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Letters to the editor 2


Editor in Chief Prologue 3
Zafar Choudhary
Peace Process
Consulting Editor Composite Dialogue 5
D. Suba Chandran
Security
Associate Editor
Irm Amin Baig Searching Number Game 7

Identities
Politics
Photo Division PDP-Congress 9
JP Bandral
Society
Designs & Layout
Keshav Sharma Volume 2, Issue 5, May 2008
Relations 11
Report
Mailing Address US Elections 33
PO Box 50, HO Gandhi Nagar, IN FOCUS
Jammu Searching Identities Nation
Fundamentalism 34
Phones & email North East 35
Office : +91 191 2493136
Editorial: +91 94191 80762 15 Identity Formation : The J&K Story Neighbours
Administration:+91 94196 31610 Pakistan 37
+91 94190 00123 Tibet 39
editor@epilogue.in 21 Gujjar Identity In Multicultural
Bhutan
editor.epilogue@gmail.com Mosaic Of J&K 41
subscription@epilogue.in Columns
23 60 Years Of Unattended Gripes Tareekh 43
Edited, Printed and Published by
Zafar Choudhary for CMRD
Reviews
Publications and Communications 25 Gurjardesh Charitable Trust
Published from ‘Ibadat’, Madrasa Books 45
Lane, Bhatindi Top, Jammu, J&K Movies 47
31 Dards Of Ladakh : A Neglected Fok
Printed at Report
Dee Dee Reprographix, Jammu Sports 49
Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction Epilogue
of courts and competitive tribunals in From the Consulting Editor 50
Jammu only.
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Epilogue Ø

May 2008
M A I L B O X
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letters
Mail your letters to editor@epilogue.in

M.S Swamitnathan has definitely put in The Vice President of India, made a
right perspective (Towards A Food Secure statement during his visits to
J&K, Ladakh : Epilogue April 208) the SKUAST-Kashmir that second Green
agriculture and horticulture potential of Revolution will start from J&K.
J&K State. But the concern still remain Although it seems a distant dream,
that with two apparently vibrant given the pace of developments in
agricultural universities in the state, the field of agriculture, but the
with tall claims of great strides made in analysis done by M.S.Swaminanthan
research, the effective transfer of and commitment expressed by the
technology to the field is still lacking. Vice-Chancellor of Agricultural
The extension education needs to be Universities (Epilogue : April 2006)
strengthened at Panchayat level apart raises a ray of hope if efforts are
from mobilizing Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s made in field to achieve this targets
and Research & Development activities. in a multi-layered approach
including the centrally sponsored
scheme as well.
VIKAS KHAJURIA
Progressive Farmer,
Kalakote, Rajouri, J&K MOHIT SHARMA
IMTIYAZ AHMED
Brain, Nishat, Srinagar Agriculture Student
Solan, HP

Epilogue (April 2008) has given a unique


With elections round the corner, 2008
analysis of Agriculture in field. It would
seems to be a year of biographies (Book
have been more comprehensive with a
Review : Epilogue April 2008) like last
detailed presentation of livestock
year. Alongwith blaming former friends it
scenario, potential and challenges.
would have been great if our leaders
J&K has a great potential of livestock
admit their mistakes two. This will also
development but still majority of the
serve the purpose to raise their
demands from livestock sector are met
structure!!
from the imports from other states.
Livestock still remain a neglected lot in
Agriculture. ARUL SINGH
Jammu University, Jammu

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
P R O L O G U E
FROM THE EDITOR

Identities Beyond Obvious

Zafar Choudhary

Epilogue
Identities are essential to any State and and problems common. With a view to
are uncompromising ingredients of its bring the identities and their issues under
formation. It is often the issue of a larger debate for policy formulations, I
identities –national, regional, cultural am happy; our editorial board has because there is more to know
–which underlie major tensions in the decided to discuss them one by one. In
States. The encouragement of a singular the remaining seven months of this year
EPILOGUE aims at providing a
identity at the cost of others can and till middle of next year we have
platform where a meaningful
eventually prove as a disintegrating planned to bring out at least four issues exchange of ideas, opinion and
factor for the States. This can be seen on identities. Our present issue discusses thoughts can take place among the
happening in Jammu and Kashmir. This the identities and problems of Gujjars people and about the people of Jammu
troubled State, never at rest with itself and Dards. It was a careful decision to & Kashmir. The attempt is to research,
and the Center, is a mosaic of pick up the marginal communities first as investigate, communicate and
multicultural identities. Unfortunately, a lot has already been written on the disseminate information, ideas and
beyond the boundaries of Jammu and dominant identities. The choice of alternatives for the resolution of
Kashmir, in India and rest of world, the discussing Gujjar identity in the present common problems facing the state and
identity or identities of this state are issue also makes sense as it coincides with society of Jammu & Kashmir and in
misunderstood and misconstrued. The the annual migration of this nomadic the context of their significance to
best description of Jammu and Kashmir tribe from plains to the upper reaches. South Asia as a whole.
in rest of the world is Kashmiri identity We are thankful to Mohammad Tajuddin
and Kashmiri nationalism. This is and Baljit S Mann of the Department of We welcome contributions from
something which India has always sought Political Science at the University of academics, journalists, researches,
eclipse under the national sovereignty. Jammu for allowing us to use excerpts economists and strategic thinkers. We
Therefore, in a tussle of Kashmiri from their well researched and recently would also like to encourage first-time
identity and Indian national sovereignty, published book “Politics of Identities in writers with the only requirements
at least for last 60 years, the multi- Jammu and Kashmir”. An article by being a concern for and the desire to
ethnic character of Jammu and Kashmir veteran journalist Balraj Puri, based on understand the prevailing issues and
has been loosing its place in the his personal experiences gives an insight themes of life in Jammu & Kashmir
dominant political discourse. And this into the long drawn urge of Gujjars
precisely is a larger trouble in making if towards identity formation. Similarly, a Contributions may be investigate,
this is invisible to the policy makers at young Ladakhi researcher Tundup Palgias descriptive, analytical or theorectical.
present. As we understand that identity brings to the fore identity and issues of a They may be in the form of original
is sacrosanct to any individual, it little known tribe –Dards. Present issue is articles or in the form of a comment on
becomes a more sensitive issue when an attempt towards generating an current events. All contributions have
extended to a group of individuals. As the understanding of identities and not a to be neatly types in double space and
State conveniently ignores all but one complete study into the subject. Our may be sent to the address given
identity, there is an internal competition subsequent special issues on other alongside or e-mailed to the editor.
leading to the clash of interests. Some of identities will also attempt to bring more
the well defined identities in Jammu and facets of the tribes being discussed in this While the editor accepts responsibility
Kashmir are Kashmiri Muslims, Kashmiri issue. for the selection of the material
Pandits, Gujjars, Paharis, Dogras and published, individual authors are
Ladakhi Buddhists. There are hardly two Feedback : responsible for the facts, figures and
identities which have their aspirations zafar.choudhary@epilogue.in viess ithe tier articles.

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
H E A R A N D H E A R

WHO SAID WHAT

Mujhe Garv Hai J&K Ki


Mahilaayun Par….
They have all along fought very
courageously during long turbulent period
against violence, militancy.
Sonia Gandhi at her Public Rally in Jammu

Kashmir issue and holding elections not We lost opportunity when Pakistan was in full
interlinked. control of one man – General Parvez Musharaf. He
did not need to explain anything to anybody.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, APHC (M)
Today we are, if not starting from zero, we are
almost rewriting it.

Convert J&K Legislative Council into a Regional


Omar Abdullah, on resolution of Kashmir Issue
Council with members from both the sides of
Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti, PDP When things were turbulent there, we were a


little warried… and therefore very vigilant on the
borders.
I will suggest Yasin Malik Sahib to launch election
boycott campaign throughout the state on the line
of his Safar-e-Azadi Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor on security situation in Pakistan
viz-a-viz infiltration in J&K
S. Ali Shah Geelani, APHC(G)

My Visit to this place is not to assess Human Rights


Centre, Pakistan responsible for turmoil in
violations but to observe and recommend on
Jammu and Kashmir. Centre's discriminatory
religious belief, communal harmony, conversion
policies contributed to destabilize the
laws and minorities in this part of the world.
communal harmony in the state.
Asma Jehangir,
Chairperson Pakistan Human Rights Commission Farooq Abdullah, NC

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
P E A C E P R O C E S S
COMPOSITE DIALOGUE

Four Rounds Of Composite


Dialogue And One Problem

Sameer Suryakant Patil

India-Pakistan will hold an important Islamabad. At that time, New Delhi was Minister and the idea is going to pick up
foreign ministerial meeting in Islamabad pressing Islamabad to take effective pace in recent days.
shortly. The meeting scheduled for May steps to curb cross-border terrorism and
21 will review the progress made by both Islamabad was pressing New Delhi for the On terrorism front, both the sides
the countries in the fourth round of the demilitarisation in Jammu and Kashmir. launched a Joint Anti-Terrorism
composite dialogue and set the agenda Mechanism (JATM) in 2006. The first
for the fifth round. Before the ministerial As expected, the fourth round so far has meeting of the JATM was held around the
meeting, Pakistani foreign secretary Riaz not made any substantial progress on the same time that the fourth round was
Muhammad Khan will hold a review issue of Kashmir despite a number of launched in 2007. During that meeting,
meeting on May 20 with his Indian CBMs that have been implemented. India had handed over the substantial
counterpart Shiv Shankar Menon. The Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan evidence regarding the involvement of
two sides had concluded talks under the Singh has expressed his commitment to various Pakistan-based terrorist fronts in
fourth round in October last year itself. implement more CBMs in the Kashmir terrorist attacks in the country. The
However for a long time the domestic valley including faster travel permits, second meeting was held later in the year
situation in Pakistan had stalled new bus routes and trade relations across in October. Much has happened
completion of this round. More the Line of Control. Recently, Pakistan domestically in Pakistan since then. The
importantly, this will be the first-to-face People's Party leader Asif Ali Zardari had religious fundamentalists put up an open
interaction between the two spoken of putting the issue of Kashmir on defiance of the federal authority in the
governments after the new backburner so that other aspects of the heart of Islamabad in Red Mosque. The
democratically-elected government relationship can be focused upon. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto further
came to power in Islamabad. The idea was considered path breaking in as added to the anti-terrorism momentum
meeting between Pakistani foreign much as that it constituted break from in Islamabad. India is using the recent
minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his the official Pakistani position for years spate of terrorist attacks in Pakistan in
Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee is maintaining that without the forward harping the point that the terrorist
expected to be a major landmark in the movement on the issue of Kashmir, no infrastructure remains intact in Pakistan.
bilateral peace process. amount of CBMs will help to improve the
relations between two countries. Recently, both the sides exchanged notes
The India-Pakistan composite dialogue Resolution of the core issue of Kashmir to strengthen cooperation against
began in 2004 and constitutes one of the will be in Islamabad's view the biggest terrorism as a part of the 7th SAARC
significant attempts by the both sides to CBM for the peace process. Coming as it conference on cooperation in police
institutionalise the dialogue process was from one of the mainstream political matters. Both the countries have also
after breakdown in the dialogue parties, however the idea was quickly discussed the idea of establishing a
numerous times in the 1990s. Eight shot down by majority of the ruling elite. regional police agency on the lines of
subjects are covered under the dialogue However, people on both the sides of Interpol as a part of wider SAARC efforts.
which were identified in the 1998 format Kashmir are keen to see more CBMs being This will also help in analysing and
for composite dialogue - including implemented. The People's Democratic monitoring narcotics trafficking and drug
Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, security, the Party chief Mehbooba Mufti has already offences.
Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation spoken of putting in place a “tangible
Project, trade and Confidence Building mechanism” for implementation of In March 2006 Dr. Singh had offered a
Measures (CBMs). The fourth round of this various recommendations given by the treaty on “peace, friendship and
dialogue was launched in March 2007 in working groups set up by the Prime security” to Pakistan in March 2006,

