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E RANSP ENUE | T ar ali akhoo n ||||||||||||| UCATION MED., T gh chib |||||||||||||||||||||||||| REVENUE | sin am ED an bhalla q ATIVES| HIGHER malik |||||||||||| rajinder AL HUSBANDARY raman bhalla M COOPER harma abdul ghani ||||||||||| ANI oohullah|||||||||||||||||||||||||| S T S E s R NG l O la F T HOUSI | ed agha r manohar ERING N m E E h a N M I f P a G t O l N a L E E ALTH || main RAL DEV agar ||||||||| tara chand U R E R UBLIC HE ||e||n||s|i||b||le|||j||o ||||||||||||||||||||||||||| A s ELF savvy madpolitically RCE sensitive opinions amjust MEculturally i mohnot OMbut lvoices SOCIAL W |||||||||Epilogue a C | | || || & mohiuddin s || S || S | G E I N R I as well. 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NC-CONGRESS

COALITION GOVERNMENT ONE YEAR

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Epilogue because there is more to know

CONTENT

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Editor Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Publisher Yogesh Pandoh Consulting Editor D. Suba Chandran Associate Editors Irm Amin Baig Tsewang Rigzin General Manager Kartavya Pandoh Art Editor Keshav Sharma Research Officer Raman Sharma

Volume 4, Issue 2, February 2010

Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction of courts and competitive tribunals in Jammu only.

Special Report Revisiting Srinagar-Central on 20th Anniversary of Bloodshed

9

Ladakh Special Ladakh Scraps Sagheer Report Demands Union Territory

11

Tsewang Rigzin

Why Union Territory for Ladakh

I N FOCUS

Rigzin Spalbar

Government’s Performance Review

Tsewang Rigzin

23

Omar Abdullah The Man, Not in Hurry One year - So far, So good Zafar Choudhary

27

Finance Abdul Rahim Rather

Housing & Urban Development Tara Chand

Iqbal as an Advocate of Disabled Pagir- In Service of Ladakh LAHDC asked to work out policy on Culture

20

Tsewang Rigzin

Ladakh Grieved as Stakna Rinpochey 20 Passes Away

Ajaz Ahmed Khan

Tsewang Rigzin

Rural Development

The Winds of Change : Beyond Conventional Tourism

Tourism

19

Vidhya Ramasubban

31 32

17

Vidhya Ramasubban

Hajj & Auqaf, Fisheries Ali Mohammad Sagar

13

Chinese Cattle Grazing Ladakh Grass 16

30

21

Thinlas Chorol

Nawang Rigzin Jora

34

Cooperatives Dr Manohar Lal Sharma

34

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Contributors to this Issue Prologue Letters Note Book

School Education Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed

36

CA&PD and Transport Qamar Ali Akhoon

Society The Gujjar-Pahari Divide and Local Politics of Rajouri, Poonch Ahmad Shannas

39

Forests

Column Empire and Regional Identities : Kashmir Under the Mughals-I

Mian Altaf Ahmed

Prof. Jigar Mohammed

40

Agriculture

Her Big Brother Died Fighting for me and for you...

37

Roads & Buildings G.M. Saroori

Ghulam Hassan Mir

41

Higher Education

47

50 52

Manisha Sobhrajani

Abdul Gani Malik

42

Industries & Commerce Surjeet Singh Slathia

43

Revenue & Relief Raman Bhalla

44

Health Sham Lal Sharma

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45

Medical, Education, Sports R S Chib

46

Social Welfare Skina Ittoo

Vol. 4, Issue 2

Epilogue, February 2010


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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

Choral, Thinlas; (Ladakh Special, p21) is a researcher based in Leh. She is currently working at a research project sponsored by New Delhi based Charkha Development and Communication Network Choudhary, Zafar; (In Focus, p23) is Editor of Epilogue Magazine and also Executive Editor of Early Times, Daily Newspaper from Jammu Fayyaz, Ahmed Ali; (Special Report, 9) is a senior journalist, political analyst and columnist based at Srinagar, Kashmir Mohammed, Prof Jigar; (History, p50) is professor of History at the University of Jammu. He is associated with Epilogue since inception as Editorial Advisor on History of Jammu and Kashmir

2

Rigzin, Tsewang; (Ladakh Special, p11) is an eminent journalist and researcher. He is Associate Editor of Epilogue based in Leh, Ladakh Shannas, Ahmed; (Society, p47) recently retired as a bureaucrat with Jammu and Kashmir Government. However, he is known better for his literary pursuits. He has many Urdu books to his credit Sobhrajani, Manisha (Features, P52), is a Delhi based independent researcher working on the various aspects of Kashmir conflict. She divides her time between Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir Spalbar, Rigzin; (Ladakh Special, p13) if former Chairman of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh

Ramasubban, Vidhya; (Ladakh Special, 17) is a development activist working in Ladakh. She is consultant with PAGIR, a Leh based advocacy group

Readers' requests for getting in touch with the authors, for feedback, comments and further discussions on their subjects of interest, are welcome. Since all authors/contributors are not interested in taking mails directly, the readers are requested to send us interview requests at editor@epilogue.in for passing on to the authors

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Vol. 4, Issue 2

Epilogue, February 2010


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PROLOGUE

From the Editor

A Year After ZAFAR CHOUDHARY

A

t Epilogue, we had conceived an editorial p oli c y foc u si n g a t purely academic and d e v e l o p m e n t journalism leaving the current trends of political happenings to newspapers. However, third month into our publication we saw the power politics in Jammu and Kashmir running through collision course –the ruling partners Peoples Democratic Party and Congress taking each other heads on. Government came at brink of collapse in March 2007 and leaders of both parties claimed that their stands were the best in interest of people. That was the first temptation to examine and discuss big egos of not so big men. Therefore our April 2007 issues titled 'Vote Bank Standoff' earned wide appreciations gradually we moved on include the issues of governance and power politics in every issue with purely academic approach. Our February 2009 issue titled 'Agenda for Omar Government' was rare offering of its kind in which experts of national repute joined to write down their suggestions for the government to list those as priorities. Notable among the agenda setters were former Foreign Secretary Salman

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Haider, former J&K Chief Secretary Ashok Jaitley, noted author Balraj Puri, activist Madhu Kishwar and policy expert PR Chari. The issue listed expectations. A year after, when we look at the contents of February 2009 issue and compare the suggestions with delivery of government, it figures out that effort was not a waste. We don't have a reason to believe that the government was guided by the agenda set out in Epilogue but it appears that the government worked on the issues we had listed as important. This can be a coincidence. The present issue offers a one-year performance analysis of the government in key areas of governance. While a comprehensive review can well of out of the scope and possibility like a small institution and publication like ours, the analysis is based on visible performance indicators backed with public perception of change and a certain level of statistics. It is hoped that this issue serves well the government as a feedback and the public as a performance review of the government. Feedback : zafarchoudhary@epilogue.in

Vol. 4, Issue 2

FEBRUARY 2009

APRIL 2009

Epilogue, February 2010


4

Letters

Readers Write Divide the Discrimination, Unite the State

T

his is in response to the various articles, regarding the issue of discrimination, published in the month of October 09, and in the subsequent issues of your esteemed magazine. It seems to me as a one sided affair as the view point taken from valley was negligible After the forced partition of Kashmir in 1948 into Indian administered Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir, IAK which is now known as Jammu and Kashmir, has to confront many hurdles (both internal and external), which has hampered its development, though some of them may have vanished but some keep on haunting. One of them is the little dangerous god i.e. “ghost of discrimination”. Let us try to trace the contours of this god. As we know, J&K comprises of three regions; Jammu, Kashmir and ladakh. Jammu has been complaining of discrimination for long, Kashmir has now also rose to the occasion and has joined the chorus, while as ladakh blames both of them. In Jammu the politicians have played this card on a regular basis. Even the politicians of national level like L K Advani used this card in the parliamentary elections, when he said, “jammu aik tou jeetay jammu”. In kashmir this ghost has started its haunting operations also. Recently, a spectrum of intellectuals gathered in the famous nigeen club (situated at the banks of Nigeen Lake, in srinager) and debated on the issue, almost all of them were of this view that kashmiris are being OCTOBER 2009 discriminated. In my opinion the problem can be resolved by addressing the root cause, which is in the form of regionalism. In order to dilute the strength of the notion of the discrimination, the root cause of regionalism is to be eradicated. Let the regions be divided into sub-regions; 1) Jammu can be divided into three sub regions; - Jammu plains, chenab valley and pir panchal valley. 2) Kashmir can be divided into three sub-regions; - central Kashmir , south Kashmir and north kashmir 3) Ladakh can be divided into two sub-regions; - Leh and kargil Then these sub-regions should be given a good amount of autonomy equivalent to a province. This will not only settle the issue of discrimination but will also help in locating new investment avenues. It may be the first instance of its kind where dividing the regions (read discrimination) will unite the state. I hope that these few lines will be taken into consideration by the concerned authorities, while framing the future of state, so that we can have a sigh of relief and can say “all is well”. MA SUFI Srinagar

The school which produced an IAS

G

overnment Middle School, Demote, in Rehan village of Rajouri district has rare honours in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch for producing first IAS from the region. It is a matter of pride village and inspiration for students. Immediately after his selection in IAS, Dr Shahid Iqbal who studied here upto 7th standard visited the school and interacted with teachers and students. His family donated Rs 21000 and two kanals of land to the school. Since his students all 75 students of this middle school are a different lot –they are inspirited, motivated and encouraged, they are dreaming to reach where Shahid has. The problem, however, is that for 75 students there is only one room which serves as class room, staff room, kitchen store and everything a school requires. There is no compound wall and no toilets. There is no class when it rains, when it is cold or when it is hot. Is this fair weather school right place for the students to dream big? Yes, they can dream but may not be able to do big. Is anyone listening? NIAZ AHMED On behalf of villagers of Rehan

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Vol. 4, Issue 2

Epilogue, February 2010


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Letters

Readers Write Darling of Ladakh

E

pilogue's extensive coverage of Ladakh just shows it's proficiency in professional journalism. It clearly indicates that it's a magazine with clear-cut visions and definite missions spearheaded by a sensible editorial board. Hence it covers the uncovered regions and areas of Jammu and Kashmir, and puts in the picture what has not been done so by the mainstream media hitherto. Bringing special issues on Ladakh once in a year, with very limited readership, well vindicate their seriousness vis-à-vis responsible journalism in an era where marketability of news and events are looked upon first than its suitability and AUGUST 2009 NOVEMBER 2007 desirability for the society. But, I believe, prominently covering an area like Ladakh would definitely impinge on it on the commercial front. As it breaks free from the shackles of corporate journalism that sells only the sensational, tells only the told and hears only the heard ones, Epilogue gives space to the unheard and unknown writers and scholars who generally come out with extremely interesting stories and incredibly refreshing ideas. The budding writers and scholars from regions like Ladakh (and other far flung areas of the state) get a good platform to express their ideas/stories and also to nurture their respective vocations/professions. Furthermore, Epilogue, I believe, is the first magazine (or a news paper) in J&K that has found it desirable to have a Ladakhi in its editorial board—especially not just for the sake of it, but to add sensibility and responsiveness to issues emerging out of all three regions of the state. SONAM CHOSJAR Leh

Alternative Way of Negotiating

I

sit miles away from home romanticizing the legendary beauty of Jammu and Kashmir; nurturing nostalgia for a past that can never be recovered in the form I was most familiar with; cherishing the pervasive tranquility brought on by my contemplation of the intricately carved shrines, architecturally superb temples, and mesmerizing monasteries of Jammu and Kashmir; filled with longing for the call of the mountains that beckons the diasporic subject to return; irate at the communal, regional, and linguistic divides created by destructive forces; experiencing a helplessness at being unable to put together the pieces of the political puzzle that continues to remain irresolvable; shivering at the cold-blooded manipulations of our political and bureaucratic machinery, I riffle through the past issues of Epilogue magazine. Epilogue voices not just politically savvy but culturally sensitive opinions as well. It provides a forum at which heterogeneity in terms of cultural, political, social, and regional ideologies, is fostered and encouraged. Reading a magazine that does not subscribe to myopic ideologies rejuvenates the mind and resuscitates the spirit. In a region which has experienced armed insurgency, resurgence of religious fundamentalisms, militant nationalism, gendered violence, increasing militarization; some genuine attempts to fight for the right of self-determination of the people of J & K; some disingenuous attempts to entrench regional and religious fault lines, Epilogue has successfully created a space for the critical analysis of nation-building, identity politics, state-sponsored violence, discriminatory politics, etc. Although still young, exactly three years old, Epilogue is creating a healthy and vibrant discourse community. Epilogue has opened up an alternative way of negotiating the construction of conflictual identities. I congratulate Zafar Chaudhary for having undertaken a laudable venture. I wish Epilogue the very best in its commendable attempts to engage multiple voices and opinions. NYLA ALI KHAN Author of Islam, Women and Violence in Kashmir

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Vol. 4, Issue 2

Epilogue, February 2010


6

NOTE BOOK

Awards & Honours

RAIN OF AWARDS

Men, Women of Exceptional Order January is always a month of honours and accolades and this year's Republic Day came with a rain of awards for Jammu and Kashmir. While the valiant Gujjar girl of a Rajouri village Rukhsana Kausar bagged Kirti Chakra, the highest peacetime gallantry award, three exceptional performers from the state were conferred with Padma awards. Padma honours For third consecutive year, three eminent personalities from Jammu and Kashmir have bagged the Padma Awards –the country's highest civilian awards. Ghulam Mohammad Mir has been awarded Padma Shri for Public Services while Dr Jitender Udhampuri and Prof Hamidi Kashmiri have bagged the same award for their notable contribution in Education and Literature. Mir, a resident of Beerwah village in Badgam district of central Kashmir, runs a nongovernmental organization. Gallantry awards Major Mohit Sharma of 1 Para (Special Forces), Major D Sreeram Kumar of 30 Assam Rifles and Havildar Rajesh Kumar of 11 Rajputana Rifles were the recipients of this year's Ashok Chakra. Maj Mohit Sharma, born in Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh and commissioned in 90 Medium Regiment (Artillery) in March 2004, will get the award posthumously as he was killed in a battle with terrorists in the Hafruda forest in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2009. President Patil presented Kirti Chakra, the second highest peace time gallantry medal, to Rukhsana Kausar, a village girl from border district of Rajouri, who shot into limelight after killing a Lashker-e-Taiba militant on September 27, 2009 at Kalsian area of Shahdra Shrief in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

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ARUN JOSHI

MAHRUKH INAYAT

IFTIKHAR GILANI

BASHARAT DAR

NIDHI RAAZDAN

Lt Gen BS JAMWAL

BR SHARMA

ASHOK GUPTA

RUKHSANA KOSSER

Sher-e-Kashmir awards As many as 28 cops of Jammu and Kashmir Police clinched this year's President's Police Medal for Gallantry and Distinguished Services. The Gallantry Medal awardees are Sardar Khan Superintendent of Police, Mohammad Arshad Superintendent of Police, Kaliraj Mahaish Kumar, Additional Superintendent of Police,

Vol. 4, Issue 2

Jameel Ahmed Khatana, Deputy Superintendent o Police, Sukh Dev Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Peerzada Naveed, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Rajinder Singh Rahi, Inspector, Pawan Singh, Sub-Inspector, Kafeel Ahmed, Head Constable, Mohammad Rafiq, Head Constable, and Constables, Abdul Majid Najar, Mohammad Imran Lone, Aijaz Ahmed Mir, Ishaq Ahmed and

Epilogue, February 2010


7

NOTE BOOK Awards & Honours

a Follower, Kanwal Singh. The medals for Distinguished Services awarded to the officers and jawans of Jammu and Kashmir Police include. Abdul Qayoom Manhas, Deputy Inspector General of Police, (North Kashmir), Sunil Kumar Sharma, Deputy Inspector General of Police (CID) Jammu, Kasturi Lal Bhagat, Commandant (JKAP) 12 Battalion, Shyam Sunder Sharma, Superintendent of Police (APCR), Jammu, Thakur Dass Saini, Superintendent of Police, Railway Headquarters, Hial Ahmed Shah, Senior Superintendent of Police, Telecommunication, Jammu, Mr. Swatanter Kumar (SDPO) City North, Jammu, Mohammad Aslam, Deputy Superintendent of Police (PHQ), Mr. Abdul Rashid Shah, Inspector CID Headquarters, Aurengzeb Rather, Sub-Inspector (DSB), Poonch, Mr. Mohammad Rafiq Bhat Sub-Inspector, (Police Component) Srinagar, Mr. Mohammad Shafi, Sub-Inspector (SSG) and Mr. Parvaiz Ahmed Malik, Head Constable (JKAP), 13 Battalion. The Sher-e-Kashmir Police Medal for Gallantry and Meritorious Services, a state level highest police award of Jammu and Kashmir, went to 21 cops of the state Police. This year's gallantry award went to Rajesh Kumar, IPS, Bashir Ahmed Khan, SP Awantipore and Mohammad Aslam ASP (Operations) Pulwama. The Sheri-i-Kashmir Police Medals for Meritorious Service awardees were Ashok Kumar Gupta, IGP, Jammu Zone, Johny William, SSP Security Jammu, Kuldeep Krishan Raina, Inspector (PHQ) and Mehboob-ul-Haq, Inspector, Armed Headquarters. Other awardees on gallantry category included SDPO Hazratbnal, Mubashir Bukhari, SDPO Shaheed Gunj, Shahzad Ahmed Salaria, DY SP (Operations) Sopore, Mohammad Yousuf, SHO Manjakote , Niaz Ahmed, Constables Subash Chander and Javaid Ahmad. SGCT, Kashmir Singh, Head Constables Ram Rattan and Mohammad Rafi, Constables, Ajeet Kumar, SPO Mr. Chuni Lal The Sheri-i-Kashmir Police Medals for Meritorious Service (independence Day-2009) awardees t are DIG, Rail-

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ways, J&K Mohammad Sulamian Salaria, SSP (AIG) Personnel (PHQ) ND Wani, SSP PCR, Jammu, Jagdish Lal Sharma and Head Constable, JKAP 7th Bn Charan Dass. 7 scribes among 26 state awardees On the eve of Republic Day the Jammu and Kashmir government announced an expanded list of State awards in which 26 exceptional performers were honoured in 10 different categories: ? BRAVERY Rukhsana Kosser and Mr Ajaz Ahmed ? LITERATURE Prof Rehman Rahi, Kashmiri poet and writer, Prof Sewa Singh, Punjabi writer and Prof Veena Gupta (Dogri writer) ? ARTS Shameem Azad, (Singer), Kailash Mehra (Singer), Pradhuman Singh Jindrahia (Dogri folk artist) and Ustad Ghulam Mohammad Saznawaz (Sufiana Ustad) ? ARTS AND CRAFTS Mohammad Shariq Farooqui, Director, Craft Development Institute, Srinagar ? SOCIAL SERVICE Viklang Chhatra Trust, Akhnoor ? PUBLIC SERVICE B.R. Sharma, IAS, Principal Secretary to Government, Power Development Department; Basharat Ahmad Dhar, IAS, Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, General Administration Department; Mr. Nisar Ahmad Shah, Junior Engineer, Rajpora Lift Irrigation Scheme, Irrigation and Flood Control Department and Mr. Ishtaq Ahmad Khan, Naib Tehsildar (Settlement), Revenue Department. ? SPORTS PERSONS Chhering Angchok, Nobra, Leh (Mountaineering) and Bilquis Mir (Kayaking and Canoeing) ? MEDIA PERSONS Late Sonaullah Bhat (Posthumously) Editor-in-Chief Urdu Daily Aftab; Late Sofi Ghulam Mohammad (Posthumously) Editor-in-Chief Urdu

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Daily Srinagar Times; Arun Joshi (Deputy Editor Hindustan Times); Nidhi Razdan, (NDTV), Marukh Inayat, (Times News), Iftikhar Geelani, (Kashmir Times) and Maqsood Ahmad, Broadcast Journalist, Radio Kashmir ? INDUSTRIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP Taranveer Singh Gujral, M/S T. V. Super Filter Industries, Jammu, ? MEDIA S h e h e r b e e n ( R a d i o K a s h m i r, Srinagar) 143 medals for Northern Command With its headquarters at Udhampur in Jammu and Kashmir, the Northern Command of Indian Army won as many as 143 awards in three different categories of gallantry, conduct of operations and distinguished service: Leading upfront, Lt Gen BS Jaswal, GOC-IN-C Northern Command was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), which is the highest award for distinguished service of an exceptional order. Havildar Ashok Kumar of 11 Rajputana Rifles was posthumously awarded the nation's highest peacetime gallantry award - the Ashok Chakra. Havildar Rajesh Kumar was part of a team which was on a search mission in the dense forest of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. During this operation he killed three terrorists before laying down his life. Maj Suresh Suri was also awarded the Kirti Chakra. The officer despite being injured retaliated with fire from his AK-47 Rifle and also lobbed a hand grenade, killing one terrorist and injuring another. He laid down his life fighting in the highest traditions of the army. Other gallantry awards are, 15 Shaurya Chakras, two Bar to Sena Medals and 73 Sena Medals. Three Uttam Yudh Seva Medals and 10 Yudh Seva Medals were awarded for successful conduct of operations. The awards for distinguished service are – two PVSMs, one Bar to Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), three AVSMs, two Bar to Sena Medal Distinguished, nine Sena Medal Distinguished, six VSMs and 15 Mention-in-Despatches.

