Wednesday, September 3, 2008

So What Was It All About? Part 2

Amarnath Yatra has been a shining example of communal harmony, sufism in Kashmir and the composite culture of the state. So really what was it all about? If things were so simple , no land was being transfer ed to anyone permanently,no permanent structures were being planned,the local populations depend on this yatra for economic reasons, what was the hullabaloo about. I am grappling with this fundamental question and am debating between which of the conspiracy theories to choose from. The theories in question are:

1. PDP decided that it was not winning any big battles read seats in the 2009 elections and needed something to lean on for a decent show in the upcoming elections. What better than Hindu vs Muslim, us vs them ploy which never fails to disappoint. I have no doubts that PDP and Mehbooba Mufti are to blame for starting this mess. What Ms. Mufti did not expect I guess was a resounding response from the Jammu region which has no history (in the last 61 yrs) of any kind of political activism. The situation quickly spiralled out of control with separatists in Kashmir finding new vigor and voice. This separatist angle does not suit the PDP too. Hence as a saving face gimmick Ms. Mehbooba has been calling for starting trade between POK and Kashmir and the opening the Muzzafarabad Road. Unfortunately for her and funnily for the rest of us, many PDP ministers have been beaten and their cars stoned by the local Kashmiri Muslims, during this entire land drama. I do not see them winning too many seats after all.

2. Mr. Prem Shankar Jha who is called an expert on Kashmir and is just that in my opinion. He is not an expert in the history and psyche of the people of the Jammu region. Mr. Jha has mentioned a land scam, where land was going to be sold for ridiculous prices and it was a big racket which went bust. Well if we were to believe that then it is quite likely that the some of the parties involved wanted a bigger portion in the scheme of things and when that did not happen like a bad player decided to ruin things for the rest of the players. Again I have a feeling they did expect or were prepared for the game to be completely hijacked by the separatist voices in Kashmir and by the suddenly awake, alive and kicking Jammuites.

3. What was glaringly absent was Mr. Prime minister's direct and intense involvement in the issue. All the cry about economic blockade, could the Center not have air lifted the 'baby food'which was scarce amongst other things in the valley and shut the separatists up. The Home Minister of course has proved he is not suited for the job. This whole things reeks of the opportunistic politics Congress excels in. It did not want to get its hands dirty just before the upcoming elections. It played safe at the cost of a troubled state becoming more divided.

4. The hostage crisis left the separatists labelling it as a staged encounter by the Indian Government. If true it only reflects the sorry state of the region's politics. Though the recent build up of militants on the border should put things in a different perspective.

5. Pakistan would have had marathon parties to celebrate what was happening in J&K if it was not too busy cleaning up its own internal mess. From the impeachment of Musharraf to the recent US attacks on its soil against its innocent civilians, it should really focus on things ailing them. Though the state of affairs in J&K was an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to add to the activities of its Department of Kashmir, The Unfinished Agenda. It made grand statements about protecting the Human Rights of the Kashmiris and appealing for international intervention, all the while breaching the cease fire and allowing militant build up n the border and aiding their infiltration.

The State of Things as they are now:

1. An awakened Jammu which has found its lost voice finally. Such a large scale people's movement has not been witnessed in the country in the recent past. We will see more political activism from this region in future. BJP by supporting this people's movement stands a good chance of winning the maximum seats if not all in this region. If tomorrow the Sangharsh Samiti decides to contest the elections, undoubtedly they will be the winners hands down.

2. An awakened and renewed demand for freedom in the valley. There will be debates and discussions and maybe the freedom movement in Kashmir will take a new direction, under new leadership.

3. The Amarnath issue has brought to sharp focus once again the HR violations in the valley. There is a need for de militantization and de militarization for a return to normalcy. It is a must for winning the trust of the people and giving peace a serious chance.

At the end of the day I am thankful for the political awakening of the people of Jammu. That is how I see it irrespective of the communal labels applied to this movement by the so called experts. As far as I am concerned no real experts on the Jammu region were interviewed in any of the TV debates or interviews.

The cries of Bum Bum Bhole and Nizame Mustafa reiterates the fact that the line between religion and the civil society are very hazy and easily overlap at times.

The burning of the Indian flags and cries of Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan throws light to the nature of separatist leadership and the separatist voices in the valley.

I am grateful that Human Rights violations have been thrown up for discussion once again and hopefully measures will be taken to correct and improve the conditions in the valley.

I am thankful that questions about the return of Kashmiri Pandits have been raised once again and maybe the new blood in the valley who say that they want their Pandit brothers back will march to Delhi/Jammu/ Muzzaffarabad or a place of their choice to demand a return of the KPs.

All the economic losses suffered by the state is a terrible waste.

I am also sorry for all the innocent lives lost and the lingering bitterness between Jammu and Kashmir.

I am hopeful that the state known for its natural beauty, will witness a revival of Sufi Kashmiriyat and communal harmony and bounce back to its full glory.

11 comments:

Renu said...

very well said, In India politicians never ever put the country or its people before their party, elec`tions, seats etc. etc.Otherwise there is no reaon to keep mr. Shivraj patil in such an important post, he is the most silent and sleeping home minister.
I feel that kasmir valley must be given the first prefence for development, give them emploment,and prosperity, trerrorism will go away on its own.

Chrysalis said...

Renu
Thanks for reading. And yes it was politics that took a serious turn in J&K. As for development Kashmir has an edge over Jammu region even before 1989. That is why there has been a sense of dicrmination and discontent in the jammu region.
What is really needed besides dev. is de militarization and attempts to win back the trust of the people. In fact development and equal representation from the Jammu region is a must. The region will witness more political activism if things are not done fairly in future.

Piper .. said...

ohh looks like you`ve written 2 posts which i havent read. shall go over them later in the day. Mom dad, sis arriving in an hour. tons of cooking to do :-((

Bini said...

Thought Provoking and nice to read your thoughts on the issue. And more than anything I really like your style of writing. Makes great reading!!

Lisha said...

I have been reading your blog and was wondering why nothing has come up after the settlement order.A good job again with the recent post.
Nice to read your views on what could be done to bring about the much needed 'good'change in the lives of people in that area.

Chrysalis said...

Bini Lisha

Thanks for reading. Well the problem in Kashmir has only begun. The demand for freedom and seperatist sentiments are only stronger today. The Urban KMs want independent Kashnir and the KMs in the rural areas because of what taught to them by maulvis believe they should merge with Pakistan because of the commomn religion.
Kashmir will always remain a problem area and Pakistan will keep fuelling the fires there.

Shah said...