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
P E A C E P R O C E S S
COMPOSITE DIALOGUE

where resolution of issues like Siachen On the security CBM front, no major has not necessarily turned into a
and Sir Creek was emphasised upon. Of CBM has been signed by both the nuclear flashpoint as expected by many
these two, on Siachen, both the sides are countries since signing an accord in western analysts.
stuck on their respective positions for a 2005 on the pre-notification of the
long while Sir Creek issue appears closer missile tests and announcing a Much has been achieved by both the sides
to resolution. On Siachen, Pakistan has moratorium on nuclear testing. In in the fourth round of composite
rejected India's condition of October 2007, both the sides held fifth dialogue. The fifth round will be held in
authentication of troop positions in round of the expert level-talks on New Delhi and their schedule will be
Siachen which has stalled any forward nuclear and missile relate CBMs. They decided following consultations.
movement on the issue. On Sir Creek, However, much more can be done by way
since commencing the composite of CBMs. Release of prisoners particularly
dialogue in 2004, both the sides launched the Prisoners of War (POWs) and
the joint survey of this disputed coastal
In October 2007, both the sides
fishermen by both the sides can create an
strip of Gujarat coast in 2005. After the held fifth round of the expert enormous goodwill among the people of
completion of the joint survey, officials both the countries. Also early
level-talks on nuclear and missile
on both sides have noted that there has repatriation of the inadvertent border
been a convergence to a great degree relate CBMs. They have also crossers can be considered. A joint
among both the countries on the agreed to continue forward with judicial committee on prisoners has
delineation of the boundary. In fact, a already been set up by both the countries
more pragmatic assessment tells that Sir the four year-old ceasefire to recommend steps for humane
Creek is the only issue in the composite agreement. A major CBM on treatment and expeditious release of
dialogue that can be considered as prisoners of the respective countries in
'doable'.
nuclear front will indeed create a
each other's jails. Similarly the bilateral
more conducive atmosphere for the visa regime can be made further flexible.
Driving the resolution of the issue is also bilateral relationship and will Current processes to obtain visa for the
the obligation of both the countries nationals of both the countries are
under the UN Convention on the Law of also help both the countries to cumbersome and complex. In fact the
the Sea (UNCLOS). The UNCLOS states prove to the international current visa regime is one of the major
that if the maritime boundary disputes reasons why people-to-people contact
are not resolved by 2009 by all the
community that ten years after the between both the countries has not
signatory countries, they may be nuclearisation of South Asia, the reached the level that it has the
declared as international waters. On potential.
region has not necessarily turned
trade front too the state of affairs is not
good. Recently, Indian commerce into a nuclear flashpoint as Hence liberalisation of that regime is
minister Kamal Nath warned Pakistan to expected by many western expected to be a major landmark in the
reciprocate the concessions that India bilateral ties. Establishment of more
had extended to Pakistan under the analysts. intense rail, air and bus links will also
South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) bring people on both sides closer. The
failing which India would be forced to new Pakistani government's view that a
withdraw the concessions given. Similar have also agreed to continue forward delayed resolution of Kashmir will not be
is the case with the Wullar Barrage/ with the four year-old ceasefire allowed to hold hostage the rest of the
Tulbul navigation project. Both the sides agreement. A major CBM on nuclear peace process offers glimpses of hope
had held a meeting in June 2006 in front will indeed create a more that after sixty years of often
Islamabad to discuss the issue but conducive atmosphere for the bilateral acrimonious and violent past, the two
nothing substantial occurred. More relationship and will also help both the neighbours may be prepared to walk that
importantly for both the sides is the countries to prove to the international extra mile to accommodate each others
Baglihar dam project in which they have community that ten years after the concerns and lead an active co-
locked their horns. nuclearisation of South Asia, the region existence.

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
S E C U R I T Y
NUMBER GAME

Cross Border Terrorism : What


Do The Numbers Reveal ?

Dr Kanchan Lakshman

Viewed purely in terms of fatalities, the civilian fatalities (164 in 2007 as against recovered in the State through 2007.
conflict in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has 349 in 2006) and those of the militants
now crossed the threshold from a high- (492 in 2007 as against 599 in 2006), Diminished violence, however, does not
intensity to a low-intensity level. For the there was only a marginal decrease in indicate a necessary decline in the
first time since 1990 (when they were Security Force (SF) personnel killed (121 capacity for terrorism, and there are
1,177) fatalities in this terrorism- in 2007 as against 168 in 2006). clear indications that the infrastructure
wracked State in 2007 – at 777 – fell below that supports and sustains the Kashmir
the 'high intensity conflict' mark of a According to the Union Ministry of Home jihad remains intact in Pakistan. More
thousand deaths. At their peak in 2001, Affairs, in 2007 (till November), the than 400 militants are reportedly
fatalities had risen to 4,507. Evidently, number of militancy-related incidents stationed in launching pads in PoK,
2007 is a watershed year for J&K, was down by 33 per cent and that of ready to infiltrate through the Line of
bringing tremendous respite to its civilians killed by 59 per cent and SF Control (LoC) to step up violence in the
people. personnel by 28 per cent over the State, defence sources said on April 13,
corresponding period of the previous 2008. Official sources disclose that at
Figures for 2007 reconfirm the y e a r. A c c o r d i n g t o t h e J & K least 52 terrorist training camps are still
continuously declining trend of terrorist Government/J&K Police, there were operating, including 30 in Pakistan and
violence in the State since the peak of 1,054 incidents (till November 30) as Gilgit-Baltistan, and the rest in PoK. At
2001. According to data compiled by the against 1,667 in 2006. Over 4,000 illegal least one-third of these camps are
Institute for Conflict Management, the weapons, including AK-47 rifles, known to be "fully active" at any given
fatality index in 2007 decreased by 30.38 pistols/revolvers, UMGs/LMGs, rocket point of time. In an attempt to counter
percent in comparison to 2006. While launchers/boosters and huge quantities infiltration along the India-Pakistan
there was a substantial decrease in of ammunition and explosives/IEDs were border in the summer, the Army has
moved units from the counter-
Comparative Fatalities in J&K, 2001-2008 insurgency grid to areas along the LoC.
"We have deployed additional troops
along the border- line with Pakistan in
order to stop cross-border infiltration
into Jammu and Kashmir," General
Officer Commander (16 Corps), Lt Gen R
K Karwal, told reporters in Jammu on
April 9, 2008. As the snow melts away
during summer, the attempts of
infiltration go up along the LoC, he said,
adding in order to achieve zero-
infiltration results, additional army units
have been deployed along the border
for the purpose. "Summers are always
hot for infiltration and as of now the
infiltration is near to zero level," he
informed. Furthermore, security
agencies believe that current militant
activity is also considerably linked to
* Data till April 23, 2008
Source: South Asia Terrorism Portal database the mainstream political scenario, with

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
S E C U R I T Y
NUMBER GAME

the forthcoming Legislative Assembly instance, radio messages and phone calls militant operations, to secure a stronger
elections. across the LoC indicated that militants, position at the negotiating table and
preparing for a winter stay in the Kashmir achieve what has not been possible on
The decrease in levels of violence in J&K Valley, were a worried lot with the the ground through terrorism alone.
is not due to any change in Pakistani declaration of the Emergency in Even as the troops continue to engage
intent, but is rather the consequence of Pakistan. Communication intercepts by the terrorists, Indian Army sources claim
"changes in capacities and compulsions in Indian intelligence agencies brought out that, with the increasing turmoil in
Pakistan." The multiplicity of crises in the "uncertainty and confusion" among Pakistan, 'sleeper' terrorist cells in J&K
Pakistan has diluted Islamabad's militants who rely heavily on logistical have been progressively activated and
capacities to sustain past levels of support from their handlers in Pakistan. there is a possibility of a gradual upsurge
terrorism in J&K – "particularly since a Their immediate anxiety, during that in violence over the coming months.
large proportion of troops had to be Intelligence sources suggest that militant
pulled back from the Line of Control groups could raise the stakes in an
(LoC) and the international border for election year in J&K.
Diminished violence, however,
deployment in increasingly violent
theatres in Balochistan, NWFP [North does not indicate a necessary The proximity of elections has also
West Frontier Province] and the FATA decline in the capacity for brought enormous political pressure to
[Federally Administered Tribal Areas]… bear on the populist issue of a troop cut in
Pakistan's creeping implosion has terrorism, and there are clear the State, but the Army insists that the
undermined the establishment's indications that the infrastructure situation is far from conducive to such a
capabilities to sustain the 'proxy war' measure. Indeed, the ratio of troops in
against India at earlier levels." On a more that supports and sustains the J&K is far below the troops-civilian ratio
general level, the secular decline in in violence-afflicted Waziristan in
Kashmir jihad remains intact in
violence witnessed since September Pakistan or even in Chinese occupied
2001 can be attributed to Pakistan's Pakistan. More than 400 Tibet. The J&K Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd)
compulsions arising out of its domestic S K Sinha, noted, on January 25, 2008,
militants are reportedly stationed
difficulties, the ongoing peace process, the eve of Republic Day, that "The ratio of
the American and international pressure in launching pads in PoK deployment of troops, Army and
on Islamabad and the successes of the paramilitary, to population in the region,
counter-insurgency grid in J&K. excluding militancy-free Ladakh, is 1:40.
particular period, was whether the This is less than 1:37 in Waziristan and
Official sources indicate that the ratio of supply lines would continue. Intelligence 1:28 in Tibet."
SFs to terrorists killed has seen an officials disclosed, "The militants are
upward trend from 1:3.6 in 2006 to 1:4.3 currently in a state of confusion about The gains of 2007 must not lead to
in 2007. This is a clear indication that the the developments across the border. complacency. Pakistan's intentions
counter-insurgency grid is working well Even their handlers are not clear how remain unchanged; its terrorist reserves
in J&K, and that any review of troop things will shape in the future." are intact; Islamist terrorist groups have
deployment at this juncture – a populist established some autonomous capacities
issue in the State – would fritter away the Within J&K, Islamabad is also attempting for operation, independent of Pakistani
gains made by the SFs. to raise a united political voice in its state agencies; and the South Asia and
favour. To this end, it is attempting to wider Asian region teeters on the brink of
The unstable domestic scenario in engineer unity among various pro- spiralling instability. Despite a significant
Pakistan has had an impact on the Pakistan groups, including the two and continuous decline in terrorist
Kashmir jihad, though it has not led to factions of the main secessionist violence over the years, the centrestage,
any change in the intent or the formation, the All Parties Hurriyat however, is yet to be vacated by the
infrastructure that orchestrates Conference (APHC). The objective shadow of militancy in J&K.
violence. There is, nonetheless, a appears to be to gradually transform the
definite pause. The momentary waning predominantly militant movement into a DR KANCHAN LAKSHMAN
in intensity has led to some confusion more wide-based movement of political Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict
within the jihadi rank and file. For extremism, backed by calibrated Management

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
P O L I T I C S
PDP - CONGRESS

Intelligent Coalition
PDP-Congress Wrestle
Strengthening Their Muscles
Zafar Choudhary

This is election year in Jammu and Kashmir and parties are coining innovations to secure their footholds. As the coalition
culture promises to stay here for a longer while, no party appears headed for a clear majority in the forthcoming elections.
Therefore, the choices of an arrangement for forming next government have to be between two of three major political parties
–the Congress, the Peoples Democratic Party and the National Conference. For their history, genesis and competition for
survival on the same turf, the possibility of having an alliance between the Peoples Democratic Party and the National
Conference is like having the one between Bhartiya Janta Party and the Congress at Center. Hence, no possibility at all even
though nothing can be ruled in or out in politics. With no scope of a power partnership, none of these parties –PDP and NC –are in
a position to form the government at their own. The third major player, the Congress, therefore, could have been seen with a
flexibility of choosing partners with wider scope of negotiations but its past limits its actions for the future.

Possible alliances the natural allies.