Epilogue, February 2010


Why Epilogue ? Epilogue is perhaps the first scholarly, analytical and investigative monthly journal on Jammu and Kashmir which addresses important issues ranging from economy, politics and culture to security and strategic affairs in the region. Epilogue offers a variety of perspectives and plurality of approaches to meet challenges of future and present predicament of our society.

Epilogue is collectively edited by leading editors and publishes original contributions from scholars, experts and journalists having a keen eye on Jammu and Kashmir. The journal reaches and further endeavours to reach all people in the South Asian region who contribute to policy formulation.

Epilogue is backed by a network of journalists, media practitioners, academics, experts, researchers and scholars belonging to different parts of Jammu and Kashmir across both sides of the Line of Control.

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9

SPECIAL REPORT

Notes from Maisuma

Revisiting Srinagar-Central on 20th Anniversary of Bloodshed AHMED ALI FAYYAZ

In 20th year of the movement for Azadi, Maisuma-Gawkadal –the central separatist hotspot of Srinagar –came up with a queer presentation of its split personality as groups of people maintained their stone pelting sessions against Police and CRPF and the JKLF Chief became the glamorous hero of a celebrity wedding with the young Pakistani painter Mashaal Mullick. Amid a razzmatazz, wags were heard shouting: “Bharat teri maut aayi, bhabhi aayi bhabhi aayi---a parody of once the popular slogan “Bharat teri maut aayi, Lashkar aayi Lashkar aayi”.

I

t doesn't take much to remember and forget in the Valley. History is replete with remembrance and forgetfulness. Nobody remembered Kashmir's last monarch Yusuf Shah for over 400 years till Sheikh Abdullah and Yusuf Taing went all the way to Biswak (Bihar) to discover his tomb in 1977. That again ended up as a celestial event. Nobody talked of that Yusuf Shah thereafter. May be someone does in next 400 years. With the Kashmiris finding Sher-eKashmir's name on the fallen autumn leaves of Chinar in 1950s, he himself had reduced to a sub-conscious entity in early 1970s. Pakistan's defeat in two successive wars in between pushed Sheikh to a far bitter mundane reality. The referendum in his mind voted for power. Days to come vindicated Sheikh's decision. Valley dismissed him as a traitor and observed total shutdown on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's call on the day of his decision to return to the chair of Chief Minister. Three days later, Kashmiris gave him a veritable hero's welcome as thousands of them gathered on either side of the highway to greet and garland him.

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A scene of complete shutdown in Maisuma sometimes in summer 2009. Epilogue File Photo

Sheikh conquered Srinagar with a massive gathering as melancholy faded into euphoria and jubilation on his arrival in Lalchowk on that historic day of spring in 1975. One-odd voice of dissent, Sofi Mohammad Akbar, was consigned to oblivion. In contrast to Sheikh's million-strong funeral procession in 1982, Sofi's last rites in 1988 became a bit of 'news' only when

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Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, with a courtesy lift to then Sopore MLA Syed Ali Shah Geelani, came all the way from Civil Secretariat of Jammu and landed his flying machine on the Mahaz-e-Azadi chief's town. He even set free Sofi's protégé Azam Inquilabi for whose signing of parole die-hard Farooq Rehmani had failed to find a surety in the valley of four million people.

Epilogue, February 2010


10

SPECIAL REPORT Notes from Maisuma

Nobody remembered Maqbool Bhat on the day of his execution at Tihar Jail on February 11 in 1984. Abdul Gani Lone's loud calls of shutdown fell on the deaf ears on that day and the following anniversaries. It took the people of Valley six long years to first remember Bhat in February 1990. By that time they had forgotten Sheikh Abdullah and begun to remember Sheikh Mukhtar--the lion of the African desert. Much like Sofi Akbar's loneliness in 1988, Sheikh Abdullah in 1990-95 had one-odd homage payer at his grand mausoleum at Hazratbal in Maqbool Shah Khaksaar of Ikhrajpora, who never hid his pride of leading Sher-e-Kashmir's militia to repulse the Pakistani tribal raider's invasion in 1947 till he was gunned down by guerrillas outside his mosque in 2005. In 1990s, Kashmiris did enthusiastically begin to remember another Yusuf Shah, albeit only after his turning into the Hizbul Mujahideen chief 'Syed Salah-ud-din'. Nobody really knows how long Shah's guns and amulets loom large on their conscious mind. It was exactly on this day of January 21 in 1990 that the real foundation stone of a defiant, secessionist movement was laid in Kashmir with a major massacre. CRPF troops opened machinegun fire from their sandbag bunkers on an Azadi procession, killing nearly 50 civilians at Gawkadal. Anniversaries for the next many years did not need anybody's call to ensure a total shutdown in entire Valley. Those critical of the brutal killing of SHO Maisuma , Sadullah, by the 'Mujahideen' a year before, and gunning down of two IB officials around the same spot later, vanished into the thick fog of the sentiment of Azadi. First murmur of protest in Gawkadal came three years later when JKLF gunmen allegedly committed rape-cum-murder of a mother and

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daughter of the Braroo family of the staying back Kashmiri Pandits at Basant Bag. It was silenced with just a couple of browbeats. This Maisuma-GawkadalBasantbagh locality, bordering Srinagar uptown and downtown, came to be remembered later for being the residence of JKLF Chairman, Yasin Malik. Much more than the massacre, people later began to remember it for being a rendezvous of the Indian

And look what the champions of Azadi did on the 20th birth day of the Gawkadal massacre: Biggest crowd puller Geelani shot off a statement of tributes from his second home in the Indian Capital, New Delhi; Others from Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to Maulvi Abbas Ansari to Bilal Gani Lone to Prof Abdul Gani to Shabir Shah even didn't do that in their luxurious drawing rooms in Srinagar. There was no activity in the Valley, either at the Martyrs Graveyard or elsewhere, as everybody seemed to be busy with routine daily chores. Business was brisk at Lalchowk and around. Yasin Malik addressed a gathering of a little over 100 fellow residents at Maisuma to remember the Gawkadal martyrs and tell his audience that their blood wouldn't go waste. intellectuals, mediapersons and foreign diplomats who for years thronged Malik's non-descript house and office. One day, even Kuldeep Nayar found himself tired of offering glasses of juice to break Malik's weekly and fortnightly fasts-unto-death. And he turned his back on Maisuma. With that change in the atmosphere, it required a much stressed call from militants and Hurriyat to remember the martyrs of the Gawkadal massacre on January 21. In the next couple of years, militants and

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Hurriyat themselves forgot to issue a call of strike on this historic day. This Wall Street of Azadi observed total boycott to all Assembly and Lok Sabha elections from 1996 to 2004 but flocked to the polling booths at Veterinary Hospital and Mallinson School in the Municipal Elections of 2005. A couple of years before, Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed's demolition squads had the temerity of dismantling an unauthorized projection of a shop that belonged to once revered, once dreaded Yasin Malik's close relative. In 20th year of the movement, Maisuma-Gawkadal came up with a queer presentation of its split personality as groups of people maintained their stone pelting sessions against Police and CRPF and the JKLF Chief became the glamorous hero of a celebrity wedding with the young Pakistani painter Mashaal Mullick. Amid a razzmatazz, wags were heard shouting: “Bharat teri maut aayi, bhabhi aayi bhabhi aayi---a parody of once the popular slogan “Bharat teri maut aayi, Lashkar aayi Lashkar aayi”. And look what the champions of Azadi did on the 20th birth day of the Gawkadal massacre: Biggest crowd puller Geelani shot off a statement of tributes from his second home in the Indian Capital, New Delhi; Others from Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to Maulvi Abbas Ansari to Bilal Gani Lone to Prof Abdul Gani to Shabir Shah even didn't do that in their luxurious drawing rooms in Srinagar. There was no activity in the Valley, either at the Martyrs Graveyard or elsewhere, as everybody seemed to be busy with routine daily chores. Business was brisk at Lalchowk and around. Yasin Malik addressed a gathering of a little over 100 fellow residents at Maisuma to remember the Gawkadal martyrs and tell his audience that their blood wouldn't go waste.

Epilogue, February 2010


11

LADAKH SPECIAL

Politics

Ladakh Scraps Sagheer Report; Demands Union Territory TSEWANG RIGZIN

The report on Prime Minister's Working Group on “Centre-State relations” submitted to the government of Jammu and Kashmir by Justice (Retd) Sagheer Ahmad has anguished the people of Ladakh and evoked strong objections against recommending autonomy to the State of Jammu & Kashmir and ruling out the status of Union Territory (UT) for Ladakh region

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s the Working Group rejects Union Territory status for Ladakh, the Leh based political parties including the District Congress Committee (DCC) Leh and the Ladakh Union Territory Front (LUTF) have projected strong resentment by staging dharnas and organizing public meetings against the Sagheer report, terming it as prepared under the influence of certain political forces that advocate autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir. With this the UT demand has certainly intensified once again. Religious associations are also trying to float a new conglomeration with representatives of all political and religious organizations to carry forward the UT demand without politicizing the issue. This move was first initiated by the Youth Wing of the Ladakh Buddhists Association (LBA). “The Prime Minister's constituted Working Group's report on the 'CentreState relations' presented by Justice Sagheer is shocking for Ladakh as it has ignored the UT demand of Ladakhis. We, therefore, felt the need to form an action committee on the UT issue with all political and religious organizations of Leh on board,” said Tsewang Thinless, President LBA Youth, adding that the LBA had already consulted all Leh based political and religious organi-

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zations in this regard. All political parties having their office in Leh, Muslims communities (Shia and Suni) and the Christian community have expended their support for the LBA to pursue the UT demand. Welcoming such an apolitical forum for demanding UT status, ES Gergan, Principal Moravian Mission

Ashraf Ali Barcha, President Anjuman Imamia Leh feels that at the present scenario, no organization seems too effective to put forth the UT demand strongly. “The proposed conglomeration of different organizations of Leh will be helpful to strongly demand the UT status for Ladakh collectively,” he added reiterating the 'in principle' support of the Shia community to the UT demand School Leh, said that as a community Christians of Leh “will always support anything that is good for Ladakh”. Ashraf Ali Barcha, President Anjuman Imamia Leh feels that at the present scenario, no organization seems too effective to put forth the UT demand strongly. “The proposed conglomeration of different organizations of Leh will be helpful to strongly demand the UT status for Ladakh collectively,” he

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added reiterating the 'in principle' support of the Shia community to the UT demand. With the support of all political and religious organizations to this 'third front for UT', sources say that the first meeting of the front is likely to be held in February to chalk out strategies to advocate the UT demand for Ladakh. Last year when the Government of India proposed to hold “quiet talks” with all shades of opinions to find an amicable solution to the Kashmir issue, people of Ladakh urged the Government of India to involve Ladakh also in the proposed talks. Reiterating the longstanding Union Territory demand for Ladakh, the Congress Party passed a resolution appealing to the Prime Minster and the Home Minister to involve the people of Ladakh as well in the proposed talks. “Ladakh, from all aspects, fulfils all criteria for creating a Union Territory. At the same time people of Ladakh, through this resolution, firmly place on record, that we reject any solutions like Autonomy or Self rule or restoration of pre-53 status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir which involves Ladakh in it. In the event of finding a final solution to the Kashmir issue, come what may, Ladakh shall not settle for anything less than Union Territory with Legislature for it,” the resolution reads.

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LADAKH SPECIAL Politics

In a memorandum presented to the Prime Minister on January 23, Thupstan Chhewang, President- Patron LUTF, has accused Justice (retd) Sagir Ahmed of preparing a document on his own without even showing its draft to the Working Group. “Justice (retd) Sagir Ahmed has given a report which has rejected our demand for the Union Territory status without even going to the merits of the issue and sparing a thought for our feelings. We had high hopes from the Working Group headed by him and appointed by you with the best of intentions for reaching a consensus on the Centre-State relations”, memorandum reads adding that the report has ignored the multi-region, multi-ethnic and secular character of the State. Chhewang was the Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh when the Working Group was constituted. He was also a member of the Working Group on the “Centre-State relations”. The Congress Party in Leh criticized Chhewang for failing to raise the Union Territory demand effectively at Working Group meetings. Amidst all oppositions against this report, came the shocking statement by Hassan Khan, the Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh, who without any consultation meetings with the public, went on to supporting the report that recommended Autonomy to the State. Mr. Khan has endorsed the report in an interview to the Lok Sabha TV channel and in an Urdu Daily, called Hindustan Express on January 21, 2010. In protest of his statement, calling it unilateral and 'unwarranted', the Congress Party has called a complete Ladakh bandh on January 30, 2010. Rigzin Spalbar, President District Congress Committee, Leh, represented Ladakh in a day long Dharna staged at Jantar Mantar New Delhi on 14 January by the Bhartiya Federation for New states when leaders from different states of India, along with their support-

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ers demanded creation of New States of Telangana in Andhra Pradesh, Vidharbha in Maharashtra, Bundel Khand, Harit Pradesh, Sonanchal in UP, Saurashtra in Gujrat, Gorkhaland in West Bengal, Bodoland in Assam and Union Territory for Ladakh. While advocating the conferment of Union Territory status to Ladakh with Legislature, Rigzin Spalbar, who was made a member of the Executive Body of the Bhartiya Federation for New states, strongly criticized Justice Sagheer Ahmed for not recommending UT for Ladakh in the Working Group

Amidst all oppositions against this report, came the shocking statement by Hassan Khan, the Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh, who without any consultation meetings with the public, went on to supporting the report that recommended Autonomy to the State. Mr. Khan has endorsed the report in an interview to the Lok Sabha TV channel and in an Urdu Daily, called Hindustan Express on January 21, 2010. In protest of his statement, calling it unilateral and 'unwarranted', the Congress Party has called a complete Ladakh bandh on January 30, 2010 report and vowed that Ladakh shall never be a part of J&K with Autonomy and fight to the last blood to achieve UT for Ladakh. Justifying the UT demand for Ladakh and seeking support from leaders and people nationwide, he argued that after the accession of Jammu & Kashmir with the Indian Union, there was no ground left to keep Ladakh still as a part of the State, because Ladakh was forcefully annexed to the Dogra Rule by Jammu Maharaja Gulab Singh's Army general Zorawar Singh in 1834. It is pertinent to mention here that

Vol. 4, Issue 2

during the Dogra regime of nearly a century and a quarter, Ladakhi people had countless bitter experiences at the hands of Kashmiri administrators. In addition to this, continued discriminations meted out to Ladakhi people by successive rulers of J&K for decades after the independence, further intensified Ladakh's demand for separation from Jammu & Kashmir. There are historical documents that reveal that right after the independence, even before Jammu & Kashmir finally acceded to the Indian Union, people of Ladakh sought separation of Ladakh from Jammu & Kashmir, and appealed to the Government of India to administer Ladakh directly from the Center on the pattern of the North Eastern Frontier Area (NEFA) administration or to make it a part of erstwhile East Punjab. In the present political scenario of the State, Ladakh, that had been an independent kingdom for about nine centuries until 1830s, has been reduced to mere two districts. This unique region has its unique problems for which most of the laws legislated by the State Government go against the interests of the people of Ladakh. Anyone with an average common sense would easily understand that it doesn't make any sense to keep Ladakh forcefully with Jammu & Kashmir despite that fact that Ladakh has nothing in common linguistically, culturally, historically and geographically with other parts of Jammu & Kashmir. Moreover snow falls in winter months cause the closure of Ladakh-Srinagar highway for about six months a year thereby isolating Ladakh physically from rest of the State. Geographically Ladakh constitutes two-third of the entire State of Jammu & Kashmir, but at present in the 87 member state assembly, representation to Ladakh is very minimal as there are only four seats, two each for Leh and Kargil districts.

Epilogue, February 2010


13

LADAKH SPECIAL

Opinion

Why Union Territory for Ladakh ? RIGZIN SPALBAR

From the very outset Ladakh's political merger with J&K did not form any natural cohesion and proved to be a folly throughout. Except for the Dogras' suzerainty as a commonality, Ladakh is fundamentally different from Kashmir in all respects - culturally, ethnically and linguistically. Over the years the successive governments of the state have adopted a policy of discrimination and subversion towards the region with the sole objective of oppressing its people and marginalizing its historical, ethnic and cultural identity.

L

adakh was once an independent Himalayan Kingdom. The political history of Ladakh dates back to 930 A.D. when several small, sovereign principalities outlying the Western Himalayas were integrated and given a unified polity by Lha-Chen-Palgigon. Ladakh as an independent kingdom gained political status during 15th-16th century when the Namgyal dynasty came into power. The reign of the Namgyal dynasty lasted until 1842 when a Dogra General, Zorawar Singh, annexed Ladakh into the Dogra Empire. After 100 years of Dogra rule, Ladakh alongwith Jammu and Kashmir became an integral part of India in 1947. In the modern times, when the whole subcontinent has passed through the process of decolonization to enjoy the fruits of national independence, we, the people of Ladakh, and our land still continue to suffer under the old concept of colonial administrative structure, which suited the imperial interests and feudal rulers under the name of the pseudo-state of Jammu and Kashmir. Gandhiji and other national leaders emancipated the Indian masses from the oppressive alien domination,

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exploitation, feudal and colonial rule, but we, the people of Ladakh, with a distinct identity of our own have been pushed under an oppressive political domination of Kashmiris and denied the fruits of freedom and national independence. The State of Jammu and Kashmir, the territorial limits of which never formed a natural geopolitical entity in its real sense, still suffers from geopolitical crises and disorder. Frederic Drew who served as Governor in Ladakh in the 19th century remarked that “the territories of Jammu and Kashmir have no other bond of cohesion than the fact of Maharaja's rule, no simple name for it exists.� The degree of heterogeneity among the three regions is very high not only in form but also in sharpness. In the case of Ladakh this heterogeneity is expressed not only in terms of its totally different physiographic setting but also manifest in its ethnic composition, language, faith, philosophy and culture. In the last 52 years of independence, the people of Ladakh, not only have suffered rampant Kashmiri political domination but also severe drive of separatism.

