region or zone to which one belongs to, the efforts and voices of putting forth one’s grievances should have no political links or ambiance or a dictum of the superiors or leaders of that political party. It has a particular reference when such dictums have been biased and loaded with regional favoritism for Kashmir division. It will be diabolically improper for anybody or any other political party, to claim that the separate memorandum submitted by the Jammu based political leaders of this political party to the Delimitation Commission, has semblance of substance with the memorandum submitted by some other political party, which may be even a ruling party in power, claiming to be more loyal and royal to Jammu and its people. It will amount to live in an imaginary paradise. Under the new Scenario of the changed circumstances of governance of Jammu and Kashmir, if all the mature and well meaning voices from Jammu, irrespective of their political affiliations come on one platform and represent the cause of the neglect of Jammu before the forums concerned, it will mean a joint front which will force the authoritative powers to listen to the woes of Jammu and its people in all its perspective and rectify the damages done to Jammu and its people for its proper development which may even mean asking for a separate state for Jammu.The process of delimitation in Jammu & Kashmir is in full process when the members of Delimitation Commission, have discussed and assessed issues related to various regions of Jammu and Kashmir with various representatives of such regions. The deputations from Jammu in this regard tried to project their point of view, like difference in the number of assembly seats, in between Kashmir and Jammu, allegedly cooked 2011 Census figures, the basis on which the delimitation is purported to be done and the neglect of a big geographical area of Jammu for development, before the Commission. Despite trying to make a strong case for Jammu before the Commission, it was conveyed to the delegation that the delimitation will be done on basis of 2011 census, which is quite dismaying. Keeping hopes alive, It is believed though with lesser expectations, that Jammu may get some retrieve as per the demands of the Jammu people, on the basis of the facts and figures related to the region of Jammu in this process of delimitation not only on the basis of the population figures, but equally on the expanse of the area which Jammu division is covering and maintaining, or has to maintain for its development and exponential out puts, along with other factors relevant to this issue. It is only an assumption and not a conclusion, which is the domain of this Delimitation Commission only.But does that serve the ultimate purpose. Probably not? Once bitten twice shy. Who does not know what has been attitude of the Kashmir based politicians, towards Jammu for all these years of their governance. They ruled the state for decades, when they have been treating Jammu as their colony. Such governance was only a rule of a ruler and not the rule of law for Jammu. Even if delimitation conclusions offer some sops to Jammu and its people, does it afford absolute liberty and authority to them to rule Jammu as a separate entity, when Jammu has a vast potential to grow in its industrial sector, the hydropower generation sector and to a good extent in the tourism sector too. In case Jammu continues to be a limb of Kashmir, with the formation of Jammu and Kashmir state after removing the tag of union territory from it, there will be every attempt again that the focus of development should be for Kashmir, when unfortunately all the central governments so far, have contributed to this maxim including the present one, as per the appeasement policies for Kashmir.Who does not know how the process of delimitation of Jammu and Kashmir was opposed tooth and nail by the political parties of Kashmir, when at times they tried to play a regional bias card against Jammu also in this respect. Such fuming and arrogant statements were made about it by the political leaders of Kashmir, which should be an eye opener for the people of Jammu, who did not respond with equal repulsions and hefty hate. That is the magnanimity of the people of Jammu who accommodated all sections of people irrespective of cast and religion in Jammu, after the onslaught of militancy in Kashmir in 1990, which includes the majority community members of Kashmir in good numbers. But what did Jammu get in reward. There were attempts to change the demography of Jammu by out numbering the total population figures of Jammu people, by making the members of the majority community from Kashmir, to get settled in Jammu in good numbers. Roshni Act is a standing proof about it.In the matter of delimitation of Jammu & Kashmir, the political leaders of Kashmir gave embarrassing statement about the setting up of a delimitation commission in Jammu & Kashmir. Such leaders claimed that they do not believe in this delimitation. They went to the extent of saying that the BJP has a certain purpose. It wants that in Jammu & Kashmir emerges as a Hindu majority, and the Muslim majority goes down. What a callous statement. The basic intentions behind all such statements