It’s nothing but tragic for the people of Jammu that despite having their own government in power for the first time after independence that the people have have to once again get ready for another round of agitation as their own government is not ready to listen to their demands. The people of Jammu are loudly sending a message to their MLAs: oh phaiyo suni lao je tuhen nahi suni te for kaun sunag jammu di vyatha. The bandh call given by AIIMS Coordination committee on May 27 is replay of what was started and initiated by the Amarnath agitation in 2008.
The decision of the state government to shift AIIMS in which BJP is an equal partner is not only shocking but it has confounded the people of Jammu for the failure of the party to stand up to it’s counterparts in Kashmir. The Dogras of Jammu don’t know what to do, where to look, and how to find a solution to the perennial problem of weak kneed leaders who have always failed to stand up for their cause. It is a historical reality that people of Jammu had to launch repeated agitations to get a university, a medical college, a central university, and what not because their leaders have always failed them at crucial times.
This bandh will also coincide with Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s visit to the state, and ironically he is also from the BJP which had promised to end discrimination with Jammu, rehabilitate west Pakistan refugees, start a process to abrogate the Article 370. All those promises have been sacrificed at the altar of power, and allegedly in the name of strategic interests like it happened in the past. The Congress in fact which failed the people of Jammu during the Amarnath agitation is now trying to seize the initiative as it has sharpened attacks on the BJP for selling out the cause of Jammu. However the truth is that Congress leaders are equally responsible for the plight of Jammu region as they sold out the interests of the Dogras to enjoy power themselves.
So it is not one political party which is responsible for the loss of Jammu’s cause but all politicians have remained short sighted, and glued to power. Panthers Party which started with a bang ended in a whimper because despite getting the mandate the leaders failed to read between the lines. What Jammu wants is much more than the AIIMS hospital, it does not want to be taken for granted. It wants respect, dignity and parity with Kashmir if not dominance, and unless the BJP with it’s large number of MLAs is able to understand this issue, this great opportunity of being first time in power would be lost.
The AIIMS saga is just a symptom but what Jammu wants is permanent treatment of the disease called discrmination. But are our leaders capable to get this done is a big question to ponder.