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Nation must back Jammu protest

Nation must back Jammu protest

Author: RN Chawla
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: August 7, 2008

As usual the Congress led Government at the Centre has yielded to pressure from Islamic fundamentalist forces in the Valley. After taking over his post, the new Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Mr NN Vohra, buckled under pressure and cancelled the transfer of 97 acres of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, which had been previously cleared by the State Cabinet and his predecessor. In return a feeble guarantee was obtained that the State Government would take care of the Amarnath yatris. However, with the exit of the Gulam Nabi Azad Government, this guarantee is null and void. No doubt, this course of action was adopted at the behest of the UPA Government to placate the Kashmir Valley Muslims.

But the UPA Government took for granted the passivity of the Hindus in the State. It was thought that the cancellation of the land transfer would, at best, evoke impotent rage among some sections of Hindus that was sure to ebb eventually. However, the Hindus of Jammu have realised, though belatedly, the real import of the old proverb that a mother does not feed her child unless it cries, and have accordingly adopted a more proactive approach. The need of the hour is that Hindus across the country should help their brethren in Jammu and provide them with material and financial assistance to carry on their agitation in a peaceful manner till their aim is achieved.

Not only this, the Hindus who were uprooted from their homes, must be resettled back in the Valley. Politicians like Mr Omar Abdullah, who roared in Parliament during the confidence motion, that the Kashmiri Muslims cannot give their land, must be told in unequivocal terms that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India and that Article 370 of the Constitution was intended to be a temporary measure. Kashmiri Muslims cannot deny Hindus a small piece of land for the construction of temporary shelters for pilgrims.

The nation today is paying a very heavy price for the great blunder of Jawaharlal Nehru not to integrate Jammu & Kashmir fully with India. It will be in the best interest of all parties to re-allot the piece of land to the shrine board. Otherwise, given the intensity of the Hindu agitation in Jammu and the tide of anger, the authorities will solely be responsible for an escalation of violence.

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