In what could be termed as an unexpected if not shocking development, the new government in Jammu and Kashmir has no plans to issue the ‘Dogra certificate’ to the residents of Jammu region. This certificate helps the residents of the Dogra region to and get relaxation in physical standards while applying for recruitment in army and paramilitary forces. The Dogra certificate as such has helped a large number of youth of this region to get into security forces, a profession which comes natural to the hardy Dogras of the Jammu region who are known to serve the nation’s armies with zeal and enthusiasm.
It was expected that with BJP coming to power in the state the people of Jammu region would get a fair deal, and also an end to the discrimination which they have been facing since the state came into the dominion of India. However, the more things change the more they remain the same became clear when the coalition government while replying to uestion in the state assembly by BJP MLA Kuldip Raj regarding the issuance of these certificates got a vague almost negative reply from the government. The MoS revenue replied that the government has no plans to issue the Dogra certificates despite the fact that the previous government in 2011 had gave clear instructions to revenue officials to issue Dogra certificates to bonafide residents of the state. After the mainstream political parties, and separatists raised much hue and cry the government buckled under pressure and few weeks later the order was rescinded. This caused much heartburn in the Jammu region while the separatists and fundamentalists were appeased by the state Congress, and NC. The decision to stop the issuance of Dogra certificate was hailed by sections in Kashmir who had termed it as a conspiracy against the Kashmiris.
It now appears that even BJP which is the flag bearer of Jammu’s politics has decided to follow the diktats of PDP which clearly is a dominant partner in this government. The BJP government in the state should take into cognizance of this issue and take this matter with Mufti government. If PDP can follow healing touch policy to help the terrorists get back into mainstream, the BJP can also formulate a strategy to heal the sufferings of the Dogras. If this does not happen soon, and Jammu continues to be treated badly even when the BJP is in power then people will lose faith in the local leadership. The BJP must forget that it is a opposition party but it should flex it’s muscle as a ruler of the state on equal terms with the PDP.