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In the absence of any study which has analysed Ladakh's problems from a nationalistic and political perspective, our endeavour is three-fold. Firstly, we intend to highlight the emergence and assertion of national identity, patriotism and national integration among the Ladakhis towards our motherland. Secondly, we want to have an objective assessment of the political exploitation of the people of Ladakh and the Ladakhi's resistance towards Kashmiri sub-nationalism. Thirdly, we are determined to mobilize public opinion and national consensus in order to evolve a new perspective towards the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir State. The history of modern Ladakh can be considered as the history of the emergence and assertion of nationalism and integration with modern India. Nationalism became the mass ideology propagated and perpetuated by the leadership of Ven. Kushok Bakula. Nationalism remained a dominant ideological creed and became a rallying force among the Ladakhis to fight back the Pakistanis and the Chinese who made frequent bids to conquer our land

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14

LADAKH SPECIAL Opinion

in 1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 wars. The jawans of Ladakh Scouts played an exemplary role in decisively foiling the enemy's misadventures. The people of Ladakh always stood for national unity and integrity of the country. We always supported the Government in Delhi, irrespective of the political party in power. At the time of the British plan to partition India we made our stand clear vis-a-vis our position within the State of J&K through our memoranda to the Maharaja of J&K and to the Prime Minister of India. Based on bitter experience that the people of Ladakh faced during the period of a century, their growing apprehensions for future were explicitly communicated by the people of Ladakh and adjoining areas to the Maharaja through a memorandum in the State Praja Sabha. It consists of three alternative proposals: (1) The Maharaja should govern Ladakh directly without tagging it on to Kashmir valley. (2) Our homeland be amalgamated with the province and should form a separate province in which adequate safeguard should be provided for distinctive rights and interests of Ladakhis. (3) Ladakh should be permitted to join East Punjab. However, the Maharaja's inability to reply due to sudden developments in the State leading to the relinquishment of his position as a party in respect of our proposals at (1) to (2) made us choose a path independent of him. After mature deliberation it was decided by our people to merge with India straightaway. This historic decision was communicated through a memorandum submitted by Kalon Chhewang Rigzin to Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru on

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behalf of the people of Ladakh on 4 May 1949. The memorandum concludes as under: “Ladakh is not prepared to go to Pakistan whatever the result of the plebiscite may be”. The memorandum further put forth a poignant appeal to India: “We seek the bosom of that gracious mother (India) to receive more nutriment for growth to our full stature in every way. She has given us what we prize above all other things - our

In the absence of any study which has analysed Ladakh's problems from a nationalistic and political perspective, our endeavour is three-fold. Firstly, we intend to highlight the emergence and assertion of national identity, patriotism and national integration among the Ladakhis towards our motherland. Secondly, we want to have an objective assessment of the political exploitation of the people of Ladakh and the Ladakhi's resistance towards Kashmiri sub-nationalism. Thirdly, we are determined to mobilize public opinion and national consensus in order to evolve a new perspective towards the reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir State. religion and culture. The Ashoka wheel on her flag, symbol of goodwill for all humanity, and her concern for her cultural children, calls us irresistibly. Will the great mother refuse to take to her arms one of her weakest and most forlorn and depressed children - a child whom filial love impels to respond to the call?” Ladakhis have since then consistently been demanding separation from Jammu and Kashmir State and asking for the status of Union

Vol. 4, Issue 2

Territory. The Government of India, however, never responded favourably to our sincere conviction; instead left us to be governed by Kashmiris during these decades to our utter ruin. In the post Independence period we have been reduced to the status of slaves in our own homeland. The impact of oppressive rule unleashed by the J&K Government over us has obliterated our cultural and social ethos. Sheikh Abdullah's Government divided Ladakh on communal basis in 1979 by creating two separate districts of Leh and Kargil with Buddhist and Muslim majorities respectively. Subsequently they encouraged communalization of Ladakh's political, social and cultural life. Such policies have severely challenged our age-old communal harmony and secular credentials. Their policy of divide and rule by creating rift between Leh and Kargil is a ploy to keep innocent Ladakhis under their further subjugation. Therefore, our major struggle in the post - Independence period has been to have an administration in Ladakh to be controlled directly by the central government. The history of our struggle goes back to 1964 when the first organized effort of Ladakhis against Kashmiri domination and exploitation, under the leadership of Ven. Kushok Bakula manifested itself in a demand for NEFA type Central administration. A similar agitation was launched in 1974 under the leadership of Lama Lobzang, Thupstan Chhewang and Tsering Samphel demanding Central administration for Ladakh. Again in 1982 a movement was led by Sh. P. Namgyal, M.P demanding Regional Autonomy. But instead of satisfying our

Epilogue, February 2010


15

LADAKH SPECIAL Opinion

democratic rights and aspirations the successive Kashmiri rulers severally suppressed the democratic movement of peace loving Ladakhis through the State Armed Police. The Ladakh agitation of 1989, led by Ladakh Buddhist Association is quite wellknown, which was a result of the cumulative alienation of our people. At a time when anti-national activities were gaining momentum in the Valley, resulting in total boycott of Independence Day celebrations, the Farooq government instead of nipping the secessionist movement in the bud, chose to let out his anger on the peaceful demonstrators in Leh resulting in loss of lives. On the intervention of Central Government and in view of the increasing anti-national activities elsewhere in the State and, therefore, keeping in mind the larger national interest, the Ladakh Buddhist Assotiation suspended its demand for Union Territory and accepted the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) as a compromise under the tripartite agreement reached between the State government, the Central government and the LBA on 29 October 1989. It is however, most unfortunate that the then National Conference Government did not actually allow any quantum of autonomy to be exercised by the democratically elected LAHDC and also starved it of funds. It is ironical that the same Party (NC) is pleading for, greater autonomy, for the state. In the wake of the then National Conference Government passing a resolution in State Assembly for grant of greater autonomy to J&K, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh unanimously passed a resolution in

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its General Council for grant of Union Territory for Ladakh. The recent recommendation of Justice (Rtd.) Sagheer Ahmed, with no support of other WG members, advocating autonomy for J&K on the lines of National Conference stand, which is totally against the wishes of the people

The history of our struggle goes back to 1964 when the first organized effort of Ladakhis against Kashmiri domination and exploitation, under the leadership of Ven. Kushok Bakula manifested itself in a demand for NEFA type Central administration. A similar agitation was launched in 1974 under the leadership of Lama Lobzang, Thupstan Chhewang and Tsering Samphel demanding Central administration for Ladakh. Again in 1982 a movement was led by Sh. P. Namgyal, M.P demanding Regional Autonomy. But instead of satisfying our democratic rights and aspirations the successive Kashmiri rulers severally suppressed the democratic movement of peace loving Ladakhis through the State Armed Police. The Ladakh agitation of 1989, led by Ladakh Buddhist Association is quite wellknown, which was a result of the cumulative alienation of our people of Jammu and Ladakh, goes to prove that Kashmiri rulers treat Ladakh merely as its colony. Under these circumstances we are left with no choice but to reiterate our longstanding demand for granting Union Territory status to Ladakh, which would guarantee us an administrative set-up to run our own affairs and safeguard our interests.

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Ladakhis are peace-loving people. Taking to arms and violence is against our basic philosophy. In fact, our entire movement has throughout been peaceful and democratic. We are also against the violent path followed by people elsewhere in the country. Our main objective is to convey our apprehensions which are related not only to our own problems but also to national security issues. We appeal to the national leaders, intelligentsia and the common people to support our demand for Union Territory status and also help us in our struggle against all forces which are trying to bring destabilization in this strategically sensetive frontier region. Their moral and material support to our demand will greatly help in creating a stable and strong national frontier. It is absolutely erroneous to equate Kashmir valley with the rest of the state. Ladakh constitutes 69.6% of the total J&K territory with a distinct geopolitical and geo-cultural identity of its own. The aspirations of the people of Ladakh and their national outlook are different from those of the people of Kashmir. Leaders of Kashmir valley can never be leaders of our people and our assimilation with the people of the Valley is next to impossible. The need of the hour is, therefore, to tackle all the problems relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in totality. Any attempt at handling the Kashmir issue in isolation by ignoring the problems of Jammu and Ladakh will not only be shortsighted but also counterproductive. Grant of UT with Legislature to Ladakh on the basis of its linguistic, cultural, ethnic and geographical isolation from Kashmir shall be an investment in permanently securing our borders in Ladakh.

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LADAKH SPECIAL

Reportage

Chinese Cattle Grazing Ladakhi Grass With civil administration and Army divided over what is China doing in Ladakh's last village, the local village headman has written to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reminding him of Demchok's patriotism of 1962 and Indian indifference there after…

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n a representation to the Prime Minster, Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Nambardar Demchok, Rigzin Tangay has asked the Government of India to pay serious attention towards the development of remote areas in Ladakh bordering China. Demchok is a place located near the Line of Actual Control, about 300 kms away from Leh, where Chinese army has recently objected and stopped the construction of roads in Demchok inside the Indian border under NREGA. Nambarder has pointed out that funds provided under Border Area Development Program (BADP) by the Government of India have been often utilized in places far from the deserving border areas. Whereas people of Demchok have over the few years observed that the Chinese Government created lots of infrastructure along the border across the border. Urging upon the Government of India to develop the border areas, in the representation he warns, “If the Government of India has no will for the development of its own areas then we have no point of remaining integrated with India, as we did our best in 1962 war with China and still keeping the Indian soil untouched by Chinese army but we often fail to receive our basic needs and

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Demchok Village Headman's Letter to Prime Minister developments”. Nawang Norbu, Councillor Nyuma Constituency also shows his resentments against the Government of India for neglecting the border areas and accuse local leaders of Leh for ignoring border areas in terms of allocating due share of funds under BADP. He told Epilogue that every day China is grapping India land small by small but the Indian security forces

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The grass lands that belonged to the Indian nomads of Changthang for centuries have been used by the Chinese shepherds in the recent times deployed on the border often don't want the locals to inform the Government of India about this gradual incursion by the Chinese. “The grass lands that belonged

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LADAKH SPECIAL Reportage

Iqbal as an Advocate of disabled VIDHYA RAMASUBBAN

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to the Indian nomads of Changthang for centuries have been used by the Chinese shepherds in the recent times,” he says. Regretting the negligence of the Government of India, the disgruntled councilor says that it is now a question for them whether to remain integrated or not if the presence state of affairs with security and development activities is continued by the Government of India with these boder areas despite the fact that Ladakhi nomads have guarded the Indian Border for decades from Chinese incursion. The Nambarder Demchok in his representation puts on record that funds for some works executed under NREGA in the year 2008 were yet to be released and also regretted that recently the construction of a road for Demchok village under NREGA had to be stopped due to the objection raised by Chinese army. “The inhabitants of Demchok village are educationally and financially backward, there must be reservation of seats in army

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The Nambarder Demchok in his representation puts on record that funds for some works executed under NREGA in the year 2008 were yet to be released and also regretted that recently the construction of a road for Demchok village under NREGA had to be stopped due to the objection raised by Chinese army. recruitment and other with the recruitments in other centre and state government services for the youth from these border areas.” In a similar representation to the Chief Executive Office, LAHDC, Leh, referring to a Govt. order No. 1026 GD of 1986; dated 6-071988, Gurmet Dorjay, president Changthang Youth Welfare Association Nyoma Block and former Councillor has appealed to the authorities in the district to give due preference to candidates from border areas during the selection of teachers which is scheduled for February this year. - Tsewang Rigzin

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qbal has been a disabled people's advocate for the last eight years. In 2007, he started a disabled people's movement, called People's Action Group for Inclusion and Rights (PAGIR).In all these years, Mr. Iqbal has worked actively to promote an environment that is positive towards disabled persons and is conducive for their inclusion, be it education, employment or in society. He has done this through various door to door to campaigns in villages; radio and television programmes; and lobbying with leaders at the village and the district level. A good education forms the basis for future livelihoods and a successful life. While the government of India has many schemes to ensure equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, these are unfortunately not beneficial to disabled persons in Leh. The main problem was that disabled persons in Ladakh do not qualify for even the most basic jobs or for any of the other higher skilled jobs. Most of the disabled people here are uneducated, and there are no vocational training options to fill this gap. Mr. Iqbal had the foresight to realise the importance of improving access to quality education for disabled children and has been campaigning with the local administration for the same. Mr. Iqbal has been working towards implementation of the Persons with Disability Act in the district. He has been advocating with the government on issues of inclusive education, physical access, health and employment. He has also been working to create

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For CM's Attention Sh. Omar Abdullah, The Hon'ble Chief Minister Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Jammu. Sub: Creation of a nominated post for a disabled person in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh. Dear Sir

the image of disabled persons as 'contributors' rather than mere 'receivers'. An example of this is the waste management programme of PAGIR, called Jungwa Shrungskyob. The objective of this programme is primarily to promote livelihoods for disabled and other marginalised people, while addressing this in a socially responsible manner. In the year 2005, he presented to the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council and the district administration, the status of disability in the region and also proposed policy recommendations. Today, this is Leh district's official policy on disability. He has developed himself to be a self advocate to fight for the rights of disabled people and has led protests and represented disabled persons in the district to promote equality in society. Due to his constant and unrelenting advocacy for the needs and rights of disabled persons in Ladakh he is considered as an opinion leader in Leh and has won an immense amount of respect from his villagers who come to him for advice n various issues. Today Mr. Iqbal is considered as the leading voice of disabled persons' issues and is invited by the local government as well as outside resource institutions for policy and other meetings for his valuable inputs. M. Iqbal firmly believes in economic development of people with disability. He believes that without this, empowerment has limitations. He is a visionary, would educate and inspire people with all disabling conditions about self reliance – including civil and political rights. In a place like Ladakh, for the first time an initiative to work with people with disabilities was undertaken. The circumstances are difficult (nature's kindness/unkindness) and the processes chosen were very much community based, respecting individual autonomy. Md. Iqbal ceased this opportunity to bring out potential of individual and groups of people with disabilities. The movement created has been moving from strength to strength. The spirit with which he himself and the team met challenges like financial constraints, and other adverse conditions are heartening. He found an opportunity in adversity to build the movement. He is a true role model‌‌

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Vol. 4, Issue 2

Greetings and happy new year from Leh-Ladakh! I am writing to you from the People's Action Group for Inclusion and Rights (PAGIR), based in Leh- Ladakh, initiated by disabled persons and families of disabled persons. We are a rights movement working to create a society that is inclusive and free of prejudice. We believe that it is a matter of right that disabled persons should be a part of mainstream society and access opportunities that exist for other non-disabled citizens. Our focus is therefore not to create specialized services for disabled persons that are potentially isolating in nature. Instead, we work with government systems, political institutions, NGOs and other community structures to create an environment that ensures inclusion of disabled persons in the mainstream. Leh district has 3,000 persons with disabilities according to Census 2001. Over the last nine years, since the disability movement began in Leh, one significant achievement has been the making of a district-specific disability policy. While this is a landmark achievement, the implementation of this is seriously wanting as is for other policies. Today, therefore, these 3,000 disabled people are largely invisible. India has ratified the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and by this our government has a legal obligation to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities. However, in Leh, so far, the onus of mainstreaming disability has rested on disabled activists. Unless there is an equal force from the policy makers, disabled people will remain in the backyard of development for a long time to come. Even though disabled people are equal citizens, disability has not become an agenda of the politicians and is still seen as a 'minority' problem. Yet, 3,000 is a significant number and if multiplied by the number of family members who are directly affected by disability, the numbers would be about 18,000. Sir, our appeal this disability day has a significant relevance to the above issues. We appeal to you that the LAHDC allocates an additional nominated seat for a disabled person in the council. Currently there are 4 such nominated posts. To us, this is the only way that the disability agenda will be heard and be incorporated into the mainstream. We disabled persons do not see this as reservation. We do not want a disabled person to simply 'represent' the council for the sake of projecting disability in the mainstream. Ours is a question of a) addressing disability as a development issue, b) ensuring equitable opportunities in social, economic, cultural and political spheres and ultimately c) ensuring that disabled persons too reach their highest potential. We think that disabled politicians will be more committed to this as they have much more stakes on the issue - just as it makes sense for women to hold positions pertaining to their needs and rights! We thus appeal to the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir a nominated seat for a disabled person is created in the LAHDC. An affirmative action to this effect will ensure the right for persons with disabilities to participate in political and public life on an equal basis with others, as outlined in the UNCPRD. This will also be a trend setter in the country for other states to follow. With the forthcoming LAHDC elections in Sept 2010, the process needs to begin now and therefore, the timing is crucial. With regards SD/Mohammed Iqbal President, People's Action Group for Inclusion and Rights (PAGIR), Leh Ladakh

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LADAKH SPECIAL Reportage

PAGIR- In Service of Ladakh

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e are a rights movement working to create a society that is inclusive and free of prejudice. We believe that it is a matter of right that disabled persons should be a part of the mainstream society and access opportunities that exist for other non-disabled persons. Our focus is therefore to work with government systems, NGOs and other community structures to create an environment that ensures inclusion of disabled persons in mainstream society. Conversely, we do not create or advocate for specialized services that are potentially isolating in nature. Our work involves mobilizing people and advocating a) to implement government policies and to ensure that services reach disabled people b) to create mass awareness amongst people regarding rights issues c) to promote disabled people's participation in the social and political processes of the region d) to empower disabled people economically, so that they contribute to the economic development of the region. Set up in March 2007, most of our members are disabled or have family members who are disabled. ADVOCACY For disabled persons to achieve their highest potential, we attempt at removing barriers – both attitudinal and physical – that exist in society. Alongside, we work towards building the individual capacities of disabled people. In the long run, we hope to see disabled persons hold leadership positions; employed in a variety of jobs; exhibit their skills in art, culture, sport….. Promoting leadership is an important aspect of our movement- we do this by providing training and information and by simply creating opportunities for disabled people to lead. Advocating with the government on needs and rights of disabled people is our other focusholding meetings with government officials, sending appeals and memorandums, accessing the law are some ways in which we do this. Promoting special skills so that they have the opportunity to compete and display their

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talents equally with others in society-providing training, linking artistes with other organizations and artistes are some ways in which we do this PAGIR BUSINESSES In addressing livelihood for disabled persons, it is common place to focus on charity and to address only the 'behavioral' issues of disabled people. In PAGIR's business enterprises, we not only think that the charity model will not be sustainable, we also firmly believe that disabled people are capable and have a right to participate in economic development. We therefore promote disabled persons as active contributors rather than as mere objects of charity, thus breaking traditional stereotypes. Jungwa Shrungskyob (protection of the four elements- earth, water, fie, air) Jungwa Shrungskyob (JS) is a business enterprise led by disabled people. The enterprise focuses on a huge environmental concern - garbage. Jungwa Shrungskyob engages disabled artistes, who turn waste to craft and other useful products. Through JS, we are sure we will contribute in reducing carbon emissions in a huge way. In JS, we hope to engage at least 200 disabled people in the long run. Besides this, the entire community will benefit from the awareness drives that we will conduct on waste issues. Our focus here is on two aspects: a) Reducing waste : eg, producing paper and cloth bags, so that poly bags are minimized and b) Reusing and recycling waste: eg, producing craft and other useful items so that they are not burnt, buried or dumped in landfills. TOURISM Enabling disabled tourists to visit Ladakh is an enterprise that we are soon to launch. Though this we are attempting to make tourism accessible to all. We will develop special itineraries that will cater to needs of disabled people, make available equipment like wheel chairs, portable toilets, ramps and provide helpers to assist those who might need them. - Vidhya Ramasubban

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LAHDC asked to work out policy on culture

