Srinagar, Dec 07: Senior BJP member and KP leader, Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo welcomed the approval of the Lok Sabha to the J&K Reorganisation Amendment Bill 2023, which provides two nominated seats to the displaced people of Kashmir and one seat to the displaced people of Pak-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) in the Legislative Assembly of J&K.
He termed it as a historical move that has proved the positive intent of the Government of India towards the displaced people of Kashmir and the PoJK.
While it is the political recognition of the socio-cultural existence of the Kashmiri Pandits in J&K as the indigenous people, it also reiterates the concept that Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits.
Chrungoo, who is also a human rights defender and a columnist, has been spearheading the campaign for the political empowerment of the displaced community.
He has also been writing about this issue extensively all along.
The five-year old struggle right from 2018 in this context was focused on getting the representives of the displaced community in the Legislative Assembly of J&K with the help of the required statutory provision which the parliament now has made unanimously.
Consequent upon the introduction of the J&K Reorganization Act of 2019, delimitation had become inevitable since the number of the seats was raised to 90, which otherwise had reduced to 83 because of the bifurcation of the state. When the government appointed the Delimitation Commission, the displaced community of Kashmir in tune with their aspirations made a serious effort to espouse their cause before the Commission and the government of India.
Chrungoo said, “we spearheaded the struggle like a mission and made sincere efforts to convince the Commission that the issue would test the intent of the Indian State towards the displaced community. It was the question of their socio-political existence in a state the foundations of which were laid by their forefathers in the past history. The contributions of the Pandit community in the fields of literature, architecture, civilizational flow, medicine, philosophy, music, dance, law, politics, history writing, religion and sociology are well recognised, profound and immense. It will be a worse tragedy than their unfortunate forced exodus if they are ignored in the final analysis, draft and report of the hon’ble commission”.
He further said that granting the displaced people a political representation is a historic decision from the existential point of view. He expressed his gratitude to the Delimitation Commission, government of India headed by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. A number of documents as desired by the Hon’ble Commission were also submitted before it by the delegation headed by Chrungoo both at New Delhi as well as at Jammu.
Chrungoo added, “we said to the Commission and the government that we were aware that the Commission is working on the basis of the terms of reference and the J&K Reorganisation Act of 2019, therefore, the issue of the displaced community needs to be viewed from a broader perspective.
Accordingly, as their case had a strong and valid substance, so the proposal draft on delimitation may include their reference in it for inclusion by taking up a constitutional measure by the government and the parliament in due course of time, which happened now”.
It is important to mention here that earlier governments both in the state and at the centre ignored them and were treated as children of lesser gods. The community of displaced people have been given due right that they deserved by the current dispensation.