On November 14, a book titled Nishkasan (of Hindus from Kashmir) was released in the Jammu’s KL Sehgal Hall. It is authored by Anil Sehgal, an Ex-Air Force officer from Jammu based in Mumbai. The book is a compilation of poems based on his personal experiences and what he observed over the period in and outside Jammu. Some are heart-wrenching. Some are candid reflections on the society, changing human behavior and social attitude. Two of them are in Jammu city; “Jammu Ek Shehr Tha” and “Jammu Ek Shehr Hai” (Jammu was a city” and Jammu is a city”. These, like others, are worth reading. Though very small, the poems on Jammu city speak volumes and show what Jammu then was and what it is today. These reflect on the changing attitude of the people and society in Jammu as a whole. One can very easily understand the changes the Jammu city witnessed over the period.
Indeed, Jammu city of today is not the city we saw and we lived, studied and worked in. It is totally different. It is also known as the City of Temples and City of newspapers. It is also called by some as the Indian Capital of Refugees. Almost all the Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied-Jammu and Kashmir and from Kashmir itself live in Jammu city in a cordial atmosphere. They are all victims of the pernicious two-nation doctrine. Jammu city has changed in every respect.
It is, however, sad that New Delhi and Indian political class always defeated the people of Jammu to keep jihadis in good humour.
Jammu is an old city. It used to be a small but politically very important city. It was the capital of the mighty Dogras, who established a mighty Dogra empire consisting of Jammu Province, called the land of Dogra, in Ladakh including Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Kashmir Valley. Jammu city was the capital before 1846 when the State of Jammu and Kashmir was founded. It was founded by Gulab Singh, a great soldier, an effective and skillful administrator and a statesman par excellence. It was the capital of the state after 1846 also. Of course, it was during the time of Maharaja Ranbir Singh (1872-1873) that the practice of shifting the secretariat from Jammu to Srinagar during summer months and back during winter months was introduced for political reasons. Many factors were responsible for the introduction of this practice. One of them was the British intrigues in Kashmir hatched on a daily-basis to weaken the Dogra Raj, foment communal tensions in Kashmir, provoke Muslim leadership of the Valley to cause political explosions against the Dogra rule and promote further its imperial interests in Jammu and Kashmir in general and Ladakh and its strategic Gilgit and Baltistan in particular. Gilgit and Baltistan are now under the illegal Pakistani occupation and a major portion of Ladakh has also been under the Chinese illegal occupation since decades. Courtesy: JL Nehru and the Congress.
As said, Jammu was a very small city even in 1947, when the state acceded to the Indian Dominion. You would hardly find any vehicle on any of the roads in Jammu. It had a population of not more than 60,000. It’s a different story that elements in Kashmir and outside hostile to Hindus painted the Hindus of Jammu (roughly 45,000) as murderers of Muslims. So hostile were, and are, these elements that they went to the extent of claiming that the Hindus of Jammu city/district murdered 80,000 to 10 lakh Muslims in 1947. This, despite the fact that the Muslim population in Jammu city in 1941 was just 13,212 and Jammu district only 3.68 lakh in 1941. So much so that the Indian Prime Minister, JL Nehru, even sought to remove Jammu from the nomenclature of the state overlooking the fact that it was the Dogra Kingdom to which Kashmir was added in March 1846, and not the vice-versa. It happened on May 27, 1949, in the Indian Constituent Assembly. The people of Jammu would ever remain grateful to Prof KT Shah of Bihar and Laxmi Kanta Moitra of West Bengal, who defeated the move of JL Nehru.
Today’s Jammu city is almost cosmopolitan. It is hardly necessary to reflect on what the life in cosmopolitan cities means. Suffice it to say that the social, economic and political attitudes of the people have undergone a radical change. The life in Jammu city today is no different from the life of the people of New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Today’s Jammu city virtually includes area between Jammu city and Samba, between Jammu city and Suchetgarh, between Jammu city and Akhnoor, where Gulab Singh was coronated by Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab, and between Jammu city and Nagrota. This today is the size of Jammu city housing almost 25 lakh people belonging to all faiths. That even Muslims from Kashmir and other parts of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir considered Jammu city as a place worth living could be seen from the fact that there used to be only 3 mohallas till 1994, where the Muslims were found and only three mosques. Today, the number of Muslim colonies in Jammu city and around is more than 40 and the number of mosques more than 100, big and small. Not just this, Muslims from Kashmir prefer Jammu city-based educational institutions, including Universities, Colleges and schools, both government and private. They have set up huge colonies around Jammu. Some of them are exclusively of them and for them. Bathindi, for example is one such colony housing over 50,000 Muslims, mostly from Kashmir, including former CM Farooq Abdullah.
It is hoped that the new dispensation will take care of Jammu’s priceless heritage, including Mubarak Mandi, the seat of Dogra Kingdom.
Jammu city is perhaps the only city in the country, which has witnessed massive agitations at regular intervals and all these agitations were aimed at integrating Jammu and Kashmir fully into India – Jammu and Kashmir, which now stood bifurcated into UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Jammu witnessed massive agitations in 1952-53, 1966-67, 1979, 1986, 1998, 2008, 2010-11 and 2015. Some of these movements led to the collapse of the Kashmiri Muslim-controlled governments. It happened in 1953 (collapse of Sheikh Abdullah Government”, 1977 9(the fall of Sheikh Abdullah government) and 2008 (the collapse of Ghulam Nabi Azad government). The fall of the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government on June 19, 2018 was also the immediate fallout of the socio-religious and political developments in Jammu in January 2018. Such has been the political behavior of the people of Jammu city.
It would not be out of place to mention here that the people of Jammu always defeated the forces hostile to India (read jihad and jihadis). It is, however, sad that New Delhi and Indian political class always defeated the people of Jammu to keep jihadis in good humor. It is heartening to note that things have started changing after August 5, when the Narendra Modi Government rendered divisive Article 370 ineffective for all practical purposes, removed discriminatory Article 35A and brought the people of the whole erstwhile State of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh under its own direct control. It would also not be out of place to mention here that those who come to Jammu city for jobs in the central institutions love Jammu city so much that they prefer to stay put in Jammu even after their superannuation. So beautiful and all-accommodating in Jammu city. It is hoped that the new dispensation will take care of Jammu’s priceless heritage, including Mubarak Mandi, the seat of Dogra Kingdom. It is in very bad shape. It’s also hoped that the Modi government also will undo all the past wrongs and give Jammu what is its legitimate due share.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 Life gradually returning to normal in Jammu and Kashmir – Aug 27, 2019, Times Of India
 Kashmir: Mehbooba Mufti resigns after BJP withdraws support – 19 Jun 2018, Aljazeera
 The privileged jihadis in Kashmir – July 12, 2019, PGurus.com
 India revokes article 370: Impacts on Jammu and Kashmir – August 8, 2019,PGurus.com
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