Myth of Discrimination-V

BY ALEE ANDRABI


Srinagar, Sep 5: We had set out this series to question the crazy, rogue, devious discrimination rhetoric of the 'nationalists'. A rhetoric which has yet again proven indispensable to the 'secular' trishul-wielding citizens in their latest jameen triumph over their 'communal' subjects. The blood of six 'martyrs' in Jammu valued more than the blood of fifty odd 'infidels' in Kashmir. Their two month losses in trade somehow added up to more than the two decade losses we suffered. The 'agitation' in Jammu became a matter of national emergency and moral priority while the Kashmir 'dissidence' became separatist propaganda. Their committee 'accords' our land to them, representation no bar, sentiment no bar, environment no bar, majority no bar, a no bar, well even law no bar. Never mind.
We called their bluff. Their outshining engineered numbers versus our fading shoddy representation, their 'coerced' development versus our 'destined' catastrophe, is for everyone to see. And for us to highlight. Please.
We hope the previous articles have dispelled all dishonest echoes and propaganda of discrimination and put in focus the real 'breaking news'. The Kashmir representation crisis, be it Judiciary, Administration, Police. We conclude this series on a note that lies at the very heart of our struggle. Suffering. And a corresponding note that lies at the very heart of their opportunism. Prosperity.
The agents of atrocity were unleashed on us, peace packages on them. Our widows would spend half of their abused lives filling ex gratia relief forms, their 'madams' would spend theirs in sending out kitty invitations and gracing tambola assemblies. Our orphans yearned and wept for murdered fathers, their babas whined for play station upgrades. Our enterprise got knocked out, theirs pahalwaned. Our economy crashed, theirs flourished. With all this tragedy of ours and prosperity of theirs, they get the 'reconstruction' packages. Ironic. Absurd. We have had to do with lollypops from the centre, and leftovers from Jammu. Always. Our sacrifices, nullified, taunted. Their opportunism, hoorayed. The economic packages for the victim very conveniently diverted to the loud mouth, without even a remote feeling of remorse. While Jammu basks in an upcoming metropolitan glory, Kashmir remains cornered as ever, waiting, longing for attention. This is no rhetoric. We don't do it. They will despise this, but sorry, we have the numbers.
The State Rehabilitation Council provides data on the trail of disasters we have had over the past two decades. These distasteful comparisons are of course macabre and gory but never the less essential for this debate which has been forced on Kashmir. The number of widows, militant and civilian, 'due to militancy' stands at 4104 for Jammu and 15353 for Kashmir. Within Jammu division, Jammu accounts for only six of these widows. The bulk of this number is made up by widows in the 'anti-national' districts of Poonch, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar. So yes, in death Jammu certainly stands discriminated. The Council also provides data on the number of orphans 'due to militancy.' Kashmir accounts for 20623 orphans while Jammu division has 5732. Again, the pattern is no different. Jammu has two. You don't have to guess where the other numbers add from. We will not talk about the total causalities suffered in Kashmir. The figures will include militants, pro government gunmen, the innocent old and young, men and women.
In response to the Kashmir struggle, New Delhi made various promises, be it Plebiscite, 'Sky is the limit', Insaniyat. But honored none. Then it was decided to silence the state with economic packages. Everything got reduced to this. All grudges, protests, sacrifices were to be equated with these windfalls. We will only take two such packages which were endowed in response to the devastation. The Prime Minister's package and the Industrial package, both announced during the previous Government's first innings.
The Prime Minister's Rehabilitation package was branded as a memorable and celebrated sop to Kashmir. Its fruit, for decades of sacrifice, suffering and sabotage. It was meant for reconstruction of the damaged infrastructure and creation of new avenues of progress and employment in Kashmir which Jammu had already achieved thanks to the massive diversion of funds from Kashmir as a result of militancy. The Prime Minister's package was worth Rs. 24000 crores, later revised to about Rs. 29000 crores. On this 'exclusive' endowment to address our alienation, Kashmir only got Rs. 6447.74 crores, while Jammu got a 'reconstruction' boost of Rs. 12530.8 crores, grossly disproportionate to their sacrifice. Knock knock discrimination! We deserved, they desired. And were happily obliged, time and again. We left out in the cold, time and again. From the rest of the package Ladakh got Rs. 2804.38 crores. The remains were diverted to state level sectors and projects such as Transmission & Distribution, Mughal Road, ADB-Counter part funding and so on. That figure stands at Rs. 8929.44 crores.
Moving on to the Industrial Package. The package attracted an Investment of about Rs. 5000 crores to generate employment and amplify the industrial growth in 'marginalized' Kashmir. The package also offered impressive incentives to our entrepreneurs in the form of Excise and Sales Tax refunds. But even this package failed to cross Bari Brahmana, and in rare cases managed to reach Udhampur. Kashmir reduced to a spectator, getting less than 10 percent of this Industrial Package while Jammu ran away with the rest, smoothly. The industrial area in Jammu flourished further and units cropped up everywhere with this hijacked mega incentive while as Industry continued to be as elusive to Kashmir as ever. And this won't probably change for long, considering the strong blockade and respective diversion our funds face at Nagrota. The figures below testify our discrimination in the Industrial Package, which was supposed to be our for the taking.
For the previous year (2006-07) the Excise refund stands at Rs. 950 crores. Kashmir component is less than Rs. 90 crores. Sales Tax refund stands at Rs. 400 crores per year, Kashmir component is less that Rs. 40 crores. Very consistent. The Wholesale depots and C&F company depots are shifted to Jammu even though they service the consumer market in Kashmir. Rs. 200 crores are annually collected as sales tax alone in Jammu but paid by dealers from Kashmir, who accordingly have to be at the disposal of the lalajis of Kanakmandi. Unfair.
This is the story of Kashmir. Alienation, abuse of 'fundamental' rights, uprising, biased perceptions, Indian delusion, brute oppression, massacres, choked genuine voices, hollow promises, lies, damned lies, wrong statistics, irrelevance, indifference, intrigues, under representation, widows, orphans, mistrust, fake rhetoric, puppet governments, underdevelopment, 'stolen' packages, 'stolen' land (to sound up to date), and our very own discrimination, in all sizes and colors. It's a pity to what we have been reduced by Jammu and its efficient propaganda machines, in multiple spheres. People who have been outside India would probably understand when I say what a mission it is to make people there understand where Jammu really is on the map, or what Jammu is, in some cases! Kashmir is still the global brand. The effort is to upstage it. With what we have outlined in this series, there is no doubt that Jammu is seeking to emerge as a reference point to Kashmir. But I'm sure Kashmir's inherent strength, its soul and spirit, will survive all fake competitions.

Jaidev Jamwal said...

IMHO, there is no need for reducing no. of troops in KAshmir. Its easy for people sitting 1000s of Kms away to say that KAshmir needs less military and more freedom. But what will happen after military is removed?
Do you think J&K police can tackle militancy by itself??
Most of Army presence in J&K is on border only. Security personnel if any in valley are minimal, not excess. Terrorists are getting bolder day by day with more sophisticated wepons, more support from pakistani elemnts and weak leadership in India.
I speak from personal experience and discussions with friends and family members spread over whole of J&K, (some in army and police)
Mufti govt reduced ary presence when it came to power and see what it did? His "healing touch" BS was almost single-handedly responsible for revival of dying militancy.

Armymen are usually more polite and friendly than J&K police. But you got to be Indian.
You could see this when Army was deployed in Jammu during protests

sach said...

Some people , particularly from Jammu Region, do allege that National Conference targets the Muslim sentiments in Kashmir for political survival . Surely such inferences would have deeply hurt Sheikh Abdullah, had he been with us today. But it appears that even Dr. Farooq Abdullah who has been till recently seen as a Kashmiri leader far from communal politics is not able to check his party leadership giving more and more oxygen to such like allegations against National Conference. The short speech as made by Omar Abdullah on the floor of Lok Sabha on 22 July has addedly put the national Conference under more question marks. It has not been wise for Omar Abdullah to have made a reference to Shri Amarnath jee Shrine and allotment of land to SASB. And that too in such an emotional and violent manner.

Omar Abdullah has added more irritants to the basket of National Conference. Already National Conference is caught in controversies by suggesting the solution to Kashmir Problem as well as the Pakistan sponsored insurgency resting only in the Greater Autonomy. How would the implementation of J&K Assembly Autonomy Resolution 2000 would medicate the turmoil and the polluted minds of some innocent subjects of J&K has not been yet been answered by national conference even after 8 years of J&K Assembly having passed the resolution. Those subjects of J&K who consider such proposals as anti national in the context of Indian Nationality too need to be convinced. National Conference leadership has yet to explain in simple words to the common man how Greater Autonomy can make Pakistan refrain from aiding and abetting anti- India insurgency. And Omar Abdullah has push his party into more serious controversies involving the sentiments of world Hindu Community. The leaders of national conference will have to now rise above party politics and work hard at social levels to repair the damage done by Omar Abdullah.

National Conference is already under accusations like being the architect of deferring the Delimitation of Assembly Segments through a constitutional amendment till 2026/2031. Dr. Farooq Abdulla and National Conference is instead of clearing accusations is entering into more controversies. Jammu region is already sore for having given only 37 seats in Assembly as against a fair share not less than 45 to 46 seats in view of the provisions of J&K Representation of the People Act 0f 1957. Kashmir region surely qualifies for less seats than Jammu under the Act.

It is not of much advantage this day to discuss the pre-1947 conditions and times when India was ruled by the British . The Indian National Congress, The Muslim League and the Princes of Indian Princely States of British Empire had their own preferential interests .Discussions at this stage may result in more and more bitterness even against some who have so far been taken as hero of Independence Movement . Hence casual handling of issues related to pre 1947 times could be more damaging.

The non seriousness about J&K affairs reflects more from the fact that even Shri Man Mohan Singh Jee and Smt Sonia Gandhi Jee did not raise brows on the utterances of Omar Abdullah as his elders. Instead they watched others clapping for Omar Abdullah simply for the sake a vote in favour of the motion for confidence.

J&K Legislative Assembly saw much of heat during debate on 24June2000 and on 26June 2000 . NC Legislatures alleged , rather concluded , that the rights and choices of the Kashmiries have been checked and stripped by the Indian Government after 1953. References had been made to 1947 Accession of J&K to Indian Dominion, Creation of Pakistan, Mohd. Ali Jinha and Muslim majority in J&K by the NC MLAs .Dr. Farooq Abdullah had gone to the extent of saying that it was only because of Sheikh that Kashmir is with India .Mr. Mohd Farooq Mir -MLA had said on the floor of the Assembly on 17 April 1998, "Had we followed Mohd. Ali Jinha , 70000 Kashmiries would not have been killed during last eight years of turmoil. Why not there should be a referendum in J&K as promised by then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru". Indian National Congress has not till date replied to such allegations against Pundit Nehru.



