The BJP, exponent of Hindutava and strong votary of ‘Ek Pradhan, Ek Vidhan, Ek Nishan’, seems to have ultimately lost its plot in Jammu and Kashmir.
After compromising on fundamentals, just for the sake of power, the BJP is tackling some of the crucial issues concerning security of the nation and the state of Jammu and Kashmir very casually and nonchalantly. The challenge of Rohingya and Bangladeshi settlers in Jammu is one such issue which has emerged as a huge concern for Jammuities as far as demography of the capital city and peace are concerned. However, the BJP is playing petty politics over this sensitive issue rather than acting sternly and swiftly in deporting the unwanted foreigners back to their countries.
A senior BJP leader and minister in the Narendra Modi Government has called for a thorough probe into ‘antecedents’ of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi settlers in Jammu. What does this mean? Checking antecedents for what? The legal definition of antecedents connotes verifying pre- existing or previous activities of a person. Does the BJP mull any idea of granting ‘citizenship’ rights or settling them permanently if their antecedents are found satisfactory? Who does not know that Rohingyas and Bangladeshis are foreigners and the former have been thrown out of their country, allegedly for pursuing radical way of life? Some of them have crossed over to this country illegally, which entails action under Foreigners Act of 1946. There is no room for their character verification or antecedent-scanning. By taking recourse to ‘probing their antecedents’ a deliberate attempt is being to allow them to make this city their second home. Crying hoarse over their presence is just to play to the galleries. If the BJP is considering Jammuities as fools, it better watch out. People can read between the lines. Actually the BJP does not want to touch the Rohingyas and Bangladeshis for the fear of PDP’s displeasure. The PDP has no problem with Rohingya Muslims settling down in Jammu or Gujjars encroaching upon the forest land to facilitate huge influx of a particular community to the winter capital. Threat to power equation in the wake of action against the foreigners is primary consideration for the BJP.
Assumed that the BJP actually wants to verify the antecedents of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis, they should have started the process two years ago. Things would have been sorted out by now. But the fact remains that this power hungry party, which has taken the people of Jammu for-granted, wants to cool down tempers, as Jammu has witnessed protests and huge resentment over the presence of ‘notorious’ foreigners in this part of the State.
The BJP is conveniently ignoring public statements of some of the Rohingyas themselves which dwell upon the circumstances and motivation leading to their influx in Jammu.
According to a national news agency, Molvi Yunus is reported to have stated: “I crossed into Bangladesh from Burma (Myanmar) when persecution of Muslims became unbearable. From Calcutta I shifted with my family to Delhi where I begged for food to Rohingyas antecedents: Who …
keep myself and my family alive. It was in Delhi that I met a Kashmiri who told me J&K was a state in India where Muslims lived in majority”. He is reported to have suggested him to move to Jammu. Who was this Kashmiri? Why did he motivate them to come over to Jammu and Kashmir-precisely Jammu and not the Muslim-dominated Valley? In a city, where apprehensions about demographic change are gaining ground with settlement of a particular community in clusters in the periphery, the presence of Rohingyas has obviously become a major concern.
Instead of verifying the antecedents of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis, the minister in question should have sought the details and motivation behind running six maddrassas for their children in the city. Also, there should have been probe into funding of Rohingyas. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is on record having admitted in the Legislative Assembly last month that some NGOs namely ‘Shikawat’ run by Mohammad-ul-Umar of Srinagar along with Rashid, SR Institute of Development of Rambagh (Srinagar) and Delhi based NGO Daji were helping Rohingyas in cash and kind from time to time. “However, strict surveillance is being kept on activity of foreigners and the organizations extending help to them”, she has stated which counters the contention of the minister in probing into Rohingyas antecedents.
It is irony of Jammu that its leadership, irrespective of which party they belong to (essentially a gang of second-fiddlers), have always compromised with the interests of Duggarland.
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