“It must be very cold. I have seen pictures of snow and beauty”. Anyone from Jammu who has been outside the state must have heard this statement in rest of India regularly in his life as soon as they mention their hometown being Jammu, the winter capital of J&K. For those who don’t know – No my friends it doesn’t snow in Jammu city. Jammu city is not the pictures of snow you see.
Jammu is the city of temples which are alive while in Kashmir 208 temples have been officially declared damaged in last two and half decades of militancy. This education on how separate Jammu is from Kashmir is a necessity in today´s politics. It is no longer a joke since rest of India is unknowingly making Jammu pay for standing against the secessionist voices in Kashmir.
These days and mostly after JNU row on Afzal Guru one question been asked again and again to BJP is why they choose or will choose to tie up with PDP which has contrary views on Afzal Guru. Not just Afzal Guru probably BJP and PDP don’t agree of 99.99% ideological points. Yes, the question is very much valid. But is BJP power-hungry? A party which focussed majority of its time on common minimum program for development of J&K rather than trying to negotiate & get at least one major state ministry to itself.
How BJP-PDP ideologically standing on two opposite poles made an alliance should be a matter of case study. This is a perfect example of tolerance for each other for the development of the state. For BJP state unit surely it was for the aspirations and trust which people of Jammu & Ladakh showed in them in Parliamentary elections & repeated it in assembly elections. The politics of J&K has always been Kashmir centric, existing constituencies in J&K are carved out of 1995 census. 21 years since delimitation of J&K assembly seats hasn’t been done & state assembly dominated by Kashmiri Politician deferred the delimitation to 2026 which would mean that only after 31 years proper representation of people of state would be “thought” about. Many believe that this is injustice to people of Jammu were electorates in a single constituency of Gandhi Nagar are more than combined electorates in two constituencies of Kashmir.
Jammu deserves to be a separate state and I for long have supported the creation of state of Jammu. Each time this is raised a quick rebuttal comes that this will affect India´s position on Kashmir. So Jammu has to continue paying the price? Jammu with 37/87 assembly seats can never ever get its due. So what did people of Jammu do, tried their best to vote for a party which can represent it & kill the feeling of neglect from decades. Now that Jammu has chosen its representative and majority on ground have no issues with its alliance with PDP, many in India are again wanting it to sacrifice so that people in rest of India can proudly raise their nationalist flag.
How Jammu has been neglected can be seen by a dumping ground next to Jammu Railway station or by standing in a queue for security check into Jammu airport were the waiting room is smaller than many houses of Jammu. In Jammu outside govt. quarters once found a big left over garbage which was picked up by a small overloaded tempo by two workers using their naked hands who tried their best to at least fit something into that tempo. This is regular. (Actual Pictures shared)
Whether BJP-PDP is successful in dealing with the feelings of Jammu and Ladakh which have long been neglected is a separate issue for which BJP sure will lose the ground in next assembly election should it fail. But for BJP to not form govt in J&K with PDP so to represent Jammu & Ladakh properly just to silence its critic in rest of India it will be injustice to the voters who voted for a hope. This write-up is with a hope that people in rest of India understand that Jammu & Ladakh has long paid to keep the stakes high and not to play with their aspirations which they represented through their votes.
Rest assured, should the BJP fail the people of Jammu & Ladakh it is time for the state of Dograland and union territory of Ladakh. And that will be the time the people from these regions will refuse to pay the price anymore. I hope this nation doesn’t want a Telangana movement to happen again.