IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 2nd June 2020
“Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” –John Wooden
EDITORIAL HUNT 85:“Jammu, the pawn on the Kashmir chessboard“
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL/New Domicile Rule & Kashmir
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal is Executive Editor, Kashmir Times
Jammu, the pawn on the Kashmir chessboard
The new domicile rules have further weakened its political, social and economic aspirations
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2:Citizenship
New domicile rules in Kashmir have further deepened the anxiety of natives in the valley . Substantiate -(GS 2)
This article will give you sufficient points on :
- How new domicile rules hamper the aspirations of youth.
- Need for better demographic data .
- Establishment of a better polity for JK,
- After months of a lull in the Jammu region, tempers remain subdued.
- The silence is borne not out of reconciliation, indifference or optimism, but fear of reprisal, post August 5, 2019, as well as Jammu’s inherent dilemmas.
ULTRA NATIONALISM : Injected with highly potent doses of ultra-nationalism and integrationist politics, Jammu has lived for years under the illusion that the burden of protecting nationalism and national security rests on its shoulders.
SUBSIDED ASPIRATIONS : In the last seven decades, it has willingly trampled on its own aspirations to perpetuate an agenda of nationalism.
DOMINATION : Caught between nationalistic winds blowing from the south and Kashmir domination plus conflict, Jammu’s political, social and economic aspirations were already buried long ago.
DISCRIMINATION : Jammu’s political discourse has oscillated between nationalism, polarisation and a sense of discrimination at the hands of Kashmiris.
THE MUTED REACTION :
- Kashmir lockdown which froze Jammu’s trade and economy.
- The partial Internet ban has also caused further heartburn.
RULES FOR DOMICILE STATUS:
After the gazette notification of March 30, 2020, which lays down the rules for domicile status, under the amended Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Civil Services (Decentralisation and Recruitment) Act, along with repeal or amendment of about 100 J&K State laws, the rules of engagement have become clearer, beginning a process of introspection in Jammu.
- RESIDENTS : According to the domicile law, anyone who has resided in J&K for 15 years or has studied there for seven years will get the domicile right.
- EXTENTION : The benefits would also be extended to children of all central government employees who have served for “a total of ten years”, not necessarily a continuous period.
SENSE OF LOSS
This does not induce any optimism of political empowerment and a sense of parity with, if not domination over, Kashmir.
- ANXIETY : Much of Jammu may not share Kashmir’s anxieties of a demographic change.
- WORRIES : Jammu’s youth are worried that they may lose their jobs and educational seats to the new ‘domiciles’.
- REAL ESTATE SHARKS : With the Agrarian Reforms Act abolished — it defined land ownership and fixed the ceiling area at 121/2 standard acres — the doors have been opened for all Indian citizens triggering worries of the entry of real estate sharks.
- BUSINESS INVESTMENT : While business investments from outside could boost employment, the existing units operating on a temporary lease basis do not instil confidence as they have offered limited jobs for locals, most often on contractual basis.
- POPULATION : These include about two lakh West Pakistan refugees, over 300 families of sanitation workers, and, more importantly 29 lakh migrant workers, many living in J&K for decades.
- LUCRATIVE. DESTINATION : Jammu’s geographical, cultural and religious proximity with the Indian heartland also makes it a more lucrative destination for those who would like to avail themselves of the domicile rights or make investments.
- LESS CONFLICTS : The absence of a violent conflict offers a salubrious climate for settlement, unlike in the Valley.
TRIPLE IMPACT :
TOURISM : A hub of trade, Jammu’s business has flourished in the last seven decades due to pilgrimage tourism and interdependence with the Kashmir region.
DOGRA EXTINCTION : Another fear is of Dogra culture facing extinction. These are the people from other parts of the State due to economic reasons and conflict.
POLITICAL VACCUM : Jammu has long suffered in terms of a political vacuum, which has also deepened the sense of discrimination.
INTEGRATIONIST POLITICS : Its political significance in national politics has been only to serve as a prop in the hands of New Delhi to counter the Kashmir narrative or to strengthen integrationist politics.
REASSERT :The only thing that can reverse this is if Jammu is able to reimagine itself and assert itself politically.
That is wishful thinking not only in view of its political limpness in the past but also because Jammu’s socioeconomic landscape would have undergone a sea change, irreparably so, by the time a constructive political consciousness begins to awaken.
On the whole, Jammu has not only been left empty-handed but it also feels let down and robbed. That feeling has just begun to sink in.