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Jammu on the boil

Jammu on the boil

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: August 4, 2008

Hindu anger reaches flashpoint

For more than a month, Jammu has been on the boil with violent street protests against the decision to cancel the allocation of 97 acres of land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board for setting up temporary facilities for Hindu pilgrims. The rest of the country has failed to respond, and tragically so, to this gross act of injustice aimed at appeasing separatist Muslims in the Kashmir Valley who virtually forced the State Government to backtrack on the specious plea that unless revoked, the allocation of land would "change the demographic character" of the Muslim-majority province, apart from exposing 'Kashmiriyat' to Hindu culture. The bogus 'Kashmiriyat' which is so over-rated by the lib-left intelligentsia and showcased by policy-makers in Delhi now stands exposed as nothing more than Muslim exclusivism, never mind the doublespeak of duplicitous politicians like Mr Omar Abdullah. What is of relevance is the brazen repudiation of all things Indian and Hindu by Mufti Mohammed Sayed's PDP and its friends among those who are loath to accept Jammu & Kashmir as an integral part of India. It is not surprising that the Congress should be seen to be keeping the company of the PDP -- the Prime Minister and his party would do anything to pander to the fanaticism that has led to the cleansing of the Kashmir Valley from where Hindus have long been evicted and are not welcome any more. Seen against this backdrop, it is to the credit of the Hindus of Jammu who have refused to accept the latest denial of Hindu rights and are insisting that the Governor, Mr NN Vohra, who is happy to do the Congress's bidding, should either resign or restore the land that was alloted to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board. Of course, Mr Vohra has not been sent to Jammu & Kashmir to mind Hindu interests; his job is to further the UPA's dubious Kashmir agenda. So he is refusing to budge; but neither are the protesters willing to cave in.

For decades the people of Hindu-majority Jammu have been made to suffer the excesses of the State Government which is interested only in the welfare of Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. Despite having more people than Kashmir, Jammu has been denied its share of resources and deprived of development projects. It would not be incorrect to suggest that Jammu has been forced into a sort of dhimmitude, expected to silently suffer as Kashmir Valley is mollycoddled by both Srinagar and Delhi. The simmering resentment of the people of Jammu has now come to the fore and the Amarnath Shrine issue has served to galvanise people into direct action of sorts: Shutting down trade and commerce, blocking traffic on the highway to Srinagar, defying curfew and daring the police to shoot to kill. From Jammu, the uprising has spread to every nook and corner of the province, and every section of society has joined it spontaneously. It is not a welcome sight to see burning vehicles and rampaging protesters, but the Congress has only itself to blame for the situation that prevails. There is, however, a striking contrast between the manufactured rage we get to see in Kashmir Valley every time the separatists feel offended and the outpouring of anger we are witnessing in Jammu. In Kashmir Valley protests are aimed against India; in Jammu the protesters are fighting for India. For evidence, look at how every group on the street is seen waving the national Tricolour.

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