Congress, though, has no problems in “PDP and Congress as natural ally” may
making alliances with either National sound ludicrous to all those who have
Conference or the Peoples Democratic seen both parties competing against
Party as far as its contested turfs and other in government and washing their
ideological linkages are concerned but dirty linen in the public over past three to
having a power partnership with the four years. At least at half a dozen
former may revive Congress' old bad occasions these years the state
identity in Kashmir –the killer of government appeared falling anytime
democracy. In such a scenario both owing to the deepening differences
parties run the risk of getting trounced between the Congress and the Peoples
for their shady partnership of the past. Democratic Party. Their internal troubles
History is witness to the fact that was the
reached a point of no return in March last
infamous Congress-National Conference
year when Ministers from the Peoples
alliance of 1986-87 popularly known as
Democratic Party refused to attend
Rajiv-Farooq accord which denied
meetings of the state cabinet demanding
people the genuine democratic space in
that the demilitarization issue should be
1987 assembly elections and set into the
listed first for discussion. This was not
motion a process of deeper dissent which
acceptable to the Congress. Prime
later took shape of armed rebellion.
Minister Dr Manmohan Singh intervened
“The National Conference and Congress
may even visit Ka'aba with remorse or to resolve the crisis by announcing an
wash their sins at Ganga but Kashmir expert panel to examine the issue. PDP
Valley will continue to doubt their celebrated its victory in Kashmir saying
intentions if they join hands again”, says that the demand of demilitarization
a political observer. In a scenario, when –close to the heart of Kashmiris –has been
think tanks of the parties are convinced acceded to. At the same time, the
that none of them is in a position to form Congress convinced its constituency in
the next government at their own, the Jammu –not interested in
present ruling partners –the PDP and the demilitarization politics –that it resisted
Congress –are considering themselves as the demanded and therefore it was not

Epilogue Ø

May 2008
P O L I T I C S
PDP - CONGRESS

accepted out-rightly. It was a win-win (women) convention of the party. The during her visit to Pakistan, suggested a
situation for both. This is how the occasion marked the formal launch of the joint senate and thus a more or less joint
political intelligence in the Congress and election campaign. She asked her control of India and Pakistan on Jammu
the PDP is working to strengthen their audience, including those not present at and Kashmir. Such emotional slogans
respective constituencies. the venue, to vote for the Congress based have always worked well in Kashmir and
on its performance on two fronts there is no surprise that the Mufti's
Jammu v/s Kashmir –development and security. The word catchphrase is picking up well in the
'coalition' was conspicuously missing Valley. On the contrary, except for few
The political discourse in Jammu from Sonia's 14 minute long speech. This districts, in majority of Jammu region
province and Kashmir province of the was the first time ever since November almost every day is marked with protests
state has always behaved differently. 2002 when PDP and Congress formed the and demonstration against the PDP
Pick up an issue and treat it contrarily, it ruling alliance that the Congress high leaders and burning of effigies of its
will help in both region. Same treatment command spoke of only 'Congress'. Even leaders for proposing dual currency. This
to one issue in both regions may help in though the partners in J&K continued to perhaps what the PDP campaign
one and backfire in other. Over the years fight with each other but the central strategists had wanted. Such protests in
these political differences have only leadership would always talk about the Jammu are paying the party well in
sharpened. To placate his Jammu coalition and not the parties. Sonia's Valley. And when Congress takes
constituency, Farooq Abdullah of message obvious: her party has nothing exception to these proposals, it
National Conference would often call for to do with the PDP in next elections. appropriates its role in the 'nationalist'
bombing militant bases in Pakistan Sonia is back to Delhi but the Congress bastion of Jammu which has always been
administered Kashmir and putting leaders here instead of selling sought to be conquered by the BJP.
separatists behind jails. He had to pay a development to the people are engaged
heavy price in the Valley as even his son in a single point campaign –against No one knows that happens to the
and party president Omar Abdullah had Peoples Democratic Party and the Muftis currency after November this year, when
to loose his seat at the family's pocket- –father daughter duo. the assembly elections are over and new
borough Ganderbal in 2002 assembly government is in place, but the wrestle
elections. Note this! between PDP and the Congress is giving

When differences are so sharp, it will be


fool enough to believe that the Peoples
Democratic Party and Congress contest
the forthcoming assembly elections
together. In Kashmir Valley, the Congress
is seen as the unwelcome arm of New
Delhi and Jammu, the PDP is perceived as
yet another separatist party or more
precisely as Pakistan Peoples Party's
Kashmir unit. Therefore, if they are
serious about forming the next
government together, they will have to
contest the next elections separately and The Peoples Democratic Party is a step both parties much desired foothold in the
strongly against each other. This farther. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed stirred target constituencies.
precisely is what the intelligent allies are a hornet's nest earlier this month
preparing to do. proposing the use of Pakistani currency in After elections, it would not be surprising
Kashmir and the Indian currency on other when both parties declare themselves as
The Congress president Sonia Gandhi was side. His proposal comes shortly after natural allies, pool their seats and stake
in Jammu on April 12 to address a Mahila daughter and party president Mehbooba, claim for governmental formation.

Epilogue Ø
10 ×
May 2008
S O C I E T Y
RELATIONS

Unhappy Ending!
Divorce Cases On Rise In Jammu

Anmol Sharma

One of the most astounding things that


shock any young lawyer who joins the bar
is the burgeoning number of the
matrimonial disputes that are being
fought in the local courts of Jammu and
its surrounding periphery. The situation is
so rotten that it takes a while to come to
terms with it, in the sense that these
cases fought bitterly are happening to
the persons you know from your own
neighborhood or otherwise and never
knew what they are going through.

The condition has deteriorated to such an


extent that a special court has been set
up that deals only with cases involving
spousal disputes. The Matrimonial Court
in Jammu hears almost 50 to 60 cases
every day and the total number of cases
per year is anybody's guess. However, the even a fresh pass out from any law school in the public and making fun of each
story also does not end here and almost can make out what the clichéd cavil other is not only futile but also
same numbers of cases of the spousal complaints will be. The divorce petitions uncivilized and disparaging decency.
nature get transferred to other judges, or those for maintenance, restitution of
as the load is too much for a single court conjugal rights, and the most dreaded The course that a man or a woman takes
to handle. section of IPC the 498A are some of the in the court is both expected as well as
most common litigations haunting the dull. Whenever a women separates, she
Any body that sees so many young girls adverse parties. The irony in these cases at the first instance files for maintenance
and guys coming out the matrimonial is the fact that these complaints are not and the husband when he is sure that she
court is stunned because it is hard to only mechanically written but the even will not come back files for restitution of
believe that this is happening in Jammu the sordid contents of the different conjugal rights, which is only to avoid
and that too to Dogras who have a parties resemble each other. giving her the claimed maintenance. If
pristine glory of a compelling superior the husband later files for divorce his
traditional background. The It takes only a while to stand in the court wife then files a complaint under the
indiscriminate disease of divorce has and listening to the allegations and section 498A.
spread across the hierarchy of socio- counter allegations between the parties
economic status. You will see a woman to realize how blood thirsty the people The general tendency then is to involve
Professor of Jammu and a wife of fourth- become in these litigations. Many of the all the relatives of the husband whom she
class peon sitting next to each other and times, the parties physically fight, swear can think of, in the case of dowry
leveling the same accusations against abuses, and call names in the open court harassment. It is a very common scene in
their estranged husbands. and that too before the Judge. The the courts when almost 15 to 20 relatives
emotional theatrics and temper is of the husband are arrayed as accuseds
The anatomy of these cases without sometimes higher than even the cases and brought before the Judge. The poor
prejudice to anybody is the same and involving murder. Washing dirty laundry relatives then have to seek bail and

Epilogue Ø
11 ×
May 2008
S O C I E T Y
RELATIONS

appear before the judge at every date. made such an agreement with a famous King.

Until the recent past, Indians and more particularly Jammuites Another important thing white people do when they sense their
used to censure westerners for their fickle marriages and marriage is on the rocks is to undergo long counseling sessions. In
breakups but it is undisputable fact that we have now degraded India, the Matrimonial Judge tries to reconcile the litigating
ourselves more as far as public etiquettes and decency is parties and sits as a counselor, but the fact is that he is one of the
concerned. By dragging into the court some 80-year-old distant most overburdened persons around and cannot possibly take time
Uncle of her husband who might not have even attended the out for each party coming to the court and moreover he is also not
marriage ceremony of his nephew or claiming in the open court a professionally trained one.
in front of 20 people that his wife is leading an adulterous life is
diabolical and disappointing. Therefore, the only hope is that one day few bright people will
try to mend the system and start a discourse to analyze the
The husband's lawyer is also sometimes seen to ask the wife so situation from the real perspective. The real responsibility
tough and reckless questions that the woman weeps bitterly in ultimately rests with the man and the woman. It must be
front of the Judge. The situation is ugly and must be addressed realized by them that mere mud slinging will achieve nothing
soon. There are a few young girls also in their late 20's who have for them as Helen Rowland the famous American writer said,
filed so many cases against their in-laws that they almost come “When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn't a sign that
daily to the court and are all day over there. For them it has they “don't understand” one another, but a sign that they have,
become a sort of sole purpose in life to see punishment at last begun to.”
delivered to their husbands.

The biggest disadvantage, however, in these cases according to Life is not merely living but living in health
some of the senior lawyers is the long recourse that it takes to
redress the problem. When asked about the prospect of these
cases they remark that it is only in the beginning that the
L
parties are peevishly impatient and spill venom and after
realizing the futility because of the unnecessary delays in the
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n
The attitude of the police in these tribulations has also t eco .20/
s .1
compounded the problems than solved them. Khaki clad Police
Mo t Re
Jus
with colonial hangover creates havoc in this delicate and
personal problem. Women cell, which is one of the dirtiest
police stations in the town with broken chairs and tattered
walls, is also alleged to be a den of corruption. Police is ill
trained to handle Matrimonial disputes with no special training
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The light at the end of the tunnel is therefore is the way
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law however does not recognize a pre-nup agreement, which is
a big handicap. However, it is necessary to mention that pre-
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Epilogue Ø
12 ×
May 2008
ULBRIGH

United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI)


ANNOUNCES
2009-2010 Fulbright Fellowships in the U.S. for Indian Citizens

MASTER'S FELLOWSHIPS FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: For outstanding individuals who demonstrate
leadership qualities, have completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree, and have at least three years of professional
or work experience, to pursue a master's degree program at select U.S. colleges and universities in the areas of Business
Administration, Communication Studies, Economics, Environment, and Public Administration. Age: Between 25 and 30
preferred.
DOCTORAL AND PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS: For scholars pursuing Ph.D. at Indian institutions in the
areas of the United States, Strategic Studies, or New India Fields* OR for professionals with postgraduate degrees working
in organizations where the study of Strategic Studies or New India Fields would be useful. Age: 45 years or under preferred.
SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS: For faculty and researchers in colleges, universities or academic/research
institutions, policy planners, and professionals at not-for-profit organizations in India who have a Ph.D. or equivalent
published work in the areas of the United States, Education, Global Business Studies, and Society and Development. Age:
50 years or under preferred.
VISITING LECTURER FELLOWSHIPS: For faculty and researchers in the New India Fields* and other areas in Humanities
and Social Sciences. Age: 50 years or under preferred.
HUBERT H. HUMPHREY FELLOWSHIPS: For mid-level policy planners and administrators (including educational
administrators and planners) in the government, public and private sectors, and NGOs for professional development.
Fellowships in Drug Abuse Prevention may be offered to medical practitioners. Age: 45 years or under preferred.
FULBRIGHT-VANDERBILT FELLOWSHIP IN CLINICAL LEGAL EDUCATION: For an Indian law graduate with a
demonstrated interest in legal aid to the poor and with an express ambition of becoming a clinical law teacher to pursue an
LL.M. in Clinical Legal Education.
FULBRIGHT TEACHER EXCHANGE PROGRAM: For Indian secondary school teachers (9th to 12th grades) of English,
Mathematics, or Science to participate in direct exchange of positions with U.S. teachers for a semester.
INTERNATIONAL FULBRIGHT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AWARD: For outstanding individuals who have completed
an equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from a recognized Indian university to pursue Ph.D. in Aeronautics and
Astronomics/Aeronautical Engineering, Astronomy/Planetary Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Computer
Sciences/Engineering, Engineering (electrical, chemical, civil, mechanical, ocean, and petroleum), Environmental
Science/Engineering, Geology/Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Information Sciences/Engineering, Materials
Science/Engineering, Mathematics, Neuroscience/Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Oceanography and Physics at a top U.S.
institution in science, technology, or engineering.
* “New India Fields” include agriculture, civic engagement (voluntary sector and allied studies), environment,
global business studies, media technology (cinema studies including digital cinema studies), public health,
science and technology policy and management, urban studies, and special education.
Application materials are available on USEFI's website www.fulbright-indla.org. Requests for hard copies of application
materials may be sent to the USEFI office in your region along with a self-addressed stamped (Rs. 25.00) 1 0”x7” envelope.
Due dates for submission of 2009.2010 FuIbright applications begin May 1, 2008. For any queries, e-mail to:
ip@fulbrightindia.org
Northern Region: USEFI, 12 Halley Road, New Delhi 110001; Western Region: USEFI Regional Office, American Center,
4 New Marine Lines, Mumbai 400020; Eastern Region: USEFI Regional Office, American Center, 38A, Jawaharlal Nehru
Road, Kolkata 700071; and Southern Region: USEFI Regional Office, American Consulate Building, Anna Salai, Chennai
600006.

www.fuIbright-ndia.org
Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, Rajouri
185131 (J&K)
Admission For Academic Session 2008-09
MAT Forms available w.e.f. March 10, 2008
Department Test Dates Guidelines
Admission for Financial Management
shall also be made through MAT exam
Management Studies from this academic session onwards.
& May 4, 2008 Venue : BGSB University Rajouri or any
Financial Management other centre as notified in the MAT
Bulletin. MAT score of February 2008
shall be considered.