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he Ladakh Cultural Forum (LCF) has urged the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Hill Council (LAHDC) Leh formulate some concrete policies to preserve Ladakh's unique and rich cultural heritage. Expressing concerns over what it called “the sorry state of affairs in the absence of any policy in the developmental plan of the Hill Council to promote and preserve Ladakh's cultural heritage”, the forum has proposed some points to be adopted as policies of the Hill Council by passing a unanimous resolution in the LAHDC General Council scheduled to be held from February 22 for three days. “It was a moment of great joy and respite when, after a sustained struggle, the LAHDC, Leh was finally granted in 1995 on the ground of Ladakh's distinct cultural identity. It has been 15

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years now since LAHDC to Ladakh. If we introspect for a while, we may realize that nothing concrete has been done in terms of formulating policies by the Hill Council in the last 15 years to keep the cultural identity of the region alive�, a letter addressed to the Chairman of the LAHDC by this forum reads. LCF, in its proposal, suggested that among the four Executive Councilors, one should be exclusively for the promotion and preservation of Ladakhi cultural values and identity. Therefore, this Executive Councilor should be called the Executive Councilor for Arts & Culture who, in consultation with eminent scholars and personalities of Ladakh, could formulate an exclusive plan for the promotion of Ladakhi culture. Secondly, LCF has proposed that LAHDC should identify a line department as the 'executing agency' for carrying out the policies and programs of LAHDC for the promotion and preservation of the distinct cultural heritage of Ladakh. The district plan has sector called 'Arts & Culture' with an allocation of mere rupees 8 to 10 lakh. But even this amount is often used as an untied grant whenever some money is needed. LCF has asked the authorities of the Hill Council to enhance the allocation of funds under 'Arts & Culture' sector at least up to rupees one crore annually to effectively implement the programs and policies concerning the promotion and preservation of cultural heritage of Ladakh. LCF has also appealed to all Ladakhi public representatives including the Councilors of the LAHDC to dress in Ladakhi traditional Gonchha on important occasions like the LAHDC General Council Meetings, Republic Days, Independence Days and other important occasions to uphold the sanctity of Ladakhi traditions. The Forum has proposed that the Hill Council should honour individuals and associations who have made a difference by contributing significantly in promotion and preservation of Ladakhi Arts & Culture. The Ladakh Cultural Form Leh was formed and registered as a society in the year 1979 to by a group of eminent scholars of Leh to encourage and promote arts, culture and literature among Ladakhis. The forum has organized numerous conferences and seminars, and brought out several publications including a magazine called 'The Voice of Himalaya'. - Tsewang Rigzin

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Ladakh Grieved as Stakna Rinpochey Passes Away

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eligious and political leaders of Leh have expressed deep sorrow over the demise of Stakna Rinpochey, a spiritual lama of Ladakh, who passed away on 25 January 2010 at the age of 91 years. Terming the death of Rinpochey an irreparable loss to the Ladakhi Society, Ladakh's leaders inclduing Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin, Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh, Chering Dorje have said that Rinpochey had rendered invaluable religious service to the entire Buddhist Societies of Leh district, Zanskar and Lahaul (Himachal Pradesh) as well as social service to the needy people through out his life. Late Stakna Rinpochey, whose real name was Nawang Tonyot Dorje, was born to father Padma Dadul and mother Idzin Wangmo of sGangpa family of Martselang village in 1920. When he was 3 years of age, the 15th Karmapa Lama and Skyabgon Staktsang Rinpochey recognized him as the reincarnation of Stakna Tulk. At the age of 5 years, he was enthroned as Stakna Rinpochey in Stakna Monastery in Leh in 1924. When he was 7 years old, Stakna Rinpochey started his religious and spiritual studies under the guidance of Skyabgon Stantsang Rinpochey at Hemis Monastery. Late Rinpochey had contributed a lot in construction of Chokhang Vihara in 1967. He also rendered a great service to the society as President of Ladakh Buddhist Association from 1977 to1986 for 9 years. Late Stakna Rinpochey had also struggled with other Ladakhi leaders when Schedule Tribe status was demanded for Ladakh. Observing the passing away of Stakna Rinpochey as a big loss to the Buddhist community, a condolence message issued from the Ladakh Buddhist Association Youth Wing said that Rinpochey had given a life time religious service to the entire Buddhist Society particularly to the poor and needy people. In honour of most departed revered Spiritual figure of Ladakh, the Ladakh Buddhist Association in collaboration with Ladakh Gonpa Association and Merchant Association observed a half day Bandh in Leh on January 28, 2010. - Tsewang Rigzin

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LADAKH SPECIAL

Features THE WINDS OF CHANGE :

Beyond conventional tourism THINLAS CHOROL

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here has been an opening up of Ladakhi society to meet the needs of the tourists who throng the region. The benefit is not only in economic terms but a deep realization and appreciation of local art forms, dances, food and indeed the heritage of this spectacular region. Sometimes, it needs another to point out the finer points of one's own culture. For a region which has a unique history and culture, a geographical location that has prevented any significant interaction between the rest of the country, Ladakh has evolved a rich culture and tradition. It is difficult to understand however that in more recent times, local Ladakhis have undervalued this. The first outside influence in this highly sensitive strategic zone region was clearly the Army which in some senses amalgamated into life there. Then came the tourists, both domestic and international and suddenly Ladakh was thrown open to a whole new world. Somewhere in this surge of influences from beyond, the Ladakhis began to lose their identity, their link with what was intrinsically borne of the land and its historical, cultural influences. It happened in small ways. Traditional jewellery and kitchenware disappeared from shelves of homes and shops. Instead items which were in vogue outside began to be used. This phase however did not endure and gradually things began to change less in

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response to local sensibilities, more in tune with what the visitors sought Tourists were interested in monasteries reflecting local history, culture, art. A repository of printing and sculpture, showcasing a unique architectural style built atop hills on in valleys, these structures were a major attraction. Alchi, a monastery built in the midst of a village was exceptional for its exquisite woodcarving, sculpture and printing. The fascination shown by the tourists was infectious and also lucrative for locals who were part of the booming tourism industry. A revisiting of their own culture and history began to happen and a pride in their heritage. A change also driven by the needs of the tourism industry. Almost every monastery in Ladakh celebrates a festival once a year. The Hemis festival is famous, catching the tourist season at its peak. Festivals anywhere are all about celebrating a particular tradition and custom and in Ladakh have led to a resurgence of the joy, gaiety and fervour amongst locals. Conservation has taken on a new meaning in this resurgence. Old palaces of kings in the long history of Ladakh dotted the landscape, most were neglected and derelict. Today the pages of history have come alive again, shaking out of its stupor to give a new lease of life to historical buildings. The nine-storied Leh Palace is now being repaired by Central government, while the Basgo monastery is a part of the world

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heritage buildings, conserved by UNESCO Interestingly enough, the influence has not remained restricted to strictly 'tourist' aspects. It has permeated into the rest of society as well. In schools across Ladakh, children would find nothing on their own land and culture in their books. All the study material in the school was in Urdu and English, not the language of the people who speak Ladakhi. Examples given in these books were from cultures and symbols from other parts of India and even other countries, leaving the Ladakhi child alienated from his/her own study materials and in a sense from the very purpose of education. Strangely if a Ladkahi child saw a picture related to life here, he/she would get very surprised and show it to all the friends! But now plenty of books are available written by tourists and visitors. The visitors who connected in more meaningful ways with the region, its culture became also a source of immense learning for the local Ladakhis. Young people now understand the value of culture and read about it more extensively. It also has something to do with the opportunities they now get for using this knowledge. In their work as mountaineering and culture guide for tourists, this fulfils an important and much sought-after requirement. Based on wisdom passed down the

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LADAKH SPECIAL Features

generations, Ladakh has been home to an indigenous form of medicine called the 'Amchi' system. Over time, its popularity had waned and support for sustaining this ancient form was flagging. Of late though, it has invited not just curiosity but keen interest by several tourists who study its principles and would like to bring it back into usage. Such is the quaint charm of this body of knowledge. On similar lines, Ladakhi traditional songs and dance which were slipping on their popularity giving way to modern beats and forms have now revived. The Ladakh Festival held in September every year at the tail-end of the tourist season to give it one final boost before the region shuts down for winter has made this happen. During

this, troupes from different regions of Ladakh put up a colorful, rich fare of their unique forms of traditional songs and dances in the Leh, the capital and the hub of tourists. Several aspects of Ladakhi life and culture had hit rock bottom and are now on the upswing. This includes traditional foods. Which were disappearing from kitchen tables and commercial establishments Modern packaged foods which started making their way into the region, dealt a blow to these initially? Teachers who came from outside infact were known to tell young students, that Ladakhi foods lead to stupid minds. These foods have been revived and home-grown fruits like apricot and sea buckthorn are not only back on the plates but are being

processed for jam and juice. The local handicraft industry has also received a shot in the arm. All over trekking trails, small shops selling local craft and clothes have mushroomed in response to the tourist interest. To be a :Ladakhi and to have a sense of pride and joy in this is something of a new experience for countless people. To see them from the outside to view the richness of their heritage, the unique culture of this breathtakingly beautiful terrain has in no small measure due to the spirit of the travelers. Yes the Ladakhis have no doubt risen to the occasion to put their best foot forward to welcome its guests! {This article has been written under the “Sanjoy Ghose Ladakh Women Writers Award 2008-09}

Prophet Muhammad's Biography in Ladakhi

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“This is for the first n a first attempt of its kind in the history of the state, the Jammu and Kashmir time in the history of Academy of Art, Culture and Languages has come out with a Ladakhi publication state that a book of on the life and teachings of Prophet Muhammed. this kind had been “This is a rare book on the life of the Prophet. I am sure people would brought out in appreciate our efforts,” says Secretary Cultural Academy, Zafar Iqbal Manhas. Ladakhi language on Manhas said that it was for the first time in the history of the state that a book the life of the holy of this kind had been brought out in the Ladakhi language on the life of the holy Prophet” Prophet. Zafar Iqbal Manhas Interestingly, the book entitled “The Message and Teachings of the Prophet Secretary J&K AACL Mohammed” dwells upon the basic teachings of the Prophet and his way of life. Commenting on the publication, Jnanpith awardee, Prof. Rehman Rahi said that a book on the holy Prophet in any of the regional languages of the state would only help people understand Islam and appreciate the holiness of the Prophet. “It is really great that the Cultural Academy has brought out a book on the life of the Prophet,” Rahi said, adding, “Such publications were needed as these would doubtless go a long way in propagating the true teachings of the holy Prophet”. When contacted noted Ladakhi scholar and historian, Abdul Gani Sheikh echoed Rahi. “This was a long awaited book. It would for sure help Ladakhi knowing Muslims understand the Prophet in a better way,” Sheikh said. Complimenting Cultural Academy, noted socio-cultural historian and former Secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages Mohammed Yousuf Taing said that Academy had done well by publishing such a book. “This was the need of the hour as it would educate people about Islam and its teachings in a better way.” Taing said.

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Vol. 4, Issue 2

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IN FOCUS

Govt’s Performance Review

OMAR ABDULLAH

The Man, Not In Hurry One Year –So Far, So Good

ZAFAR CHOUDHARY

When Omar Abdullah took over as the youngest ever Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in January 2009, the State was passing through unique times and circumstances. A peace dialogue with Kashmiri separatists had been completely put under carpet and New Delhi's relations with Islamabad were at the lowest of the decade following 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. At home turf, the mainstream politics in Jammu and Kashmir had been thrown in a new direction following Amarnath land row. It was the most challenging situation and lifetime opportunity before Kashmir's third generation Abdullah to revive hopes, perform or perish

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nalyzing performance of state government, particularly the Chief Minister, of Jammu and Kashmir is not exactly the same business as may be in case of other states in India. For a state like Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh or closer home Punjab or Himchal Pradesh, the performance review can be based on government's efforts in containing crime, controlling prices of farm produce, initiating and completing development projects or ensuring a stable political order etc. In Jammu and Kashmir, none of these parameters is applicable in entirety. It is

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the Kashmir issue and politics revolving around it that matters at the end of the day. Omar's immediate predecessor Ghulam Nabi Azad claimed, all the way, that he did more development work than any of his predecessors in last 60 years. His claim was not entirely out of place. Azad, however, will be remembered more for the open bickering he and his party had with then ruling coalition partner Peoples Democratic Party and his handling of the Amarnath land row which eventually saw fall of his government and then two months of unprecedented turmoil. Both for bickering in coalition ranks and Amarnath

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fiasco PDP has to be blamed little bit more than the Chief Minister but then he matters who is at the helm of affairs. Peoples Democratic Party can be blamed for narrowing its political agenda in Kashmir Valley and allowing a sharpening of divide between regions but Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as Chief Minister will always be remembered for working at development and confidence building measures simultaneously. He introduced a new political order in the state. In first week of January 2010, when National Conference-Congress coalition government completed its full one year

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IN FOCUS Govt’s Performance Review

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in office, the opposition charge-sheet against the government and the Chief Minister could not match the official releases and advertisement highlighting achievements. Work done on ground could not fully be denied with words. However, the one single charge, inviting a debate, is what should Omar Abdullah be known for? Critics apart, Chief Minister's admirers too admit that Omar is yet to come up with a 'stamp of his own'. Good or bad, all Chief Ministers in the recent past created a style statement of their own in their approach to governance and handling key issues pertain-

Observes believe at 40 believe that young age is Omar's biggest political advantage. Kashmir Chief Minister has to operate in a triangle that touches local ground, New Delhi's Kashmir desk and the international community. So who is New Delhi's best bet in Kashmir and Kashmir's best bet at home and beyond boundaries –Omar, arguably?

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ing to state. What is Omar's style? Keen observers of Jammu and Kashmir politics and governance are of opinion that Omar's not developing a style statement or a characteristic stamp of his own is perhaps his single biggest achievement of the year. It sounds ludicrous but the opinion has a merit. Studded with lethal mines, it is the political field of Jammu and Kashmir which demands caution as key survival instinct. Those who breached the lines of caution, including the tallest leader of state Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, were taken unaware by the pull downs leading to years of political instability. In his first year in office, Omar has shown that probably he is not ready for that risk as he builds up a strategy to run for a long inning. Though governance and development are two key parameters on which performance of a system can be

Vol. 4, Issue 2

I N D I C A T O R S

Ø REGIONAL ASPIRATIONS After Amarnath land row of 2008, the sanction of a Central University and an Indian Institute of Management emerged as biggest regional divider. An impression had gone that Central University was coming in Srinagar which was vehemently resented by groups in Jammu. There was an agitation but the Chief Minister did not speak up. There is absolutely no statement attributed to the Chief Minister on where he would like the Central University to come up. Quietly, he constituted a group of Ministers and led a delegation to Prime Minister. Back home he did not say a single word on whether a commitment was obtained. Shortly, there was a formal order on two Central Universities –one each for Jammu and Kashmir regions. Critics were silenced but Chief Minister still did not speak. His silence speaks: he made it happen but refused to endorse the kind of regional sentimental politics that calls shots in Jammu and Kashmir. Ø SHOPIAN FIASCO It was a disaster. But guess who could have handled the situation best? None. Anyone at his place had to pay the price. In such situations Kashmiris refuse to listen to any one but nailing truth is a difficult task. Constitution of Justice Jan Commission appeared to be an ill advised decision and so were his findings. CBI findings have been rejected by people and as Home Minister P Chidambram says, 'this is maximum governments can do'. Truth remains shrouded in mystery. Ø CELL PHONE BAN When New Delhi banned pre-paid cell phones in Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Minister though did not protest but he refused to endorse the decision. He was cricitised for allowing New Delhi to have its way. It is understood that he took up matter vociferously with Center but did not make public statements. Reason: failure to have got the ban revoked would have given an impression that it is New Delhi that reigns supreme in Kashmir. Arraigned as party along with Center, the government did not appear before the Supreme Court which heard a petition challenging ban. Ban was eventually revoked. The only statement coming in from Chief Minister is that 'our views stand vindicated'.

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What is Omar's style? Keen observers of state politics and governance are of opinion that Omar's not developing a style statement or a characteristic stamp of his own is perhaps his achievement of the year. It sounds ludicrous but the opinion has a merit. Studded with lethal mines, it is the political field of Jammu and Kashmir which demands caution as key survival instinct. Those who breached the lines of caution, including the tallest leader of state Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, were taken unaware by the pull downs leading to years of political instability. Jammu and Kashmir can't afford more eras of instability judged but in case of Jammu and Kashmir conflict management becomes the most important factor for understanding leadership. Omar Abdullah is seen moving steadily and perhaps deliberately not too fast as there might come sudden brakes in the way. Taking care of coalition sensitivities, he appears to have given a free hand to his Ministers and at the same time there is a direct tab at the bureaucratic machinery monitored from his office. This reflects that giving free hand to Ministers does not mean that everyone has a field day. Interventions are being made without causing any irritation which is there has not been any report of dissent in any of the Cabinet meetings held across 2009. It is remarkable for the coalition particularly when viewed in contexts of Congress Ministers fighting it out and then walking out of Cabinet meetings chaired by then Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and the PDP members boycotting for months meetings headed by Ghulam Nabi Azad. Sanctity of decisions taken in such meetings always remained questionable. The bureaucracy would get divided between pro-PDP and pro-

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Congress loyalties and people K E Y I N D I C A T O R S openly called top officers as CORRUPTION PDP men and Congress men. At Ø Corruption is one of the most serious least for first year in office challenges of governance in Jammu and Kashmir. A Omar has been able to avoid day before he was sworn in as Chief Minister, Omar such a scenario as priority is said that he does not intend to launch a big bang antiseemingly being accorded to corruption will try to cleanse the system through system and not persons or proper mechanism. In public knowledge this party. Few months back at a remained an unattended area across 2009. party convention of National Apparently, the Chief Minister has learnt few Conference in a constituency lessons from his predecessors –Ghulam Nabi Azad represented in assembly by and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. The big talk had opposition Peoples Democratic proved hollow as officers caught by Mufti was Party, refused to drop signals to reinstated by Azad and those fired by Azad were the local administration for accommodated in PDP –one of them is now a according priority to recommember of the House of Elders. No big talk and no mendations of his party-men big fishes caught in Omar regime. In 2009, 61 FIRs there. It was a huge embarrasswere registered against 122 Government officials ment and disappointment for including 41 Gazetted Officers. 40 cases were the local party cadres as they challaned against 192 public servants including 54 had insisted in the public meet- Gazetted Officers. Besides, 73 joint surprise checks ing that administration be were also conducted and in 105 preliminary directed on taking them on enquiries regular departmental action was board in certain matters. recommended. Omar is reported to have Ø EMPLOYMENT said: “administration is An employment policy announced on birth required to follow him who has anniversary of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on won peoples' confidence in elec- December 5 has billed as highest initiative of the tions; he has won it is his time, government. This should have been possibly you win over next will be yours avoided. Instead of offering working allowances of time”. Chief Minister's under- Rs 500 to Rs 1100 to educated youth, the governstanding of political maneuver- ment should have considered on creating avenues ing by ruling party came as a by going in for infrastructure projects. Need was of shocker for the National Con- causing awareness on how much people should ference cadres and is being expect from government on jobs. mocked at in PDP circles. How- Ø DEVELOPMENT ever, on ground this lays sound The government has got huge funds but foundation of a system where spending is bit slowly. With just two months left for political interference is bare the current financial year to end, more than 50 per minimum in the delivery mech- cent of plan money is still unspent even as the Chief anism. The room for political Minister has taken a serious note and asked agencies competition coming in way of to expedite works. As on January 1, 2010, figures development process is mini- suggest that only 41% of the total plan money of Rs mized and the institution of 5500 Crores was spend leaving around Rs 3200 Crore still unutilized. Development mechanism election legislator stands tall. When found caught in dif- will have to be fastened to see that over Rs 40 Crore ficult circumstances like are spend over the months of February and March to Shopian fiasco, Omar has exhaust the plan money.