were to avoid a fair deal to Jammu and continue to make it subservient to the domains and dictates of Kashmir based politicians.In utter bizarre attempts very recently these leaders from Kashmir have still been harping on the population concept of the state to be the yard stick to be applied to Jammu, for the process of delimitation, as they know it that these figures are alleged to be cooked there by neglecting the other major factors involved in this process, which the people of Jammu have been aspiring for from a long time. One apex leader of a political party of Kashmir, which has almost lost its base now, being more concerned and interested in talking to Pakistan about Kashmir as also being more sympathetic to the sedition forces working in Kashmir have even boycotted to attend the members of Delimitation Commission. Such a politician continues to drum beat the slogan that there is no constitutional governance in Jammu and Kashmir for vote bank politics without understanding its implications and after effects on the overall togetherness of Jammu and Kashmir as one entity. The breaking away of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir is a result of such indolent postures of such slack political leaders.These are certain agonizing factors which the people of Jammu are facing due to its compulsive link with Kashmir as a unit of governance resulting in one state of India. Jammu has equally suffered due to the militancy in Kashmir in all respects for no fault of theirs for the long about 30 years. The double speak of the valley based politicians regarding the final accession of Jammu and Kashmir, coupled with their appeasement approaches towards the seditious elements causing terror and uncertainty in Jammu and Kashmir is an unnecessary burden for the people of Jammu. Abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A is still an eye sore with these leaders of Kashmir, when the people of Jammu are very much happy about it, being true Indians.It is unfortunate that Jammu is being weighed though the prism of Muslim majority of Kashmir and has been ignored so for on this anomaly. Government at the centre needs to be vigilant in this regard. The tolerance of the people of Jammu cannot be tested any more now by such frivolous and irrelevant statements which speak of discrimination and polarization on regional basis. Why should Jammu suffer for the militancy and terror acts in Kashmir?The political aspirations of Jammu have always remained subdued to negation, with the implicit consent of the central governments which ever government it was till date. Statehood still remains the predominant dream come true for Jammu people. Jammu must do an honest introspection. With Kashmiri’s call for freeze on delimitation, restoration of Statehood first and elections later, they are securing political power for another 70 years. For Jammu, time has come to collectively define terms of political future for Jammu in the form of asking for a full state for Jammu. That is the only alternative. Let a broad line be drawn now and Jammu made a separate state.A unified action by the people of Jammu is the need of the hour in this behalf, to strive for a separate state for Jammu. Unified attempts need to be made to see Jammu a prosperous region of India and with its declaration as full state as a prosperous state of India. This is the right time for such a struggle by the people of Jammu. With restoration of full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir, which is in the offing, let Jammu be detached from Kashmir and made a separate state, so that Jammu gets developed with its own image and policies.It looks quite insulting to observe that Kashmir always gets a priority preference despite its pseudo separatist’s cult and that too at the cost of Jammu, which has a hard core nationalist base. Jammu has been kept lacking in all the development fields including its socio-economic base.If Kashmir centric political leaders could forge an alliance captioned as ‘Gupkar Alliance’, with extreme regional political motives, why cannot such an alliance come up in Jammu, by the Jammu based politicians’ and intellectuals, to be called as ‘Jammu Alliance’, of course not for political purposes, but purely for developmental purposes of Jammu and stand up to seek a separate state for Jammu. Even if it turns to be a political one, on fundamental principles of not giving Jammu its due share, which has suffered miserably for its proper growth under the dynastic and hypocritical governance from Valley based politicians, it will have to be accepted by one and all.Who will bell the cat, to form this ‘Jammu Alliance’? The simple answer is the intellectuals of Jammu, having full hold on the historical background of Jammu and the proven leaders from various political entities of Jammu, forgetting their political manifestos. They shall have to take the lead in this regard. It can be a herculean task, yet not unachievable. It will mean a yeoman’s service to Jammu and its people to come out of the perpetual colonial set up of governance.(The author is a Chartered Consultant Civil Engineer, passionately attached to his Motherland-Jammu & Kashmir).
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