Prof Hari Om
It just can’t be termed simple discrimination with the already grossly discriminated people of Jammu province. It’s genocide. How else should one describe the official proposal seeking around 80 per cent additional posts of teachers for Kashmir province and about 20 per cent for Jammu province at senior secondary level? Rate of unemployment in Jammu province is already over 69 per cent, as against less than 30 per cent in Kashmir.According to the J&K School Education Department’s proposal, the concerned authorities have asked the state government to create ‘1,959’ out of ‘2,277’ posts of teachers in Kashmir and a paltry ‘318’ in Jammu province. ‘A total of 2,915 positions (including 638 posts for proposed new subjects) are required to be filled on ad-hoc basis for various subjects out of which 2,225 are required in Kashmir division and 690 are in Jammu region,’ the proposal has further said.Clearly, those who prepared the proposal willfully ignored the fact that the population of Jammu province is more than Kashmir. Leave aside the fudged census figures.It needs to be underlined that the Government of J&K UT has taken a policy decision to impart instructions in 11 new subjects at senior secondary level (class XI & XII). Heritage Crafts, Graphic Design, Creative Writing & Translation, Fine Art, Engineering Graphics, Artificial Intelligence and Legal Studies also could be introduced at senior secondary level in J&K “as are being offered by NCERT and CBSE,” the proposal also suggested. The proposal has said that the aim behind the introduction of new subjects is to make the students fully aware of the developments unfolding across the world.As of now, Jammu & Kashmir Board of School Education imparts instructions in 52 subjects at senior secondary level (Class XI and Class XII). These are in addition to vocational subjects.New subjects proposed to be introduced in Kashmir include Tourism, Gender Sanitisation, Social Work, Disaster Management, Rural Development, Library Sciences and Bio-resources. Business administration and Mass Communication are other new subjects in which instructions shall be imparted.As for the neglected Jammu province, the government has decided to introduce only two subjects – Bio-Chemistry and Fine Arts (Music and Painting).Even a cursory glance at the proposal would be enough to make even a naive to draw conclusion that there are elements in the establishment who are out to dent the image of PM Narendra Modi and HM Amit Shah in Jammu and the rest of the country by creating an impression that they are as Kashmir-centric as the Congress, the NC and the PDP are and that it is the writ of Kashmir, and not of the Union Home Ministry, which runs in the UT even after the introduction of so many changes, including the abrogation of Article 35A, Article 370 and J&K’s separate status. But this should not surprise anyone. These elements were expected to play such games and they did play.The real question to be asked is: Where is J&K BJP, the so-called Messiah of Jammu? Where are other Jammu’s political actors who day-in-day-out bat for their Kashmiri masters and sing irritating and monotonous songs of secularism, democracy, socialism, Kashmiriyat, unity in diversity and pluralism and do not really support the demand in Jammu for separate state status? Have they gone into hibernation? Don’t they know what is being done to further marginalise Jammu province and its youths? Why don’t they ask the government to explain the criteria under which 80 per cent of addition posts of teachers and 9 new subjects would go to Kashmir and why Jammu province deserved only about 20 per cent of the proposed additional posts of teachers and only two new subjects?Why don’t they join hands like the Ladakhis and Kashmiri leaders of all hues and fight relentlessly for the rights of the people of Jammu province? They must review their approach and protect and promote further the genuine rights and interests of the people of Jammu province.To fight for the interests and rights of Jammu province should not be taken as fight against Kashmir and Kashmiri people. Let Kashmir and Kashmiris get what the authorities in the UT want to give them. But the Jammu leaders of all shades of opinion must not only demand 100 per cent parity with Kashmir at all levels and in all spheres – nothing less and nothing more – but also ensure that people of Jammu province get it at whatever cost.It also time to recall what Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said in Srinagar on September 14 about the menace of regional discrimination. He had, inter-alia, said, “There will be zero tolerance for discrimination between Kashmir and Jammu or dividing the Union Territory on any basis. It will not be tolerated at any level – as long as I am here”. It was clear from his statement that discrimination with Jammu province could lead to J&K’s into two separate states. There couldn’t be another meaning of what he said.
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