Despite Jammu and Kashmir getting a BJP government which has an allegedly ‘Hindu’ Deputy CM, and a Hindu ‘Speaker’ it is unlikely that there would be some relief soon for the West Pak refugees who unfortunately are also Hindus. Despite tall promises by the BJP that it would ensure their full and final rehabilitation, the cause of refugees is likely to be lost in the rigmarole of real politik. With BJP neither showing any gumption nor will to ensure the delivery of it’s promises to the people of Jammu, the coalition government has now conveniently formed a Committee under Deputy CM Nirmal Singh to look into the issues of sustenance and livelihood of the refugees.
The reality is that this Commitee has no powers, it has no mandate to consider their demand for grant of citizenship to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In a way the BJP also seems to have agreed to the fact that it would be impossible to oppose the Kashmiri leadership on key issues like the rehabilitation of these migrants. The soft stand of the BJP is completely opposed to the way PDP, and CM Mufti have functioned after the formation of the new government. Mufti began the rule with thanking Pakistan, and ultras for successful polls; he released Masarat Alam, and has been repeatedly saying that AFSPA would be lifted from the state. So strong is the hold of Kashmiri leadership on the politics of the state that even the nationalist BJP is aligning itself on the issue of AFSPA with it’s coalition partner. Recently some of the BJP leaders agreed that the AFSPA could be lifted in parts of the state much to the chagrin of the security forces, and the Army. It was only after a sharp rebuke from the centre that the BJP state leadership was reined.
If the BJP continues to remain soft on separatism, discrimination with Jammu and Ladakh, AFSPA, and West Pak refugees then disillusionment is likely to set among it’s voters, and supporters soon. There is no doubt that power is a great aphrodisiac but BJP MLAs, and ministers should not forget that they have got a historic mandate to undo the wrongs perpetrated by successive Kashmir centric governments in the state. Instead of enjoying power which could be their’s forever, the BJP leadership should look to end the perpetual discrimination faced by the people of Jammu, and Ladakh. It is time to throwaway the servility, and imperial yoke of a large majority which has used the democratic process as a tool to rule a large part of the state as a imperial ruler.
Right now, the BJP should recommend that refugees should be given the state subjects, right to own property, right to vote in local elections, and right to live as citizens of the state. If the BJP is unable to provide a solution to the problems faced by West Pak refugees then it would lose the moral right to be a sole representative of the people of Jammu. If Kashmiri politicians can cry for the Muslim majority of Kashmir losing it’s identity, then surely the Jammuwalas need to fight for the Hindu minority’s right to live with dignity.