Legislative assembly

Kashmiri Pandits: Current Personal Concerns

The Kashmiri Pandits, the indigenous people of Kashmir, who are currently living as refugees in their own country, have very intimate concerns in the current context. They expect the leaders of the country, government and administration to understand their concerns and problems and to resolve them with due diligence. There is no doubt that the current government at the center has taken a number of social measures in the past eight years for the benefit of the general public in Jammu and Kashmir and the Pandits of Kashmir have also been the natural beneficiaries of these measures. . But due to the particular situation in which the exiled community has lived over the past three decades, they undoubtedly require additional attention and care, at least on the two issues under discussion here.

The displaced community had no fault of their own in becoming refugees in their own country. It is surely because of the continuous political failures of the governments that they continue to live in exile. The repeal of Section 370, 35A and other related issues raised the hopes of the exiled community in 2019 and they expected concrete steps to be taken in their favor thereafter. They spoke out overwhelmingly in favor of the government‘s decision and also expressed their joy without any kind of inhibition.

Their relentless support for the government in this capacity and the happiness they expressed publicly was not well received by part of the political class and administration of Jammu and Kashmir. Hence, some negative steps have been taken by a section of the administration to alienate the Kashmiri Pandit community from the BJP and the government. These measures were intended to create obstacles to the proper progress of the men and women of the community and thus to provoke irritation against the government and the party.

Unfortunately, some bad advice has been followed by the highest levels of government and administration and the gap has been widening day by day. Employees of the PM package serving in the government fell victim to this witch hunt and the annoyance grew over time. The construction of apartments in the Kashmir valley for their residence was unnecessarily delayed, time-limited promotions were not affected despite many expressed resentments, delays and refusals regarding appointments and postings of the PM package employees have become the order of the day, cruel the introduction of SR 194 towards employees entering after August 2020 thus lowering their wages by 40%, the non-examination and the refusal of requests for inter-district transfer on real grounds and reckless allocation of newly built apartments are some sources of irritation that have been deliberately created by vested interests.

Moreover, the targeted assassinations against the Hindu minorities of the valley by the terrorists in the last three years in particular have made the life of these minorities a living hell in the valley. They face a very delicate situation in the valley where their life is threatened even in their “secure” place of work and life. The package had already tormented their family life and hence they are forced to go to the hustle with only one request for relocation to safer places outside Kashmir valley.

Security experts including former state DGPs and the former commander of the Indian Army’s Northern Command have advised the government not to make their relocation a matter of prestige. It is hoped that the government will go through the soundest of voices at a very critical time with regard to the unfortunate minority employees in the valley and relocate them to the Jammu region until the terrorism is over and normality is restored in the valley. The fact is that the Congress-NC sponsored “hostage program” under the banner of the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Jobs Program in Kashmir has since failed as an experiment. There is no need to further harm the present and future of young people in the exile community and earn their anger.

The Pandits of Kashmir, since their exodus, were devoid of any political representation in the Assembly and in Parliament. The delimitation exercise created new hope for the exiled community. The community representatives made presentations to the Boundaries Commission very well and very convincingly. The Boundary Commission in its official press statement mentioned the recommendations it made to the Government of India with regard to the Kashmiri Pandit community, which were confirmed by one of the members of the Commission during an interview with this author. It said:

“During the public hearing, the Commission received a number of representations from Kashmiri migrants and displaced persons from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiri migrant delegations argued before the Commission that they had been persecuted and forced to live in exile as refugees in their own country for the past three decades.It was urged that, in order to preserve their political rights, seats should be reserved for them in the Assembly and in the Jammu and Kashmir Parliament The PoJK IDPs also requested the Commission to reserve some seats for them in the J&K Legislative Assembly. central.

1. Provision of at least two members (one of whom must be a woman) from the Kashmiri migrant community in the Legislative Assembly and such members may be granted power equal to the power of the appointed members, of the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

2. The central government could consider giving IDPs from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir some representation in the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, through the appointment of IDP representatives from Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan >>.

This author has repeatedly said that the demarcation process in Jammu and Kashmir will test the intent of the Indian state towards the Pandits of Kashmir. Since the Boundaries Commission and the Electoral Commission of India are two very important organs of the State of India, the report of the Boundaries Commission coupled with the recommendations it has made to the Government of India are proof sufficient that the State of India has not failed in regard to the Pandits of Kashmir this time. The recommendations have undoubtedly enabled the Government of India and the Parliament of India to eventually make great strides in this context to empower the community of Kashmiri Pandits, the children of lesser gods.

Our delegation has been quite candid each time about our determination to register and recognize the concerns of the Kashmiri Pandits, the class of persecuted citizens who are forced to live as refugees in their own country. Thanks to the Commission for its in-depth study, observation, research and solution on the subject.

The Commission stated categorically that “arrangements should be made for at least two members of the Kashmiri migrant community……” to be appointed to the Assembly. We ask the government to allow five members to be appointed, one from the female category and the other from the Sikh community in Kashmir. Similarly, three members of the PoJK IDPs can also be named with.

In the Pondicherry case, there are 3 appointed members with voting rights in the Assembly and the arrangement and procedure have been upheld by the Supreme Court and the High Court of Madras respectively. There are 30 deputies elected to the House of Pondicherry. Based on the proportional equation, the J&K Assembly can have a total of nine to ten appointed members in a chamber of 90 elected members. The total number of appointed members can be like this: Women members: 2, Kashmiri Pandits: 4 (one woman), PoJK: 3 and Kashmiri Sikhs: 1. So, with this total of 10 appointed members, the effective strength of the J&K Legislature would be 100.

Since the government is bound to carry the recommendations of the Commission to their logical conclusion, it would be in order to make changes to the laws of the land in parliament in this regard. This can happen when the Commission’s report and recommendations are laid on the floor of the House. This is possible in the next monsoon session of parliament. Therefore, it becomes important to take this struggle of struggle to the next level, i.e. to the PMO, the Home Office and the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs.

(The author is a senior BJP and KP official, author and columnist and can be contacted at [email protected])