Article 35-A and Jammu

Kashmiris are much worried about the constant threat imposed by Hindu nationalist government of India, which is aimed at to abrogate article 35-A to challenge the special security of property (land) and employment enjoyed by permanent residents of J&K. Article 35-A is enshrined in Part XXII of the Indian constitution and was incorporated by a presidential order in 1954. Apart from special status to residents of Jammu & Kashmir, article 35-A forbids non-state subjects to own property and also disqualifies them from acquiring government job in J&K. Although, Kashmiris are displeased over Maharaja’s decision of accession with Union of India but they never overlooked Maharaja’s foresightedness and embraced his decision of inheritance of Law of State-Subject. Kashmiris have preferred misery and hardships imposed by Indians to defend unique identity of state while people of Jammu are still in conundrum—whether to raise voice or not.

To overcome the fear of territorial loss, Indian government had come up with different monetary as well as developmental policies for people of J&K yet they failed to convince people of this disputed region. India failed politically as well as militarily to integrate J&K fully with its union, therefore, India is using judicial power to erase unique identity of J&K. BJP led Hindu nationalist government instigated an NGO “We the Citizens” to challenge the might of article 35-A. The Delhi based NGO “We the Citizens” claimed article 35-A is unconstitutional and against the ideals of democracy. The plea filed by RSS backed NGO had been already adjudged by the highest court of India. Kashmiris know it is an integrated approach of RSS and its sister alliances which had viciously gained momentum after Narendra Modi led NDA government came to power. Govt. at center is trying to mislead Jammu. To some extent they have succeed in doing so, but resistance offered by Kashmiris have proved it that the political turmoil in valley is not a socio-economic issue but a political issue.

The vast territory of J&K is divided into three physical division with different political, religious and culture identity. The Muslim dominated Kashmir valley had shown much resistance to safeguard culture as well as its demography. They are not in a mood to compromise with New Delhi for handsome salaries. Ladakh division is trans-Himalayan mountainous region, less accessible and away from political troubles, so far. The threat of cultural loss pushed Ladakhis into protest. Jammu region feels discriminated; BJP took the full advantage of their anger and alienated Dogras of Jammu against Kashmiris. BJP sowed the seed of hate in Jammu. Thus, BJP succeeded to polarize Jammu against Kashmir. Unintentionally, Jammu is sacrificing its special status for BJP’s success in 2019 elections. Jammu took it as revenge against Kashmiris. Kashmir will resist, who is going to lose? It is Jammu. In-fact, BJP targets at reducing the support base to defend this article by polarizing the two divisions of J&K. Although, RSS backed NGO “We the Citizen” know it is impossible to erase article 35-A from constitution, why do they still got entangled in war? The answer is quite simple: RSS is working for BJP and deceitfully involve people in troubles to deviate them from real issues. To shield the failures of BJP government, RSS is trying to create confusion in order to get rid of arising challenges they are going to met.

Better late than never, youth of Jammu are conscious. They do know if state will lose its identity, the worst effected would be Jammu. They do know, once article 35-A is infringed, people from India will buy land in Jammu not in Kashmir because valley is militancy hit and Jammu provides good geographical location for trade and industry. Kashmir will retain its political identity while Jammu is going to emerge looser at the end of game. Until and unless, people of Jammu would not come out of delusion, BJP is in full control to dismantle the identity for the sake of few seats in 2019 elections. Unlike Jammu, Ladakh had come of its slumber and raised voice to safeguard its unique identity. Greed is curse; no one can falsify it, heavy investment means heavy influx of non-resident labors. In the name of employment generation, youth of Jammu should not sacrifice future of their next generation for few pennies.

Sheikh Nissar can be reached at sheikhnissar@Outlook.com