Do Hindus of Jammu province have any place in Congress’s political scheme?
The Congress high command (read Sonia, Rahul, and Priyanka) has again snubbed Hindus of Jammu by not appointing a Hindu Congress leader as the JKPCC president. It has accepted the resignation of Kashmiri Ghulam Ahmad Mir from the post of JKPCC chief and appointed Vikar Rasool Wani in his place. Vikar Rasool hails from Banihal, Ramban district.
The decision of the high command clearly suggests that the high command has hardly any place for the Hindus of Jammu province in its political scheme of things. It may appear ridiculous and silly but it’s a fact that all JKPCC chiefs, barring only two, were from Kashmir between 1965 and August 2022 and they all belonged to one particular religious sect (Sunni). And, this, notwithstanding the fact that the core constituency of the Congress was Jammu, particularly till 2014. In 2014, the Hindus of Jammu province rejected outright the Kashmir-centric and Kashmiri-headed Congress and voted overwhelmingly for the BJP both in the general elections and Assembly elections. The story of the 2019 general elections in Jammu province was no different. The BJP won both the LS seats hands down. It is important to note that Congress has not won a single Hindu-dominated constituency in Jammu province after 2009.
Believe it or not, it is a fact that it was only during the time of PM Lal Bahadur Shastri that the Congress opened its chapter in J&K. It happened in 1965 and the first-ever Congress CM in J&K was Ghulam Mohd Sadiq, former National Conference (NC) leader and ideologue. Actually, the pro-autonomy NC was renamed the Congress party that year and it ruled or misruled J&K till February 1975. In February 1975 then PM Indira Gandhi dumbfounded the nation by bringing down her own party’s government in the state and bringing back to power the deflated Sheikh Abdullah. Sheikh Abdullah served as J&K Wazir-e-Azam (PM) between 1948 and August 9, 1953. On August 9, he was dismissed and put behind bars under sedition charges or for his hobnobbing with the United States aimed at creating a “Switzerland-type independent Kashmir”.
And, who were the two JKPCC chiefs belonging to Jammu province? They were Ayub Khan from the erstwhile Doda district and Chaudhary Aslam from the Poonch-Rajouri border belt. Khan served as JKPCC chief only for a few months and Aslam led the party for about 30 months. Former J&K CM and JKPCC chief Ghulam Nabi Azad is an ethnic Kashmiri from the Kulgam area.
Not making a Jammu Hindu JKPCC chief constitutes only one part of the two-part story. The other part of the story also shows that the people of Jammu province, who have suffered huge socio-economic and political losses during all these years of J&K’s accession to India both at the hands of the Kashmiri leadership and the New Delhi’s South and North Blocks, have no place even in the scheme of things of non-Kashmiri opinion-leaders. This can be seen from what appeared in a section of Delhi-based powerful print media on and after August 5, 2022. All, without any exception, talked about Kashmir, Kashmiri Muslims, Kashmiri Muslim youth, Kashmiri alienation, Kashmiri grievances, Kashmiri politicians, and whatnot, and not one opinion leader had the temerity even to mention Jammu and its needs, compulsions, and aspirations and the supreme sacrifices that it made at regular intervals for the cause of the nation in the strategic J&K. In fact, Jammu was virtually painted black.
It would be only in order to quote verbatim certain relevant portions from what the opinion leaders like Shekhar Gupta wrote on and after August 5, 2022. Gupta, for example, wrote: “The biggest negative change over the past three years is increasing alienation among the young in the Valley. This isn’t the Kashmir youth of the 1960s. These young people are modern, usually better educated, and more freely articulate than their compatriots in many other parts of the country, especially…the Hindi heartland. They are also talented, ambitious, and global citizens in the networked cyberspace. The government’s failure or reluctance — or a bit of both — has left them angry. Ask any senior intelligence or Army leader in the Valley and they will admit to you how easy it’s now become for militancy to sustain itself indigenously. Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed franchise their terror brand, export ideology, and weapons, but manpower, and ultimately the bodies, sadly, will be all Indian. That’s a shame”.
Not just this. He also wrote: “There is a new communal injection within J&K. Much of the political moves lately have been about widening the gulf between Hindu Jammu and Muslim Kashmir. It is perfectly legitimate for the BJP to dream of having its own chief minister in J&K. But to do this through communal division is nearly impossible unless you want to resume the cycle of fixed elections and puppets as chief ministers. That will set the clock back and take the Valley to the old normal. The gains of these three years will then be frittered away. The process to take everybody along has been delayed so long that it is now looking deliberate.”
The same opinion leader further wrote: “The (Union government has failed) to deliver to the people of the Valley any substantive peace dividend. Local intelligentsia, journalists, and civil society live in fear. Many are hit with the toughest anti-terror laws and jailed for long, denied permission for overseas travel, and harassed in multiple other ways. By this time, the central government should have had the confidence to loosen up. It is unsustainable to keep a region so large and so chronically volatile under tight control forever. It is also counterproductive…A fresh election needs to be held so the autonomy that every usual state in India deserves by right is restored to legitimately elected local leaders. Competitive space should open for existing mainstream politicians like the Abdullahs, the Muftis, and the rest. That New Delhi still nurses this paranoia after three years is a failure”.
All this should establish that the people of Jammu province are considered no factor in the J&K’s political situation? Does Jammu deserve such shabby treatment? No, not at all. Jammu deserves a status other states of the Union enjoy under the constitution and this will be possible only if Jammu province is separated from Kashmir. It’s hoped the Narendra Modi government would take cognizance of the miserable plight of the people of Jammu province and confer on them full state status.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 In Kashmir 3 years on, 3 positive changes, 3 things that should’ve happened & 3 that got worse – Aug 06, 2022, The Print
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Good Time to celebrate
Nehru birth & death anniversary – Chichi / Foolish day
Indira Gandhi birth & death anniversary – Widow power day
Sanjay Gandhi birth & death anniversary – Sterlization day (Vasectomy day)
Rajeev Gandhi birth & death anniversary – Nanni Yaad Ayegi day
Pappu living birthdays – Ignorance day
Sonia Gandhi living birthdays – Beer, Whisky, Rum & Vodka day
Priyanka – fashionable birthday – Fashion day
Remove all other public holidays & celebrate this for sake of Indian unity !!
The creation and establishment of a ” SWITZERLAND -TYPE INDEPENDENT KASHMIR ” finance and run on the Indian Taxpayer’s money, was the greatest ever robbery planned in the wake of the partition. All educated, westernized Kashmiris from the Babudom were the architects of this failed job besides the political leadership. After the project failed whatever was the of left by way of 370 & 35A, was up for grabs by everyone in the name of religion and even support from Pakistan. Eventually in grabbing the leftover loot the Pandits were the main sufferers.