Admission for Information Technology


Computer Sciences shall also be made through Combined
& July 13, 2008 Entrance Test (CET) from this academic
Information Technology session onwards
Venue : Rajouri / Jammu / Srinagar

B.Tech (AICTE - LOI)


a. Computer Sciences and July/August For Detail Information
Engineering 2008 visit to university website :
b. Electronics & Dates will be notified
separately www.bgsbuniversity.org
Communications
c. Information Technology or Camp Office, Jammu / Srinagar

Application Forms along with Information Bulletin and MAT Bulletin are available for sale
through Demand Draft, drawn in favour of Registrar, BGSB University payable at Rajouri,
from the office of Assistant Registrar (Admissions), 01962-262616, Camp Office : Jammu
0191-2466892, 2464402 / Srinagar 09419011449. University Application Form can also be
downloaded from website : www.bgsbuniversity.org.
For More Details Contact : Dean Academic Affairs, 09419103563 and
Assistant Registrar (Admissions), 09419171665
No. BGSBU/Acad/08/17870 Sd/-
Dated : 5 March, 2008 Assistant Registrar (Academic Affairs)
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

Identity Formation :
The J&K Story

Baljit S. Mann

Jammu and Kashmir a state with clear-cut Muslim majority refused to join Pakistan when the Indian sub-continent was
portioned on the communal lines. Not only the maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of princely state took this decision but also the
leader of the popular movement against the imperial rule of the Maharaja led by the National Conference under the leadership
of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah refused to subscribe to the ideology of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and endorsed the decision of the
king. Initially its decision neither to join Hindu majority secular India nor Muslim majority Pakistan, implied its quest for
independent National identity. Of course later on circumstances forced it to joint Indian Union through instrument of accession
on October 22, 1947. Even thereafter, its desire for separate national identity did not exhaust. The contemporary scenario
indicates that the secular and plural identity of Jammu and Kashmir has transformed from within. Today the construction of
identities on the communal, ethnic and regional basis has become the dominant political discourse in the state.

Despite the fact that identity of state Although the state was having Muslim
started taking shape during colonial majority followed by a substantive
period in Jammu & Kashmir a Muslim Hindu minority and other minor
majority state, ruled by the Hindu Dogra minorities like Buddhists and Sikhs. It
Hari Singh, the religion could not had proved more conducive for the
become the password of its identity. construction of secular. plural and
Rather the oppressive rule of the king shared identity of the state, however
created a conducive environment for today the position is reverse. Third, the

?
blurring the boundaries among the farsighted political leadership of the
different religious, linguistic and ethnic state also contributed in this regard.
communities in the state and thereby
constructed the secular and plural However, the protest against the
identity of the state. Neither religion oppressive rule of the Hindu Dogra ruler
nor ethnicity was given much space in of the state, was articulated by the
the politics of Jammu & Kashmir, Muslim Conference under the leadership
despite this fact that there was of Sheikh Abdullah, but thereafter he
potential for communal and ethnic realized that the movement in its
conflict. The identity of state at that present form will convey the wrong
time was neither communal nor ethnic, message and it will also shrink its base, if
rather it was secular, shared and be pursued in its present form. Since the
inclusive. It was multiple, multi- agenda of the Muslim Conference was
layered, plural, open and flexible. neither communal nor sectarian,
therefore, it changed its name from
There were three factors responsible for Muslim Conference to All Jammu &
the construction of secular and plural Kashmir National Conference. That was
identity of the state. First, the a significant transformation in the
oppressive rule of the king, the Muslim Conference from within, which
hereditary ruler of the state promoted played very crucial role to construct the
the landlord aristocratic class and s e c u l a r, p l u r a l , i n c l u s i v e a n d
marginalized the peasant class. Second, multilayered identity of the state. On
the multi-cultural universe of the state October 5, 1947, addressing a mammoth
had also contributed for the gathering of one lath people in Iqbal Park
construction of secular identity. in Srinagar, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah

Epilogue Ø
15 ×
May 2008
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

declared that: “In Kashmir, we want a Kashmir Valley. This development The transfer of power from a Hindu Dogra
peoples' government, which will give brought a qualitative shift in the power King from Jammu to a Kashmiri Muslim
equal rights and equal opportunities to structure of the state on three counts: leader, Sheikh Abdullah from Valley
all, irrespective of caste and creed. It shifted the locale of power from Jammu conveyed a wrong message to the Dogra
will be joint government of the Hindus, region to Kashmir Valley; changed the Hindus of Jammu. From this
the Sikhs and the Muslims. That is what I power equation between the two major development, it was inferred that they
am fighting for”. religious and ethnic communities; are the part of Hindu majority secular
shifted the balance of power in favour of India but within their own state being a
Quest for identity Kashmiri ethnic community, whereas, minority, are ruled by the Muslims who
earlier it was in favour of Dogra ethnic happened to be in majority in Jammu &
community. Above all it shifted the Kashmir but minority in India. The main
In the post colonial period, though
power from the hands of minority to that factor, they identified for this situation
Jammu and Kashmir it joined Indian
of majority. was the special status of the state.
Union under unavoidable circumstances
but its desire for separate identity However, this diagnose was neither
remained intact. In order to fulfill its Sheikh Abdullah wanted the entire state correct nor appropriate. The more
thrust for identity, it had also been able to have a separate identity and to be convincing factor could be the electoral
to strike a deal with the Indian state. It ruled by the Valley, wherein the majority politics because in the electoral politics
did not join India like other princely population resided. Jammu was opposed the majority tends to rule. Consequently,
states but as a special category state. to both and Abdullah could not live there was a demand for full integration
The special status granted to the state without Jammu. Initially in continuation of Jammu & Kashmir with the Indian
under Article 370 of the Indian to past tradition, the nationalism and Union, which was raised by the Hindu
Constitution became the password of its secularism were the defining criterion of nationalists from the Jammu region and
spec political identity. The separate identity- although the state was having joined by the Hindu nationalists from the
political identity of the state was clear cut Muslim majority and ruled by other parts of India.
instituted through separate constitution the Kashmiri Muslim leader Sheikh
and flag besides many other icons of Abdullah. The ruling elite could not have
Their logic was being full- fledged part of
identity. At that time, its desire for afforded to construct the identity of
Hindu majority but secular India, they
identity was neither re1igiou ethnic but state either on the basis of religion or
will not be ruled by the Muslims, and
of course, it was more pragmatic, ethnicity. Reason being it was not
rather, they will be the part of ruling
political and secular. While addressing possible for it to keep three ethnically
majority. It can be argued that the Dogra
the United Nations Security Council on distinct parts of the state alongwith.
Hindu of Jammu could not reconcile with
February 6, 1948, Sheikh Abdullah stated Jammu and Kashmir has three ethnically
the end of the Dogra rule in the state.
that: “I and my organization never separable but geographically contiguous
Consequently, a popular movement
believed in the formula that Muslims and regions- a Dogra Hindu majority Jammu;
against Sheikh Abdullah, the ruler of
Hindus form separate nations. We did not a Kashmiri Muslim majority Valley and a
state was led by a Hindu Regional Party,
believe in the two-nation theory, not in Tibetan Buddhist majority Ladakh. If the
the Praja Parishad from Jammu, which
communalism or communalism itself... state nationalism is to be based on
was also joined by the Jan Sangh, the
we believed that religion had no place in Kashmiri ethnicity then it was not
leading Hindu Nationalists Party in Delhi
politics”. possible to keep Hindu Dogras from
Jammu and Buddhists from Ladakh in 1 952. This is how the process of
within the state. Therefore an attempt construction of regional, communal and
The pressure of popular movement led by ethnic identities was set in motion.
was made to construct the identity of
the All Jammu and Kashmir National
state on the basis of secularism and the
Conference had not only forced the king
Urdu language. Although this attempt of How should the state of Jammu and
to hand over power to the leadership of
the state could not yield desired fruit. Kashmir define its identity after the
this movement but also shifted the
The change of locale as well as power articulation of Hindu nationalism from
center of political power from Jammu to
equation in the state provided an Jammu alongwith the support of Hindu
Kashmir Valley. The Maharaja belonged
opportunity to the regional, communal outfits operating at national level, was a
to Jammu province, whereas, the leader
and ethnic forces to construct the huge question to deal with. However, the
of the popular movement to whom he
identities on the basis of ascriptive state under the leadership of Sheikh
handed over power hailed from the
affiliations. Abdullah tried to construct the national

Epilogue Ø
16 ×
May 2008
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

identity of the state on the basis of sharpening the ascriptive identities. The the Kashmiri Muslims that India does not
secularism and the Urdu language but process of shaping the Hindu identity in want to protect the separate political
within the framework of pluralism, which Jammu as well as the articulation of identity of the state, which was very dear
believes in peaceful co-existence but is Hindu nationalism at the national level to the survival and progress of the
also hierarchical in nature. This scenario had not only worried the Sheikh Abdullah Kashmiri Muslim identity in the secular
has resulted into the sharpening of but also the Indian secularists about the but Hindu majority India. It was a breach
communal, ethnic and regional identities future of Indian secularism. of trust between the Kashmiri Muslims
in the state when the Dogra Hindu and the Indian state. The articulation of
identity was constructed not only on the The politics set in motion created a Hindu nationalism from Jammu and the
basis of Hindu nationalism but it also critical mass that had led to the collapse response of Hindu nationalists thereof at
became very angular to the Kashmiri of secular, shared, and the plural identity the national level put a big question mark
Muslim identity. The articulation of the of the state, which Sheikh Mohammad on the longevity of Indian secularism and
former against the latter created a Abdullah constructed during the colonial the future of Indian secular identity as
context of mutual acrimony, distrust and period and tried to retain and well. It was an issue of major concern for
suspicion within the state. consolidate it in the post-colonial period them because the secular credential of
as well under the special status granted Indian national identity was compatible
At that time, Indian state was also very to the state through Article 370 of the with the secular identity of the state,
fascinated with its project of nation Indian Constitution. Sheikh Abdullah the which Sheikh Abdullah tried to construct.
building and national integration in order icon of national identity of state argued This development had opened the
to construct the national identity There that the special status is pre-requisite for pandora's box regarding the politics of
was convergence of agenda of the Indian the identity of state, whereas, the Hindu identities in the state besides
state and the Dogra Hindu identity from nationalists from Jammu thought that it transforming the dialogical relations
Jammu, which resulted into the politics was detrimental to their identity. To be between India's national identity and the
of identities within the state on the one more precise the Kashmiri Muslims were Kashmiri Muslim identity.
hand and created the distrust between convinced that special status is required
the Indian state and the Kashmiri Muslim for the security of their identity. Indian Maneuver and Seikh Abdullah’s
identity on the other and thereby also response
sharpened the Kashmiri Muslim identity. Both the identities Kashmiri Muslim and
Dogra Hindu having ethnic and regional Since Indian state started intriguing with
The process of socio-economic change connotation have been indulging into the special status of the state by
initiated by Sheikh Abdullah in the form binary politics on the issue of special responding to the demand of Hindu
of Land Reforms further aggravated the status. The bonds of the Hindu identity nationalists from Jammu, Sheikh
situation and sharpened the identity from Jammu are very strong with the Abdullah started hobnobbing with the
politics in the state because the majority larger Hindu majority identity of India. international community for the purpose
of the big landlords in Kashmir were That is why, the Hindu nationalists from of establishing the independent national
Hindus and the majority of peasants were Jammu are asking for the full integration identity of the state. Although Indian
Muslims. The economic power of the of Jammu and Kashmir into the Indian state had been able to constant a
Dogra (Hindu) landlards had been Union. This move was indirectly constituency within the National
seriously undermined in 1951 by the Big supported by the Indian state, when it Conference, which was advocating the
Landed Estates Abolition Act, which had started the process of eroding the special full integration of the state with Indian
provided for the confiscation of large status of the state. The process was set in Union- but thereby the bad politics was
landholdings without compensation and motion with the dissolution of popular set in motion to fulfill the vested
for the transfer of land to the tillers. The government, formation of puppet interest, which has proved counter
Hindu nationalists interpreted it as an government in the state and the arrest of productive in the long run. For the
attempt to marginalize the Hindu the Sheikh Abdullah, the most popular majority of Kashmiri Muslims, Kashmiri
identity not only in the politics but also in leader amongst the Kashmiri Muslims and identity and the special status of the
the economy of the state. The changing also the champion of nationalism and the state were inseparable, whereas for the
dynamism of political and socio- shared identity apart from advocating Hindu nationalists from Jammu, the
economic power in the state further the special status for the state. This special status was detrimental to their
aggravated/accelerated the process of development conveyed the message to identity. The kind of politics pursued in

