27 July, 2021

Across The Pir Panjal, Another Paradox

The BJP discovers an inclusive approach, NC-Congress groan under anti-incumbency, old promises are aired before a sulking Jammu

Across The Pir Panjal, Another Paradox

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his fifth visit to the state as PM, waxes eloquent at an election rally in Kish­twar, a middle-aged man in the crowd quips, “Some­one should tell him that Kishtwar is not in Kashmir; it’s a part of Jammu.” Former CM, Jammu native and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad would concur. He claims that ‘outsiders’ were a majority in the crowd before Modi. “The honourable PM should have been told he was in Jammu. It seemed he was addressing people in Kashmir,” he adds.

As Kashmir-based parties hog headlines, a political identity crisis plagues Jammu’s people. They feel further aggrieved that the discourse on the Kashmir conflict has remained Kashmir-centric, thus taking Jammu and Ladakh for granted. Jammu’s discontent over political neglect­—real or assumed—led to a number of commissions, including the Gaje­n­dragadkar Commission and the Sikri Com­m­ission, to look into charges of discrimination.

Demographically speaking, the 37 assembly...

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