JAMMU: For Kashmir centric separatists and mainstreamists (who are essentially soft separatists), Jammu, the land of Dogras, remains part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir for variety of reasons-exploitation, discrimination, deprivation-to name a few. Otherwise, they care two hoots for this region, which has virtually been condensed into two and half districts (predominantly inhabited by a particular community), as they have succeeded in changing the nomenclature of districts inhabited by another community as Chenab Valley region and Pir Panchal region. These two regions were unknown before the onset of Pak sponsored terrorism and spread of Wahabi radicalism.
Thus far, annihilation of Jammu’s religio-cultural character was being engineered with the assistance of Jammu’s second-fiddle pseudo-secular leadership clandestinely and subtly because of the strong presence of Bharatiya Janata Party in the opposition. However, since the BJP changed its pro-Hindu Avatar for few loaves of power, the change of Jammu’s peculiar character has gained momentum, which is why much hue and cry is being raised over mere issuance of identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees, who have been living in this part of the country for nearly seven decades. The BJP gave in to the resentment of a few discredited mainstream leaders of Congress, NC and PDP besides pampered separatists like Geelani and Company and made U-turn on domicile certificates to WPR, which its State President Sat Sharma had described as a first step towards rehabilitation of the unfortunate refugees. Kashmir observed Bandhs and witnessed protests over the issue. The Valley centric leadership from both separatists and mainstreamists kept browbeating the Indian leadership in the winter capital, loudly and clearly.
The Kashmir centric leaders are crying hoarse over demographic change in case WPR are granted domicile certificates but they don’t speak a word over Rohingyas or Bangladeshis penetrating in parts of the Jammu city. Believe reports and shocking details would come out how vulnerable these foreign nationals, illegally staying in the city, were for the security of the nation. It is intriguing why these segments of settlers did not evoke any alarm either among mainstreamists or separatists. Is it so that their religious affiliation is conducive and convenient for rubble rousers in the Kashmir politics?
Similarly, the Kashmir centric leadership has all the reservations over Kashmiri Pandits returning back and living in cluster colonies (as their ancestral homes stand either sold in distress or encroached upon by new breed of affluent and people with vested interest) in the Valley but no issues with a particular segment of tribal community settling around Jammu by encroaching upon forest land and subsequently selling it to the Valley based people. In Kashmir, proposed KP colonies are projected as a conspiracy to settle down RSS workers with ‘sinister design’ of changing the Valley’s demographic character but complete silence is being maintained over fast upcoming colonies of a particular community in Jammu sub-urbs. It is strange that members of a particular community intending to reside in cluster type of colonies in the Valley emerge as a threat while same analogy being adopted by another community in Jammu is justifiable. In the latter case, the administration goes out of way in providing electricity, drinking water, laying roads and drains in unauthorised colonies across the Jammu while the same set of administrators bend their knees when Kashmiri separatists question the identification of land to rehabilitate the hounded out population.
It is ironic that the BJP has become a willing facilitator in denying rights to West Pakistan Refugees and assisting foreign nationals to settle down in the capital city despite risks involved in their stay. The Rohngiyas have been enjoying the patronage of second-fiddle leadership of the pseudo secular parties in Jammu, who never ever dared to plead the cause of WPRs forcefully. Similarly, the second fiddlers are openly supporting the land encroachers to keep their Kashmiri masters in good humour. Who shall raise the voice of deprived and dejected Jammu? Those crying over discrimination for decades are comforting in the power-cradle of the PDP, which is calling shots at will. The BJP has not only ditched the Jammu region but also irreversible scars on its psyche. If this peaceful and most hospitable region ever loses its sheen and character, the blame shall squarely go to the BJP-the so-called champion of the Jammu cause.
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© 2016 State Times Daily Newspaper