Epilogue Ø
17 ×
May 2008
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

the post Sheikh Abdullah period further secularism. Communalism has become fight with each other on the one hand and
accelerated the politics of identities not the main mode of defining, constructing also used to have matrimonial alliances
only between the Indian state and and sharpening the identities within the between the Shia and Ladakhi ruling
Jammu & Kashmir but also within the valley. The angularity between the houses.
state and further within every region of Kashmir Muslim and Kashmir Pandit
the state. identities became so sharp that it Since the last one and half decade, the
resulted into the exodus of the latter peace is at stake and its shared cultural
Within the Jammu region, the process to from the valley. The exodus of Kashmiri identity is on the collision course. A brief
construct the Gujjar Muslim identity was Pandits from the valley has further survey of the contemporary scenario of
set in motion, which resulted into the transformed the Kashmiri identity from Ladakh has presented the reverse story
construction of the third largest identity within- from a shared, multi-layered, of the past. Like the other regions of the
of the state after the Kashmiri Muslims secular and plural identity to a sharp, state, Ladakh has been suffering from
and the Dogra Hindu identity. It was angular and communal. The moderate the polarization on ethnic and communal
primarily constructed to counter center of the Kashmiri identity lines. The recent communal violence has
Kashmiri Muslim identity by articulating collapsed- and the extremist center of further accelerated this process. The
that the Kashmiri Muslims are not the the same became pro-active. Thereby communal harmony and shared culture
sole representatives of the entire Muslim the shared Kashmiri identity became has become the main casualty of the
community from the state. The Gujjar binary from within and inter-communal same. The whole Ladakhi identity has
Muslims do not approve the secessionist dialogue was replaced by the inter- transformed from within- from a multi-
demand, which has been raised by some communal deadlock. However, the layered to a binary identity. This scenario
Kashmiri Muslims from the Kashmir valley Kashmiri Muslim identity is small in size leads to a basic question that why the
since 1990s. They argued that they are but still there are diverse layers within it shared culture of Ladakh has become
happy with the Indian State. The Gujjars like moderate and extremist. more angular and sharp?
are predominantly nomadic Muslim Tribe
who form the third largest community in Assertion of Ladakh In order to find the answer of this and
the state. However, the construction of related questions, there is need to
Gujjar identity has resulted into shaping Although, insignificant in the politics of examine the political process, which was
the Pahari identity from the Poonch and Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh constitutes pursued in the post- colonial period. The
Rajouri districts of the Jammu region. the two-third of its total landmass and political process unfolded in the state as
three per cent of its population. It has well as in the region has led to a situation
The forced displacement of the Kashmiri always been known for peace and in which the religions and cultural
Pandit community presents a classic case composite cultural identity. However, identities have become sharp. The
of ethnic-religious cleansing, which not the consciousness of adhering to politicization of religious and cultural
only sharpened the existing communal different religious systems remained differences marginalized the shared and
and ethnic identities within the state and strong, but the Buddhists and Muslims in multi-layered nature of Ladakhi identity
region but also constructed some new. Ladakh shared a common cultural Due to their numerical strength, the
For instance, the construction of identity. Both speak the Ladakhi Muslims established their hold on the
Kashmiri Pandit identity and its language and wore the same dress with politics, administration and the economy
angularity with the Kashmiri Muslim minor variations. The composite culture of the state. In Ladakh, the Buddhists
identity had become sharper. This has not used to blur the religious boundaries and have been in majority and the Muslims
only marginalized the shared, secular thereby created more space for shared are a substantive minority Although, the
part of the Kashmiriat but it has also and plural identity of the region. At the former is a micro-scophic majority,
jeopardized the plural, multiple and peoples' level, it is common to find whereas, the latter is micro-scophic
multi-layered part of Kashmiri culture. numerous families in Leh, which is a minority but macro-scophic majority in
The shared culture used to be the Buddhist majority district with Buddhist the overall politics of the state. Being
password of Kashmiri identity has and Muslims members. Of course, there micro-scophic minority in Ladakh and
become the major casualty; Now the used to be love hate relationship macro-scophic majority in the state,
password of Kashmiri identities both between the Ladakhi Buddhist Kings and Muslims have always enjoyed the
Muslim and Hindu is neither the Shia Muslim rulers of various privileged position in the politics,
Kashmiriat nor shared culture or principalities in Baltisan. They used to administration and economy of the

Epilogue Ø
18 ×
May 2008
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

Ladakh. Despite this fact that the plural identity to a binary identity. The Leh, which means that in few decades
Buddhists are majority in the region, but ruling elite exploited the religious the Buddhists would come in minority in
still the balance of power is tilted in differences to deal with political Ladakh the militancy in the valley and its
favour of the Muslims. The formers were problems, which marginalized the inter- impact on the overall political scenario
discriminated against and the region was religion dialogue and also made the of the state. The above-mentioned
neglected while allocating funds and composite culture of Ladakh angular account created the environment of
projects by the state government. from within. suspicion, distrust and acrimony
between the two religious communities
The Buddhists did not only protest The binary identity politics emerged as a of Ladakh. The marginalization of
against the discrimination meted out to dominant discourse in the politics of communal harmony resulted into the
them by the rulers from the Kashmir deadlock between the two communities
valley but they also started articulating when the complete economic and social
their cause vis-à-vis the Kashmiri Muslim In every region of the state, there boycott of Muslims by the Buddhists was
rulers. The politics set in motion in the imposed in 1989. However, initially the
is the politics of one dominant boycott was directed at the Kashmiri
state as well as in Ladakh has generated a
critical mass, which is responsible for the identity vis-à-vis the other Muslims, who controlled the local
administration as well as Ladakhi Sunni
politics of identities. Being a Buddhist dominated identities. Therefore,
majority area, Ladakh did not reconcile Muslims, who dominated the economy of
every region of the state is Leh town and who were seen as Kashmiri
with the Kashmiri dominance in its power
structure and raised the demand of Union characterized by the politics of agents opposing to the Buddhist demand
Territory status for Ladakh in order to for autonomy. The Balti Shias were later
dominant and dominated also included after they made common
protect its identity. Although, the
Kashmiri Muslims have always been
identities. The dominant identity cause with the Sunnis. This deadlock was
resolved in 1992 when the government of
asking for more autonomy from the Union has always tried to maintain and
of India but they were not ready to give India convinced the Ladakh Buddhist
strengthen its hold on the politics, Association that it would not consider its
autonomy to the Ladakh region, which is
geographically and physically the part of economics and administration, demand if it carried on with the boycott
the state but culturally a poll apart. With the intervention of Indian state, the
whereas, the dominated identities Leh Autonomous Hill Council was set-up
have always been in search of an providing the Leh district with
Instead of responding to the demand of considerable internal autonomy. It was
the Ladakhi Buddhists honestly, the opportunity to challenge and
short of Ladakhi Buddhists demand of UT
rulers from the valley started playing the contest the domination of the status Ladakh- because the Ladakhi
politics of identity Sheikh Abdullah
applied the principle of divide and rule to
former. The dominant-dominated Muslims opposed the demand for fear of
being dominated by the more advanced
the Ladakhi situation. The demographic identity politics is based on the Buddhists. Ladakhi Muslims do not wish
structure of Ladakh provided the unequal rather than the equal to separate Ladakh from the Muslim
conducive environment for the same. majority state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The numerical difference between the relations.
Buddhist majority and Muslim minority is
not very vast. Two subregions of Ladakh The Ladakhi Muslim identity is unique in
Ladakh in which the others' of Ladakhi itself. It is primarily concentrated in the
Leh and Kargil are having the
Buddhist identity used to enjoy the state Kargil district of Ladakh and having
concentration of the Buddhists and the
patronage: This situation of Ladakh has different shades and layers. Although
Muslims respectively. Exploiting that
furthered increased the insecurity of the small in its size but it is plural in
demographic profile of the region, the
Buddhist Ladakhi identity, which has composition and complexion. It is having
Kargil Muslim identity was constructed to
always been remained under the two sects: Shias and Sunnis within its
counter the Buddhists demand for the
fold, however, the majority is Shias. The
Union Territory for the Ladakh. By constant threat to its survival and
Shia Muslims have strong cultural
constructing the immediate other of the progress on three counts: Kashmir's
boundswith the Ladakhi Buddhists than
Ladakhi Buddhist identity, the state has demand for independence and merger
the Kashmiri Muslims. They do not
transformed the Ladakhi shared identity with Pakistan; population growth in the
support the secessionist demand of the
from within - from a multi-layered and Kargil is considerably higher than in the

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latter and are pro-India and anti-Pakistan Ladakhi Buddhist identities. Of course,
but they wish to be the part of Jammu &
Kashmir. It can be argued that the
identity politics between India and the
they have always been enjoying the
patronage of Indian state, though they
blame the latter for its appeasement
Now
state of Jammu and Kashmir has resulted policy towards Kashmiris. There is deep
into intra-state identity politics, which
has further sharpened the intra-region
and intense trust between the Indian
state and the Dogra and Ladakhi
Telling
identity politics. Since under the pulls of identities, whereas, there is trust deficit
the forces of national integration and
nation-building, the Indian state tried to
assimilate Jammu & Kashmir like other
between the Indian national identity and
the Kashmir Muslim identity. The J&K
states into the mainstream of the country The dominant and the dominated
by eroding its special status granted
under Article 370 of the Indian
Constitution, which has already proved
In every region of the state, there is the
Stories
counter productive. Consequently, the
dialogical relations between the
Kashmiri Muslim identity and the Indian
politics of one dominant identity vis-à-vis
the other dominated identities.
Therefore, every region of the state is
characterized by the politics of dominant
Epilogue
national identity have become because there is more to know
competitive and conflictual. Within the and dominated identities. The dominant
state neither Hindu nationalists from identity has always tried to maintain and
Jammu region nor Buddhists from Ladakh strengthen its hold on the politics,
has trust in the Kashmiri identity and its
supremacy in the politics of the state.
economics and administration, whereas,
the dominated identities have always
Contact
They have failed to reconcile with the been in search of an opportunity to
supremacy of Kashmiri identity in the challenge and contest the domination of ABDULLAH NEWS AGENCY
politics, administration and the economy the former. The dominant-dominated
Lal Chowk, Srinagar
of the state, which was set in motion in identity politics is based on the unequal
rather than the equal relations. 9419074859
the post- accession phase. Both have
been feeling insecure in the power Although, the dominated identities are
equation emerged in the state after the demanding equal space in the public
transfer of power from Dogra Hindu King domain but the dominant identities are RAINA NEWS AGENCY
to Sheikh Abdullah a leader of popular not prepared for that. The electoral
politics has further sharpened this
Residency Road, Jammu
movement from Kashmir valley.
syndrome in the politics of three
different regions apart from the inter-
Why are they feeling insecure, is a huge
regional politics of the state. The ABC STATIONERS AND
question to deal with. The kind of
unhealthy identity politics has played its
political discourses emerged in the DISTRIBUTORS
role to erode the common space and
politics of state substantiated their Leh
shared culture between the dominant and
thesis that Kashmiri Muslims will ask for
dominated identities. It has made their
independence from the Indian state. This
relations more acrimonious, bitter and
fear was further accentuated when
conflict ridden. Instead of blurring the
political violence was set in motion in the CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY
angularities of diverse identities within
Valley in the late 1980s. Both the Hindu New Delhi
the region and state, the politics has
Dogras and Ladakhi Buddhists believe
further sharpened the differences and
that their respective identities will be in
eroded the common, shared and
danger in such kind of scenario. They
overlapping space The sub-identities OXFORD BOOK STORE
have more proximity with the Indian
from the three religiously and culturally
identity than with the Kashmiri identity.
diverse regions of the state have
New Delhi, Mumbai,
There has always been a feeling of Calcutta, Bangalore,
become more angular, sharp and
distrust and suspicion between the
Kashmiri identity and the Dogra Hindu & hostile, towards each other. Chennai & Goa