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often quipped that the only factor going against him is his age. Observers, however, at 40 believe that young age is Omar's biggest political advantage. Kashmir Chief Minister has to operate in a triangle that touches local ground, New Delhi's Kashmir desk and the international community. After all Kashmir is an international issue and it needs a leader who is able to stand for long at the pitch and deliver at conflict resolution when there is appropriate time. And 'appropriate time' is difficult to guess. It did not come in the lifetime of his grandfather Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah. The next most important leader to have made connection with peoples at grassroots, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has age running against him. So who is New Delhi's best bet in Kashmir and Kashmir's best bet at home and beyond boundaries –Omar, arguably? For delivery in the long run it needs patience, perseverance and a measured exuberance. The gentleman in office has been There have not been any ambitious able to maintain statements or press interviews in home three, so far. state or in national media on Kashmir Except for an issue. Interestingly, there is more of it in unexpectedly bold the Western media. The Sunday speech in presence Observer, the Guardian, the BBC, the of Prime Minister is Time or Newsweek International –pick South Kashmir in up any of them and it comes out that October 2009 and they have covered Omar Abdullah more occasional batting than any other leader struggling in the for the peace proconflict zones cess and accord of recognition to the separatists, Omar has not been making any big noises on who he wants Kashmir resolved and ties with Pakistan improved. There have not been any ambitious statements or press interviews in home state or in national media on these issues. Interestingly, there is more of it in the Western media. The Sunday Observer, the Guardian, the BBC, the Time or Newsweek International –pick up any of them and it comes out that they have covered Omar Abdullah more than any other leader in the conflict zones. And all the talk in Western press has been about conflict resolution in Kashmir simplifying before international community not only Indian perspective but also and more particularly that doable and pragmatic Kashmiri perspective. One year is too small a time to make a real difference in Jammu and Kashmir. Omar Abdullah has not made any big difference that breaks the precedence but his steady moves in key areas reflect that he is not a man in hurry.

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Vol. 4, Issue 2

K E Y

I N D I C A T O R S

Once works are paced up, it is a big infrastructure boom across the state. The outlay under the 11th Five Year Plan at Rs. 25,833 crore is 78 percent more than the 10th Plan allocation. Similarly for the current financial year, state has the highest ever annual plan outlay of Rs. 5500 crore, another Rs. 1200 crore under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan and Rs. 220 crore as “counter-part share” to enable the State Government to raise a matching loan from the Asian Development Bank. The State Government, which has the access to over Rs. 1800 crore of funding under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, enjoys the challenging opportunity of delivering a capital expenditure of Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10,000 crore during the current financial year. Ø RESIGNATION When PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig dragged his name in infamous Srinagar sleaze racket, Omar took high moral ground and resigned. Resignation was, though, rejected by Governor. Keenly watched across the country, his step was widely appreciated. Credit goes to Muzaffar for introducing political Omar to the people but Chief Minister could have proved his point without resignation. Ø OFFICE MANAGEMENT In running the Chief Minister's secretariat Omar appears to be doing quite reverse of what his father Farooq Abdullah would do as Chief Minister. The inaccessible and heavily guarded Chief Minister's secretariat is seen crowded with visitors every afternoon of working days. This rush, however, pours into the room of Omar's Political Advisor Devinder Singh Rana. He has critics in party and elsewhere for rising to power but in the hindsight it is his office which keeps Chief Minister connected with the people. There are no scopes for bureaucratic communication gaps. CM gets time to concentrate on files and proposals and visitors return home happily after having instructions passed on concerned quarters directly from CM Secretariat. Principal Secretary Khurshid Ganai is known for high performance and low profile. Private Secretary Asghar Hussain, groomed by Ganai in General Administration Department, is an open door always-standing-lad giving every visitor a feel of respect and honour. Except for Rana, it is a typically 9-5 work culture.

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Finance abdul rahim rather Minister of State: Dr Manohar Lal Sharma

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inance department is nothing new to Abdul Rahim Rather as he held this department thrice earlier and presented budget for record nine times. In his fresh term, he delayed presenting budget by around five months for understanding the existing scheme of things and having an idea of what was available from Center. The 2009-10 budget was still path-breaking in many forms even as the first budget of his present term appeared as a beginning for well planned development of state as a single budget can't be the panacea for all the problems of the state. Rather had a high profile predecessor (also successor of his last term as Finance Minister) Muzaffar Hussain Baig and, therefore, he dispelled some of the growth myths before setting targets for his own performance. Eight months after he took over as Finance Minister, Rather said in August that state's economy grew faster during NC regime between 1996-2002 and drastically slowed down afterwards. He said the Gross State's Domestic Product, (GSDP) at current price during the year 2001-02 was at Rs. 18039 crores and in the year 2007-08 it was Rs. 31793 crore registering an annual growth rate of 10.89 % while as, in 1996-97 GSDP at current price was Rs. 9124.34 crore which swelled up Rs. 18039. 35 crore in 2001-02 thereby registering annual growth of 16.28%. Likewise GSDP at constant price in the year 2001-02 was Rs. 16530 crore which swelled to Rs. 23060 crore and in 2007-08 thus registering annual growth of 5.64% only and on the contrary in 1996-97 GSDP at constant price was Rs. 7327.40 crore which swelled up to 16530.81 crore thus registering annual growth of 20.93%. During the period 2001-02 to 2007-08, 5.54 percent growth rate was experienced by NSDP while during the year 1996-97 to 200102 the NSDP grew by 20 percent. He said growth in per capita income for the year 2001-2007 was mere 3.95 percent while during period of 1997 to 2002 it was 16.25%. He said that revenue of the state during the period of 2001-02 to 2008-09 increased only by 23.54 percent while as it increased by 34.48 percent during 1996-97 to 2001-02. Having explained that, one year is too short a time to judge overall performance of the Finance Minister as he claims that ball has been set rolling for growth. www.epilogue.in

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PAY REVISION : Employees given salaries under revised pay scales of 6th pay commission from July 2009 entailing a whopping annual expenditure of Rs. 1600 crore. Arrears of the employees accruing thereof from January 1, 2006 amounting to Rs. 4300 crore to be paid subject to availability of matching finances. ALLOWANCES : Fulfilled demand of regularization of contractual, adhoc and consolidated employees and enhanced temporary move allowance in favor of secretariat employees from Rs. 550 to 650 per month from August 2009. Released 7% DA from July 2008 involving an amount of Rs. 519 crore to the employees and another 6% DA installment with financial implication of Rs. 343 crore, also released. FRESH TAXES : Fresh taxes were imposed on petrol and diesel even as J&K still has lowest rate of cess on the commodity as all other states of India have higher rate of cess on petrol. Tax on poultry increased only to promote local poultry production as a long time measure to reduce dependence on poultry import. KEY SPENDING AREAS : Enhanced the plan allocation of agriculture sector by 30% realizing its importance in the state economy. Allocation for irrigation sector increased by 100%. Process set in motion for revival of sick industrial units as a part of industrial promotion measure and employment generation. AUSTERITY MEASURES : A slew of austerity measures proposed in December to cost the costs of running the government. Strong measures also proposed for curbing malpractices in execution of development works like. “Works without tenders would be curbed with iron hands to ensure judicious use of resources”, said Rather. RURAL THRUST : Full funds were released to the backward areas in April 2009 to utilize the funds in full. The provision of special funds for the development of the backward areas has also been made in the budget and special incentives have been provided for doctors serving in these areas. HONOURING BILLS : System of performance review of treasuries restored. This used to be a regular feature till 2003 when the then Finance Minister abandoned the practice. Rather gets unusually touchy when bills are bounced at the treasuries but this still happens. The treasury officers have, however, been strictly asked to not retain any bill for more than 48 hours MEDICO CRISIS : Offered relief to Medical Education Minister RS Chib by resolving the salary and grade issue of Junior Doctors who had gone on strike for three weeks in October 2009. Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma and CM's Political Advisor Devinder Singh Rana coordinated the efforts TAX COLLECTION : VAT collections in Jammu Division register an increase of 34.73% by ending October 2009 over the VAT collections of the corresponding period of the previous year. The General Sales Tax has grown by 26.59% whereas the collections under Passenger Tax has registered a growth of 21.57 % and Motor Spirit by 19.71% by ending October 2009 as compared to the tax collections of the corresponding period. As against a cumulative tax collection of Rs.80394.75 lac by ending October 2008 the tax collections by the end of October 2009 have gone up to Rs.95340.676 lac thus registering an overall growth percentage of 18.59% www.epilogue.in

Vol. 4, Issue 2

WHAT IS STRUCK s No significant measures on bail out of

State Finance Corporation which is neck deep in losses s Lakhanpur Toll Plaza; the Minister had himself fixed completion target for December 2009 but it is still nowhere near completion. s No major initiatives on kicking off economic growth. There have been suggestions for working out new power projects s Employees are, almost, as unhappy with government as they were last year. HIS PLEAS TO DELHI of purchase tax that was presently resulting in export of tax from producing States to the consuming states like Jammu and Kashmir. s One year moratorium on payment of loans to protect carpet manufacturing sector that has received a crushing blow due to global meltdown. Urging the Commercial Banks to permit moratorium on payment of loans and charge nominal interest for one year. s Extension of Central Excise Duty package in its original form for a further period of ten years s Abolition

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ather was initially given the departments of Finance, Planning, Development, Law & Parliamentary Affairs and Ladakh Affairs. Few months later, the Chief Minister took away the Planning and Development Department to his office and diverted Law and Parliamentary Affairs to Rural Development Minister Ali Mohammad Sagar. Initially the grapevine in political circles suggested that Chief Minister wanted to unburden Rather so as to avail his time for advise on key issues on governance. Later it turned out that Omar and Rather have rarely been meeting. Epilogue, February 2010


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Housing & Urban Development tara chand

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ammu and Kashmir's Minister of Housing and Urban Development has too much to manage –vast lakes of Kashmir, over crowded twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu, fast upcoming townships, development authorities and housing boards. It is a pretty difficult task but the incumbent Minister has some added priorities also for which the Housing and Urban Development departments have been seen wanting for attention it deserves. He is also the Deputy Chief Minister and runs a lobby of the Congress in absence of the faction head Ghulam Nabi Azad. In fact most of the Congress Ministers owe their allegiance to Ghulam Nabi Azad but Tara Chand remains his key representative. Therefore, his first year in office was marked by political activities, mostly in rural and semi-urban areas, to counter Azad's bête noire and State Congress president Saifuddin Soz. It goes without any exaggeration that Tara Chand was watched by the people more for the manner in which he runs the counter-Soz lobby and not how his Ministry is being run. In one year, three administrative secretaries were changed reflecting a lack of chemistry between his office and the executing agency. His energies apparently remained focused on his own electoral constituency and the areas represented by the Congress leaders belonging to a particular camp. For flauting the status of Deputy Chief Minister he divided his time in reviewing functioning of other departments and inspection of projects outside the purview of Housing and Urban Development departments. Legislation for full empowerment and transfer of more responsibilities to the urban local bodies is awaited. Removal of polythene from the urban areas marked the single biggest initiative of the department across 2009 but before end of 2009, the polybags had resurfaced to almost their pre-ban quantity. Hardly a month is left for the present term of elected urban local bodies to expire but a plan for fresh elections is yet to be finalized. In this connection, a meeting of concerned officers on December 15 is yet to be followed up. After information obtained under the Right to Information Act, a national Television News Channel recently aired documentary claiming that more than Rs 150Cr were wasted in Dal Lake Conservation project. The Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, instead of clarifying the position –accepting facts or denying them –asked the channel to identify officers responsible for 'scam'. The meek response suggested there was, in fact, a scam.

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H I G H L I G H T S Ø A whooping Rs 125.3 crore were sanctioned

for taking up 66 projects across the state, under the flagship Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT). The Centrally sponsored scheme, envisages augmentation of potable water in urban localities, provisions for solid waste management, improvement of drainage and sewerage and slum development. Ø There are about 11,000 families comprising of about 60,000 souls settled inside the lake who have proprietary rights over the land and structures there. For their rehabilitation under Dal conservation project a major chunk of land has been identified at about 8 kms from Srinagar city. Ø Permission out on hold for raising Private Housing Colonies till required byelaws are framed. The step has been taken to check unplanned expansion of Private Housing Colonies in various parts of the state. Ø To ensure smooth implementation of development schemes in city and towns, coordination committees at the district and provisional committees have been formulated under the chairmanship of respective Divisional Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners for coordinating execution of works. Ø 25 towns of the state brought under Integrated Housing Slum Development Programme (IHSDP) at a cost of Rs. 85.20 crore. About 5176 dwelling units would be constructed under the programme. WHAT IS STRUCK ? Reorganisation Municipal Corporations of Jammu and Srinagar is long awaited. With the creation of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) & Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) total area under them has increased manifolds necessitating increasing the capacities of the two municipal corporations. There has been a strong need for re-organization of entire administrative set up to bring more efficiency in their working. No major step seen in this direction. ? Lack of a proper policy on inter-departmental synergy in execution of urban facilities. One department does not know what other is doing which has caused a mess in the Capital Cities. Roads remain dug across the year while departments pass the buck. www.epilogue.in

Hajj & Auqaf, Fisheries ajaz ahmed khan

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Minister of State since January 2003, Ajaz Ahmed Khan has been a favourite of Chief Ministers Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Ghulam Nabi Azad. There is no favourite list for Omar, but Ajaz reportedly maintains the chemistry. The departments he holds independent charge of –Hajj & Auqaf and Fisheries – don't offer much to do but he trying to perform his level best. Almost every weekend he is seen at fish farms in the regions for reality checks and discussing ideas with farmers and officials for making fish farming a pursuit of profitable economic activity. He has called for convergence of fisheries development programmes in districts with schemes like Prime Ministers Reconstruction Plan, National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme, Rshtriya Krishi Vigyan Yojna and asked the District officers of Fisheries Department to synchronise the same with departments of Agriculture, Horticulture and Rural Development. Under PMRP 481 fish farms were set up in the State and 21 more are being developed Hajj and Auqaf departments are not budgeted but perhaps for first time the Minister has initiated a process of accountability. He has directed all the Wakf bodies to prepare Balance Sheets of their earnings and spending and get their accounts professionally audited. Wakf bodies have been told to shift to budgeted mode of earning and spending and get their accounts checked and audited by professional accountants. He directed the heads of Wakf bodies to prepare the budgets of their organizations and get the same approved by the Wakf Council before the start of the financial year. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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Rural Development ali mohammad sagar Minister of State: Ajaz Ahmed Khan

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li Mohammad Sagar is perhaps one such Minister who registered lowest attendance in the Civil Secretariat across 2009. On the positive side, the Minister spent most of the time where his department is actually at work –the rural Jammu and Kashmir. Reports suggest that Sagar visited 20 of the all 22 districts in 12 months and during the meetings and spot visits he had the local legislators along, irrespective of the party affiliations. Participation of the local legislators in all matters pertaining to rural development was perhaps the biggest change Ali Mohammad Sagar made during the year even as lot needs to be done in his department which suffered huge controversies and scams at the hands of his predecessors. The Rural Development Minister promises that 2,000 new panchayat ghars would be constructed under 13th Finance Commission Award. Under Border Area Development Projects (BADP) he has got a special scheme has been earmarked for development of model villages with an expenditure cost of Rs. 3 crore on each village as compared to existing Rs. 1.20 crore. Under NREGA an amount of Rs. 86.89 crore has been spent during 2008-09 and total expenditure is expected to cross Rs. 200 crore during 2009-10. Similarly, 350 persons have been employed as the technical staff to oversee effective implementation of the scheme and 12000 people are likely to be appointed under the technical supports of head of the scheme. 30,000 households would be provided necessary assistance under Indira Awas Yojna and in this regard, he says, care would be taken so that genuine persons would get the benefits. Similarly, under Total Sanitation Campaign 1.25lakh household are being covered. www.epilogue.in

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H I G H L I G H T S EARS TO GROUND : Minister's tour calendar suggests he

Tourism

spent more time touring across rural areas than sitting back in office. Touring involved meetings with department officers at

nawang rigzin jora Minister of State: Nasir Aslam Wani

district headquarters in presence of concerned Legislators. This have Legislators a sense of participation and the Minister could get real-time feedback on work being done on the ground. BIT OF TRANSPARENCY

: For want of much needed

transparency, department's performance review meetings held in presence of Legislators from rural areas. Officers to told to take opinions of Legislators on board in implementation of schemes in their areas. Sagar said that the legislators should function as nodal agencies between the people and the department and in this regard they should furnish a time-bound report about the status of various schemes. “by doing so you would be contributing in ensuring that these flagship schemes which come forth due to the efforts of their counterparts in Parliament reach their targeted audience and help in generation of employment and poverty alleviation in rural areas and catchment areas of various towns”. Around ten such meetings held. CHANGE IN OFFING : 53 model villages are nearing completion in the valley in which, 55 shopping complexes,51 children's parks,115.49 Kilometers of rural roads,60 passenger sheds, 322 crossing culverts,20 play grounds, 762 solar lights,45 regional information centers and 423 sanitation points have been completed during this fiscal. NREGA WAGES HIKED : Wages under NREGA hiked from Rs 70 to Rs 110. New wage rate for remuneration under NREGA got cleared from the Central Government and new wages have been effective from August 2009.

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agar's trademark political aggression was seen missing in the first year of his present term. Between 1996 and 2002 (earlier as Minister of State for Home and then as Cabinet Minister for Works) he was the most aggressive face of Farooq Abdullah government and bureaucrats would think twice before calling on him. CM Omar Abdullah was seen generous to Sagar particularly when Law and Parliamentary Affairs Department was handed over to him in July. His speeches during the countryside visits remained as fiery as usual but syllable was on party and not in the name of leaders. www.epilogue.in

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f many complaints of regional discrimination in Jammu and Ladakh, the one most important is about tourism development. There are places of splendid scenic beauty, adventure and heritage importance in Jammu and Ladakh but matching infrastructure could not come up over the years keeping the tourists away and depriving locals of economic benefits. That Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora undertook a whirlwind tour across Jammu region in the sweltering summer of 2009, underlining his commitment to bring up the tourism infrastructure. An added concentration on Jammu and Ladakh does not mean that Kashmir Valley –the epicenter of tourism activity –was ignored in any manner. In his first meeting with officers of department, Jora set into motion process for identification of new tourism locations in remote and hilly areas. He called for innovative ideas and plans for sprucing up tourist destinations of the State so that a time-bound strategy would be evolved for their development. Key focus remained on development of 12 Tourism Development Authorities under Prime Minister's Reconstruction Programme at a cost of Rs 240 crore. Under the Circuit Development Programme, three Tourist Circuits, which include Jammu-Lakhanpur-BasohliBani-Sarthal Circuit, Bhadarwah-Kishtwar-SimthanSrinagar and Jammu-Rajouri Circuits also some progress in the year besides, development works on seven more Tourist Development Authorities under State sector. The Minister claims that he is pursuing agenda for reclaiming 1989 position of tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir when state was arguably the most favourite destination of country.

