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 If I may remind Respectd Azadji, the Sufis have been replaced by home and 'across the border' grown terrorists and foreign mercenaries.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.

Yours Truly,
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.


bobby khajuria said...

your views this time are based less on facts or the sequence of events which unfolded and more on age old regional bias and perception of victimization which incidentally is shared by all 3 regions of the state.
Administrative ineptitude to deal with law and order crises should not be construed as some deep rooted communal design to dislodge Hindus from Kishtwar.
More than the Political leadership it is the local community leaders and Police/PMF which should be proactive to contain the situation from escalating. Unfortunately biased opinions and rumours just vitiate the atmosphere and no lessons are ever allowed to be learnt from our past mistakes.

Manu Khajuria said...

Bobby Khajuria: I have stated very clearly that the 'displacement' is the mood of the people and not the actual intent of the incident necessarily. Hence I refer to it as 'rumour' and not fact.
I have blamed the handling of the situation by the Govt Machinery as the biggest issue here. You may have chosen to read selectively.
The Local leadership which includes Sajjad Kitchloo stood and watched.

bobby khajuria said...

starting the post with “we the people of jammu” itself sets the tone of your article…u r not appealing to your “Jenaab…. as a concerned citizen of J&K against this particular incident instead your complaints go into the realm of usual jammuite vs kashmiri chauvinism…BTW it is standard tactic world over that a troubled spot is first isolated to enable tempers to cool down and to re-establish the control of law enforcement agencies ….curfews, media clampdown and barring ingress of outsiders is the expected practice one cannot do without

In Kishtwar town as such hindu & muslims are in near equal strength and so there is no nervous “minority” existing there…..riots were certainly on communal lines but clearly who is to be blamed cannot be pre-decided---frankly there are deep fissures in our society which do tend to erupt when local admin tend to ignore the warning signs

constructive engagement also demands our ability to transcend religious and regional identity myopi---BTW why do u grudge Omar tweeting or is it the prerogative of only People who have nothing serious to do

Manu Khajuria said...

1. If the population is equal kindly point it out to the State machinery...they are the ones including the local media which uses the term 'minority' to refer to a certain community in the city. That is my reference.

2. I am clearly speaking as a Jammuite and personally feel the situation demands it. I am not apologizing for that. I am who I am and identifying myself as one does not necessarily make me the enemy of the other.

3. No nervous minority? Where did you get that? Family and friends from Kishtwar city tell another story. The District Hospital did not admit the injured in the District Hospital as stated by the biggest regional newspaper. Friends tell stories of last year Eid time where the Police were extremely nervous and hoping no untoward incident marred Machail Mata Yatra or Eid festivities.

4. Clearly atleast in my view,the MOS should take some responsibility, which he just did though very grudgingly.

5. Omar can tweet away to glory for all I care as long as he does his job. That is a regional joke btw...amongst the people of the Jammu Region. However much we think otherwise we as a state are divided though all hopeful of peace.

6. I am surprised you think the situation was handled well. The Civilians in the Region have loudly and clearly said otherwise. Be it in virtual world or real.

bobby khajuria said...

kudiye; Hold on, I never said situation was handled well I am only commenting upon your reading of the situation....let us wait for facts to come out ...."the simple & gentle jammuites" do have miscreants in both communities equally capable of fomenting trouble

Manu Khajuria said...

Well who denied evil everywhere. If you notice I did refer that ppl and parties will take advantage of such situations...nothing new. Hence even more imp is prompt and effective action. Prevents chances of 'chance pe dance'.
Enjoyed our dialogue thoroughly :) Thanks for taking out time and indulging me :))).

Deepak Raina said...

manju ji,

can u help to communicate my message to respected cm,

how an overaged youth will be benifited by project udaan as companies tied with udaan are hiring only freshers where will overaged youths go...

Deepak Raina said...

over 3500 youths of the state are over aged and unemployed, it seems that project udaan fails to provide job opportunities to such candidates,respected cm should take concrete steps regarding the same..
as most of overaged students/youths get disappointed that they cant become the member of udaan and get a suitable job according to their qualificaTIONS