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Gujjar Identity In Multicultural


Mosaic Of J&K

Balraj Puri

It has by now been universally recognized Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation phone and asked him to discuss with me
that diversity promotes creativity and respectively. details of a cultural policy for the Gujjars
growth while uniformity leads to of the state. As our discussion was taking
stagnation and decline. As Jammu and Discussing the importance of the place in parliament House, she called
Kashmir state is the richest state of the community in the contemporary context Ram Chander Vikal, MP and a prominent
country in terms of diversities, it should I once expressed my disagreement with Gujjar leader of the UP, to implement my
have set highest standard of creativity Indira Gandhi over the Kashmir as a suggestion regarding closer interaction
and growth. But failure to reconcile and symbol of Indian secularism. It often between Gujjars of the state and those in
harmonize the aspirations and interests traced the history of secularism in the the rest of the country. According, I
of its diversities had created host of country from Emperor Akbar to called the first All India Gujjar
problems from which its people Fakharuddin Ahmad, the then president Conference in Jammu where national
continued to suffer. of India. Firstly Gujjar leaders, Like Ram Chander Vikal
and Shafqat Jung, and from neighbouring
I have contributed my mite in getting Kashmiris consider Akbar as the first states shared the stage with Gujjar
recognition for all diversities and aggressor on Kashmir who enslaved it. It Leaders of the state. This conference re-
reconcile their aspirations and interests. the government of India claimed to established the secular character of the
In this endeavour, I discovered almost in inherit the tradition of Akbar, it would community. Many demands were made at
the beginning of my public life in early mean Kashmir's slavery continued. the conference, some of which were
forties the unique role of Gujjar Secondly this approach did not take into addressed to the state government while
community in the multicultural mosaic of account diversities among Muslims and others to the central government. Some
the state. For it have a very ancient Hindus of the state. of them were conceded in due course of
antiquity which has retained its distinct time. Similar conference were held in
character and can be adjusted with places like Rajouri.
In this context I argued that the state of
different cultures. As it is spread to Jammu and Kashmir was a miniature
almost all regions of the state-some of its India where people of so many races, At a later stage indira Gandhi accepted
caravans go upto Kargil-it could make cultures and ethnic groups co-existed. my proposal to grant schedule tribe
best contribution to the unity of the For instance, I added, that Gujjars and status to the community. But before she
state. Dogras outnumber Kashmiris. When could implement her commitment, she
asked what should be done, I said that, a felt victim to the bullets of two of her
I was fortunate to come in close contact process of Gujarisation should be Sikh body guards, who were outraged by
with enjoyed the affection of started. What do you mean by that, the attack on the golden Temple, in 1984.
personalities like Hazarat Nizamuddin Indira Gandhi asked. I explained, that at
and brigadier Khuda Baksh. Several of my a cultural level, efforts should be made After some changes in the government,
good colleagues like Sarvari Kasana, Haji to revive their rich cultural heritage and Chander Shekhar became the prime
Buland Khan, Gulzar Ahmad, Ram Prasad at a political level, the community in the minister for a short time. Once I was
Khatana and Nooruddin Kataria are no state should be brought in touch with staying at J&K House in New Delhi, Lal
more. By now many good institutions and their co-brethren in the rest of the Mohammad Sabar came to my room and
scholars have done fresh research or country. used my telephone to call Ram Chander
highlighted historical accounts of this Vikal. When Sabar told him at he was
ancient community. Notable among them She called Inder Gujral, the then minister speaking form my room, Vikal asked him
are Gurjardesh Charitable Trust and of information and broadcasting, on to hand over the phone to me and wanted

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to know if he could come to see me asked me, “since when you became a take such decision. I told him that due to
immediately. I told him he was welcome. Gujjar leader.” I replied “since they turmoil(in nineteens) the election in the
Vikal said, “you have already indebted accepted me as such.” state had been postponed and the code
Gujjar community so much that it can did not apply to it. He was convinced and
never repay. Please do another favour. Then I explained the purpose of our visit. soon after the decision to grant ST Status
Somehow Indira Gandhi could not honour Inspite of commitment of indira Gandhi, to Gujjars of the state was announced.
her commitment to grant scheduled tribe bureacrats put hurdles in implementing Earlier, Sheikh Abdullah, after returning
status to the community. Since the it, I said Chander Shekhar commented “if to power in 1975, announced formation
present prime Minister Chander Shekhar I am convinced bureaucratic hurdles do of a Gujjar Welfare Board headed by me.
is your friend. Kindly take up the matter
not matter.” After a brief discussion, he I declined the post and suggested that it
with him.” I told him, “let us take a
said, “it will be done.” legitimately belonged to a Gujjar.
chance to see him right now and see what
he can do” Vikal agree and three of us,
Later Subodh Kant Sahay, who was Home Ever since I have been associated with
including Sabar visited Chander Shekhar's
residence and sent our chit. He Minister at that time, visited Jammu. He various conference and activities of the
immediately came out. After saying hello called me form Raj Bhawan to see hin. I Gujjars of the state. Though I have
to me he greeted Vikal-whom he knew as asked hi why the decision on ST Status to served the interest of other communities
a very senior leader of the UP-with Gujjars was being delayed. He explained also, the affection and respect I have
“Parnam” and asked him what could he it was due to announcement of election received from Gujjars are unmatched
do for him. Vikal said, “please speak to and code of conduct which was enforced and more then compensate whatever I
our leader Balraj Puri”. Chander Shekhar by that time, the government could not could do for them.

JAMMU & KASHMIR KHADI AND VILLAGE INDUSTRIES BOARD


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Khadi India

ØGenerate employment in rural areas.


ØDevelop entrepreneurial skills and attitude among rural unemployed youth.
ØFacilitate participation of financial institutions for higher credit flow to rural industries.
ØRealising the goal of Rural Industralizations.
ØFocusing on skill upgradation and marketing linkage.
Ø36000 units working in the state.
Achievements for year 2007-08
ØCreated employment opportunities for more than 40,000 persons under village industries by setting up over
2800 units.
ØCreated employment for more than 30,000 through 37 Khadi institutions under Khadi Sector in the State.
ØSix institutions/KVIB Unit holders awarded National Awards.
ØProduction of KVI Sector is over 300 crores annually.
ØCarpet, Crewel, Chain stitch, Kani and Pashmina Shawls, Papier machie, Wooden and Leather items being
exported.
To implement Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) from June 2008
in place of Rural Employment Generation Programme (Regp) and PMRY.

No. : KVIB/FP/1335-38
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

60 Years Of
Unattended Gripes

Ranjit Kalra

Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Jammu


on April 25, the Gujjars issued an appeal inviting his
attention to their plight. An operative line in the appeal asks
the Prime Minister, “what were the reasons that third
largest identity in Jammu and Kashmir could not find any
reference in the five working groups constituted by you two
years back”. It goes on the ask, “the Rs 24,000 Crore
package you announced for Jammu and Kashmir during your
visit to the state in November 2004 is changing the profile of
people but the package does not have anything specific
aimed at alleviating our plight”. When Gujjars get an
opportunity to speak, the list of complaints does not end
here. There are grievances piling up for last 60 years. “It is
disappointing that there is no mention of Gujjars in the
recommendations of the four Working Groups and there is
no incentive for Scheduled Tribes in two packages the Prime
Minister announced for State. We constitute third largest
identity in the State but still have all along been unilaterally
offering sacrifices for the cause of national unity. What we
get in return is the sheer neglect”, says Javed Rana, a Gujjar
legislator.

Gujjars have a unique identity and therefore unique problems


and unique aspirations. This lowly tribe refused to be a part of
separatist movement and could not be wooed to join the armed
resistance which has been going on in Jammu and Kashmir.
With a sizeable population in almost all districts of the state,
Gujjars mostly make a single largest identity in the pockets of CLASS IN PROGRESS : Gujjar students in a school which does not
Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipore and Anantnag have a building. This is not a case in isolation. (Jp’s Gallery)
districts. They temporarily inhabit or pass through the tracts
used by the militants to infiltrate or move to the interiors. frontiers and our own lives as well”, says Haji Mushtaq Hussain of
Therefore, sometimes being a host to the militants is a gun- Mendhar –an area close to the Line of Control. The demand gained
point compulsion and the next day landing in the Police lockup currency and in 2002-03 and the then Union Home Minister LK
or nearest Army picket is but natural. “This is how we have Advani and Defence Minister George Fernandes promised raising
been paying price for refusing to join the militancy”, says Gujjars Scouts.
Darbar Hussain, a prominent Gujjar activist in Rajouri.
Therefore, on December 18, 2003 the proposal was cleared to be
This is a serious problem. They are suspect on both sides. As put before the Cabinet Committee on Security for raising a new
falling victim to the double edged sword had become an order force comprising Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir for deployment
of the day, the wise among the Gujjars came up with a solution on the difficult terrains of the state to check infiltration from
in late 1990s. They sought the Central Government help to Pakistan and take on mercenaries and local militants in these
raise a Gujjar militia. “Like Rajput Rifles or Gurkha Regiment, areas. The force decided to be named as the Gujjar Scouts was to
we wanted to have a force of Gujjars to defend the nation's be formed on the pattern of Ladakh Scouts and attached to an

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Army unit. The Gujjar scouts were to be


drawn from 1000 youngsters of the
Gujjar and Bakerwal community who are
the worst-affected people in the state.
The proposal said that the the Scouts will
be trained in anti-insurgency operations
and armed with the state-of-the-art
equipment.