The Autonomy Resolution as passed by J&K Legislature on 26th June 2000 has more been introduced as a demand for moving to pre-1953 position . "1953 Facelift" made the issue irritating particularly for people from Jammu & Ladakh regions. Even then there was a tough reaction of the people from Jammu region on 30th June2000 and on 1st July2000 . And since then 8 years have passed . Farooq Abdullah´s National Conference has done nothing to tell the people of J&K about the common good that rests in the Autonomy Resolution

The issue appear to have divided the people of J&K on regional and communal lines. So far the Communal divides of course have been infant and faint. But now after 2002 elections a clear race appears to have been set to draw commercial and political advantages from the stories on disturbances in J&K . This day only very very fine lines can be drawn between the utterances of separatist leaders as well as the Mufti´s PDP. And now the national Conference president too appears to be desperate to join the race.

Those who were not convinced with the J&K Legislature having a separate State flag fluttering at heights along side the Indian National Flag have out rightly rejected the Greater Autonomy Resolution.

It is a hard reality that for about five decades regular efforts have been made by some for a political slow poisoning of the subjects of J&K . They have been surely trying to make use of religious sentiments. But now making direct reference to Religion with respect to Kashmiri even Parliament must raise alarms in the minds of all well meaning people. Doubts and confusions have already grown over the years in innocent minds over last five years.

There has been mishandling at the government of India level as well. Even Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee government was under political compulsions for adopting only a Kashmir Valley centric approach.. Narasimha Rao´s "some thing short of Azadi to Kashmiries" too had strengthened the campaigns of even the separatists groups. It was no surprise for me when Mr. A. R. Rather , a senior nationalist leader and minister of Farooq Government used Narasimha Rao´s "Some thing short of Azadi" to justify the Autonomy Resolution of J&K Legislature.

Dr Farooq Abdullah can not overlook that Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council has also passed a Resolution on 30th June2000 calling for Union Territory status for Ladakh . Hence there is much to work for the NC leaders belonging to Jammu and Ladakh.

Rashtriyae Swayam Sevak Sang ( RSS ) had passed a Resolution opposing J&K Assembly Autonomy Resolution .Dr. Farooq Abdullah should have made efforts to make known to RSS Leadership the goods of Greater Autonomy . Instead Dr. Abdullah was quoted as having said on 3rd July2000 at Bangalore that the RSS has always been against the Muslims of India. How being against the J&K Autonomy Resolution( having pre-1953 facelift) could be termed as anti Muslim . Did Dr. Farooq mean that Greater Autonomy to J&K would give some special benefits all Muslims in India ?

With such like approaches of Kashmiri leaders even Kashmiries have suffered a lot what to talk of the people of other regions.

Reaction of LAHDC and that of the people from Jammu Region (spreading over 11 districts) have been alleged by some Kashmiri leaders as moves to divide J&K State on communal lines. It is surely not fair and could rather damage the socio-religious matrix of Jammu Province as well. Mirza Abdul Rasheed, M.P. (Rajya Sabha) had on 28thJune 2000 said at Delhi that Greater Autonomy was the only solution to assuage the sentiments of the Majority Community of J&K State . And the Majority community of J&K is of course of Muslims. One could infer ( even allege) that National Conference targets the Muslim sentiments in Kashmir for political survival

sach said...

@shah
wat discrimination r u talking about?
Just A Look through the Mist

The Delimitations of single member assembly segments of the J&K Legislative Assembly as done so far since 1951 have been brutally unfair to the people living the backward, farflung and remotely connected areas .The worst sufferers have been the people belonging to the areas falling in and around the district of DODA, Udhampur , Kathua and to some extent the District of Rajouri as well. The people in Baramulla District too had some unfair treatment but the same has been comparatively undone to great extent after 1975 .The basis as kept in the Representation of the People Act 1957 for providing to people their representative in the Legislative Assembly ( MLA ) have been ignored by the Delimitation Commissions. So far The spirit of the RPA Act and Constitution of J&K have been violated. If the present 87 seats are fairly distributed the MLAs for erstwhile Udhampur District would increase from 6 to atleast 8 , for Doda areas from 6 to atleast 11, for Kathua areas from 5 to atleast 7 and Rajouri from 4 to 5 . Seats in other districts would decrease from the present level. But still the overall share of Jammu region will be atleast 45 out of 87 seats..

Erstwhile ( pre 2007 ) districts of Doda, Rajouri , Kathua , Udhampur have area of 21522 sq km and only 21 MLAs have been allocated . Where as the total area of erstwhile districts of Pulwama , Anantnag , Srinagar and Badgam is just 8981 sq km but 31 seats ( MLAs ) were allocated in 1995 to these districts. The J&K Representation of the people Act does not lay down population as the only criteria. It also lays down : (I ) Geographical Compactness ( distribution of people in Kashmir valley is very compact in comparison to Jammu region ) (ii) Nature of terrain ( Jammu region has not more than 25% plain terrain where as Kashmir region has more than 75 % terrain as plain ) (iii) facilities of Communication ( Percentage of area covered by roads in Kashmir valley is almost 2.5 times and (iv) like considerations as other parameters for consideration

A provision has been kept in the J&K Constitution itself under Section -50 keep 14 ( MLC ) elected members in Legislative Council from Jammu Region and only 12 (MLC) elected members in Legislative Council from Kashmir Region . Where as as regards the MLAs ( Member Legislative Assembly ) under Section 47 of J&K Constitution only the total number of MLAs in assembly has been laid down. But the number of MLAs has not been fixed separately for Jammu Region , Kashmir Region or Ladakh region. The job for deciding limits of MLA territories has been left designate institutions like Delimitation Commission in this case. Under the norms of RPA 1957 the seats as would get distributed over the areas falling in Jammu Region under a fair trial would too be more for Jammu Region like in Legislative Council as compared to Kashmir region. But in total disregard to spirit and provisions under lying the Constitution of J&K Justice K. K.Gupta Delimitation Commission had ordered on 27-04-1995 only 37 MLAs for Jammu Region and 46 MLAs for Kashmir Region. Where as it should have been 45 to 46 MLAs for Jammu and 37 to 38 MLAs for Kashmir region..

A representative of nearness to the people of the far flung areas is what the J&K Representation of People Act 1957aims at. But so far a fair treatment to those from areas with lesser connectivity and bad terrain as well as less geographical compactness has been denied . People living in areas of lesser geographical compactness ( in Udhampur, Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar , Reasi, Kathua ) have been so far denied rightful number of MLAs in the J&K Legislative Assembly.

A detailed exercise for distribution of seats as per the requirement of J&K Representation of People Act has been presented by me through Daily Excelsior ( 20 April 1992 on wards ) , Dainik Jagran, State Times , etc with facts and figures. . A logical analysis was done by me as per requirements of the Act and made public in 1992 itself .The Delimitation Commission headed by K. K. Gupta was on job then. Delimitation commission appointed in 1981 had not completed the job till 1992. As per my analysis ( 1992 ) the areas falling in Jammu region deserved more MLAs than Kashmir Region. Justice K. K. Gupta Commission ordered delimitation on 27-04-1995 .Had the job of delimitation been done honestly the Districts of DODA ( as existed in 1995), Udhampur ( as exited in 1995 ) , Kathua , Rajouri would surely get 8 to 10 seats more than what was allocated to these districts by K. K. Gupta Commission out of 87 seats.

The miseries, backwardness, illiteracy, poverty and ill health of the poor and backward area people has not been honestly medicated over last 50 years. It is also due to this reason that people of farflung areas have suffered the most due to militancy. In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to frequently foot their constituency. The people of DODA, Udhampur, Kathua , Rajouri , Kupwara , Baramulla and Kargil needed more attention. But overall damage has been more to the people of Doda, Udhampur, Kathua and Rajouri since they have less MLAs..



It appears that the proceedings of Delimitation Commission set up 1981 were intentionally delayed since logically it was not possible to give lesser MLAs to areas falling in Jammu Region . Chief Election Commissioner of India ( T N Sheshan ) too had first stood firmly against any wrong Delimitation. Sheshan had expressed reservations against Delimitation Commission ( J&K) notification issued under No. DIC/101 dated 28th September 1992 for final delimitation proposals. But it appeared that Sheshan too had to surrender before the Valley centric approach of Delhi since the final order dated 27-04-1995 of the review Delimitation Commission was no different than the earlier notification date 28-09-1992 that had been contested by T. N. Seshan..