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Ø Despite provision of funds, Patnitop ropeway project had been hanging for clearance for years. The matter was attended

to at priority for forwarded to Central Empowerment Committee for necessary approval. Ø Project formulated to introduce hover rafting over Tawi River for attracting the pilgrim tourists visiting Mata Vaishno

Devi shrine Ø In a major move to boost tourism in Ladakh region, approval obtained from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of

India, relaxing the Protected Area Permit Regime (PAPR) enabling foreign tourists to visit Turtuk village in Nubra valley, situated on the famous Silk Route. Opening of Turtuk area for foreign tourists places Nubra valley prominently on the world tourism map. The number of tourists visiting the region has touched 75, 000 from the modest figure of 500 in 1974, when Ladakh was opened for tourism and the tourist season which used to be confined to July-August, now extends from May till end of October. Ø The 18 hole Sidhra golf course in Jammu, spread over 1400 kanals of land, being developed at an estimated cost of Rs. 44

crore up for tee off in coming March. In the first phase, the 9 hole golf course is almost ready. Ø The year 2010 has been declared as J&K visit year at International level to showcase State's varied tourism potential at the

global level. Ø A motor rally to kick start tourism promotion in Rajouri and Poonch districts being organized this year adding that the

banner of the campaign would be “In the footsteps of Mughals”. Under the campaign all heritage places of Mughal period including Mughal Sarai and Noori Chamb would be showcased in an organized manner. Ø Aero sports is being introduced in Surinsar and Kishtwar in Jammu in a big way owing to great potential for it in these

areas. Adventure tourism like river rafting and para-gliding coming up in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah, water sports clubs would be set up in Dul Hasti and Pull Doda.

ARRIVAL STATISTICS ? An impressive number of 4,75,505 tourists, including 23,636 foreign tourists visited Kashmir in 2009. Ambassadors and High Commissioners 22 countries participated in a golf tournament in Srinagar showcasing Kashmir as destination which is still favourite among international tourists. ? Also arrived in the Valley, Accordingly, the number of pilgrims coming to Mata Vaishno Devi surpassed all previous records by reaching 76.57 lac. While, ? 78,573 tourists visited Ladakh during 2009 ? 3,92,774 pilgrims paid obeisance at Amarnathji Shrine while 76 lakh pilgrims visited the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine. www.epilogue.in

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Cooperatives

School Education

dr manohar lal sharma

peerzada mohammad sayeed

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irst time in several decades, the Cooperatives Department has got a full time Minister and Dr Manohar Lal Sharma has pain in his heart for reviving this people's movement. But rot in the department is too deep to be removed in a year's time. However, the performance with element of some will and determination was discernible particularly when he moved after the Jammu based Citizen's Cooperative Bank. Soon after Manohar took charge of Cooperative Department, the bank management put a fleet of cars at his disposal. Smelling fish, not only he returned cars but also put bank on watch list. Scrutiny of records suggested embezzlem ent. Bank manageme nt was sacked and temporary charge taken over by government. Innovative measures have been initiated in cooperative sector to revive the movement and make the societies viable and profitable. Steps are also a foot to strengthen the functioning of various apex cooperative societies and improve their economic health. A proposal has been sent to the Central Government for revival of Cooperative Societies in the State www.epilogue.in

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midst suggestion for privatization, School Education department continues to remain in the eye of storm for poor results in government schools, lack of infrastructure and non-availability of teachers despite a modest strength. There are 11181 schools –primary, middle, high and higher secondary –managed by the Department of School Education with sanctioned staff strength of 32021. 28337 staff members are on registers which shows a shortfall of 3684 but the actual situation is different. Thousands of teachers remain on attachment under political considerations, security certificates or court stays even as the department came up with a comprehensive transfer policy. Lack of a strict legislation is making things difficult. The new transfer policy has come as a welcome step but the imminent need is to first detach the teachers enjoying urban postings to their original places of posting in rural areas. Jammu and Kashmir tops list of those states where teaching in a large number of schools, especially in rural areas, suffered because of shortage of teaching staff. In the rural belts in the state there were not more than two teachers in primary schools and three to five in Middle schools. This is an outcome of attachments. The department is always found on the back-foot on releasing a list of school-wise vacancies and list of teachers enjoying attachments with political influences. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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H I G H L I G H T S Ø Under Rehbr-e-Taleem scheme,

5301 teachers regularized. Ø 94 posts of Principals, 1316 posts of

Lecturers, 43 Headmasters, 129 Masters, 86 Teachers and 1813 posts of various categories of non teaching staff created in School Education Department for upgraded schools;141 (10+2) Lecturers appointed; 200 posts of Lecturers for 5th subject (viz Computer Science/IT, Bio-Chemistry, Functional English, Environment Science & Bio-Technology) created for Higher Secondary Schools. Ø Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan 620

EGS centers redeployed for providing educational facilities to habitations without schools; 43 KGBVs made functional/ operational. Ø 169 primary school and 53 upper pri-

mary school buildings constructed; 653 primary schools being upgraded to middle schools.

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SCHOOLS WITHOUT BUILDINGS Rajouri Baramulla Anantnag Kupwara Badgam Kathua Kishtwar Kulgam Srinagar Ramban Bandipora

580 538 508 498 488 452 341 314 285 280 268

Pulwama Ganderbal Shopian Kargil Poonch Jammu Doda Reasi Udhampur Leh Samba

240 147 105 104 84 71 61 18 18 10 2

WHAT IS STRUCK ? Despite liberal central funding, the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is not showing desired results as hundreds of schools under the scheme are reported shut for lack of an accountable mechanism. Same is the case Rashtriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan targeting the middle classes ? Elementary Teachers Training institutes still remain a notorious nexus between officials, ambitious education entrepreneurs and agents. No comprehensive policy for permissions, admissions or examinations in place. ? New education schemes supported by the Government of India envisage education at the doorsteps. However, in Jammu and Kashmir, most of the Higher Secondary Schools are still at a distance of 20 kilometers, high schools at 15 kilometers and primary schools are 5 kilometers. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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CA& PD and Transport Qamar ali akhoon Minister of State: Shabir Ahmed Khan

One of the highest points in the CA&PD departments was arguably the lifting of ban on export of Basmati paddy on August 31, 2009. The ban was imposed in April 2008 apparently under influence of non-state farm traders. Akhoon made this announcement two days after as many as 24 MLAs raised this strongly in Legislative Assembly. The quality of Basmati of Jammu is rated among the best in the country. The ban was found to be anti-farmers as they were made to sell the Paddy to the shellers within the state. Nearly 32, 000 hectares of land in Jammu is presently under cultivation of Paddy (Basmati) and the average yield per hectare is about 27 to 29 quintals. The expenditure incurred on cultivation of Paddy (Basmati) per kanal is assessed at Rs. 1200 whereas the Paddy is being sold within the state at rate ranging from Rs. 1500 to Rs. 1800. It used to be sold at a price ranging from 2500 to 3000 per quintal in the absence of ban on export of Basmati. The government felt concerned over the substantial loss being caused to the farmers on account of the ban and accordingly, it felt that continuation of this ban would be detrimental to the interest of farming community. With a view to giving a fair deal to the farming community of their precious produces, the government has lifted the ban. Akhoon said that this progressive decision of the state government will benefit about 35, 000 to 36, 000 farming families, mostly cultivating in Jammu district. www.epilogue.in

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ithout a bias or prejudice, CA&PD and Transport Minister Qamar Ali Akhoon can be rated as one of the best performers of 2009 in Omar Abdullah Ministry. Assiduously and deliberately keeping himself away from party politics and media glare, he went down touching ground at food grain outlet level in both rural and urban areas. His was a system of discreet raids followed by actions. In nearly five months he raised almost 60 CA&PD outlets and returned dissatisfied from every shop. A part of action –cancellation of licenses –was taken during raids and another part –suspension of officials –followed up in secretariat. Pilferage of poor man's food grains, however, could not be stopped fully. The rot is too deep. Sincerity of efforts was seen in saving the public money by keeping private truckers away from ration supply system. The Minister's report card suffers major blow for almost collapsed Road Transport Corporation. Peace was brokered with RTC employees and their strike called off but no concrete measures yet in sight for revival of sick corporation.

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H I G H L I G H T S A strong nexus between CA&PD department and truckers has eaten into vitals of the state owned Transport Corporation for years. In August 2009, department took a daring decision to dispense with hiring of private trucks for carriage of CA&PD food grains from district headquarters to the different parts of the district or adjoining district. As per the new system put in place only SRTC trucks or private trucks engaged by SRTC are being used by the department of CA&PD to carry PDS food grains.

Roads & Buildings g.m saroori Minister of State: Javed Ahmed Dar

Within a week after assuming charge of department, a system of daily monitoring of rates of essential commodities, checking and monitoring of rate lists on the government sale outlets as well as fair price shops put in place. Bare minimum level of transfers and postings in Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution department ensured. The department was earlier known as a transfer industry where officers would manage key postings for considerations.

WHAT IS STRUCK ? A comprehensive survey of Below Poverty Lines families is yet to tabulate a final report. Therefore, there is ample room for pilferage of food grains meant for the poor. s Who is responsible for ensuring road safety? Perhaps none in Jammu and Kashmir. Traffic department blames Transport department vice versa. Over 1000 persons were killed in road accidents during 2009 –nearly three times higher than those killed in militancy. s The City transport system both in Capital Cities of Jammu and Srinagar is literally mad and it is getting worst. A comprehensive City Transport Policy is still awaited even as process was mooted in October 2009.

HIS PLEAS TO DELHI In view of 100% off-take, pressure on the PDS and limited allocation of food grain from Government of India, the Department is able to provide ration at the minimum level of 35 Kg per RT. In far flung areas, the availability has been enhanced to 50 Kg. The monthly requirement of the food grains of the State at the State Scale is 1.31 lakh MTs against allocation of 63,067 MTs received from Government of India. Matter is being pursued with Central Government for providing additional quota to overcome the deficiency in meeting the growing demand of food grains in J&K. www.epilogue.in

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ey projects are running behind schedule and dozens of more ambitious are being launched. Even as the rural road connectivity still remains poor, the Minister has been seen focusing on connecting Jammu region with Kashmir. Mughal Road connecting twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch with Valley is nearing completion. New projects are VailooSinthantop road to connect Kishtwar with Kashmir Valley and Gulabgarh-Kulgam Road to connect Reasi district with Kashmir. Minister often took time off to inspect the construction projects on spot and over a dozen Engineers were suspended at different places for use of poor quality material or dereliction of duties, as complained by the locals.

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H I G H L I G H T S Ø Centrally funded 284 schemes for Jammu and

210 for Kashmir PMGSY, which will give road connectivity to 378 habitations in Jammu and 206 habitations in Kashmir divisions. This is for the first time that Centre approved a huge amount of Rs. 1463.20 crore projected for the State in 7th phase of PMGSY. Ø A massive plan is underway to construct

tunnels at Sudh Maha Dev, Razdan Pass , Simthan Vailoo, Zojala Pass to keep JammuKashmir-Ladakh regions connected round the year, particularly, during winter months.

What is underway ? Centrally sponsored Rs. 9000 crore schemes for four laning JammuSrinagar national highway, which would help in smooth traffic movement besides easing frequent traffic jams on the highway. The preliminary work of the project, which includes acquisition of land and forest clearance has almost all completed. The project of four laning of Jammu-Srinagar national highway has been divided into six phases: Qazigund-Banihal, Banihal-Ramban, Ramban-Nashri, Nashri-Chinani, Chanani-Uhdampur and Udhampur-Jammu. In all cases 80% of the land has been acquired so far. ? 9 Kmr Qazigund-Banhihal long tunnel would be constructed at a cost of Rs. 2400 cores. At Nashri-Chenani ,a 8.75 kms long tunnel would also be constructed at a cost of Rs. 2100 crore which on completion would reduce 60 Kms of travel distance , it was given out in the meeting

Ø Execution of 50 new roads to promote road

connectivity in the State under phase-7 of PMGSY. In addition, 2269 schemes taken up at a cost of Rs 2477.66 crore under State sector would be expeditiously completed. Ø 150 of 779 schemes approved under PMGSY at

a cost of Rs 2044.22 crore completed. Apart from this, 479 schemes costing Rs 1578.57 crore under phase-VII have been sent to the Centre for approval. Ø 9990 kms road length black-topped and

19854 kms roads being maintained by the R&B Department in the State. Ø Rs. 210 crore provided for macadamization of

roads in Jammu and Srinagar cities and other districts .116 trunk, lateral and inner roads in Srinagar city and 76 in Jammu city macadamized.

EUROPEAN ROAD TECHNOLOGY European Technology introduced for road construction works. To ensure durability and check early damages caused to the roads, particularly, in snow prone areas of the state, Soil Stablization Method on the pattern of European technology would be introduced for macadamizing roads, which would not only increase life cycle of the roads but also save Rs. 5 to 6 lacs per Km aproximately. Technology being applied on experimental basis at Hunjak-Durbal link road near Diyar Kadal in Budgam district. PROJECT CLEARANCE Plan formulated for finalizing the project within 30 days for conducting joint survey by Revenue, R&B and Forest officials, getting forest clearance, shifting of utilities, issuing and settling of tenders. He said for land compensation a sizeable amount has been kept at the disposal of District Development Commissioners of the districts.

POLITICAL TICKER

Ø 51 bridges, including major bridges like Gund

Roshan, Hari Ganiwan, Zuhama Kralwari, Bagh Nallah in Kathua, completed; 61 more bridges being completed by March, 2010; Rs. 120 crore earmarked for new flyover in Srinagar. Ø Out of 15 railway approach roads, 9 roads

stand macadamized during the current year. Ø Rs. 150 crore four-lane bridge coming up over

River Tawi at Belicharana.

www.epilogue.in

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aroori patronized a bit of political lobbying and focused more on the areas represented by Congress leaders owing allegiance to Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. At many places he announced road development funds at the funds of former legislators or other Congress leaders who are not members of any legislative house. After becoming Minister had a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi and called on at least two Union Ministers every month. On inspection tours to different districts, he never missed to convene political rallies highlighting the mission of his mentor Ghulam Nabi Azad and asserting that he is following his suit. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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Forests mian altaf ahmed

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he Forest Minister in present government enjoys a unique and rare privilege not available even to the first political family of the state the Abdullahs. Like Omar Abdullah, Mian Altaf Ahmed is third generation legislator from the family but he scores for no break from constituent assembly till date. Representing a widely followed spiritual lineage, his grandfather was a member of the Constituent Assembly, father, the revered Mian Bashir Ahmed was a legislator, once Minister also, between 1972 and 1987 when Altaf took over. Won four elections in row and remained Minister thice, Altaf's performance has remained exceptional and uncompromising but in present term there are bottlenecks. He assumed charge of the department rendered in complete functional disarray. Key thrust projects in Forest department are hanging fire for Center's approval and funding. Recently he took along three Members of Parliament to press the issue before Union Finance Minister for seeking clearance about of the ambitious multi-crore Participatory Watershed Management Project (PWMP) for J&K submitted to World Bank for funding. The PWMP project, a follow up project of IWDP-Hill-II, was submitted during the year 2006 with the objective to restore the productive potential of the J&K region by using cost effective treatment technologies with participatory approach. The Project would cover an area of 3, 14, 705 ha in 11 sub watersheds namely Kamhil (Kupwara), Sukhnag (Budgam), Sindh (Ganderbal), Lidder (Anantnag), Jehlum (Baramulla), Indus (Leh), Suru (Kargil), Ans (Rajouri), Tawi (Jammu/Udhampur), Manawar Tawi (Jammu), and Kuntwara (Doda). The aim of the project is to reverse the process of degradation of natural resource base in the treated areas and enhance productivity besides improving the livelihood of rural people and will cover 1.74 lakh households besides creating 45 lakh mandays in which around 2000 persons will get 7 years employment.

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key posts Ø A draft forest policy being formulated Ø A Forest officer of international repute Jagdish Kishwan brought back from central deputation to head the department as Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. Ø Pollution clearance for industrial units expedited. Officers of proven integrity moved to Pollution Control Board for honest management of affairs. Board told to clear requests within 21 days. Ø Task Forces constituted in Wildlife Department for controlling mananimal conflict and checking smuggling, poaching of wild animals www.epilogue.in

Vol. 4, Issue 2

WHAT IS STRUCK Due to inadequate staff strength there is rampant green felling and smuggling of forest produce. An organized mafia is operating in different parts of state which goes unchecked as there is no sufficient manpower. An organizational overhaul of the department is long overdue. The Minister has, however, emphasized the need for strengthening the department and asked the authorities to come up with detailed proposal for the expansion of the department, indicating the staff and infrastructure requirements along with financial implications as per the priority. Epilogue, February 2010


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Agriculture ghulam hassan mir Minister of State: Javed Ahmed Dar

LOSSES UNLIMITED J&K suffered losses to the tune of Rs. 406 crores in agriculture and Rs. 100 crore in horticulture due to continued dry spell and unfair weather during 2009. A considerable loss reported to major Kharief crops like Maize, pulses, vegetables, fodder, paddy, oil seeds etc. Maize crop has suffered about 50% damage, pulses 100% and paddy 20% due to water stress. Horticulture industry in the state too has suffered badly due to minimal rainfall and fruits like apple, cherry, pear and walnut have suffered maximum damage. The quantum of loss in Jammu province has been from 55% to 80% while in Kashmir about 20 to 30 % horticulture crop has been damaged. Though Kashmir Valley is not dependent on monsoon but western disturbances determine the normal cropping efficiency here. But this time there was a departure from this normal meteorological phenomenon which has resulted into a drought like situation. Water discharge in perennial sources of irrigation like rivers and canals has also declined due decrease in precipitation. As a result sowing of different crops and transplantation of paddy got delayed which would affect the crop yield. Consequent upon this loss the reduction in food grain production is estimated to be 4.5 lac tonnes which can further go up. Already the state receives 63067 MTs of food grains per month against the actual requirement of 1.31 lac MTs.

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or chronic policy failures, Agriculture Department could not see the kind of thrust it deserved. Despite an agrarian state, Jammu and Kashmir heavily depends on import of food grains. Continuous dry spell is though telling heavily on farm activity, farmers are also switching over to others means of economy and the agricultural land is being constantly encroached for commercial purposes. The Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Hassan Mir did make some efforts to check use of agricultural land but a comprehensive policy putting agriculture as priority sector is still awaited.

CORRECTIVE MEASURES A contingent cropping pattern as has been advised by the Agricultural Universities has been adapted to minimise the losses suffered and crops like Toria, Barseem, cabbage etc. are being cultivated due to shortage of water. Soil testing laboratories of the department are being strengthened for complete soil analysis like moisture content, nutrient analysis etc. www.epilogue.in

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WHAT IS STRUCK ? There is no end in sight to encroachment of farmland by the concrete jungles. A comprehensive agricultural policy backed with a suitable legislation is yet to come up to check the conversion of agricultural land into commercial fields. Of late, Agricultural department has got engaged with Revenue, Housing and Law departments for formulation of a policy.

? Instructions for local consumption of all locally produced silk cocoon to help

silk production and employment generation. More than 800 MT of silk cocoon is being produced in the State annually by which the farmers earn more than Rs. 8 crore. However, the raw production has been going out of state at paltry prices depriving growers of proper earning and artisans/entrepreneurs of raw material. The Minister has laid emphasis on local use of cocoon for its value added products for which he has directed the State Handloom Department and Corporation to extend complete support to the weavers. ? A pilot project launched for irrigation facilities to world famous Saffron fields

at Pampore. ? Kissan Mela's (festivals for farmers) revived after 13 years to improve the

awareness level among farming community. This involved participation of all the line departments and NGOs associated with agriculture promotion activities putting up their stalls at these melas and disseminate information about various schemes, incentives and objectives of individual departments. ? Sericulture sector prioritized for ameliorating socio-economic conditions of

the farming community dealing with mulberry cultivation and silk rearing through easy loans. Besides other advantages, under Mulberry Tree Plantation Scheme, through Zamindars on cluster basis, incentive being provided at the rate of Rs. 3500/- per for 300 saplings for raising mulberry plants in their proprietary land. ? Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana covering all sectors of agriculture introduced

for the first time; Rs.46.97 crore work plan sanctioned. ? Novel Health Insurance Scheme for female sericulture workers launched in

collaboration with ICICI Lombard. 5000 workers covered so far.

