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View From The Right: Kashmir’s minorities

A Kathua-based advocate, Ankur Sharma, has filed a petition seeking an end to “all Central schemes funds for J&K and demanding [the] immediate set up of the Minority Commission” in the state.

Updated: April 5, 2017 12:15:17 am

The editorial in Organiser, ‘Minoritism of the Majority’, comments on the “contradictions and anomalies” of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. While “it opted for the complete accession” to Bharat, it is still “projected and discussed as an incomplete process,” it says, underlining that “the loudest cry of discrimination and alienation comes from this state, even after receiving ‘special’ attention and assistance from successive Union governments”.

The latest “hearing on a PIL seeking identification of religious minorities in the state has opened up another set of contradiction,” the editorial notes, underlining that “Muslims, who constitute an overwhelming majority of around 69 per cent (in J&K), continue to be a minority as identified at the Central level”.

A Kathua-based advocate, Ankur Sharma, has filed a petition seeking an end to “all Central schemes funds for J&K and demanding [the] immediate set up of the Minority Commission” in the state.

Central government schemes provide benefits to Muslim children, but deny “the same right to the real minorities of the state like Sikhs, Buddhist and Hindus”.

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“In the state where religious minorities have faced the worst-ever discrimination and harassment in independent Bharat, the majority community is legally a minority,” Organiser notes. Seventeen of the 22 districts are Muslim majority and “if still the community is being treated as the minority, then it is nothing but the murder of our Constitutional ethos”, it says.

Visit the shakha

The editorial in Panchjanya comments on Congress leader Aslam Sher Khan’s recent announcement to constitute Rashtriya Congress Swayamsevak Sangh, a body on the lines of RSS.

“Basically, successful things are copied,” it says, pointing at the “restlessness” of the Congress leader. “If the Sangh is so successful, why not create a Sangh?”

Khan has also announced, it says, that this outfit would not have a uniform etc, and “will help the Congress in elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh”.

“How easy it is to form Sangh,” the editorial says, taking a dig at Khan and adding that “what else can you expect from those for whom the government is paramount, and not the nation?” This flawed perspective comes naturally to those who find politics in any issue. “Those who want to create an RSS-like institution,” it says, “should be given best wishes. But for that they would actually have to become the Sangh.”

“Those who want to create a similar Sangh must visit shakhas as that is the only way to comprehend the Sangh,” Panchajanya adds.

The misconception of people who find only politics in RSS can be easily removed by a basic initiation in the shakhas which inculcate values and social concerns in Swayamsevaks, it says. The editorial then cites the instance of Deendayal Upadhyaya, the first leader the RSS had given to Jan Sangh. When he eventually became the president of Jan Sangh, he was disinterested in taking up the position and agreed only at the request of then Sarsanghchalak, M.S. Golwalkar.

Pakistan’s Overreach

An article in Organiser slams the “serious” moves by Pakistan towards declaring Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province. Gilgit-Baltistan, it says, is in the area of J&K that has been “forcibly occupied” by Pakistan.

India has opposed Islamabad’s intentions and said that “Pakistan would have to vacate this part of India”. Even the three separatist leaders of Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have “strongly objected” to Pakistan’s intentions, according to the article.

Bob Blackman, a member of England’s Conservative Party, has submitted a resolution in the British Parliament that “constitutionally and legally”, Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of India that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. The resolution also takes strong exception to the attempted construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and terms it illegal.

This is the first instance when such a clear and strong statement against Pakistan and in favour of India has been made in Britain.

The territory of Pakistan as described in its constitution does not mention these areas. Even the Supreme Court of Pakistan has clearly said that “the Pakistan government does not have legal right over Azad J&K and Gilgit-Baltistan”.

The article also points at the diplomatic weakness of the then Indian leadership as they returned the areas on the negotiating table they had won during the 1965 and 1971 war.

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Compiled by Ashutosh Bhardwaj

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First published on: 05-04-2017 at 12:15:16 am
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