Congress PDP Government in J&K had in July 2002 promised for setting up a fresh Delimitation Commission for Single Member segments of J&K Legislative Assembly. But no bill was introduced in the Assembly till 28 June for amending the 29th Constitutional amendment under which any delimitation had been forbidden till publication of census figures that would be done after 2026. But the mind set of the leadership from Jammu has been so dwarf that even some leaders from Jammu have not dared to demand more seats for Jammu as compared to Kashmir. Even Bhartiya Janta Party till 1995 demanded only 38 to 39 out of 87 for Jammu region. Harsh Dev Singh Ji of Bhim Singh´s National Panther Party did raise the issue of Delimitation in J&K Legislative assembly on 6 February 2007. But Harsh Dev Singh too demanded that number of seats in Jammu Region be made equal to Kashmir Region through a legislation and then delimitation be done. Even Harsh Dev Singh ji did not dare demand more MLAs than Kashmir Region for Jammu Region . Still in August 2008 JK PP maintained that Jammu and Kashmir Regions should have equal number of MLAs. Prof Bhim Singh is a renowned luminary in the legal field but he too has not been able to appreciate honestly the real requirements of J&K Representation of People Act 1957. Elections if held without fresh delimitation it would carry on the disadvantage to areas of erstwhile districts of Doda, Kathua, Udhampur and Rajouri for six more years. If the present 87 seats are fairly distributed the MLAs for erstwhile Udhampur District may increase from 6 to 8 , for Doda areas from 6 to 11, for Kathua areas from 5 to7 and Rajouri from 4 to 5 . Seats in some districts would decrease from the present level.But still the overall share of Jammu region will be atleast 45 to 46 out of 87.

Non implementation of Wazir Commission report as regards carving three more districts in Jammu as against only one in Kashmir region too had some link with Delimitation of assembly segments. As per Wazir Commission Recommendations Jammu Region would have got 9 Districts and Kashmir Region would have only 7 Districts. Jammu region would have 2 districts more than Kashmir Region. But Congress leadership could not dare to face such a hard and true fact of justice. The 3 districts recommended by Wazir Commission in 1984 were given in 2007. One could imagine the direct loss suffered by the people of Kishtwar, Reasi and Samba in terms of the development funds that are allocated on the basis of Districts. Sheikh Abdullah had carved three new districts in Kashmir Valley ( Badgam, Pulwama and Kupwara ) in 1979 simply through a cabinet order But even when a Commission Recommended 3 new districts for Jammu region in 1984 implementation was not done for 20 years. This also explains why the delimitation of assembly seats started in 1981 was done only in 1995 and that too with total disregard to the requirements of the Constitution . . Pressures generated in 2006 from the areas of Basoli, Akhnoor, Bilawar and Bhaderwah for a District status after Shopian, Ganderbal and Kulgam have been accorded District status are the result of continued unfair treatment. Ladakh region inview of the vast and difficult terrain too is simmering .

sach said...

Areas of Doda Udhampur Kathua Rajouri very very unfairly. Their economy, development, education, tourism, horticulture , forest product industry and like has sufffered of neglect due to no rightful representation in the assembly as due under provisions of J&K Representation of the People Act 1957.

( This summary document was prepared by my friend in June 2007 based on the work done by him since 1991 on delimitation of single member segments in J&K Legislative Assembly keeping in view the requirements of J&K Representation of the people Act of 1957 and other issues like Wazir Commission report / reorganization of Revenue District units in J&K ( India ). I have observed that the people and even " experts " of J&K affairs in States other than J&K do not have adequate information with them. Most of then are under the influence of the leadership of Kashmir Region and have very less knowledge of the two other regions of Jammu and Ladakh although these regions are Senior partners to Kashmir Region. I happen to listen to a programme ( devil´s advocate ) on CNN/IBN on 24 Aug 2008 at 9pm where Karan Thapar was in conversation with Arun Jaitly. Karan Thapar touched delimitation / seats in Assembly also but it appeared that he had no knowledge of the J&K representation of people Act 1957 and carries the impression that only population is the parameter to decide delimitation of segments when ever needed.. There fore I felt it necessary to load this document on American chronicle to avoid confusions and loss to the people of J&K living in difficult areas. )

WE should know our people, our area, our requirements and our rights before we make a common demand from the Government . No demand , what ever genuine it may be, can be secured unless we know our due and place the demand very closely and clearly. Let us know ourselves then only we can make those who disagree with us to agree with even our just views and requirements. If done so, even those who would lose in view of our demand would bear the loss as not undue.

Section 50 of J&K Constitution has already provided 14 elected MLCs to Jammu Region as against 12 elected MLCs to Kashmir Region in the Legislative Council. Even under the present circumstances it was not possible for the leadership to justify more seats in Legislative Assembly to Kashmir Region when Jammu Region had constitutionally more elected seats in the Legislative Council than Kashmir Region. Justice K. K. Gupta Delimitation Commission had allocated 46 seats to Kashmir Region and only 37 seats to Jammu Region in total defiance to the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act 1957. It is a self speaking ground reality on the injustice done to the people of Jammu Region. Jammu Region has more elected MLCs than Kashmir Region but it has less elected MLAs than Kashmir Region. Jammu had 5 Districts and two Jagirs in Maharajas J&K and Kashmir Region had only 3 districts. Even before 1975 Jammu region had 5 districts and Kashmir region had only three districts. Wazir Commission had in 1984 recommended nine districts for Jammu region and seven for Kashmir Region. The neglected lands and ground data would surely roll tears from any watchful eye. Ghulam Nabi Azad need be given support by all to enable him undo the neglect metted to areas of Basoli/ Bani, Billawar, Akhnoor , Kishtwar, Doda, Rajouri and even may be Bhaderwah. Only then he could dare to order atleast 2 to 3 more new districts in Jammu region and also atleast one more in Ladakh region. Over the years demands have been made in isolated manner from different districts of Jammu region for undoing the injustice and neglect done over the years. One of the demands have been regarding more seats in the Legislative Assembly of J&K for Jammu region. We must clearly understand that the region wise allocation of seats in legislative assembly ( MLA ) is not done by the Legislature. The adjustment of seats with in the whole State of J&K has to be done by a Delimitation Commission. The Delimitation Commissions so far have not worked fairly with respect to the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957. In a democracy the Legislature could do any thing on the basis of numbers but the Legislature has to keep some moral/ ethics also. The J&K Legislature increased the seats in the Legislative Assembly by 11 i.e from 100 to 111 ( 20th Constitution Amendment of 1987 ) and also decided that there will be no more increase of seats till 2026 ( 29th Amendment Act of 2002 ). The seats were increased on the over all and not on regional basis by the Legislature and the delimitation of the single member assembly segments on the ground was done by the Delimitation Commission in 1995, though in defiance to the provisions of the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957.

Surely further increasing the seats in Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir State will greatly benefit the people of far flung area. But the correct action would be to increase the seats by 25 % ( by modifying the 29th Constitutional amendment of 2002 ) on the over all and then let the New Delimitation Commission do a fair and just delimitation as per the conditions laid down by J&K Representation of People Act 1957. Total affective assembly seats will increase from 111 to 139 . Leaving 30 seats for POK. The remaining 109 seats could be distributed amongst Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. Jammu region under the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act may get 57 to 58 seats and Kashmir region from 45 to 46 and Ladakh 5 to 6 ( distant difficult areas ).

Media had reported on 6th January 2007 that the treasury benches were preparing to introduce 33rd Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Legislature in the session beginning 8 January for increasing the seats in the Legislative Assembly by 25 %. But it has been reported that even after increasing the seats in the legislative assembly, the present proportion of Seats for Jammu Region and that for Kashmir Region will remain the same i.e 37 : : 46. In other words the seats for Jammu Region will be increased from 37 to 46 ( 25 % increase ) and for Kashmir Region will be increased from 46 to 58 ( 25 % increase ) and for Ladakh region will increase from 4 to 5 ( 25 % increase ). Any such Bill that will divide the Legislative Assembly on Regional basis by amending Section-47 and Section- 48 of the J&K Constitution would be just like dividing the J&K State through a constitutional amendment . And if it has to be done then why not to operate upon the provisions of section -147 of J&K Constitution and even consider Trifurcation of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. It could be easily said for the sake of a logic.

Any increase of number of MLAs on Regional basis through an amendment bill in Legislature would be like a Regional Delimitation done by the Legislature itself. This will be against the basic spirit and provisions in the Constitution. Some may argue that Section 48 of the Constitution has also laid a similar provision in the constitution keeping 24 seats for POK out of the total seats. But this provision can not be quoted here to justify the illogical proposals being prepared for pushing them in to fix the position of Jammu Region at level two ( 2 ) and that of Kashmir Region at level one ( I ) in the J&K Legislature for ever.

The truthful and true proposal would be to increase the total seats by 25% and then do the

fresh delimitation. Increase the seats in Legislative Assembly by 25 % on the overall i.e from 111 to 139.

