“In places such as J&K which are affected by separatism those who stand for India should be a protected if necessary by going out of the way. They should be reassured that by supporting India their interests are protected.” said Ram Madhav, National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
He was speaking at the launch of the book’ J&K Invisible Fault Lines’ at The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi. The book is a collection of twelve essays analyzing the complex problems facing the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The book is edited by senior journalist Sandhya Jain and published by Pentagon Press.
Madhav lamented that in India the anti India elements are given protection and limelight while the pro India elements are neither heard nor given any space.
He urged that the country needs to get out of the Kashmir centricism when dealing with J&K “Major victims of Jammu and Kashmir discourse have been the people of Jammu and Ladakh as every policy and every decision is based on the valley reality. What will be the reaction in the valley? this question dominates the entire thinking of the political establishment the result being equally big area like Jammu and geographically much bigger area like Ladakh if not ignored become sacrificial Lambs in the process of handling Kashmir situation. The latest step we took was to grant a separate commission orate to Ladakh, earlier for even the simplest administrative work a person from Ladakh needed to go all the way to Srinagar, which took a two day road journey.”
He cautioned people against falling for the fallacy that Article 370 was a precondition for Kashmir to join India “Some leaders of Kashmir want to propagate the fallacy that Article 370 was a precondition from Kashmir to accede to India, if anything it is the biggest impediment in the emotional integration of Kashmir with rest of India.”
Madhav pointed out how during the last few years Kashmir is coming closer to the national mainstream as grass root democracy gains momentum there “Without making any fuss about it we have introduced two tier Panchayati Raj system there. Village panchayat and Block panchayat have become functional there, as of now you have Panchayat elections and Block Panchayat elections very soon you will have Zila elections as well.”
He cautioned the press against branding Kashmiris as anti nationals and suggested that J&K should be treated like any other state of India.