The motivating factor for raising the


Gujjar Scouts was the fact that the
Gujjar and Bakerwal youth are well
conversant with the topography and
would be put on the grid with the nearest
Army or BSF unit and the move would
have ensured that those recruited have a
stake in fighting terrorism in the state.
The need for such a force was felt during
the May 2003 "Operation Sarpvinash" in Many Gujjars get buried alive in snowfall due to unsafe shelters (as seen above).
the Hilkaka forests in Surankote area of Over 200 of them were killed in Waltengonar of South Kashmir in Feb. 2006.
Jammu division. Militants had set up
bases in the area for the preceding four since August 2003 but unfortunately the their rehabilitation, we deeply
years and there were at least 10 such idea of forming Gujjar Scouts got scuttled appreciate the initiatives”. Ali, a
places on the Pir Panjal ranges where the somewhere in the files of Central prominent social worker adds, “projects
ultras had built well-fortified bunkers. Government. The Gujjars have now made worth Rs 100s of Crores have been
The security forces conducting counter- a fresh appeal to the Prime Minister to launched for developing flats and
insurgency operations in the state had consider the formation of an Army colonies for Kashmiri Pandits at
very little idea about such deep Regiment of the youth drawn from them. different places…whenever a dignitary
penetration by militants, mainly The government in 1963 had formed the from the Center comes here, including
mercenaries, and it was for the first time Ladakh Scouts in the wake of 1962 war the Prime Minister and the Congress
against China. The Ladakh Scouts or the
that the Army Chief had brought it to the president they drive straight to these
"Snow Tigers", comprising local Buddhists
notice of the CCS. projects to see the progress...it
and Tibetan commandos, is one of the
underlines the concern for the homeless
Army's most decorated units with more
Another objective for setting up the people which needs to be appreciated”.
than 300 gallantry awards to its credit,
Gujjar Scouts was to keep the infiltration But don't they think that four lakh of us
including one Ashok Chakra, ten Mahavir
routes in Doda, Rajouri and Poonch free Chakras and two Kirti Chakras. It was the have roaming around for decades
from any Army intervention by terrorising first unit of the Indian Army to without any shelter…if not flats and
the Muslim Gujjar population. That time, successfully launch the counter strike townships, can't they think of some
the locals of remote mountain village of against Pakistani incursions in the 1999 hutments for us”, asks Hashim Ali.
Marrah in Poonch district had put up a Kargil operations in the Batalik sector.
strong defence against the Lashkar-e- The latest census data is yet to come up
Toiba jehadis operating in the area. The with certified figures on different
This tribe which constitutes the third
villagers of Marrah revolted against the communities in Jammu and Kashmir but
atrocities committed by militants and largest ethnic, linguistic and cultural
estimates suggest that they constitute
formed a 'vigilante army' which called identity in Jammu and Kashmir has always
around 20 per cent of the total
itself the Pir Panjal Scouts. The Pir Panjal complained of being kept out of all
population. While almost all Gujjars in
Scouts, along with the Army, drove the political discourses and welfare
this state lead a semi-nomadic way of
ultras out of the Hilkaka bowl, their base programs. Says, Master Hashim Ali, “we
life, a fourth of their total population is
above Marrah. The village still continues feel the pain of Kashmiri Pandits on their fully nomadic with no land holdings or
to have over 50 armed volunteers to uprooting from the homeland. Therefore, any other permanent establishments.
defend it, and no militants have visited it when the government makes efforts at They are characterized by rearing

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cattle, sheep and goat and keep moving from one place to another
throughout the year in search of pastures and fodders. Of late the
Icons Of Identity
implementation of forest laws and eviction of the illegal occupants of
the state land have exposed the nomadic Gujjars to a worst crisis.
Gurjardesh
Charitable Trust
For this semi-nomadic to nomadic lifestyle and lack of an organized
tribal education policy, Gujjars have the lowest rate of literacy. The
children of a majority of them either don't go to schools or drop out at
an earlier stage. Therefore, they hardly reach a stage where they can Earlier, this month when Union Human
have a role in the decision making process. A survey conducted by an Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh
NGO, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation of India says that laid the foundation stone of country's first
Gujjars have a negligible representation in state's administration. Tribal University in Amarkantak, Madhya
Quoting from the survey, its Secretary Javed Rahi says, “in the Civil Pradesh, there was a little disappointment
Secretariat, the seat of the government, there are 101 Under- among a section of emancipated Gujjars but
Secretaries and Private Secretaries and only one Under-Secretary simultaneously it renewed their enthusiasm.
belongs to the Gujjar Tribe”. Though he describes this as an act of An icon of the Gujjar identity, the Gurjardesh
social injustice but the fact is that for a majority of Gujjars education Charitable Trust in J&K had long been mulling
is an alien concept. The prospects of improving the social profile of the idea of setting up a Tribal University. “We
Gujjars started looking up since 1991 when they were included in the thought ours could be first in the country”,
Scheduled Tribes, thus made eligible for some concessions and says Masud Chaudhary, its founder and
avenues of growth. However, the Gujjars allege that the real benefits Chairman. Choudhary, also first Vice
of being Scheduled Tribe have never been allowed to percolate down.
Chancellor of the Wakf funded and state run
In the month of March, there is always a cry from all parts of state
BGSB University says, “GDCT is poised to
that the central funds allocated for the development of tribal areas
dedicate to the nation, the second Tribal
have lapsed. “Works are not taken up in time and funds eventually
University after the IGNTU at Amarkantak”.
lapse. In my district, the funds were not released even till the month
of March this year”, says Zulfikar Ali, a Gujjar political leader from
Rajouri. He adds, “our community does not have a representation in In 60 years of political uncertainty in Jammu
the administration and others at the helm of affairs are not sensitive and Kashmir, the process of identity
to our issues”. formation has seen its own permutations –it
involved many things including rebellion and
“The Scheduled Tribe status is a cruel joke on Gujjars”, says Master consolidation to become known and
Hashim Ali. He goes on to explain, “under the provisions of Scheduled recognized. Almost coinciding with the same
Tribe we should have got reservation in the state legislature which we time when militancy broke out in the state in
have been fighting for nearly two decades”. He says, “even though late 1980s, there was the birth of a small yet
there is not even a word of assurance on reservation to the Scheduled farsighted movement of identity formation. A
Tribes in legislature that the government and the political group of Gujjars under the leadership of
establishment is propping up a wide range of elite and upper class Masud Chaudhary, an IPS officer, thought of
communities for their inclusion in Scheduled Tribes”. Of late the giving wings to the imagination. They started
Pahari speaking people have been strongly pitching for the Scheduled working at carving out an identity of Gujjars
Tribe status which is being vehemently opposed by the Gujjars. While driven with education and cultural
many of them describe this campaign as a creation of security renaissance.
agencies to keep a divide among the non-Kashmiri Muslims growing,
the Gujjars for almost last eight years have forgotten their own issues In 1992 when the Gurjardesh Charitable Trust
to oppose the inclusion of Paharis in the list of Scheduled Tribes. “In
took formal shape at a modest function
its singularly focused policy on Kashmir, New Delhi is making us to pay
organized a hotel in Jammu, Chaudhary, its
a price for swearing by India”, says Hashim Ali.
patron had asked the members to come in
traditional dresses –the Khan suit and flowing
Now since elections are round the corner, at least in eight districts of turban. Instead of coming to venue in the
Jammu and Kashmir, as always, it is going to be the Gujjar versus traditional Gojari turbans they carried them
Pahari politics as the parties find it a most convenient way of in bags to venue and put them back in the bags
mustering votes. What gets lost is the attention to the real issues. after the function was over. Reason: they

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feared people in the town laughing at them for their


awkward turbans. Same was the case with Gojari language. ‘We Are Working For
Speaking Gojari in the public would amount to declaring
oneself as backward and weirdly outlandish. Contrary to A Tribal University’
this situation of early 1990s, last year at a function of
Gujjars, attended by others also, in Jammu, a majority of INTERVIEW
over thousand odd participants were was seen in turbans. Masud Chaudhary
Those who come from other linguistic groups, including the Chairman GDCT
state Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, were also speaking
Gojari. This is what the Gurjardesh Charitable Trust has
What was the motivation behind setting up this NGO
done these years. “We are not forcing anyone to speak
–the Gurjardesh Charitable Trust when you had an
Gojari but our aim is to create awareness that the Gojari
honourable position and promising career in
language and Gujjar culture have a rich history dating back
government?
to centuries and this needs to be recognized and
respected”, says Farooq Alam, a Trustee.
In village where I was born and brought up, I never
found any problem with my language –Gojari. After
A majestic building of the GDCT, a part of Rs 10 Crore
obtaining higher education at Aligarh when I joined
ambitious project, on the Jammu-Pathankote National
Police services in late 1960’s, I found my men in the
Highway today stands apostle to the Gujjar identity. There
department hesitant of speaking in Gojari. During my
were not may who contributed to the GDCT efforts at the
visits to the Police
beginning but now each Gujjar refers to the upcoming
lines, the Gujjar boys
heritage center as “our building”. The complex which would run away fearing
houses a an auditorium, a library, museum, a conference that I would talk to
hall, publishing house and research house has now become them in Gojari. To my
an icon of the Gujjar identity. shock and surprise I
found them shy of
“We always wanted to set up a Tribal University but a speaking in the mother
beginning had to be made from school for being sure about tongue as they feared
our capabilities”, says Chowdhary. Bringing Gujjars to others laughing at
mainstream through education has been the foremost them. I went on to
activities of the GDCT. It goes to their credit for having investigate only to find
realized the gravity of the problem and for having that even ten Gujjars
responded to the call of the hour by starting a chain of would not speak in
Schools in which children belonging to all the weaker Gojari in front of one non-Gujjar –it was stigmatic. I
sections of the society are provided quality education. thought this stigma would have to be removed to bring
While recounting the achievements of GDCT, in its the Gojari identity its due place. Lack of education
made bottomline of the problem. I made strenuous
educational advancement programs, KB School (named
efforts in 1970s and 80s and later thought that this
after Brigadier Khuda Baksh) started in 1995 in a two-room
process needs to be institutionalized. Therefore, the
hutment is now brimming with more than 1200 students at
GDCT was formally born in 1992.
its sprawling complex in Jammu. Perhaps there is no such
community initiative anywhere in the region.
So, how was the journey ahead?

The Trust is now gearing up to set up a Tribal University. A


memorandum for the purpose has already been sent to the There are some problems common to all community
Prime Minister of India and the matter is being actively initiatives. Often people are seen concerned about
pursued with the state government. Making an interesting their own amelioration and not that of community.
case for identity recognition and assertion, the When we took the lead, there were some
memorandum sent to the Prime Minister bears signatures of apprehensions that we are doing this for own interest.
representatives of almost all shades of opinion in Jammu We went on to contribute our bit without giving an ear
and Kashmir. to criticism. As the bits and pieces of our ideas saw the

Epilogue Ø
26 ×
May 2008
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

translation into leaps and bounds, the fence sitters realized Education
the sincerity of purpose and GDCT went on to appropriate its
role. Now among Gujjars as well as non-Gujjars, GDCT is seen In fact education is the zero-mile from where our journey begins.
as fountainhead of emancipation and a symbol of Gujjar We are thoroughly convinced that as long as the menace of
cultural renaissance in the sub-continent. illiteracy is not confronted with a firm resolve, the community
cannot break free from the fetters of exploitation and socio-
How do you put its position in context of subcontinent? economic discrimination. In just realization of this fundamental
need, we are already running a 10+2 Higher Secondary School in
Ask any anthropologist or a historian and he will instantly let Jammu which has more than 1200 children on its rolls. Our thrust
you know that Gurjar community as sub-continental presence on education is a continuing effort and to start a string of new
and there are strong cultural bonds and a common heritage Schools in remote and backward areas of the State is prominently
that is shared by them irrespective of their geographical on our agenda. Similarly, in near future we have plans of setting up
location. I may add here that Gurjars are spread over 11 Indian a Tribal University of Science & Technology which will be a major
States as well as in some areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. initiative from us in the field of education.

Well, your organization is devoted to the cause of Gujjar Culture


tribe. So, what are the pressing issues before the tribe and
your priorities? Preservation of our rich cultural heritage forms the backbone of
our most fundamental concerns. Without this a community ceases
We honestly believe that Gujjars as a community are way to have its identity. We found our people shy of pursuing their
behind other demographic units in the State whether this is in culture. This was primarily for the lack of patronage. The state
terms of literacy, economic well-being or political run institutions have done very little for promotion of Gujjar
empowerment. It is so painful that even after 60 years of culture. Therefore, offer a platform for performance at a wider
Independence, they are still living nomadic or semi-nomadic canvass. There is a lot in the Gujjar culture which can attract
life, their children have yet to be motivated to undergo School national attention but there has always been a lack of
education, their womenfolk are still bereft of dignified social encouragement.
existence for want of education and awareness and their We are also bringing out regular publications that throw light on
menfolk are still content with their utterly deplorable socio- tribal literature and culture. We are arranging periodical musical
economic conditions. Illiteracy, as I understand, is at the root concerts and staging various forms of dance and drama which
of all the miseries the community is facing today. We are generates a wave of consciousness in the younger generation and
working at a two pronged strategy –educational empowerment thus helps us transmit our social values to them making them
and cultural awakening. richer and wiser.

