Views and contrarian views are essence of democracy. A debate loses its sheen when it is guided by rule-book alone. The emotions, the aspirations and the sentiments are to be respected and reciprocated. Why a particular community failed in respecting the urges of the other country like Indian nation which elected presidents and prime ministers of different communities keeping in view the inclusiveness and national integration.
K B Jandial IAS ( Retd) former member J&K PSC: “J&K must have a Hindu CM” is politically, morally and constitutionally flawed narrative and is against India’s constitutional ethos. Constitution of India doesn’t prescribe religion based election for CM, PM or President and leader manning these constitutional positions are the popularleaders elected by the MLAs or MPs, as the case may be, of the party getting mandate of the people to govern the Country, State or UT. Normally, the votes are sought by the parties on their respective manifestoes with or without projecting their popular leader as CM or PM. No election is fought on making an issue of Hindu or Muslim CM or PM.Not that the people of Jammu don’t wish to have a Jammu CM or even Hindu CM but that Jammu would do if number of Hindu or Jammu MLAs fall much short of the magic number to form the government. Rotational CM can be a good proposition.Unlike Kashmir where 99 per cent voters belong to a particular faith, Jammu has more than 35 per cent Muslim voters and as such it cannot afford to compete Kashmir with communal card. It has potential danger of dividing Jammu vertically. Instead, we need to strengthen our secular fabric of Jammu to defeat Kashmir and make election campaign inclusive to stand as one with its leadership strong and committed to Jammu’s cause and its inclusive aspirations. By linking J&K’s CM position with Hindu-Muslim card, Jammu’s composite and well rooted communal harmony will be threatened. Every voter would view the election, not in the interest of the region, party or ideology but of communal consideration of Hindu or Muslim. Is this narrative worth taking forward?Moreover, we are living in a democratic and secular country and not in a theocratic or totalitarian State where leader of a particular religion or leader of a particular party has to be the CM or PM. Here, the choice is with the voters belonging to different religions. No one should overlook the fact that no single region would get the majority as 90 seats of the Assembly after delimitation may be equally divided between both the regions and the party having MLAs from both regions would get majority and form the government . So, the choice of CM would be an open issue. The discourse should be to elect the representatives having spine and credibility who could be trusted to stand firmly by Jammu’s cause and its inclusive aspirations. The experience has not been very happy.
R K Chadha, former State Treasurer PDP and President Citizen’s forum: Why Hindu chief Minister, why not Sikh or Christian or a Kashmiri Pandit Chief Minister. This demand or say a desire has cropped up in recent years, especially after the last government formation. The demand is genuine as many states in this country elected Chief Ministers from members of minority communities but not on the religion basis. There is a long list for that but those states did not have simmering rather burning problems which this state is facing for the last 30 years. Discontent between Majority and minority religions is major cause of conflict. There was a time when Kashmiri Muslims were considered best of friends for Jammu people but now it is religion which divides both. So expecting being minority the majority Kashmiris will allow their Chief Minister, is beyond comprehension. 22 percent Hindu population of UT cannot have majority Hindu seats in the assembly even after delimitation process. Alliances will not work under these circumstances. Dil ko khush rakhne ko Galib ye khyal achha hai.
Mangal Bral, President All India Bral Brahman Biradri: It is a very valid and genuine demand that J&K should have a Hindu Chief Minister. It is long due. Now time has come for Jammu people to have a CM from their own community. It was promised by the BJP in the last elections and people of Jammu supported them wholeheartedly. Though at that time BJP failed to fulfill the demand but now after Delimitation, Jammu people hope to get their long cherished desire fulfilled. Jammu people want a Dogra upright leader for the slot. Such a leader should be of impeachable character, clean image with no corruption charges and should have a long political experience. In my view it is one and the only leader who has all the qualities. He is Sham Lal Sharma, who has always fought for the rights of Jammu. He is a leader of masses. Though out of power yet he is accessible in his office for the people in distress.Rakesh Gandotra, Chairman SDM Education Group Jammu: It is natural for every community or region to aspire to head power structure. In a democratic setup, it is obvious that whosoever in majority holds the power. But in a real democracy, it is duty of majority community to make the minority feel that they are not mere subjects. Unfortunately, in our erstwhile State majority community miserably failed in its duty, as a result minorities put their demand forth and ask for a Hindu Chief Minister (CM).J&K needs a young, visionary and dynamic political leader from Jammu region acceptable to all. For this, the name of former MLC Vibodh Gupta figures prominently. He belongs to an honest and humble family from Rajouri.Hailing from RSS background, Vibodh Gupta came into forefront when terrorism was at peak. His spirited voice against terror attacks united the Hindu community. As MLC, he has redefined the institution and raised many vital issues of concern for the common man and got them resolved through his bold voice, strong arguments and concerted follow-up. Therefore, he is a natural choice for the upcoming CM of J&K.
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