Categories: Politics

New recruitment rules would help separatists in Kashmir change Jammu demography

Any candidate from any part of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir can apply for Class-IV posts in any district or division of the UT

On June 4, J&K UT Government made public what it called “Special Recruitment Rules” for filling up vacant Class-IV posts in all the departments and brought an end to the division and district-specific recruitments. This practice will also be followed in respect of Gazetted and other Non-Gazetted posts in the future, the government also said. Hitherto, the recruitments against the vacant posts used to be made on the division and district basis as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010. However, in pursuance to the provisions of the J&K Reorganization (Adaptation of State Laws) Order dated March 31, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, amendments were carried out in the J&K Civil Services (Decentralization and Recruitment) Act, 2010.

Accordingly, the government came out with J&K appointment of Class-IV (Special Recruitment) Rules, 2020 doing away with the decades-old practice of division and district-specific recruitments. Now, any candidate from any part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir can apply for Class-IV posts in any district or division of the UT. At the same time, however, the government said that the “candidates of the particular division and district will get weightage in the shape of 5 and 10 marks, respectively, so that they may be able to compete with the candidates from other divisions and districts”. “Similar practice will be adopted in respect of Gazetted and other Non-Gazetted posts in the J&K Union Territory in future,” the government, in addition, said:

The manner in which Kashmiri leadership treated the Jammu youth between 1947 and June 2018 only serves to indicate its bias in favor of Kashmir.

As for the reaction to the new recruitment rules, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti neither said yes nor no the new recruitment policy or Special Recruitment Rules. Their silence could be construed as their concurrence. The BJP officially supported the Special Recruitment Rules by holding a press conference. The newly-formed JK Apni Party in Kashmir and the IkkJutt Jammu in Jammu, however, did react. Both rejected outright the Special Recruitment Rules. JK Apni Party rejected them, saying that “these are unconstitutional and anti-youth.” It also denounced the reference to SRO 202 in the new recruitment policy. The IkkJutt rejected the new policy, saying that it will further jeopardize the interests of the unemployed Jammu youth and that it will only help Kashmir manipulate most of the newly-created 10,000-odd jobs. It also accused the powers-that-be at the Centre and in the state of dancing to the tunes of the anti-Jammu elements in the establishment. Besides, it asserted that the new recruitment policy, if not withdrawn, will help forces inimical to India further change Jammu’s demographics. In fact, it said that the “Special Recruitment Rules will lead to waves of Kashmir settlements in districts of Jammu.” Leave both of them aside for the moment and focus on the Special Recruitment Rules.

Will the Special Recruitment Rules help the Jammu youth obtain their legitimate due share in the vital job sector? Unfortunately, the answer cannot be in the affirmative. The reasons are not far too seek. One of the reasons is that the concerned authorities in Kashmir may prefer Kashmiri youth. This belief just cannot be brushed aside or termed as silly and preposterous. The manner in which Kashmiri leadership treated the Jammu youth between 1947 and June 2018 only serves to indicate its bias in favor of Kashmir. How else would one interpret the existing rate of unemployment in Jammu province and Kashmir Valley?

It would be only appropriate to point out that the unemployment rate in Kashmir is less than 30 percent as against over 69 percent in Jammu. It is also important to note that while Kashmir, according to one estimate, holds almost 4 lakh out of the 4.80 lakh posts in the state. As for Jammu province, it occupies only about 80,000 posts. In Kashmir, almost 99.99 percent of the posts in all the government and semi-government departments are held by the majority community. In Jammu, the remaining 80,000 are shared by Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christians, and other communities. Not just this, while Kashmir holds a substantial chunk of posts in Jammu province, employees from Jammu are conspicuous by their absence in any office located in the Valley. Even a cursory glance at the composition of Civil Secretariat employees would leave none in any doubt that the Kashmiri leadership had been Valley-centric and one community-centric.

The other reason is that Jammu boys and girls are unlikely to apply for posts available in any of the Kashmir’s ten districts. The reasons are not really difficult to fathom. One is the forced exodus of the minuscule minority of Kashmiri Hindus and almost all the Dogras and Punjabis from Kashmir to Jammu in 1990. The other is the prevailing security environment in Kashmir. The third is the bitter inter-regional and inter-communal relations. It would be difficult for the selected candidates from Jammu to get houses on rent in Kashmir. On the contrary, there would be many in Kashmir who could apply for the vacant posts in Jammu’s ten districts. People of Kashmir are found all across Jammu province. Many have their own houses in Jammu province. Many have set up their business establishments in Jammu. Besides, there are many colonies in Jammu where they could stay without any difficulty. There are several colonies in Jammu which are virtually their sole preserve and exclusively of them. And it is not a secret.

The fact of the matter is that while hardly any Jammu boy or girl would apply for any post available in Kashmir province, many from Kashmir could apply for posts available in Jammu province. This possibility cannot be overruled as Jammu is an oasis peace and communal harmony. It would be only desirable if the authorities at the Centre and in the UT review the Special Recruitment Rules taking into account the realities as their existence on the ground both in Jammu province and Kashmir Valley. They would also do well to allow a continuation of the earlier recruitment rules so that district and provincial level available posts in Jammu province become the sole preserve of Jammu youth and all such positions available in Kashmir become the sole preserve of the Kashmiri youth. They must remember that J&K UT is not like UTs of Delhi and Chandigarh. J&K is a different type of state. Jammu is the nation’s backbone and considers itself part of the national mainstream. Kashmir, on the other hand, has leadership that considers the state a disputed territory and always wants a regime outside the political and constitutional organization of India.

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Hari Om

Hari Om is former Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jammu.

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