Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS) deplored ‘agitational’ politics of Jammu aimed at creating a communal and regional wedge between Jammu and Kashmir, otherwise as simple an issue as granting AIIMS for Kashmir division should not have irked people in Jammu.
According to a statement by KCSDS, in a meeting chaired by Prof Hameedah Nayeem, the KCSDS members observed that Kashmiris have never opposed any facility or institution that has exclusively been given to Jammu like the recent case of grant of IIT in the previous year.
“In the same way if central government has announced the establishment of AIIMS in Kashmir division along with IIM for Jammu, the decision should not have raised eyebrows of Jammuites because most of the Kashmiri patients go to Delhi and Mumbai at a huge cost for treatment for diseases that could easily be treated here if there were adequate facilities and expertise available in the valley. Perhaps realising this the centre government has sanctioned a hospital for the valley whereas the accessibility of Jammuites to advanced medical institutions is far more easier than the valley because of its proximity and easy railway communication facility to Chandigarh, Amritsar, Delhi etc. Conversely Kashmiris did not raise a hue and cry against the grant of IIM for Jammu just after few months when IIT was given to it. The illogical agitational politics points to a competitive communal murky mind set which is fraught with dangerous consequences as it is bound to generate an intense reaction on the streets of Kashmir,” the statement said.
The members observed that the myth of ‘competitive victimhood’ was constructed by Dilip Padgaonkar in his ‘Interlocutors’ Report’ to deflect attention from the real issues the interlocutors were supposed to address.
KCSDS condemns the political parties particularly NC and Congress who have joined the bandwagon of communal forces in Jammu to reap ‘political harvest’, the statement said.
“They are doing this under the garb of the rhetoric of development as if everything is honky dory with Kashmir. KCSDS warns these political parties to stop the nefarious plans of agitation on this issue which is against all logic and reason.
If at all it is a question of development and facilities, where was NC when Jammu was selectively sanctioned IIT in mid-2014 and Kashmir was given nothing,” the statement further said.
“Where were NC and Congress when in last 25 years, the major chunk of budgetary allocations were systematically diverted to Jammu district? Where were NC and Congress, when it was reported by a consultancy appointed by Union government that more than 95% of the Union Industrial Package of 2002 had gone to the enterprises in two districts of Jammu?” the statement asked.
“Where were NC and Congress when their government released over Rs 1000 Crore additional assistance to Jammu and Ladakh deducted from the funds meant for districts of Kashmir? Ironically this was recommended by the PM’s task force that was constituted immediately after the brutal massacre of 127 tender boys and months of curfew imposed that broke the economic and psychological backbone of Kashmir.”
“Where were NC and Congress when Jammu district was reported as the most developed district of J&K against Poonch district as the most underdeveloped district in government’s own district survey report.”
KCSDS can provide countless examples of deprivation and discrimination against Kashmir and in the districts of Chenab and Pir Panchal valleys.
KCSDS demands a white paper from the government on the developmental index of each district of Jammu and Kashmir since 1990, the statement said.
KCSDS will carve out a strategy along with all the civil society formations including trade and social organisations to counter the false propaganda, unleashed by communal and divisive forces in complicity with opportunistic political parties, with facts and figures, it concluded.