NC asks BJP: How will Article 35-A abrogation benefit Dogras?

“The apprehensions of the jobs going to outside youth and businesses getting usurped by affluent traders are as grave as they were 90 years ago when the Maharaja was constrained to bring the law,”

Kathua, Publish Date: Aug 22 2017 11:17PM | Updated Date: Aug 22 2017 11:17PM
NC asks BJP: How will Article 35-A abrogation benefit Dogras?GK Photo

National Conference provincial president Devender Singh Rana on Tuesday asked BJP to convince people of Jammu how repealing Article 35A will benefit the Dogras and safeguard their interests.

Addressing party workers here, Rana said “instead of indulging in rhetoric and jingoism, the BJP must realise the fallout of removing this constitutional proviso which will be detrimental to overall interests of the state in general and people of Jammu in particular.”

He said posterity will never forgive BJP if Article 35-A is tampered with.

Rana said a growing consciousness is dawning upon 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 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 90 years ago when the Maharaja 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 farsightedness which is reflected in the presidential order of 1954,” he said.

Rana termed the Act as religious neutral, regional neutral and caste neutral, saying its applicability is more relevant for Jammu than 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, hoping 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,” 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 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?” 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, 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.”  

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