National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Tuesday asked BJP to convince people of Jammu how repealing of Article 35A will benefit the Dogras and safeguard their interests in the overall context.“Instead of indulging in rhetoric and jingoism, the BJP must realize the fall out of removing this constitutional proviso, which is detrimental to overall interests of the state in general and the people of Jammu in particular”, the Provincial President said while addressing workers here, adding that posterity will never forgive the BJP if Article 35A is tampered with.He said a growing consciousness is dawning upon the Dogras with regard to their rights and the likely subjugation they might suffer in the event of state subject laws, brought in by Maharaja Hari Singh Ji to retain peculiar identity and heritage of the Duggarland, are dispensed with.
“The apprehensions of the jobs going to outside youth and businesses getting usurped by affluent traders are as grave as they were ninety years ago when the Maharaja Sahib was constrained to bring the law”, he said, adding that the Article 35A may be anything but not-anti national, as it forms important ingredient of the Constitution of India.
In fact, this Act endorses the wisdom of the Maharaja and his far-sight which is reflected in the presidential order of 1954. He termed the Act as religious neutral, regional neutral and caste neutral, saying its applicability is more relevant for the Jammu region than the other two regions of Kashmir and Ladakh. The chances of non-state subjects making their way to Jammu are more likely because of its proximity to other parts of the country and conduciveness in terms of security scenario, culture, topography and terrain, he said hoped that the self-proclaimed champions of the Jammu cause will not ignore this reality.“By generating passions in the mistaken belief of ultra-nationalism, the BJP is undermining and insulting the patriotic credentials of Jammuities, who are more nationalistic than the hyper-nationalists”, Mr Rana said and warned against any move that will not be in the interests of the Dogras—Mahajan Biradari, Brahmins, Rajputs, Khatris, Dogra Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Scheduled Caste and other segments of the society. He hoped the BJP to gauge the popular sentiment against repealing of Article 35A and start course correction by rising above politics and joining saner voices of protecting and safeguarding the state subject laws.
“Protecting Article 35A is saving the proud Dogra heritage and culture”, he said, adding that National Conference will take its crusade in this regard to logical conclusion. He gave the background of the enactment of permanent residence laws in 1927, saying that the Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh Ji had sagaciously acted upon the representation of Dogra Pratinidhi Sabha and Kashmiri Pandit Sabha, keeping in view the threat of outside domination over the poor subjects of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. He said the BJP cannot deprive the Dogras of the great legacy of their Maharja. He questioned the silence of the BJP led NDA at the Centre in remaining mute spectator to the case pending before the Supreme Court notwithstanding such pleas being rejected twice on merit by the apex court in the past. “What has changed in the past three years that the Centre is acting against the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially at a time when the state is passing through a most difficult phase of its history”, Mr Rana said, asking the BJP to explain the compelling circumstances and convincing the people of Jammu, who are major stakeholders of retaining Article 35A. He said a duty has cast upon every Dogra, irrespective of caste, creed and religion to preserve their glorious heritage and identity, which is being put in peril by the BJP by overt and covert means.Referring to the misinformation campaign unleashed by the BJP on Article 35A, Mr Rana said these are diversionary tactics to divert the attention from misgovernance of the coalition dispensation, failure in meeting the challenge confronted to the state, poor condition of utility services and above all perpetual discrimination inflicted to the Jammu region during the past three years. (CNS)