An excerpt of an article I am working on which is refelective of the growing frustartion of my people the Dogras and other ethnicities like Kashmiri Pandits, Ladakhis, Sikhs living in Jammu and Kashmir. In a clear absence of a forum where we can be heard I am writing this. We are not invisible and we will not be voiceless........
The Ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, a Dogra signs the Instrument of Accession, Nehru, a Kashmiri Pandit blunders afterwards and yet amongst all…the Dogras (Hindus and Muslims) , the Kashmiri Pandits, Ladakhis( Buddhists), Gujjars(Muslims), Bakerwals (Muslims), Sikhs. Paharis, Poonchis (Muslims and Hindus) it is only one group which asks for Azadi and Autonomy or accession to Pakistan!!! Has anyone questioned why? Has anyone demanded to hear from the other actors of this high strung drama?
We the Dogras have always been voiceless. The Kashmiri Pandits who did manage to get well deserved sympathy after the mass exodus are becoming victims of weak memories and are out-shouted by their brothers who continue to live in the Valley.
I am a generation who has grown up witnessing and hearing about gross injustices playing out in the state. Despite being a larger geographical area and with a greater population the Jammu Region has only 37 seats compared to the 47 from the valley. 70% of the government jobs go to the Kashmiris as opposed to all the other communities from the state. All the money flowing into the state goes to the valley. Kashmiri ad hoc government employees earn more than their Dogra counterparts. The Valley wants the Central University and IIM (Indian Institute of Management) to come up in Srinagar as opposed to Jammu or Ladakh. They created a hue and cry to oppose it coming up in Jammu!!
We have seen systematic ethnic cleansing in the valley. We have witnessed the Kashmiri Pandit exodus from the valley and the massacre of the Sikhs in Chattisinghpora. We are aware of the continued threat to the Hindus, Sikhs and any India supporter. I have heard of my people complaining that we are suffering the mistakes committed by Nehru. We have suffered terribly under the draconian Article 370. I know Ladakhis do not want to be administered by the Kashmiris from the valley. On one hand a Dogra girl will have no right to property in her home state if she marries a non-state subject, even if it is a Dogra from Himachal Pradesh or Punjab. And on the other hand grooms from POK and Pakistan are brought into the state under any pretext. Sometime back there was even a discussion in the Assembly that a non domicile daughter in law should lose her right to property in the state in the eventuality of the demise of her husband. Is this not a gross violation of basic human rights? The Kashmiris from the valley are buying lands and apartments all around me in Jammu but I cannot dare to do the same in the valley. Is this not an extension of subtle but sure ethnic cleansing?
On what grounds is it justified that just one of the many players gets to decide that they want to break away? After the systematic cleansing of the Kashmiri Pandit after torture, killing, rapes and worse how can one expect a fair plebiscite and a just demand for autonomy?