Sunday, August 11, 2013
An Open Letter to Jenaab Omar Abdullah
Honorable CM Sahib, Jenaab Omar Abdullah ji ,
We are so glad that you finally dragged yourself away from tweeting. Understandably it must also be very difficult to stop ruminating over Kohli's decision to not let Parvez Rasool play the just concluded ODI series against Zimbabwe. But we are glad you moved on.
We the people of the Jammu Region, the minority, are elated that you are finally attempting to take stock of the 'situation' in Kishtwar. And are praying that Cricket, Tweeting or any such thing will not distract you from your job. Sir in my correspondence I will refer to the people of the Jammu Region which includes 10 Districts (Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Kishtwar, Doda, Rajouri, Poonch, Ramban and Reasi) as Jammuites to be fair and inclusive of all the Ethnic Identities...Dogras, Kishtwaris, Bhaderwahis, Kashmiri Pandits, Poonchis etc.
The people of the region as you might know, were already upset about the LOC ceasefire violations by our neighbor. The icing on the cake was the divided, and embarrassing reaction and the crude insensitive remarks about the incident by your political fraternity. The Kishtwar incident just further pushes us into the corner.
Your colleague Mr. Azad claimed in an interview to DD, that Kishtwar is one of the most peaceful districts in the state. True it is the land of Saffron and Sufis. But though the Saffron is still there, the Sufis have long gone. If I may remind Respectd Azadji, the Sufis have been replaced by home and 'across the border' grown terrorists and foreign mercenaries. As reported by many minorities from the region the city is always tensed, ahead of Eid. This known fact, definitely demanded more preparedness by the local administration.
You have gone on record saying “…As to how the situation developed, whether there were any administrative lapses, and if there were any lapses, who were responsible, and swift action will follow. Does this mean you assure us of the sacking of the Local MLA and State Minister of Home Sajjad Kitchloo for his very disturbing and conniving role in the carnage in Kishtwar.
The Local administration and the Police who stood by and allegedly aided the miscreants as the minority were being persecuted, must be booked. Sir, friends and relatives from Kishtwar are saying that the Police let enough time pass, before acting, hence allowing massive property damage. This definitely demands a high level investigation. The early reports stated, the injured being shifted to hospitals in other Districts as the local hospital refused to admit them. This news makes us very sad Jenaab.
I read somewhere that you asked who are these people who are protesting. Well Jenaab with some consternation and honesty we admit, that it is mostly us Jammuites who were and are protesting against the violence in Kistwar. But then someone had to.
The National media was busy reporting the trade verdict of 'Chennai Express'. Most of us love SRK Jenaab, but we love our bretherens from the Jammu Region too. So we chose to stand by them in their moment of crisis. We protest because we are scared and angry and want justice.
Sir, a 74 year old, who returned to the land of his ancestors, after a lifetime of hard work outside the state, is being advised to buy property in Delhi or Chandigarh, because the minorities fear that in 6-7 years Jammu Region would turn into Kashmir. Far-fetched? But its common knowledge Sir, we still await the rightful return of the Kashmiri Pandits.
We must share this with you, that the rumors going around amongst the minorities, suggest that this is just the beginning of the second act of Ethnic Cleansing. Many of us disagree, for though we are a minority, we are pretty stoic and are going no where. But it is also true that the fast changing demography of the State is because of forced migration. Migration arising due to such incidents and an atmosphere of fear and persecution.
Jenaab our people are angry. We pay our taxes, cast our vote and vow our allegiance to the State and the Nation. We proudly fly the Indian Flag, yet we have no voice and are almost invisible. We have been for a long time treated as that poor cousin, the unwanted house guest, who is humiliated and starved into fleeing the home
Sir you said some political parties take advantage and polarize such situations. You have hit the bulls eye Sir. This is what, always happens. We would humbly suggest, that you kindly make a note of that and next time in such an event make sure that there is a prompt, effective, and fair intervention by the State Government. Declaring Curfew at 12 pm and imposing it at 8pm, was not a very smart decision even by a long stretch.
We condemn the stray incidents of communal violence that followed, and feel that they were completely avoidable if the state Machinery had behaved differently.
Jenaab you have sprung into action by clamping curfew in 8 out 10 Districts of Jammu Region, preventing media from reporting, and have cut off mobile internet. You have not allowed the opposition from visiting Kishtwar. You said the local Administration in such situations make decisions to allow media, political leaders and others in the troubled areas. As well wishers, we must tell you that this is seemingly undemocratic. We suspect, you have your good reasons but this also does not seem fair, Sir.
In the Valley, whenever Geelani Uncle gets mad and wants support, his good friend Arundhati Roy flies past the Jammu Region and stands by him. An otherwise intelligent lady Ms. Roy, sadly, does not like us people of the Jammu Region. We have a sneaking suspicion Sir, that her friend Geelani Uncle has lead her to believe we do not exist.
You stopped Mr. Arun Jaitley, Mr Soz and Mehbooba Didi from visiting Kistwar. Why did you do that? It does not help your cause, for you should have nothing to hide.We are so desperate for attention, we Jammuites, since nobody wants to talk to us, we would have happily allowed anyone for a cup of Desi Chai and a word of empathy.
We have some other very important piece of news for you. Amongst the Jammuites, Narendra Modi, is gaining popularity, as fast as the Indian Rupee is losing its value. He it seems had heard of the Kishtwar incindent and remembered to speak for us even as he prepared to address his very important and big rally in Hyderabad. Sadly Sir, nobody else did.
Jenaab Omar Sahib, the young people from Jammu Region are afraid to talk about the incident on social networking sites now, because they fear a backlash and even arrest. If they could, they would tell the Nation, that the loss of life and damage to property is much more than being shown on National Media.
We are a simple and gentle people, us Jammuites. You have suspended the Machail Mata Yatra, the Buddha Amaranth Yatra and the Amarnath Yatra, which are very important for us, but we will live. In fact we are doing all, to make things easy for the Yatris/Pilgrims who are stuck in different base Camps.
But we hope in return, that we do not have to remind you, to do the needful. We expect appropriate compensation to the victims, a probe into the incident and holding responsible both miscreants and Civil Authorities including, your Minister of State Sajjad Kitchloo, for the dastardly acts.
Jenaab Omar Abdullah, the Jammu Region, is rooted in a culture of love, tolerance, and co-existence. Since we are peace loving, you do not have to remind us to maintain peace. But we also have a strong Martial Tradition and can stand up for our Rights. So do not test our patience and most certainly do not take us for granted.
Concerned Minority - The People of the Jammu Region.
P.S: The Word Minority is demeaning and not our favourite way to describe ourselves, but it does seem to have an attention grabbing quality and hence its factual but liberal use.