How logical is Kashmir University satellite campus in Leh?

CJ Report : By Sant Kumar Sharma

Logic or rationale is not something much in evidence when it comes to several issues that are discussed in Jammu, Kashmir or Ladakh. It appears so going by the manner in which Governor N N Vohra was told about alleged discrimination by the councillors of LAHDC at Leh. They were joined by BJP MP Thupstan Chhewang and BJP MLC and former minister Tsering Dorjay.

Congress MLA and former minister Rigzin Jora was among those who supported the allegations of discrimination against Mehbooba Mufti government. This government, we may remind ourselves, was a coalition government of Mehbooba’s PDP and the BJP. It also bears mention here that the LAHDC (Leh) is dominated by the BJP and it is the ruling party there. 

Allegations of a coalition government in which the BJP was a partner discriminating against a BJP-run dispensation seems hard to believe. Or were the senior BJP leaders, cabinet ministers with Mehbooba, too busy keeping “silence” for the sake of smooth running of the government? Incidentally, discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh regions, and all focus on Kashmir Valley, is a complaint which finds ready supporters in Jammu as also Ladakh all the time.

Some of the complaints taken up with Governor Vohra were regarding works on Trans Himalayan Cultural Centre, Convention Centre, proper functioning of the satellite campus of Kashmir University at Taru. The last named perhaps deserves closer scrutiny to see how things are too well in this education-related initiative.

In Jammu, Ladakhi children, of all ages, and in many institutions, are a common sight. They are to be found in good numbers in schools, colleges as also university. In various professional colleges too, they are present in good numbers.

Are there as many students from the Ladakh region studying in the Kashmir Valley also? Given the violence and insecure environment that the Valley is witness to, most Ladakhis prefer to avoid educational institutions in the Valley. In terms of geographical distance, and weather-wise, of course Kashmir is better from the perspective of Ladakhis.

Perhaps there are more Ladakhi students enrolled in various educational institutions of Chandigarh and Delhi now then there are in the Kashmir Valley. The visibility of these students is far more at these places than in Kashmir.

There are more Ladakhi students in Jammu, studying under Jammu chapter of JKBOSE for their matriculation and 12th level examinations.

There are more students studying in colleges affiliated to Jammu University, as compared to Kashmir, does it not make more sense to have a satellite campus of JU in Leh?

It is correct that Ladakh falls in the Kashmir division for the purpose of administration. No, it does not fall in the Jammu division. But it cannot be denied that practical considerations of made it difficult for Ladakhis to be in Kashmir. It is perhaps easier for them to be in Jammu.

Why have no Ladakhi leaders, or any organisations of students representing Ladakhi students, made any demands for opening of one or two satellite centres of Jammu University in the Ladakh region? It seems like viable satellite centres of Jammu University at Kargil and Leh can prove to be helpful to the local population.

Doesn’t that look more logical than satellite centre of Kashmir University being run inefficiently in Leh?