SH CHA
DE
You talked about Tribal University. Where does that stand?
RI
GURJA R

TA B
LE

With our strenuous efforts we have been able to motivate a


sizeable population of Gujjars to send their children to the
schools. Our KB Public School, in a way, symbolized the relation
between Gujjars and Education. Our next stride is towards setting
K.B. Public Hr. Sec. School
K.B. Public Hr. Sec. School Children’s Paradise School
up a Tribal University. The recommendation of the Knowledge
Begum Akbar Jahan, Miran Sahib Public School Commission constituted by the Prime Minister further encourages
Foundation & Research Lib. our mission. We are thinking on two lines –one that the
Ram Bagh Public School
Museum Government of India selects Jammu and Kashmir as one of the
Vocational Centre
Conference Hall locations for setting up the Tribal University and two that the
Coaching Centre
Workshop Computer Centre Gurjardesh Charitable Trust is funded to do this. We have send a
Publishing House Hostel memorandum to the honourable Prime Minister outlining our
Women & Child Care Centre
profile and assuring of our capabilities to handle this task. One or
Studio
the other way, I can say with confidence that Tribal University will
Research House Residential Complex
soon be a reality.

Epilogue Ø
27 ×
May 2008
BRIDGING GAPS
J&K WITNESSING UNPRECEDENTED INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT
A R E S U M E O F B R I D G E S S E C TO R

Balole Bridge Jammu completed in a record time of 7 months

E
Rs. 5.42 crore Balole Nallah Bridge, Jammu started in March 2006, completed in a record time of seven
months.
E
Kunzer, Baramulla bridge completed in record time of seven months.
E
Work on seven bridges in Kashmir valley and four in Jammu division launched at a cost of about Rs. 2 crore
each in December 2006, to be completed in December 2008.
E
Rs. 11.91 crore Bagh Nallah Bridge Akhnoor started in November 2005, to be completed in August 2008.
E
Rs. 8.50 crore Ahangmati Pora Bridge Anantnag started in July 2006, to be completed in August 2008.
E
Rs. 3.50 crore Juhama Bridge, Baramulla started in September 2007, to be completed in September 2008.
E
Rs. 3.81 crore Trehgam Bridge Kupwara started in June 2005, completed in two years.
E
Rs. 5.95 crore Mughalpora Bridge Kupwara started in June 2005, completed in two years.
E
Rs. 2.50 crore Seer Jagir Bridge Baramulla started in August 2007, to be completed in June 2008.
E
Rs. 29.95 crore Ganpat Bridge, Doda started in November 2006, to be completed in December 2008.
E
Rs. 9.12 crore Chatti Padshahi Bridge Baramulla started in December 2006, to be completed in December
2008
E
Rs. 18 crore Kethar Manova Bridge Akhnoor, Jammu started in November 2005 to be completed 2008.
E
10 bridges at a cost of Rs. 19.35 crore completed last year, two bridges at a cost of Rs. 6 crore to be
completed during the current financial year.
E
27 bridge projects approved during last two years at a cost of Rs. 458.21 crore.

Issued by :
Department of Information and Public Relations
Jammu and Kashmir Government
ROADS TO PROSPERITY
A well nit-road is life line of economy in a state like Jammu and Kashmir presenting mosaic
of geographical and topographical vagaries.
For this reason Ghulam Nabi Azad led government accords priority to road sector.

Over 71 PMGSY roads projects completed till end of 2007 adding 160 Kms road length to the existing network.
?
Under Phase-IV and Phase-V, 251 PMGSY projects costing Rs. 623 crore to cover 1565 Kms have been sanctioned
?
for execution at cost of Rs. 700 crore finalized.
Under Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) following five road projects have been launched :
?

Name of the Project Road Length Cost


1. Domail-Katra road 14.5 Kms Rs. 35 crore
2. Srinagar-Uri-LoC 118.5 Kms Rs. 466.71 crore
3. Batote-Kishtwar-Anantnag 270 Kms Rs. 463 crore
4. Srinagar-Leh 430 Kms Rs. 560.81 crore
5. Nemo-Padma-Darcha 294 Kms Rs. 171.24 crore

Over 18 roads and bridge projects at a cost of about Rs. 44 crore completed in 2006-07 in Jammu Division. These
?
projects include bridge at Rehai, 40 Km Thathri-Kalantra road, 23 Km Doda-Dessa road, 18 Km Janipora-
Ambgarota road, 6.5 Km Thannamandi-Shahdara Sharief road, 25 Km Inshan-Margantop road, bridge at Batote
Nallah, Box type culvert at Utterbani, 7.5 Km main road to Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University, bridge at
Kakora, bridge at Mubarakpora Rajouri, 6 Km Sangaldan-Kathua road.
339 schemes costing Rs. 280.46 crore have been approved for execution in 2006-07 in Kashmir Division. Of these
?
16 road schemes completed at a cost of Rs. 64.20 crore and 15 schemes at a cost of Rs. 15.37 crore to be completed
this year.
JKPCC completed 17 roads, bridges and social infrastructure projects during 2006-07 and 19 projects being
?
completed by the end of this financial year in the state. Other 25 roads, bridges and social infrastructure projects
taken up across the state.

Issued by :
Department of Information and Public Relations
Jammu and Kashmir Government
Since

5
0 years
We Up Hold
Poetic Xpressions
Performing Arts
&
Artistic Creations

J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages


I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

Dards Of Ladakh :
A Neglected Fok

Tundup Palgias

Ladakh is a very popular tourist spot River in lower Ladakh. A.H. Francke, one scholars on the area are confused and
these days. The land is known for its of the well known historians on Ladakhi sometimes give different interpretations
typical landscapes and geo-climatic history, in his book, The Indian Antiquity, about the time of their migration. Hence,
conditions (different from the rest of the traces their origin to Central Asia. He the actual time of their migration still
country), and wonderful monastic believes that they arrived from Central remains obscure. Some say that they
archival. Its people of the Tibeto- Asia to the Indus Valley through Gilgit and came in around 2000 to 3000 years ago.
Mongloid race are generally known for settled down in the areas like Dha, Hanu,
their simple and honest nature. But very Darchiks, Garkon, and Drass. Present settlement
little known is one of the earliest settlers
of the trans-Himalayan region, the Dards The oral history of the local people also A greater part of Ladakh of the earlier
of Ladakh, or the Brokpas as they are tells similar stories. Elder members of
called in Ladakhi. days is believed to have been inhabited
the community tell that their forefathers by the Brokpas. However, after the
had migrated from Gilgit via Skardo to immigration of larger group of Mongolian
History and Mystery the lower lands of Ladakh where they n o m a ds from Tibet, they were
have settled down now. In one of the outnumbered and were gradually
The first inhabitants of Ladakh are hymns of their famous festival known as displaced from many places. For example,
thought to have been two Aryan groups, Bono Nah, one can also trace some
in the Nubra Valley these days one can
the Dards of Gilgit and the Mons of nuances of the history of their migration
hardly find any kind of trace of the Dard
Northern India, who were later on joined and pedigree. It indicates that their
people. Their present settlement is
by a larger group of Mongolian nomads migration took place from Skardo to
confined to few villages each having 3 to
from Tibet (possibly around 500 B.C). The Ladakh. The song mentions the names of
4 hamlets each. The heart of their
Dards are thought to have migrated to all the villages in the way from Skardo to
settlement is the Dha-Hanu area of
the low and temperate areas of Ladakh Dha-Hanu and even up to Nubra Valley of
Ladakh. Hanu, Beema, Dha (falling in Leh
like Dah-Hanu (an area towards the west Ladakh in proper sequence. A.H. Francke
district), and Garkon, Darchiks, Batalik
of Leh district), Darchiks-Garkone (only says that the hymns end with the
villages in Kargil District with Buddhist migrants settling at one of the hamlets of
Dard settlement), and Drass etc. Dha village. However, Rohit Vohra says
that in another hymn, we can find that a
dice game was played after which the
Going through the current literature
decision of migration took place. The
available on them, one gets an
impression that there is still lot to be migration according to that hymn does
done in terms of proper and scientific not end at Dha but even proceeded to Leh
research about their history and life. But and then to Nubra area (Rohit Vohra).
the limited numbers of scholars who have
conducted research on the area, have Because of lack of research on their
developed some sort of consensus on the history and deficient of historical
origin of the Dards in Ladakh. F. M. documents on the Dards of Ladakh, there
Hassnain in his book, The Brukpa Dards of still prevails a lot of mystery about their
Dah, Hanu & Gorkone in Ladakh: Life and exact ancestors and past, their folklore,
Culture, hints them to be the survivor of culture, tradition, socio-economic life
Alexander the Great's Army, who, after and the time of migration. About the
the departure of their commander, time of migration, there does not seem
scattered over in the vicinity of Indus to be an authentic source. Therefore,

Epilogue Ø
31 ×
May 2008
I N F O C U S
SEARCHING IDENTITIES

and Chulichan (falling in Krgil District) other products produced from these challenge of assimilation of their
are the main villages of the Dard areas to other parts of Ladakh and the language by the mainstream Ladakhi
settlement where their distinctive way of state. There is only one local telephone language, the Brokpa dialect seems to be
life and culture/ folklore, different from exchange (at Batalik) in the entire headed towards a doomsday sooner or
those of the mainstream Ladakh, are still inhabited area falling under the Kargil later. Because of the low treatment being
to be found in, more or less, pure form. In district. Very recently, Biama village mated out to the Brokpas and their
villages like Shimsha Kharbu, Pandrass (falling in Leh district) has been language by the mainstream Ladakhis,
and Matayan Drass of Drass area (in connected with local telephone. Lack of the younger Brokpas generally tend to
Kargil), Muslim Dards are found also. communications contributes to the lack imitate the way of life and language of
of awareness among the Brokpas about mainstream Ladakhis, a phenomenon
Current problems the commercialization of their being popularly known as Sanskritisation
agricultural produces. The area has got in Indian Sociology. The more educated
huge potential for producing world class youths of the Brokpa community
The areas of the Dard settlement are still
apricots. But the apathy of the state generally prefer to marry with better
among the most backwards in Ladakh.
government and the local Hill Council educated females from the Tibeto-
Data from the Census vindicates this in
governments adds to the agony of the Mongloid raced mainstream Ladakhis.
more than one aspect of their life. It
Brokpas. The political leaders hardly This also adds to the agony of the waning
shows that the Brokpas has the highest identity of the Brokpas of Ladakh.
Total Birth Rate at 27.17 and also the show any concern towards them because
highest Total Death Rate at 21.74. Their the less numerical strength of the
Brokpas hardly matters in the voting (The author is doing research on the
literacy rate and other indicators of
calculations of the leaders. The Brokpas Ancient Races of Ladakh from Annamalai
human development like health and
heavily depend on agriculture for their University, and can be reached at
standard of living are also staggeringly
subsistence. Their presence in the tspalgias@gmail.com)
low as compared to the other populations
of Ladakh. This is mainly because of the government departments as employees
indifferent treatment meted out by the
government to them. The fact that there
is very negligible. Because of the
proximity of their habitations with the Epilogue
because there is more to know
is not even a single high school in the LOC, many of them work there as Army
entire area falling under the Kargil porters, and some get absorbed in the
There are two ways of
district stands testimony to this. The lack Ladakh Scouts (Regiment). But getting
higher education and venturing outside
Spreading light; to be
of awareness among the Brokpas and
the limited confines of their areas almost the Candle, or the Mirror
their economic backwardness adds to
remains a wild dream for most of that reflects it
this gloomy state of affairs of the
Brokpas. The villages and hamlets under them.
Leh district are relatively better off as
there are two high schools. Future challenge: Dard identity crisis in
Ladakh?
Their standard of living is very low. Most
of them are living below poverty line. The most serious challenge the Brokpas
This is despite fact that their area is the likely to face in the near future appears
most fertile area of Ladakh. They are to be the preservation of their distinctive
known to produce the best quality of identity in terms of language, dress, at EPILOGUE
apricots and other agricultural products culture and customs, race etc. The
We do it both ways
from Ladakh. This seems to be mainly Brokpas speak a completely different
because of the lack of connectivity in language, which phonetically and
J&K’s Leading Current
terms of road, telecommunications and dialectically, does not have any kind of
Affairs MAGAZINE
other means of communication. The similarity with mainstream Ladakhi
roads connecting the Dard-inhabited language. But the fact that they lack a
For subscription :
areas with Leh and Kargil are in very bad script to code their language may prove sms @ 9419000123
shape. Hence, it becomes difficult to to be bane in the preservation of their call @ 9419180762
email : zafarchoudhary@gmail.com
transport the fruits, vegetables and language in the long run. Add to this the

Epilogue Ø
32 ×
May 2008