The J&K Representation of People Act 1957 was designed by its authors in a very very special manner . It has been designed more seriously than 1950 Representation of People Act for the Parliament and State Legislatures. It could well be seen from the contents of clauses a ( i) to a (v) of Sub Section ( 2) of section- (4) of the J&K RPA 1957. Under the J&K RPA of 1957 a Delimitation Commission has to readjust the extent and boundaries of the Assembly Constituencies ( Section-4 sub section-1 Clause-a ) ; determine the number of seats in Legislative assembly to be reserved for SC ( Section-4, Sub section-I Clause-b ) ; distribute the seats in the Legislative assembly to s ingle member territorial constituencies and delimit them having due regards as far as practicable to requirements as laid down in Section-4 sub Section-2. Hence it is the Delimitation Commission that has to readjust the extent and boundaries of the Legislative Assembly Constituencies ( Section-4 sub section-1 Clause-a ) and distribute the seats in the Legislative assembly to single member territorial constituencies ; and it is not the Legislative Assembly that has to do such distribution.

Democracy through Parliament & State Legislature is the ESSENCE of the Pledge laid in the Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir . In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to regularly reach their people.

So far a Representative of nearness has been denied to the people of the backward/ far flung areas by the Delimitation Commissions of the past years. The areas with lesser means of communication/ connectivity have been given unfair treatment. More particularly DODA, Udhampur and Kathua districts have been more unfairly treated. The people of DODA, Udhampur, Kathua and Rajouri / Poonch have suffered the most over the years .The people of Kupwara , Baramulla and Kargil too have suffered. The areas of comparatively lesser geographical compactness fall more in Jammu Region than they fall in Kashmir Region. ¬¬¬Recently some leaders from Jammu have demanded for raising the assembly seats for Jammu Division and reducing some seats of Kashmir division . But they have not been serious about the cause since they have demanded that number of MLAs for Jammu Region and Kashmir Region be kept equal.. They have not dared to demand legitimate share of seats (more seats ) for Jammu Region as would become due in view of the provisions of J&K Representation of People Act. A fair application of norms would surely tilt the balance in favour of Jammu Region in Legislative Assembly.

Demands for fresh delimitation of Assembly Segments had been made at occasions,

more particularly by the people from Jammu region. Kashmir Region had been given more seats than Jammu Region where as the people from Jammu Region feel that Kashmir region share should be less .

But the mind set of the leadership from Jammu so far has been that they do not dare to demand more seats for Jammu as compared to Kashmir. Bhartiya Janta Party did demand till 1994 some more seats for Jammu but the number demanded earlier was always 38 to 39 out of 87. Recently some upward revision has been made by BJP. Recently J&K Cabinet decided that the seats in the legislative assembly be increased by 25 % over and above the number of seats that are presently in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions. The proposals are not constitutionally honest. Still some leaders have instead of rejecting the proposals for region wise increase have demanded that the number of seats in assembly for Jammu region and Kashmir Region should be same. The number has been suggested by some leaders as 52 seats for Jammu Region and 52 seats for Kashmir Region. Where as the demand has to be that there should be fair and true distribution.

What ever is the share under the J&K Representation of People Act ( Act No. IV of 1957 ) that should be given to each area and region. Let it be more or less. Ofcourse as per the provisions of the Act Assembly Seats that would fall in Jammu region would be much more than Kashmir region.

Section -50 of J&K Constitution did keep 14 ( MLC ) elected members in Legislative Council from Jammu Region and only 12 (MLC) elected members in Legislative Council from Kashmir Region. Section - 47 of J&K Constitution did not set such criteria as regards the Members in the Legislative Assembly. In view of the fact that there are more elected seats ( MLCs) in Legislative Council for Jammu Region the seats in the Legislative Assembly should also be more for Jammu Region as compared to Kashmir region. Where as in total disregard to spirit and provisions under lying the Constitution of J&K Justice K. K. Gupta Delimitation Commission had ordered on 27-04-1995 37 MLAs for Jammu Region and 46 MLAs for Kashmir Region out of 87 Seats in Assembly. Had the delimitation been truly done as per the Act , there should have been 46 seats for Jammu and 37 MLAs for Kashmir region. And ofcourse incase any amendment to Section 47 Sub Section -I of J&K Constitution is made to increase the number of total seats in the Legislative Assembly by 25 % i.e from 111 to 139 ( 30 seats for POK under Section - 48 of J&K Constitution and 109 seats for this side of J&K ) it has to be on total basis and not regional basis. A rational delimitation would then allocate 57 to 58 MLAs to Jammu Region and 46 to 47 MLAs for Kashmir region and 5 to 6 for Leh and Kargil. A detailed exercise for distribution of seats as per the requirement of J&K Representation of People Act has been presented by me as far back as 1992/1993 , much before Justice K. K. Gupta Delimitation Commission submitted the delimitation report in 1995 on the basis of which the present strength of the Legislature has been drawn. DODA, Udhampur and Kathua districts have been unfairly treated.

The J&K Representation of People Act 1957 was designed by its authors very logistically and scientifically. A lot of social science was applied while framing the Act But spirit of the Act and Constitution of J&K have been violated by all the Delimitation Commissions so far constituted for the delimitation of single member assembly segments of J&K Legislative. rs. A representative of nearness to the people of the backward/ far flung areas is what the J&K Representation of People Act 1957 had aimed at. But fair treatment to those from areas with lesser means of communication/ connectivity has been denied so far. And to be more particular people living in areas of lesser geographical compactness have been so far denied adequate number of MLAs in the J&K Legislative Assembly.

The result has been that the miseries, backwardness, illiteracy, poverty and ill health of the poor and backward area people has not been honestly medicated over last 50 years. The relative backwardness has grown. It is only due to this reason that people of farflung areas have suffered the most due to militancy. In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to frequently reach the needy of their constituency. The monitoring of development programmes too has hence suffered. MLAs find it difficult to timely address to the problems of those who fall in their constituencies.

The people of DODA, Udhampur, Kathua and Rajouri / Poonch have suffered the most over the years The people of Kupwara , Baramulla and Kargil too have suffered.

A fair trial under J&K Representation of People Act will give more MLAs to Jammu Region as compared to Kashmir Region. Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chief Minister of J&K has given a District Head Quarter to common man more nearer to his home from April 2007 onwards. Hope he and the Governments that may follow him could also give a MLA to people living in remote areas more near ( as far as possible ) to their home.

With the announcement made in July 2006 by Sh Ghulam Nabi Azad that a new Delimitation Commission will be appointed for a fresh Delimitation of seats in the Legislative Assembly, great hopes have been set that the injustice done earlier may be undone by the new Delimitation Commission. But another announcement made simultaneously that Government proposes to increase the existing number of seats ( MLAs) in the Legislative Assembly by 25 % for Jammu and 25% for Kashmir carried the issue in wrong directions. Ofcourse this could be done by an amendment to Section 48 of the Constitution of J&K .Increase in number of MLAs would surely benefit the common man since the MLA will have lesser area to cover. But the approach for increasing the seats is fair. The reports did not say that the number of seats on the over all in the assembly will be increases by 25 % i.e present number of 83 seats for Jammu and Kashmir regions will be increased from 87 to 109 and then delimitation would be done. Where as the reports were that present number of seats with Jammu region and that with Kashmir Region would be individually increased by 25 % and then Delimitation within the regions will be done. This means the seats for Jammu Region will be increased from 37 to 46 and for Kashmir Region Seats will increase from 46 to 58. Where as if a scientific honest exercise is done by any Delimitation Commission the number of seats for Jammu Region would be 57 to 58 and for Kashmir Region would be 46 to 47. And ofcourse for Ladakh region seats on the same basis will increase from 4 to 6. In other words the game plan appeared that the seats for three regions of J&K will be first fixed for all times to come and then the delimitation would be done with in a region. In Legislative Assembly the Kashmir Centric views would always then prevail over the interests of the people of Jammu region for development and governance. Ofcourse Jammu Region has more elected Members in Legislative Council ( 14 ) than Kashmir Region ( 12 ) but the opinion of Legislative Council ( MLCs) can not finally prevail upon the decision of Legislative Assembly ( MLAs) .The proposed scheme if gets through will be totally against the spirit of the J&K Representation of People Act 1957 and will be against the Unitary spirit of the Constitution of J&K.

No doubt under the present low level of political consciousness even irrational amendments (like allocating 37 plus 25% MLAs for Jammu Region and 46 plus 25% MLAs for Kashmir Region ) to Section 47 and Section 48 of J&K Constitution could be moved and passed in the Assembly by majority Vote. But if it happens such vote will violate the spirit of Constitution of J&K . There for the awareness to the common cause is must.

