Uprising in Jammu - 2

Uprising in Jammu - Part 2

Jammu at disadvantage:

The one and only disadvantage with the people of Jammu is lack of independent leadership. While people of the Valley always kept pace with the changing times and their political leadership continued to emerge, the people in Jammu region had to stay content with their politicians playing a subservient role since independence. Jammu couldn't produce a Sheikh Abdullah or a Mirwaiz or even a Mufti who would take bold decisions in the wake of adversities. If Jammu were to politically match Kashmir there has to emerge a leader who does not have to salute some masters in New Delhi or Srinagar. It is an irony that a national party like Congress has to hand pick its leader from the Valley though the contingent of its MLAs comes from the Jammu region. Slave mentality or what?

This resulted in Jammu being meted out a second grade treatment in all walks of life. Since it was the Valley which got all of New Delhi's attention, Jammu region was neglected disdainfully. For example, it took just four days of agitation in Kashmir valley for the government to rescind the land allotment order while the Jammu region had to shut down for over a month for the Union government to take notice of it. What could be more humiliating to the people of Jammu?

What can be done?

New Delhi should act immediately and give Jammu its due place in the scheme of things it has for the state of J & K. The Central government's efforts and decisions ought to be equity based. Jammu has been discriminated against since long but New Delhi should see an opportunity in the present turmoil and unequivocally bring at par politically, economically and strategically all three regions of the state.

At the same time people of Jammu now appear to have become aware of the fact that they don't have to always look towards New Delhi or Srinagar for their rights. They have to fight for it. However, they have a leadership handicap which can only be overcome by grooming leaders independent of New Delhi and Kashmir.

Secondly, such leadership ought to have secular credentials so as to be acceptable to whole of the region.

A conglomerate of business associations and social bodies with diverse interest, like the one spearheading the current agitation can at best exert with a single issue but for fighting regional imbalances it has to be a broad based political movement. That is the long term vision but for the moment coming to the negotiation table in order to break this impasse would be in the interest of everyone in the state including the people of Jammu region who despite an environment of suffering and apathy have proved their mettle with this uprising.