? As a populist measure 3000 Agriculture Graduates and Postgraduates were engaged by the previous government under Rehbr-e-Zirat scheme without provision of any such posts or availability of any suitable for them. This has become a major policy challenge for the present Minister. Despite hike in their remuneration from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 a month they are no strike asking for permanent absorption. Proposal for their regularization has been set moving in the department and this involves a financial implication of Rs 68 Crore. ? No concrete action on recovery of backlog of Rs. Two crores from the defaulter farmers of various rakhs in the v a l l e y. O ff i c i a l s w h o a l l e g e d l y embezzled receipts yet to be identified.

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early half of 72 Government Colleges managing student strength of around 70,000 are without proper infrastructure and staff and the government is going about 19 more Colleges. The Minister says that expansion is over and now is the time for consolidation. Abdul Ghani Malik has been able to visit 38 Colleges individually in both Kashmir and Jammu in six months for on-the-spot assessment but no major meetings were held on policy issues with top administrative hierarchy. Colleges were strictly told by the Minister and Commissioner Secretary Pramod Jain to come up with their websites and broadband facilities before December 2009. Not more than 10% of them have done that. www.epilogue.in

Vol. 4, Issue 2

H I G H L I G H T S Ø 414 posts of different categories created for

the newly established 18 Government Degree Colleges. Ø Government Degree College, Ganderbal

inaugurated; Construction of Degree College buildings at Budgam, Bandipora, Dooru, Sopore, Akhnoor, Hiranagar, R.S. Pura, Basohli and Thanamandi and Women College Kathua completed; work on 18 other upcoming colleges intensified. Ø Government Degree College, Gurez started.

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Industries & Commerce surjeet singh slathia

HIGHLIGHTS Ø 1197

Small Scale Industrial units registered during 2009 with estimated investment of Rs. 236.90 crore, creating employment for 7466 persons.

Ø 164 Large and medium

industrial units with estimated investment of Rs. 4192 crore and employment potential of 31,489 persons approved.

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he Minister for Industries and Commerce Surjeet Singh Slathia is apparently not happy with the department he has been allocated and therefore he spends most of his time in his constituency. Like Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla, his focus also remained on improvement of facilities, inaugurations of projects and launch of new projects in his own electoral constituency. No major policy initiative came up during 2009 for revival of sick industries or launch of new mega-industrial projects anywhere in the state. There is no report in public knowledge of any major industrial house coming in Jammu and Kashmir this year. A big ticket industrial policy launched by the Government in 2004 had gone haywire with industrialists violating the basic condition of providing 90% employment to the locals. Two years later when government tried crack whip on such industries availing slew of incentives and simultaneously violating the employment policy, the industrialists got the order stayed by High Court. No move could be made during 2009 to get this logjam cleared from the Courts. Stay on government order still remains. An estimated 17,681 permanent residents of J&K are employed in various industrial units.

Ø National Institute of

Fashion Technology (NIFT) sanctioned by Government of India and being established at Ompora Budgam on fast-track basis at an estimated cost of Rs. 70 crore. Ø Development of addi-

tional land of 950 kanals at an estimated cost of Rs. 20.20 crore at Khunmoh Phase-III undertaken. Ø Acquisition of 2850

kanals of land for Phase-III Industrial Growth Centre, Samba under process. www.epilogue.in

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Revenue & Relief raman bhalla Minister of state: Nasir Aslam Wani

H I G H L I G H T S Ø Sincere efforts were seen made on relief and

rehabilitation of the Kashmir Pandit migrants under Prime Minister's plan but no concrete results could be achieved. Even as the government claimed that nearly 2000 families applied for return to Valley but no follow-up. Announcement of 3000 jobs for migrants also did not see results as they wanted this rehabilitation plan to be de-linked from return to Valley. Ø Following recommendation of Prime

Minister's Working Group, land deficiency compensation hiked for refugees of 1947 from Rs 25000 to Rs 1.25 lakhs per family. Ø Massive promotion backlog cleared at the

level of Naib Tehsildars and Girdawars. Ø Emphasis laid on completion of settlement

operation and computerize the revenue record. Rs.15 Cr have been earmarked for all 257 Naibats for computerization of revenue records at Naibat level. An amount of Rs. 6 lakh being spent for each Naibat. He also stressed for construction of Patwarkhanas. Out of 82 tehsils settlement work underway in 39 tehsils of the state. Ø Deputy Commissioners asked to formulate

Disaster Management Plans with requirements, so that these are sent to Central government for financial assistance. Ø Powers delegated to the concerned Deputy

Commissioners, Divisional Commissioner and Finance Commissioner to clear land acquisition cases for developmental schemes adding that DCs would be empowered to clear land acquisition cases upto Rs 1 crore, Divisional Commissioners upto Rs 2 crore and Financial Commissioner upto Rs. 5 crore. www.epilogue.in

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evenue Department is considered as nerve center of almost all the government departments for purpose of records, clearances and compensation etc. in present times the added huge responsibility is also of management of the migrants and refugees. All this needs major policy initiatives and coordinated team work. Even as in a brief span of few months the present Revenue Minister Raman Bhalla established his identity for quick disposal of files but no major policy initiative was seen across year 2009. It was the Gandhinagar electoral constituency of Raman Bhalla in Jammu City where Revenue Minister remained most visible. In little over five months tenure, he had as many as 87 engagements in his own constituency –public meetings, inaugurating small projects, laying foundation stones of new projects etc. In public knowledge, only two major review meetings of the department were convened –one on October 9 chaired by the Chief Minister and other on October 30 chaired by the Revenue Minister. Within first month of taking over as Revenue Minister, Bhalla conducted a tour of almost of all district headquarters barring north Kashmir and Ladakh to review progress on departmental works. Breaking from the trademark sign of Revenue department, no frequent transfers were seen in the year even as the Minister earned accolades by clearing the promotion backlogs. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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Health sham lal sharma Minister of State : Javed Ahmed Dar

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he major challenge in the Health Department is deployment of doctors to the rural areas which could not get a focused attention in 2009 for lack of any strong policy measures. Within months after taking over as Health Minister Sham Lal Sharma showed determination to address rural healthcare issue by pulling out of hundreds of doctors from urban areas and posting them in the rural areas. However, in next few months most of them managed their postings

HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE 3428 health institutions comprising 14 District Hospitals/CHCs, 380 Primary health Centres, 238 Allopathic Dispensaries, 417 ISM Dispensaries, 1872 Sub Centres and 422 Medical Aid Centres are providing medicare facilities to the State. Record suggest that till January 2009, 110.94 lakh OPD and 4.47 lakh IPD patients have been treated in the health institutions of the State, he added. DEFICIENCY State needed 27 CHCs/Sub District Hospitals and 1687 Sub Centres. For construction of buildings for new institutions expenditure of Rs. 475 crore is involved. www.epilogue.in

back in the cities. Existing rules were also amended make it mandatory for new doctors of different categories to serve, at least, for 7 years in their respective areas but a long desired legislation for compulsory rural posting of doctors is awaited and no serious initiative was seen in this direction even as the government announced a slew of sops and incentives for doctors willing to spend tenures in the rural areas. Private practice of government doctors remains another serious policy challenge for which a determined initiative is yet to come. A crackdown was launched against illegal nursing homes and diagnostic centers but abandoned midway. In past few years healthcare infrastructure has seen massive expansion across the state but a over a dozen major hospitals and other specialty centers are yet to be operationalised for lack of medical equipments and staff thus rendering investment worth millions of rupees idle. Some sincere efforts were seen in strengthening monitoring mechanism on ground and making the healthcare administration accountable. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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H I G H L I G H T S Ø Process set in motion for formulation of

Draft Drug Policy for first time. Ø Remuneration of contractual doctors enhanced from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 16,000 per month and for paramedics to Rs. 9000 per month. Special incentives of Rs. 8000 and Rs. 4000 for doctors working in very difficult and difficult areas respectively. Ø Rs. 2,627 crore Health Infrastructure Development Plan formulated and sent to the Centre for approval. Ø Unani Medical College for Kashmir and Ayurvedic College for Jammu announced. Ø Rs. 76.50 crore action plan formulated for conservation, development and sustainable management of Medicinal Plants in the State. The main components of the action plan, which will be implemented in next four years, include conservation of medicinal plants, mass cultivation of Medicinal Plants, Processing and value addition, marketing. The action plan also focuses on supporting research institutions, programme management, capacity building and survey and studies regarding medicinal and aromatic plants, he added. Ø Selection of 468 new doctors made in different disciplines. The selection of these doctors has been made by the Public Service Commission on fast track basis to ensure full-fillment of the commitment of the Government to provide adequate manpower in hospitals. Ø Special funds been earmarked for each District Hospital to augment the equipment and other required facilities. 125 new ambulances added to existing fleet and acquired another 25 Critical Care Ambulances which will be deployed in every District Hospitals to augment the services. Ø 1200 posts of doctors and 2000 posts of health technocrats and para-medics have been cleared by the Finance Department. www.epilogue.in

Medical Education, Sports r s chib

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veteran politician with rich BIG DEAL RUNNING LATE and varied experiences, State-of-art Hospital coming up with Rajinder Singh Chib got a Government Medical College Jammu will unique yet bit uncomfortable house six Super Specialties of allocation of departments –Medical Neurology, Neurosurgery, Cardiology, Education, Technical Education Cardio thoracic and Vascular surgery, and Sports. Medical Education has Nephrology and Renal Transplant and traditionally been a part of Health Department and similarly Uro-surgery. It has been divided into Technical Education a part of three blocks with each block housing Higher Education Department. two Super Specialties. The hospital, With such staggering distribution it spread over an area of 45 kanals has a becomes difficult in management plinth area of 19668 sqm and ground of administrative system but the coverage of 17 percent. The ground Minister did not allow this floor will have all the OPDs with bottleneck to come in his way. separate reception for each wing and a While he laid an added emphasis consultant room, the first floor will on youth affairs and promotion of sports activities but first year in have the diagnostic services like CT office was seen marked with scan, MRI, X-Ray facilities etc, second efforts to get a foothold on floor will have wards, the third floor will Medical and Technical Education house ICU and CCU with 82 beds while Departments. At one point in time as the fourth floor will have a bank of it appeared that the Health six modular operation theatres. The Minister was left with very little to building will have a lower ground floor do. A lightening strike by the with an entry from the backside where junior medicos at both Medical Colleges and their associated different services like laundry, kitchen, hospitals was perhaps the lowest hospital management etc will be housed. point of the year. It could be resolved only after Chief Minister constituted a high level committee headed by the Finance Minister. WHAT IS STRUCK ? As if it has become a nationwide norm, the sports bodies continue to be heavily politicized with genuine sportspersons pushed to the wall. The sports department and youth affairs definitely got focus with a full time Minister at the helm of affairs but sports associations and organizations continue to complain of raw deal at the hands of council and department. A sports policy is the need for the hour for an organized focus as the Minister claims that he wants Jammu and Kashmir sportsmen to be better groomed than the Chinese. ? The Government of India sanctioned 18 new Polytechnic colleges for our State to improve the technical skill of students of the state with a provision of Rs.12.03 Crore for each college which have been targeted to be completed by the close of next financial year. However, land for these institutes is yet to be identified. ? Two AIIMS level super-specialty coming up at Jammu and Srinagar are running behind schedule. The facility at Jammu is situated little away from the main Medical College and construction of an express corridor is hanging fire. Without this direct link it will be a huge inconvenience. Vol. 4, Issue 2

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Social Welfare skina ittoo

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H I G H L I G H T S Ø 7,640 militancy victims covered under pension and other schemes

by the State Rehabilitation Council for militancy victims. Ø Two lakh Gujjar and Bakerwal students being provided Pre-Matric

scholarship. Ø Monthly pension worth Rs. 18.81 crore disbursed among 3.32 lac

old-age persons, widows and physically handicapped under Integrated Social Security Scheme. Ø Women Development Corporation provided term loans worth Rs

17.57 crore among 3,171 beneficiaries, besides Rs 29.41 lakh as educational loan among 35 beneficiaries. Ø 11,412 women have been acquainted with various vocational, skill

development and croft development trainings during the said period. Ø Corporation recovered about Rs 1.75 crore from loanees during first

three quarters of financial year 2009-10 and expects to recover another Rs 70 lakh from the beneficiaries. www.epilogue.in

Vol. 4, Issue 2

ocial Welfare Department is one such government agency which is directly connected with plight of the poor. An institutional sensitivity within the department for poor and needy is yet to emerge. Though the Minister, Sakina Ittoo, was seen overwhelmingly engaged with the peoples at grassroots but a structural overhaul still needs to be done. Most of the schemes in Social Welfare department is fully centrally funded but their full potential is not being harnessed on two accounts –the departments fail to sent the utilization certificates in time and fresh projections are not being properly made for fresh funding. An unholy nexus between department officials at district and tehsil level and the middlemen still prevails gobbling up the old age pensions and scholarships for the scheduled tribes and scheduled castes students. Same is the case with Anganwadi centers which are suffering from an institutional rot depriving the poor children of benefits of nutritious food. A comprehensive policy for accountability of Non-Governmental Organisations availing state or central funding is still awaited. The Minister has, however, taken the initiative by directing the NGOs to intimate the State Government before submitting projects to the Central Government so that State Social Welfare Department pursue and the same to secure early sanction from the union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India for approval. Epilogue, February 2010


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Ethnic Clashes

The Gujjar-Pahari Divide and Local Politics of Rajouri, Poonch AHMAD SHANNAS

In recent days newspapers in Jammu and Kashmir are seen replete with hate statements of Gujjars and Pahari speaking people against each other. Paharis are demanding their inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes and Gujjars are opposed to it. This clash is much beyond the ST status and has a lot to do with the socio-political structure of the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu province

F

or the last couple of years we have been witnessing a strong campaign going on in the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch for accord of Scheduled Tribe status to the Pahari speaking people of region on the basis of parity and equality with the people of Gujjar and Bakarwal tribe who have already been in the ST since 1990. Any individual or a segment of society nursing a grievance of neglect and unjust treatment has got every right to voice concern about it and demand justice from the Governmentt. The Pahari people or, precisely, the Pahari speaking people of Rajouri and Poonch districts have also got an undisputed right to give vent to their feelings, if they have a genuine grievance and put forth any demand which may help ameliorate their quality of life. Paradoxically, in case of Pahari campaign there has been built - in element of opposition because focal point of this campaign has been a controversial argument that inclusion of Gujjars and Bakereals in list of Scheduled Tribes was not justified but a politically motivated decision. In view of distinctive character of Pahari campaign that it originated from

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Rajouri-Poonch, remained all through 'Rajouri-Poonch centric', did not spread t o o t h e r l a r g e r Pa h a r i a r e a s , notwithstanding broader connotations of word Pahari, and ultimately turned out to be an exclusive issue of Pahari speaking people of Rajouri-Poonch or Uri in (Baramulla district), Karnah in (Kupwara district), it was none other than the local Scheduled Tribe population of Rajouri- Poonch who had to bear the brunt of emotional outburst of this campaign. Therefore, whatever opposition or counter- opposition the high voltage Pahari campaign had, should be taken as its natural share. However, it would be an oversimplification to say that what is holding back the grant of Scheduled Tribe Status to Pahari speaking people is the opposition or resistance being put up by their opponents, while fact of the matter is that their opponents have not been able to stall even once the recommendations of successive State Governments to Government of India for their inclusion in ST list. But this is not all about it. There is something more to the issue than what it meets the eyes. The question still remains that why this demand has come

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to be seen with suspicion, causing fear and anxiety among the Scheduled Tribe population of Rajouri- Poonch? How to explain the phobic attitude of the people on both sides which is perceptible in every case and counter case, move and counter move? These are the questions, which must be pricking the mind of many people especially younger generation of the area who do not know about the local history, ethos and psyche of the people as much as their elders do. These questions can be better answered when we look at the psychological or psychoPolitical aspect of the issue. The genesis of the problem can be traced in the history of Rajouri- Poonch which has seen a society awfully divided on sectarian lines, troubled with interclass conflicts where conservative mindset and dogmatic attitude has been in collusion with the new social order leading to an unending tug of war for political supremacy between two major segments of population consisting of Gujjar and the non- Gujjars. Over the period of time people on both sides have developed a strong tendency of negative polarity, which has always been used by some people with political motives as a tool to unite their flock

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over the issues touching their emotions and egoistic feelings. With the result if one section of society happens to get a favour or benefit it is taken by the other section as if a political goal has been scored by their opponents over them, hence every action has an equal and opposite reaction in true sense of Newton's Law of Motion. Since Gujjars and Bakarwals as the entire community throughout J&K State were granted Scheduled Tribe status the position would have been entirely different had the demand for parity come from any of the parts of J&K State other than Rajouri and Poonch districts. But when this demand comes from politically hyper sensitive districts of Rajouri and Poonch, here lies the difference. Today we are living in a society, which is highly enlightened –socially, educationally and politically- where things are seen with an investigative mind and research oriented approach. Therefore, we should not shy away from objective analysis of the case, which can help in understanding the issues in a better way and also help in dispelling the misgivings and misunderstandings about each other. Since general perception of the people about the word Pahari is different than what is being conveyed by the term Pahari speaking people, there are two aspects of the issue, which need to be discussed separately. When we talk of Pahari people that means not only the people who speak a local dialect namely 'Pahari', but also those residents of typical Pahari areas who are socially, educationally and economically similar circumstanced but speak a different dialect, may be it is Kashmiri, Dogri, Gojjari, Bhaderwahi, Siraji or any other local dialect simply because the people belonging to each ethnic group have got their own mother tongue or local dialect. There is no denying the fact that

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Himalayan State of Jammu and Kashmir has number of population pockets located in most difficult, inaccessible, mountain locked areas where people are still leading a primitive life. Jammu and Kashmir Government has done a stupendous job by identifying all such areas spread in the length and breadth of the State. A large number of specified areas in each and every district have been declared as backward areas for the purpose of reservation in Government Jobs and for admission in professional institutions. All these areas are typical hilly or Pahari areas which can be further divided into three

The genesis of the problem can be traced in the history of Rajouri- Poonch which has seen a society awfully divided on sectarian lines, troubled with interclass conflicts where conservative mindset and dogmatic attitude has been in collusion with the new social order leading to an unending tug of war for political supremacy between two major segments of population consisting of Gujjar and the non- Gujjars. broader categories of A, B & C signifying their position of being difficult, more difficult and most difficult Pahari areas or Vice versa. Although more than 80 percent of total land area of Jammu and Kashmir State is hilly, the inhabitants of towns and municipalities are far more privileged than the scattered population of higher reaches or distant villages, which are, located deep in the interior valleys or in between ridges and gorges surrounded by steep mountain ranges. How can we equate the towns of Bhaderwah, Kishtwar or Rajouri, Nowshera, Sunderbani or Poonch, Surankote, etc with the most unusual Pahari hamlets of

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Dachhan, Marwah, Paddar or Kote Chadwal, Ghunda Khawas or Poshana, Sialan etc of the same districts. A person coming all the way from Dachhan, Marwah or Kote Chadwal, Ghundha Khawas or Poshana, Sialan traveling most of the distance on foot because of no road connectivity in his village, finds himself in altogether different world when he reaches le town of his own district, humming with modern life activities. he feelings of the said person would be similar as that of one watching the city of Delhi or Mumbai from the countryside. One can identity such pahari areas in each district, which re characteristically different from the rest of the land because of heir peculiar geographical position. For example Marwah, Dachhan, Paddar, Udil, Dessa, Bhalessa, Bonjwah, Pogal Paristan,Chamalwas in old district Doda, Bani Billawar in District Kathua, Gool Gulabgarh, Mahore, Dharmari , Dudoo Basantgarh in old district Udhampur, Sialan, Hari Marrot, Arai, Loran, Sawjian, Khetan Chamreh, Poshana in District Poonch. Mangota, Alai, dhara, Ghambeer Mughlan, Parodi, Sakri, Swadi, Keri, Kote Chadwal, Ghundha khawas in District Rajouri. Similarly higher reaches of Pahalgam, in- accessible areas of District Anantnag and Pulwama, Uri area of district Baramulla, Keran, Karnah and other Inaccessible areas of District Kupwara etc. Subject to all possible additions and alterations these are the areas, which really fit to be included in the category of most unusually difficult Pahari areas of the State and none other 'than the residents of these areas deserve to be called Pahari people in real sense of the term. It is the inhabitants of these areas who suffer pain, death, agony, disaster as they often fall victim to floods, drought, hostile climate, nig-