A minimum knowledge about some sections of J&K Constitution:

WE need to closely understand the provisions in the J&K Constitution as laid in section -47, Section- 48 and section -50. . As per Section-46 -There shall be a Legislature for the State which shall consist of the Governor and two Houses to be known respectively as the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. 47. Composition of Legislative Assembly. –(1) The Legislative Assembly shall consist of [one hundred and eleven] members chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in the State: Provided that the Governor may if he is of opinion that women are not adequately represented in the Assembly, nominate not more than two women to be members thereof.[(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the State shall be divided into single member territorial constituencies by such authority and in such manner as the Legislature may by law determine.(3) Upon the completion of each census, the number, extent and boundaries of the territorial constituencies shall be readjusted by such authority and in such manner as the Legislature may by jaw determine : Provided that such readjustment shall not effect representation in the Legislative Assembly until the dissolution of the then existing Assembly: [Provided that until the relevant figures for tile first census taken after the year 2026 have been published, it shall not be necessary to readjust the total number of seats in the Legislative Assembly of the State and - the- division of the State into territorial constituencies under this sub-section. (3. Inserted by the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (Twenty-ninth Amendment) Act, 2002, ) . Section 48. Provision relating to Pakistan- occupied territory.- Notwithstanding anything contained in section 47, until the area of the State under the occupation of Pakistan ceases to be, so occupied and the people residing in that area elect their representatives (a) [twenty-four seats] in the Legislative Assembly shall remain vacant and shall not be taken into account for reckoning the total membership of the Assembly; and (b) the said area shall be excluded in delimiting the territorial constituencies under section 47. Section-50. Composition of Legislative Council.-(1) Legislative Council shall consist of thirty-six members, chosen in the manner provided in this section.

(2) Eleven members shall be elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly from amongst persons who are residents of the Province of Kashmir and are not members of the Legislative Assembly:

Provided that of the members so elected, at least one shall be a resident of Tehsil Ladakh and at least one shall be a resident of Tehsil Kargil.

(3) Eleven members shall be elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly from amongst persons who are residents of the Province of Jammu and are not members of the Legislative Assembly: Provided that of the members so elected, at least one shall be a resident of Doda District and at least one shall be a resident of Poonch District.

(4) one member shall be elected by each of the following electorates, namely (a) the members of municipal council, town area committees and notified area committees in the Province of Kashmir;

(b) the members of municipal council, town area committees and notified area committees in the province of Jammu; (5) Two members shall be elected by each of the following electorates, namely (a)the members of the Panchayats and such other local bodies in the Province of Kashmir as the Governor may by order specify; (b) the members of the Panchayats and such other local bodies in the Province of Jammu as the Governor may by order specify. (6) [Eight] members shall be nominated by the *Governor, not more than three of whom shall be persons belonging to any of the socially or economically backward classes in the State, and the others shall be persons having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters such as literature, science, art, co-operative movement and social service. (7) Elections under sub-sections (2) and (3) shall be held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

A very very special Act :

Preamble of J&K Constitution secures to self EQUALITY of status and opportunity : JUSTICE social, economic & political. Democracy through Parliament & State Legislature is the ESSENCE of the Pledge laid in the Constitution. For accomplishment of the objectives, a representative of nearness in J&K Legislature could only ensure the pledge. The J&K Representation of People Act 1957 was designed in a very very special manner could well be seen from the contents of its clauses a ( i) to a (v) of Sub Section ( 2) of section- (4) of this Act. But unfortunately the spirit of the Act and Constitution have been violated over the years. The representative of nearness to the people of the backward/ far flung areas, to those from areas with lesser means of communication/ connectivity and comparatively lesser geographical compactness has been denied in the Legislative Assembly.

The miseries, backwardness, illiteracy, poverty and ill health has grown in the farflung areas of J&K. In view of larger distances and difficult terrains the MLAs are not able to regularly reach their areas to check the development requirements and also to address to the problems of those who fall in their constituencies.

A summary on the vital statistics of J&K and the like rational Delimitation i.e distribution of single member Assembly Segments in Legislature is being given here. Effort has been made to communicate through a set of speaking data. Efforts need be made to generate genuine public pressures and get the corrections made.

An exercise in detail had been done as early as in 1992-1993 and summary of a rational delimitation have been published at occasions in leading news papers of J&K. The exercise had proposed 45 to 47 for Jammu Region and 36 to 38 for Kashmir Region and 4 for Ladakh Region out of 87 seats.

Since the micro level data on road distribution and the condition of fairness of roads as well as the distribution of the populated area as well as the forest was/ is not immediately forthcoming for all the Districts of J&K ( at least upto Tehsil level) the exercise done may require minor adjustments ( 5 to 10% ) in the projected number of seats in the legislature at the district level with in a Region ( Jammu or Kashmir ) But the over all distribution of seats at the Regional Level will not show a variation of more than 5% on the plus minus side of what has been proposed in table – C ( 45 for Jammu Region and 38 for Kashmir Region ) and Table –A ( 45 to 47 for Jammu Region and 36 to 38 for Kashmir Region).

For a fair delimitation even the census figures of 2001 will have to be examined for fairness. 2001 Census figures show the population of Jammu Region as 4395712 souls and the voter lists as made for Sep/Oct 2002 Assembly Elections showed 28 . 92 Lac voters for Jammu region. Where as the population for Kashmir Region as per 2001 census has been shown as 5441341souls as against only 25 . 46 Lac Voters in 2002. How can the voters be so much less where population is more and vice versa . Hence keeping in view the spirit of J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 may be only 1981 census figures will have to be used since the mistake has been done while doing delimitation on the basis of 1981 census figures. It has also to be kept in mind that in view of the requirements as laid in the J&K Representation of the People Act 1957, population contributes not more than 20 % towards the logics to be used for delimitation. 80% of the logic parameters to be used for delimitation tilt the balance towards Jammu region. Presently out of 111 seats in Assembly 24 seats have been marked for POK and 4 seats for Ladakh Region. New Districts of Kishtwar, Reasi, Samba, Bandipur, Ramban, Shopian, Ganderbal and Kulgam have been created but the boundaries have not yet been well marked . Further since the irrational Delimitattion was done on the basis of 1981 census, the analysis as done earlier is retained. Further the number of seats in Legislative assembly if increased by 25 % on the over all before new delimitation commission is constituted the seats as determined here would proportionately get increased to 45 to 46 for Kashmir Region, 57 to 58 for Jammu Region and 5 to 6 for Ladakh Region out of total 109 for this part of J&K State.


Table --- A

Vital statistics of J&K as are relevant for Delimitation of single member segments in the Legislative Assembly , present status and proposed distribution of segments.

S.No. Particulars Jammu Kashmir Ladakh Remarks

Region Region Region

1. ***Population as

per 1981 CENSUS 27,18,113 31,34,909 1,34,372 . ***2001 Census figures show the population of Jammu Region as 4395712 souls and the voter lists as made for Sep/Oct 2002 Assembly Elections showed 28 . 92 Lac voters for Jammu region where as the population for Kashmir Region as per 2001 census has been shown as 5441341souls as against only 25 . 46 Lac Voters in 2002. Hence the census figures of 2001 are not dependable.

2. Geographical area

( excluding POK)

Sq. Km 26293 15948 96701

3. Area Under Forest

Sq. Km. 12050 8115 17

4. % Forest Area 45.83 50.88 . 0.02

5. Road Network

upto 1987 in Km 3500 4900

6. % Area covered

by Roads 18 40 very less

7. Area other than forest

Sq. Km 14,243 7,833 app 96680

8. Proportionate

units of elected

members in Legislative

Council ( MLCs )

as per Section ( 50 )

of Constitution of J&K 14 12 2

9. Present strength of

segments in Legislative

Assembly as ordered

by K. K. Gupta Delimitation

Commission on

27-04-95 ( MLAs ) +37 ??? + 46 ??? + 4 ? + Remarks >Jammu region has more elected seats in the Legislative Council but so strangely the Delimitation Commission has kept lesser seats in Assembly for Jammu region.

10. District

Administrative

Units ( Districts) before

October 1947 +5 + 3 + 1 + Remarks> Jammu province had Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Mirpur as districts and two Jagirs of Poonch and Chenani where as Kashmir Province ( Kashmir region of today ) had only 3 districts Anantnag, Baramulla, Muzaffarabad and Ladakh had District of Ladakh

11. Districts

( excluding POJK) before

carving 8 new districts

( order in July 2006 and

execution in April 2007 )

since KK Gupta had done

delimitation before

( 1995 ) that + 6 +6 + 2 + Remarks Jammu Region > Jammu, Kathua, +Udhampur, +Doda, Rajouri and Poonch. + Remarks Kashmir Region > Srinagar, **Badgam, Anantnag, **Pulwama, Baramulla and **Kupwara + Remarks Ladakh > Leh, ** Kargil region **Remarks >The spread of districts Jammu Region was much more vast as compared to Kashmir region in 1975 when Sheikh Mohd Abdullah returned to power , But still **three new districts were already carved ( 1-07-1979 ) in Kashmir Division much before the Wazir Commission Report was submitted ( 3-01-1984 ) to Government.. Kargil District was also carved at same time.

