Lesson from Jammu!

via News Today Editorial published on August 4, 2008



Last month the Congress led government of J & K made the monumental blunder of taking back the 40 hectares of land allotted to Amarnath Shrine Board for facilitating the stay and journey of devotees during the pilgrimage period of a month and a half. The government, which became a minority due to the withdrawal of support by the PDP over the allotment of the land to the shrine board, yielded to the violent protests made by Muslims and the pressure exerted by the Hurriyat-NC-PDP combo. As it couldn’t win back the support of PDP even after the withdrawal of the land allotment, the Chief Minister resigned and the state came under President’s rule. Since then the Hindus of Jammu have been fighting against the injustice meted out to them.


The protests have been going on non-stop for the last 33 days and the Governor N.N.Vohra, who has been handpicked by the centre obviously to take care of its agenda of Muslim appeasement, has been playing fiddle sitting at Rajbhavan. The former Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad, who had a good working relationship with the former Governor S.K.Sinha, has rightly questioned the bonafides of the PDP, which has joined hands with militant and pro-Pakisthan elements. The Congress High Command, which made a scapegoat out of its own Chief Minister, has just not bothered to listen to the genuine concerns of the Hindu majority from Jammu. The National Conference, which has been the real cause of the pain in the valley for the last six decades, has remained silent as it did during the ethnic cleansing of the Pandits from Kashmir.


The Hindus, who have been living peacefully for ages in the ‘Seat of Shivism’, have been at the receiving end for more than sixty years, since the time of the accession of the Hindu Kingdom by independent India. They have been driven out of the valley; they have lost millions of their beloved brothers, sisters and children; they have lost all their properties; the Temples of their revered Gods and Goddesses have been destroyed and they have been living like refugees in their own country for the last two decades. Having received only injustice and nothing else for the past many years, the anger and hatred, which has been simmering, has burst out when the latest dose of injustice was meted out to them last month.


The community, which was branded as ‘tolerant’ and was being taken for a ride, seems to have decided enough is enough, as evidenced by the ongoing agitations. Jammu has been under curfew, which is being extended to other places wherever the protests have been spreading. The Sangarsh Samithi has extended the bandh further and the normal life has been terribly affected for the last 34 days. The police force had to resort to firing to quell the agitations and a few men have lost their lives. In spite of that, the Hindus of Jammu seem to be determined to fight for justice till the end. As the local police was found wanting, Army has been brought in to take stock of the situation and control it. But, the Hindus of Jammu are in no mood to relent.


The issue of allotment of land and the consequent withdrawal has totally exposed the Congress and the Kashmir based parties. It has proved yet again that the Congress’s main manifesto is pandering to Muslims. It has also exposed its high command’s hidden agenda of serving the interests of minorities at the cost of the majority community’s causes. The dubious credentials of PDP, Muftis, NC and Abdullas have also been thoroughly exposed to the level that they are now seen as anti-India and Pro-Pakistan. While the earlier protests by the Muslims against the land allotment was against the Hindus and was aimed at injustice, the Hindus of Jammu are protesting for justice and not aimed at Muslims.


As the Hindus in the Congress have also joined the protests, the party seems to be realisng that the ground is giving way under its feet, as evidenced by the brazen act of Sonia approaching Rajnath Singh seeking help to solve the issue. But Rajnath has rightly pointed out that the state is under President’s rule and the onus lies on the central government. He has also been forthright in telling the government to return the land, which was allotted to the Shrine Board and withdrawn later.


The Hindus of Jammu have indeed taught a lesson not only to the Muslims of the valley but also to the Hindus of the rest of the country. It is a severe warning and the earlier the politicians understand, the better!

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