Kash­mir: From land to lan­guage, ev­ery­thing is fac­ing as­sault

Views from Srinagar

Pakistan Observer - - KASHMIR - [Dr. Bashir Ah­mad Veeri is mem­ber of Jammu and Kash­mir Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil]

DR. BASHIR AH­MAD VEERI ATIONAL Con­fer­ence has once again sub­mit­ted the au ton­omy res­o­lu­tion to the Jammu and Kash­mir leg­isla­tive as­sem­bly for de­bate and dis­cus­sion. It is an op­por­tune time to re­vive the de­bate on state au­ton­omy. At­tempts are be­ing made to sys­tem­at­i­cally change the de­mog­ra­phy of our state and re­voke Ar­ti­cle 370 in toto. Re­cently se­nior BJP leader Subra­ma­nian Swamy claimed that work on the Ram Tem­ple at Ay­o­d­hya would start be­fore the end of the year and Ar­ti­cle 370 would be re­voked by the end of year 2017. It is clear by now that the PDP is sim­ply BJP’s Tro­jan horse cre­ated to weaken the state’s spe­cial sta­tus.

First is the is­sue of es­tab­lish­ing Sanik Colony in the state for ex-sol­diers. An or­der was is­sued by the govern­ment about the al­lot­ment of 350 kanals to Sainik Colony in Srinagar. It

Nwas back in Novem­ber 2014 when Subra­ma­nian Swamy sug­gested for set­tling 10 lakh ex-ser­vice­men in the Kash­mir Val­ley. “The ex-ser­vice­men should be given the money and arms, and tasked with re­triev­ing the prop­erty of the Pan­dits”.

An­other con­nected is­sue is the es­tab­lish­ment of ‘exclusive colonies’ for Pan­dits in the Val­ley. Na­tional Con­fer­ence is clear on the is­sue. We are crav­ing for the re­turn of Kash­miri Pan­dits but we are prin­ci­pally op­posed to the idea of sep­a­rate colonies for them. The NC gen­eral secretary pub­licly stated way back in 2015 that, “We are against sep­a­rate clus­ters for Kash­miri Pan­dits.

We welcome them to Kash­mir but we will not let the govern­ment to cre­ate sep­a­rate colonies for Pan­dits”. Pan­dits can come any­time and live with their Mus­lim broth­ers. But there are vested in­ter­ests be­hind this new project. As Vi­nayak Raz­dan, a Kash­mir Pan­dit ad­mit­ted in a re­cent in­ter­view to Michael Thomas (EPW, May 2016) that there is a def­i­nite push com­ing from RSS for es­tab­lish­ing seg­re­gated colonies for Pan­dits.

The third is­sue is the ap­pli­ca­bil­ity of Na­tional El­i­gi­bil­ity cum En­trance Test (NEET) to the state of Jammu and Kash­mir. It is a di­rect in­fringe­ment on our spe­cial sta­tus. BJP looks at NEET as a step to­wards the in­te­gra­tion of J&K with the rest of In­dia. In our state, un­like in other states, tech­ni­cal and med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion is in the state list. Section 6 of the J&K con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides that only per­ma­nent res­i­dents of the state shall be el­i­gi­ble to ap­pear in the en­trance test for ad­mis­sion to the state med­i­cal col­leges. Al­though an or­di­nance was is­sued to de­lay the ap­pli­ca­tion of NEET for one year but we must thwart all at­tempts aimed at dis­rupt­ing the con­sti­tu­tional scheme be­tween the state and Cen­tre. Tamil Nadu Chief Min­is­ter Jay­alalithaa has al­ready writ­ten to the Prime Min­is­ter to en­sure that NEET is never forced on her state. Our state con­sti­tu­tion pro­vides us enough safe­guards to chal­lenge any such ap­pli­ca­tion in the court of law.

The fi­nal nail in the cof­fin is the in­tro­duc­tion of Dev­na­gri script for Kash­miri lan­guage. The Min­istry of Hu­man Re­source is con­tem­plat­ing to con­sti­tute a Na­tional Coun­cil for Pro­mo­tion of Kash­miri Lan­guage with Dev­na­gri and Sharda as its scripts. A joint state­ment by our writ­ers and po­ets am­ply cap­tures it all. “The move is po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated aimed at di­vid­ing the Kash­miri com­mu­nity in the name of the script. It is aimed at de­mol­ish­ing our cul­tural iden­tity as the ex­ist­ing script (Nastaliq) has been in vogue for the past five centuries and en­tire Kash­miri lit­er­a­ture is avail­able in this script. There is no need to have an al­ter­na­tive script that will not only di­vide the place but also lead to con­fu­sion”. Even Kash­miri Pan­dits are re­sent­ing the move.

So, it is time to shun our dif­fer­ences and march to­gether for the restora­tion of spe­cial sta­tus to J&K. The BJP, keep­ing in view as­sem­bly elec­tions in states like UP, Hi­machal Pradesh and Gu­jarat, will rake-up the is­sue of ab­ro­ga­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370 and may try to test of met­tle. But we are her to de­feat your evil de­signs. Clause 7 of the ‘In­stru­ment of Ac­ces­sion’ clearly says that we (J&K) will not com­mit our­selves to the con­sti­tu­tion of In­dia. At­tempts to fully in­te­grate the state with the Union of In­dia will throw open the ques­tion of the ‘In­stru­ment of Ac­ces­sion’. Kash­mir will cease to be part of In­dia.

—Cour­tesy: GK

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