12. District Administrative

Units as recommended (1-03-1984 )

by Wazir Commission 6 + *3=9 6 + *1=7 * Remarks * Jammu Region > Jammu,Kathua, Doda, Rajouri Poonch, *Reasi. *Kishtwar and *Bahu/ Samba * Kashmir region > Srinagar, Badgam, Anantnag, Pulwama, Baramulla, Kupwara and *Bandipora

13. As per my analysis Rational/ Legitimate likely segments in Legislative Assembly out 87 ( 24 out of 111 have been kept for POK) Keeping in view **Section ( 4), Sub- Section ( 2), Clause a ( i ) to Clause a ( v ) of J&K Representation of People REMARKS >**J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 ( Act . No. IV ) , Section- 4, Sub Section –2

Clause –a ( i ): Population ( population parameter has not to be given more than 25 to 30 % weightage )

Clause- a (ii ) : Geographical Compactness ( location of people in Kashmir valley is very compact in comparison to Jammu region )

Clause – a ( iii) :Nature of terrain ( Jammu region has not more than 25% plain terrain where as Kashmir region has more than 75 % terrain as plain )

Clause – a ( iv) : Facilities of Communication ( Percentage of area covered by roads in Kashmir valley is almost double the Jammu region )

Clause - a ( v) : And the like considerations ( this factor will also result in advantage to Jammu region during delimitation.

See table (B) for

District wise distribution

Jammu Region**45 to47 Kashmir Region 37 to 38 Ladakh region 4 to 6.

Table- B

Likely/ rational distribution of seats in Legislative Assembly of J&K based on data of 1981 ***census ( since the population census figures of 2001 though have been conveyed by the official agencies but not logically explained to trueness when questioned by some people are not getting convinced because inspite of heavy migration from Kashmir Region the new data shows disproportionately, rather unbelievably, large increase for Kashmir region over 1981 figures, hence the data for 1981 is being taken for demonstration purposes.***2001 Census figures show the population of Jammu Region as 4395712 souls and the voter lists as made for Sep/Oct 2002 Assembly Elections showed 28 . 92 Lac voters for Jammu region where as the population for Kashmir Region as per 2001 census has been shown as 5441341souls as against only 25 . 46 Lac Voters in 2002. ) and keeping in view the spirit of J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 and the Constitution of J&K. Taking 83 seats for Jammu and Kashmir Regions & 4 seats for Ladakh Region & 24 seats for POK out of total of 111 seats.

Table- B

Region District Area Forest Population Likely Likely likely Likely Av

sq km sq km 1981 seats as seats as seats as per overall

per Area per area per MLC

basis w/o forest popu

basis basis basis basi basis

KASHMIR Srinagar 2228 380 708328 4.38 6.95 10.04 7.12

Badgam 1371 481 367267 2.69 3.35 5.21 3.75

Anantnag 3984 2197 656351 7.83 6.72 9.31 7.95

Pulwama 1398 729 4040782. 2.75 2.51 5.73 3.66

Baramulla 4588 2677 670142 9. 01 7. 18 9.50 8.56

Kupwara 2379 1641 328743 4.67 2.74 4.66 4.03

Kashmir region15948 8115 3134909 31.33 29.45 44.45 38.31 35 to 37

(excluding POK )

JAMMU Jammu 3079 1339 943395 6.09 6.61 13.38 8.68

Kathua 2651 789 369123 5.21 7.00 5.23 5.81

Udhampur 4550 1945 453636 8.94 9.79 6.43 8.38

Doda 11691 5848 425262 22.97 21.97 6.03 16.99

Rajouri 2630 1304 302500 5.16 4.98 4.29 4.81

Poonch 1674 825 224197 3.29 3.19 3.18 3.22 Jammu Region

(excluding POK)26293 12050 2718113 51.66 53.54. 38.54 4.69 48 to 46

LadakhRegion Leh 2 to 3

Kargil 2 -3

Ladakh

Region total 5 to 6

Ladakh Region : The area and locations are such that for this region the allocation has to be made in a special manner. The area is very large but the inhabited area is very less and hence the area factor can not be so simply applied to in this case. Ofcourse, the population, the means of communication and topography need be given due consideration.

TABLE- C

District wise distribution of seats in the Legislative assembly as per Last Delimitation ( DC ) ( 27-04-1995 ) K. K. Gupta Commission , as it existed before 27-4-1995 and as it should be (as has been arrived at through the exercise as done in Table- B by me ) as per the ground conditions as well as the requirements as laid down in the Representation of the People act of 1957 and as directed through the intentions of Constitution of J&K. I had also submitted a note to Justice ( Retd ) K. K. Gupta Chairman Delimitation Commission ( DC ) in person much before 27-04-1995.

District Seats Seats Seats Seats Seats

As existed As proposed As ordered As ordered Fair share

Before 4/95 By DC in 4/89 by DC 28/9/92 by Review DC as worked by

Out of 76 out of 87 out of 87 out of 87 Daya Sagar

in 1991/92

Srinagar 14 10 10 10 7 to 8

Badgam It was with

Srinagar 5 5 5 4

Ananatnag 15 10 10 10 8

Pulwama It was with

Anantnag 6 6 6 4

Baramulla 13 10 10 10 9-10

Kupwara It was with

Baramulla 5 5 5 4

Total Kashmir

Region 42 46 46 46 37 to 38

Jammu 11 13 13 13 10 to 9 Kathua 4 5 5 5 6 to 7

Udhampur 5 6 6 6 8 to 7

Doda 6 6 6 6 11 to 13

Rajouri 3 4 4 4 5 to 4

Poonch 3 3 3 3 3 to 4

Total Jammu

Region 32 37 37 37 45 to 46

Leh 1 2 2 2 2-3

Kargil 1 2 2 2 2-3

Ladakh

Region 2 4 4 4 4 to5

Total

Excluding

POJK 76 87 87 87 87

It was the hard work of Kashmiri leaders that did not allow the Farooq Abdullah, Mufti and Azad Governments to implement even Wazir Commission report that had recommended in 1984 to raise the number of Districts in Jammu Region from six to nine and in Kashmir Region from six to only seven. Ghulam Nabi Azad has given four new districts to Kashmir Region as against only one new district recommended by Wazir commission in 1984 where as only four have been given to Jammu Region as against three recommended by Wazir commission. The Wazir Commission remained on job from 12-11-1981 to 3-1-1984 and took 3 years to analyze and make recommendations. Surprisingly present government could reassess the whole issue in just 6 months and finally order creation of 8 new districts in J&K instead of 4 districts recommended by Wazir Commission .This shows that it is not logic but some hidden policies and compulsions that govern the working and intentions of the governments of the day. Hence a lot needs to be done to make the governments perform honestly and truly.

Better know yourself first:

In 1947 Jammu Province of Maharaja Hari Singh had Five Districts namely Udhampur ( 5 tehsils), Jammu ( four tehsil), Kathua ( 3 tehsils) , Mirpur ( three tehsils ) and Reasi ( two tehsils ) as well as two Jagirs of Poonch & Chenani. Where as Kashmir Province had only three districts ie Anantnag ( four tehsils) , Baramulla ( three tehsils )and Muzaffarabad ( three tehsils). Srinagar was a tehsil of Anantnag then and Uri was a tehsil of Muzafarabad.

After 1947 Accession with India the Jammu Province had 6 districts ( Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch). Similarly Kashmir Division that was nearly half the area of Jammu Division had 3 Districts ( Srinagar , Ananatnag and Baramulla ).

Wazir Commission Recommendations had called for nine District Administrative Units for Jammu Division as against seven for Kashmir Division Surely any new study if done would not have reduced the number of three new districts proposed by Wazir Commission for Jammu Division, rather the number surely would have increased further if any new criteria is adopted for creation of more districts to redress the grievance of people even from Kashmir Division. Total areas (in square kilometers) and areas without forest for different districts as they existed before creation of 8 new districts w.e.f 1-04-2007 are Doda ( 11691 / 5843 ), Baramulla ( 4588 / 1911), Udhampur ( 4550 / 2605 ), Anantnag ( 3984 / 1787 ), Jammu ( 3097 / 1758 ), Kathua ( 2651 / 1862 ), Rajouri ( 2630 / 1326 ), Kupwara ( 2379 / 728 ), Srinagar ( 2228 / 1848 ), Poonch ( 1674 / 849 ), Pulwama ( 1398 / 669 ) and Badgam ( 1371 / 890 ).

After 1947 Accession with India the Jammu Province that included Poonch and Chenani as well was spread over an area of 26,293 square kilometers and Kashmir province of which Muzafarabad had been occupied by Pakistan aided raiders comprised of 15948 square kilometer area. For administrative reasons Jammu Division after 1947 had 6 districts ( Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch). Mirpur had gone in POK but Poonch Jagir became administratively part of Jammu Division. Similarly Kashmir Division that was nearly half the area of Jammu Division had 3 Districts ( Srinagar , Ananatnag and Baramulla ) till 3 more districts were created after Government headed by Sheikh Mohmed Abdullah took over in 1975 .

After independence New Delhi could not come out from the political pressure of the Kashmir Valley based leadership.

Gajendragadkar Commission Report of 1967, reports of Commissions headed by Justice Janki Nath Wazir ( particularly report submitted in 1984 by Justice J N Wazir ) and the Singhal Committee Report of 1998 did endorse some grievances. Till recently Governments of the day had not rejected these reports.

In view of the multi-dimensional inter-regional contradictions Government of J&K had set up Gajendragadkar Commission in 1967 . Gajendragadkar Commission had observed that the main cause of irritation and tension was the feeling of political neglect and discrimination from which the certain regions (Jammu and Ladakh) suffered. Gajendragadkar Commission further observed that even if all the matters are equally settled, there would still be a measure of discontent unless the political aspirations of the different regions are satisfied.

After Poonch agitation 0f 1978-79 and localized agitations on the issues of development and employment in the districts of Udhampur and Doda the Government of Jammu & Kashmir had set up a Commission headed by Justice Janki Nath Wazir. Wazir commission was appointed on Nov 12, 1981 for studying different issues including rationalisation of Administrative Units (Districts). Justice JN Wazir incidentally also had vast experience on J&K affairs as he also headed the first regular Delimitation Commission.

The spread ( area ) of districts in Jammu Region was much more vast as compared to Kashmir region in 1975 when Sheikh Mohd Abdullah returned to power. Three new districts ( Pulwama, Kupwara and B udgam) had already been carved in Kashmir Division even before the Wazir Commission was appointed in 1981.After exhaustive study, interaction and factual position, Wazir Commission submitted its report on January 3, 1984. The Commission recommended creation of three more districts in Jammu region to be carved out one each from existing Jammu, Doda and Udhampur districts. Number of District Administrative units in Jammu Division would go up from six to nine. The Commission also recommended creation of one more district of Bandipore out of Baramulla in Kashmir region raising number of districts in Kashmir Division from six to seven ( Wazir commission appeared to be under pressure to nearly accept the 3 districts already created in Kashmir Division by State Government in early eighties ) .

The Wazir Commission appears to have taken cognizance of area, backwardness, topography, geographical continuity and distribution of population. Areawise (excluding POK and allied areas) Jammu region has 26,293 sq. km. Kashmir region 15948 while Ladakh topping the list with 96,701. At the times when Wazir commission was on job road network was nearly 5000 Km in Kashmir Division as against less than 3500 km in Jammu Division. In view of more backward areas in Jammu region creation of three more districts was recommended as against only one for Kashmir Division where 3 districts had already been carved out of District of Anantnag ( Anantnag and Pilwama) , Srinagar ( Srinagar and Badgam ) and Baramulla( Baramulla and Kupwara) much before the Wazir Commission had submitted the report. Even the original Districts of Baramulla ,Anantnag and Srinagar were very very small in comparison to the district of Doda. The total combined area of Baramulla and Kupwara districts is 6977 sq kilometers where as that of Doda district is 11691 sq kilometers. Even the area of Doda district excluding forest area is 5843 sq kilometer and that Baramulla Kupwara combine excluding forest is only 2639 sq kilometers. Area of Kishtwar tehsil of Doda District was 4550 sq kilometers. Those who have kept the Wazir Commission report under the carpet for over 20 years have surely done a great injustice to the people of far flung areas . Kishtwar and Bhadarwah Tehsils of Doda districts were the poorest of the poor areas of J&K inspite of the fact they had the major portion of forest wealth of J&K and at least half as large a tourism potential as the Kashmir valley has.

Happenings in the J&K Legislative Assembly over last five years can well explain the intentions of those who feared of the pressures from Kashmir Valley in case Wazir Commission recommendations were implemented.

In general the developmental plan funds and other allocations are made by Government taking District Administrative unit / Community development block as the basis. The recommendations of the Wazir Commission if accepted would have made the Jammu Division entitled for more fund allocations in comparison to Kashmir Division. Implementation of a report like 1984 Justice J.N. Wazir like Commission Report and constitution of a new impartial Delimitation Commission for reorganization of single member assembly segments of J&K Legislative assembly would surely place Dogriat ahead of Kashmiriat. The common man of Kashmir Valley may not take much notice of it but the political opponents of Government would surely use the same to exploit the sentiments of innocent common Kashmiri .

That could explain reluctance of Kashmir centric politicians to keep the Wazir Commission report under the carpet. Creation of new districts also has direct bearing on the assembly seats. Inview of need for creating three more districts in addition to Bandipora in Kashmir Valley, surely those who talk of the need for some more districts out of some areas of Doda, Kathua and Udhampur Districts of Jammu province in addition to Reasi, Kishtwar , Ramban and Samba too have some logic. More so it must be kept in mind that Srinagar, Pulwama and Badgam have very less Kandi and forest areas. On this basis a rational study would recomment 2 to 3 more districts for Jammu province and total districts could be ( 12).

Any new Delimitation Commission for assembly segments of the Legislative Assembly would have found it difficult to keep 37 seats in the assembly for nine Disricts of Jammu Province and 46 seats for only 7 Districts of Kashmir Province. Hence to undo such pressures the number of Districts in Jammu and Kashmir regions has been made 10 each w.e.f 1-04-2007. But the truth as laid in Section-50 of J&K Constitution will still keep on irritating.

Section 50 of J&K Constitution had already an irritating provision for the Kashmir Centric leadership where in the Legislative Council Jammu province has 14 elected MLCs and Kashmir Province has only 12 elected MLCs. Presently Jammu has more elected MLCs ( Member Legislative Council ) but less MLAs ( Member Legislative Assembly ) than Kashmir Division.

Looking at the people and the status of those living the far flung backward areas of J&K, there is a special provision in the J&K Representation of People Act of 1957 for providing a representative of nearness in the Legislative Assembly to the people of J&K . Azad has given proof of his concern for the people and has said that there may also be a need for increasing seats in the Legislative Assembly. People should hope that new Delimitation Commission for reorganizing single member segments in Legislative assembly would work under no pressure and shall undo the mistakes as were done by the earlier Commission in mid nineties. I have discussed this in my coloumns in DE in very detail. In case the Delimitation Commission would work honestly even under the present status the seats for Doda, Kathua and Udhampur districts would increase under the provisions of J&K representation of People Act 1957 as well as Jammu Province´s share out of present 87 seats ( excluding 25 kept for POK) would be nearly 45 and that of Kashmir Valley around 38. In case total seats are increased to 100 ( 25 seats of POK ) the districts of jammu province may get around 57 se 58 seats. J&K Legislative Council already has 14 elected MLC´s from Jammu Province as per Section 50 of J&K Constitution where as Kashmir Valley has only 12 elected MLC´seats in the Legislative Council.

The only irritating reality is that the Districts as well as seats in the Legislative Assembly would be more for Dogriat than that of Kashmiriat. Let Dogriat not irritate Kashmiriat. And if it irritates , make all efforts to let Kashmiries accept it happily in a brotherly manner. But these issues will have to be taken up by all by rising above individual party politics. Leaders of Jammu from all political and social groups will have to come along side Ghulam Nabi Azad to strengthen his efforts for making the people of Kashmir Valley well understand and accept the ground realities as regards reorganization of District administrative Units and Delimitation of the single member segments in the Legislative Assembly.

Why ask a specific number of seats in assembly. Let us ask for a fair trial and delimitation as per representation of the people Act 1957. The Section -4 has four parameters in favour of the areas falling in Jammu region. The fifth parameter the population as per 2001 census is disputedly shown more for Kashmir Region. But the electorate ( voters ) from Jammu region are more than Kashmir region. Even this factor lays the truths to wards Jammu region. As per the Act The Delimitation Commission shall,(a) readjust the extent and boundaries of the Assembly Constituencies ; and (b) determine the number of seats in the Legislative Assembly to be reserved for the Scheduled Castes. The Delimitation Commission shall in the manner herein provided, distribute the seats in the Legislative Assembly to single member territorial constituencies and delimit them having due regard, as far as practicable to the (a) (i) Population as ascertained at the last preceding census of which the relevant figures have been published ;and (ii) geographical compactness ;and (iii) nature of terrain ; and (iv) facilities of communication ; and (v) the like consideration.]