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gardliness of the nature, vagaries of the weather and more so because many of these areas having no road connectivity remain cut off from the towns where better educational, Medicare and other facilities are available. These are the areas where onward journey of progress comes to a halt and developmental programmes fail to make any impact on the life of the public. It is the residents of these areas who suffer deprivation and neglect and need to be brought at par with rest of the population by special dispensation plan with special focus on their socio- economic and educational development. This could have been a simple but comprehensive and plausible version of the case of Pahari people acceptable to everybody. What we have seen is a truncated version of the case, which is the product of local political compulsions of Rojouri- Poonch. In whatever way the local politics might have interpreted the grant of Scheduled Tribe status to Gujjars and Bakerwals, the fact remains that it was in recognition of backwardness and degraded social status of the community as a whole attributable to peculiar life style of the people who came to be stigmatized as a cattle rearing class which made them to suffer the afflictions of social inequalities. But in the backdrop of local politics of RajouriPoonch the accord of this status came to be attached extra ordinary significance with all hidden meanings - as if the community had got a magic wand which will turn them into a formidable force to be reckoned with. So the best way to deal with this situation was to ask for similar status on the basis of parity and equality. On the other hand the people of Gujjar and Bakarwal community of Rojouri-Poonch reacted to this demand in a typical way as if it was an attempt to snatch the loaf of bread from their

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mouth. I have spoken to many sensible people on the subject with an intention to probe their mind as to what scares them most about this demand of their fellow inhabitants. The typical explanation came from one person which I could interpret in these words "that the perpetrators of hatred have now disguised themselves as sufferers with a design to marginalize their position." I could sense the under- currents of fear and anxiety in the thinking of the people. As a matter of fact it is a case of fear Psychosis on both sides, superficially created in the mind of the people that their future is at stake. One cannot loose sight of the facts that J &K is an exceptional state where every weaker section and socially and educationally backward class of the population have been covered under a well devised network of reservation scheme which is operational under different categories such as Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Resident of Backward area, Resident of Actual Line of Control, Other Backward Classes, Physically Handicapped etc. It is not the Case that there are only Scheduled Tribe doctors, engineers and other officers in Rajouri Poonch. The non- ST doctors, engineers and other officers are more in number because of quantum of reservation they are enjoying under different categories. As far as Central Services are concerned both S.T. and Non-S.T. candidates rarely venture for them because of their being over possessive for their home district or state. Though it is a different matter that both S.T.and nonS.T. candidates of Rajouri- Poonch are capable enough to compete even for overseas services as some of them have secured jobs in England and other foreign countries without any reservation by sheer dint of their hard work. If we have statistical analysis and realistic

Vol. 4, Issue 2

view of the facts and figures, there are enough reasons for both the sections of population to feel good, happy and satisfied. Then why situation is being painted as grim? Why a false line of battle has been drawn between two sections of population pushing them into a state of cold war? Why the people from both sides are so much scared of each other that they are always either on the offensive or defensive using all types of tactics to show down each other? Why people on both sides have lost mutual trust and have started looking at each other with suspicion and disbelief? All these questions point towards one direction that perhaps people on both sides have fallen prey to the politics of divide and rule. The day of redemption is nowhere in sight for the people who have been polarized towards gaining the political goals. Even if pahari speaking people attain the status of Scheduled Tribe the pot of conflict will still be kept boiling by using the fuel of new problems and issues likely to arise out of the resolution of existing issue. The traditionally rival communities of Rajouri- Poonch are most likely to confront with a situation where the benefits arising out of available schemes will reach their future generations only in a diluted form so much so that their predominant representative character too will gradually get eroded as a natural consequence of their senseless infighting. It is not going to pay the politicians to cling to the old policy of divide and rule because the biggest tragedy with this policy is that nobody knows who will rule in future. Once during independence struggle an informal debate was going on among certain prominent leaders. One of them retorted that it is wrong to say that the English divide and rule. As a matter of fact, we divide and they rule.

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History EMPIRE AND REGIONAL IDENTITIES:

Kashmir under the Mughals - I PROF JIGAR MOHAMMED

M

ughal emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammed Akbar initiated the policy of defining the boundary of the Mughal India. He declared that India was a country spreading from Kabul to the Sea or South India. He planned to introduce Mughal rule in whole India. He devised two methods for the introduction Mughal rule in different areas from Kabul to South India: 1. through the policy of annexation and 2. through making tributary states. The concept of Akbar's empire is well defined by Abul Fazl, a court historian, “Hindustan is described as enclosed on the east, west and south by the ocean, but Ceylon, Achin, the Moluccas, Malacca and a considerable number of islands are accounted within its extent. To the north is lofty range of mountains, part of which stretches along the uttermost limits of Hindustan, and its other extremity passes into Turkestan and Persia. An immediate region lies between this vast frontiers of china, inhabited by various races, such as Kashmir, Great and Little Tibet, Kishtwar and others. This quarter may therefore be likened to another ocean. With all its magnitude of extent and harvests and the equable temperament of its people.”. Abul Fazl' mention clearly shows that for Akbar Kashmir was to be part of the Mughal empire .Consequently, whe Akbar started the empire building process in India he decided to bring Kashmir under the Mughals.After its conquest Akbar

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annexed Kashmir to the Mughal empire in 1586. Since it was the policy of Akbar to recognize and maintain regional identities of his empire, he treated Kashmir as a distinct region and worked for the preservation and propagation of both tangible Although the Mughals followed the concept of huge territorial aggrandizement, they believed that the regional identities were to be protected and were to be the means of the strength of the Mughal Empire. When the Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (1556-1605) annexed Kashmir to the Mughal Empire in 1586, he initiated the policy of integration of Kashmir with his empire through the concept of the mutual respect and cooperation. He perceived that Kashmir was a region which consisted of physical environment different from other parts of India. He also understood that Kashmir was a region which people were mostly ruled by its indigenous rulers from ancient period onwards. For Akbar, Kashmir had huge potentialities of the expansion of horticulture and trade and commerce. However, Akbar first decided to record the regional identities of Kashmir so that he could formulate a policy getting social legitimacy of his rule in Kashmir. Akbar's work of tapping the local identities of Kashmir was accomplished by his court historian Abul Fazl. When the latter recorded the history of Kashmir he gave more emphasis on the land and its people.

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Abul Fazl defined the identities of Kashmir covering the features from its boundary to pre-Mughal rulers of Kashmir from ancient period onwards. Describing the boundary of Kashmir Abul Fazl writes, “It (Kashmir) lies in the third and fourth climates. Its length from Qamber Ver to Kishan Ganga is 120 kos, and it breadth from 10 to 25 kos. On the east are Paristan and the river Chinab; on the south-east Banihal and the Jammu mountains; on the northeast, Great Tibet (Tibet-i-Kalan, i.e. Ladakh); on the south-west, the Gakkhar country; on the north-west, Little Tibet (Baltistan or Tibet-i-Khurd). It is encompassed on all sides by the Himalayan ranges. Twenty six different roads lead into Hindustan, but those by Bhimbar and Pakli are the best and the generally practicable on horseback. The first mentioned is the nearest and it has several routes of which three are good; viz., (1) Hast Bhanj which was former route for the march of troops; (2) Pir Panjal, which His Majesty (Akbar) has thrice traversed on his way to the rose garden of Kashmir. If on these hills an ox or a horse be killed, storm clouds and wind arise with a fall of snow and rain; (3) Tangatala.” The writings of Abul Fazl on Kashmir show that the Mughal emperor Akbar felt it necessary to highlight the local characteristics of Kashmir for making it an integral part of his empire. He found it effective to associate the Kashmiris with the Mughal Empire

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though respecting their natural heritage and socio-economic life. For Abul Fazl, “The country (Kashmir) is enchanting and might be fittingly called a garden of perpetual spring surrounding a citadel terraced to the skies and deservedly appropriate to be either the delight of the worldling or retired abode recluse. Its streams are sweet to the taste, its waterfalls music to ears, and its climate invigorating. The rainfall and snowfall are similar to that of Turkestan and Persia and its periodical rains occur at the same season as in Hindustan. The lands are artificially watered or dependent on rains for irrigation. The flowers are enchanting and fill the heart with delight. Violets, the red roses and wild narcissus cover the plains. To enumerate its flora would impossible. Its spring and autumn are extremely beautiful. The houses are of wood and of stories and some of more, but its not enclose them. Tulips are grown on the roofs which present a lovely sight in the spring time. Cattle and sundry stores are kept in the lower storey, the second contains family apartments, and in the third and fourth are the household chattels. On account of the abundance of wood and earthquake, houses of stone and bricks are not built, but the ancient temples inspire astonishment. At present day many of them are in ruins. Woollen fabrics are made in high perfection, especially shawls which are sent as valuable gift every clime. But the bane of the country is its people, yet strange to say, not withstanding its numerous population and the scantiness of the means of subsistence, thieving and begging are rare. Besides plums and mulberries, the fruits are numerous. Melons, apples, peaches, apricots are excellent. Although grapes are in plenty, the finer qualities are rare and the vines bear mulberry trees. The mulberry is eaten. Its leaves are reserved

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for silkworm. The eggs are brought from Gilgit and Little Tibet, in the former of which they are produced in abundance and are of more choice. The food of people is chiefly rice, wine, fish and various vegetables, and last mentioned they dry and preserve. Rice is cooked and kept overnight to be eaten. Though shali rice is plentiful, the finest quality is not obtainable. Wheat is small in grain and black in color, and there is little of it, and little consumed. Gram and barley are nowhere found. The have species of sheep which they call handu, delicate and sweet in flavor and wholesome. Apparel is generally of wool, a coat of which will last for some years.” Abul Fazl's these narratives of the characteristics of Kashmir in terms its agricultural and artisans' productions, built heritage, nature of houses and food items etc. helped the Mughal emperor to administer Kashmir in a way that could ensure the survival of the local identities. The Mughals found the Kashmiris hard working persons and very much devoted to the concept of the selfreliance. To propagate and encourage the skills of the Kashmiris the Mughals gave huge space to them in their literary works. Appreciating the skills and hard works of the Kashmiris Abul Fazl writes, “There are artificers of various kinds who might be deservedly employed in the greate cities…The carriage of goods is effected by the boat, but men also carry great loads over the most difficult country. Boatmen and carpenters drive a thriving trade. The Brahman class is very numerous. Although Kashmir has a dialect of its own, their learned books in the Sanskrit language. They have a separate character which they use for manuscript work, and they write chiefly on Tuz which is the bark of a tree, worked into sheets with some rude art and which keeps for years. All their ancient documents are written on this. Their ink

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is so prepared as to be indelible by washing. Although, in ancient times, the learning of the Hindus was in vogue, at present day, various sciences are studied and their knowledge is of a more general character. Their astrological art and astronomy are after the manner of the Hindus… Their musicians are exceedingly many … the most respectable class is that of the Brahmans, who notwithstanding their need of freedom from the bonds of tradition and custom, are true worshippers of God.” Mughals respected the religious and political sentiments of the Kashmiris. Recoding the sacred places of the Hindus of Kashmir Abul Fazl writes, “The whole country is regarded as holy ground by the Hindu sages. Forty five shrines are dedicated to Mahadeva, sixty four to Vishnu, three to Brahma, and twenty two to Durga. In seven hundred places there are graven images of snakes which they worship and regarding which wonderful legends are told.” Through the identification of the various aspects of the Kashmiri cultures the Mughal emperor Akbar started the processes of the inclusion of the Kashmiris in the Mughal empire. He appointed them in the Mughal administrative institutions as calligraphists, revenue officials, horticulturalists, poets and musicians etc. He encouraged the participation of the Kashmiris in the trade and commerce of the empire. More importantly, Akbar made the route of Kashmir to Delhi safer and beneficial for the Kashmiris. It is evident that he spent large sum to construct a road from Rajouri via Punch to Kashmir, which became famous as the Mughal road. It was the concept of the coalition between the region and empire for socio-economic development which intensified and strengthened the processes of the integration of Kashmir with the Mughal Empire.

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Her Big Brother Died Fighting for me and for you... MANISHA SOBHRAJANI

T

he encounter at Srinagar's Lal Chowk in early January was neither unusual nor unexpected: it was, however, tragic and appalling. It resulted, amongst other things, in the smashing of a faint hope that it was slowly 'getting back to normal' in Kashmir. The peace and quiet of the past few months turned out to be the proverbial lull in the storm as the encounter was followed by a daredevil attack on a police station in Sopore. There are reports of militants using prepaid SIM cards despite the fact that they have officially been banned in the state. One news headline screamed: 'Pakistan gets to Hurriyat, kills Kashmir talks'(http://www.hindustantimes.com / Pa k i s t a n - g e t s - t o - H u r r i y a t - k i l l s Kashmir-talks/H1-Article1498651.aspx). By the time this article goes to Press, there will have occurred a few more disastrous incidents in J&K, though I sincerely hope I am proven wrong here. While reporting on the Lal Chowk encounter, The Hindu published a frontpage photograph of a security personnel removing the dead body of a colleague who died in the cross-firing between the militants holed up in Punjab Hotel and the security forces combating them. There was fire all around, the street was deserted but for a huge vehicle parked in the middle of the road from under which the dead body was being dragged away. In all probability, the encounter

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was still going on when the photograph in question was clicked. I choose not to get into the debate about what the media should publish and what it shouldn't. I also choose not to talk about the ethics of journalism, and how, more often than not, the media moulds events and incidents to make them 'jingoistic' and 'saleable'. Obviously, we haven't learnt the lessons that we should have as a result of the many debates which emerged on 'appropriate media behaviour' after the Kargil war, the Amarnath agitation and

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By the time this article goes to Press, there will have occurred a few more disastrous incidents in J&K, though I sincerely hope I am proven wrong here. many more such unpleasant occurrences in J&K. In fact, what I choose to say here will result in my being labelled as an 'agent of India', but I am willing to take the risk. I wish to draw your attention to the thousands of security personnel who are posted in Jammu & Kashmir to

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'protect' the land. Who are they supposed to protect it from and against what is a different issue altogether. For now, let us just take them (the security personnel) to be fellow human beings. Surely they must have families back home who they think of often; there must be football and cricket matches they wish to play; they must have cravings to eat the food they like... So when one of them dies, let us simply bow our heads in empathy and wish for strength and support for their families and friends. At moments like these, I am reminded of the many security personnel who I have interacted with over the course of my work in Jammu & Kashmir since the past many years. I can't deny the fact that there have been many times when I have been helped and supported in my endeavours by the security forces. They endure the most inhospitable weather conditions, amongst other things, in the line of duty. Can you possibly imagine a life of solitude for months at a stretch on the Siachen glacier with sub-zero temperatures and virtually nothing for company! Somehow, I find these memories of mine quite in contrast to the dreadful stories I hear all the time about how the security forces treat Kashmiri men and women. I am not saying

the stories are baseless or untrue: it is not for me to sit in judgement. I read the following lines, and was most touched. I wish to share them with you. Vietnam Tears I stood and I watched as a mother cried, when she had heard that her son had died. He didn't die because he was sick, or he didn't die because he was in a wreck. He died doing what he felt was right. I watched a father try to hold back his tears, his son had lived only a scant 19 years. His son had died nine thousand miles away, and what was there left for a father to say? He got down on his knees and said a prayer, his brave son knows his father did care. I stood and watched as a little girl cried. She didn't understand why her brother had passed on; why he never again played with her on the lawn. Looking at the little girl's tears I knew, that her big brother died fighting for me and for you. (http://www.angelfire.com /ct/deerwhorns/soldierpoem.html)

MAKE YOUR CONNECTION TODAY

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POLITICS BUSINESS VIEWS & NEWS

CULTURE STRATEGIC AFFAIRS


OMAR led Coalition Government completed one year in office Historic, unprecedented and substantial achievements registered on all fronts

Action speak louder than words


DEVELOPMENT-MAIN PLANK OF THE COALITION GOVERNMENT v Sitlee Intake III filtration plant, with 54 lac gallons per day capacity for catering needs of old Jammu city,

commissioned. v Rs.16.89 crore paid as monthly pension to 1.20,252 persons of 65 years an4 above belonging to Below Poverty

Line. v Task force constituted in collaboration with CII to promote tourism, trade and investment and to promote Brand

J&K v Rs.210 crore provided for macadamization of roads in Jammu and Srinagar cities and other districts.116 trunk,

lateral and inner roads in Srinagar city and 76 in Jammu city macadamized. v 51 bridges, including major bridges like Gunq Roshan. Hari,Ganiwan, Zuhama Kralwari, Bagh Nallah in Kathua,

completed; 61 more bridges being completed by March, Rs. 120 crore earmarked for new flyover in Srinagar. v Out of 15 railway approach roads. 9 roads stand during the current year. v Rs. 150 crore four-lane bridge coming up over Riyer Tawi at Belicharana. v Rangil Phase II commissioned, adding 1 crore gallons of drinking water per day to Srinagar and surrounding areas. v A comprehensive Flood Management Project for River Jhelum. costing Rs. 2200 crore, submitted to the Centre. v 12 Irrigation projects worth Rs. 613.55 crore being executed under Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme. 124 new minor irrigation projects including 12 of Ladakh costing Rs. 409.57 crore submitted to the Centre.

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS v Largest ever annual plan size of Rs. 6700 crore, including Rs. 1200 crore Pm’s Reconstruction Plan

sanctioned. v 6th Pay Commission recommendations, benefitting around 3.5 lac employees and 1.20 lac, implemented. v A comprehensive package for provision of funds projected before the 13th Finance Commission widely

acclaimed. v Recommendations of Working Groups receiving priority for implementation. All five reports received. v 20,536 appointments made in Civil and Police Services. 10,102 selections made by Service Selection Board

and 1300 by Public Service Commission; 7197 persons appointed through Police Recruitment Board. 1639 persons appointed on compassionate grounds; Rs. 59.46 crore disbursed among 1497 beneficiaries @Rs. 4 lac per beneficiary in lieu of compassionate appointment. v Decision taken to regularize all those appointed on ad-hoc and contractual basis who have completed 7 years of service. v Dream of Sher-i-Kashmir to provide connectivity between the two regions through the historic Mughal Road being fulfilled; the Chief Minister himself drove on the road on 24th November, 2009. v Concept of public hearing (Awami Mulakats) operationalized. CM already held Awami Mulakats at Bandipora, Ganderbal and Anantnag. v Amendments to J&K Right to Information Act, on the lines of the Central Right to Information Act, made to introduce more transparently and accountability in the Administration. The amended Act provides legally mandated means to the citizens to access information from Government institutions. v CM’s Grievance Cell established to provide access to the citizens to the CM for redressal of grievances. v Srinagar Airport goes international by operating direct flights to Dubai. v Six districts, Pulwama, Anantnag, Baramulla, Kupwara, Jammu and Udhampur, covered under Cattle Insurance Scheme. v Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy sanctioned eight energy parks for eight educational institutions; Rs. 1 core State Level Energy Park sanctioned for Botanical Gardens, Cheshma Shahi; revival of short term credit structure in the State through State Cooperative Bank, 3 Central Cooperative Banks and 769 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies taken up for execution under Vaidyanathan Package in collaboration with NABARD and RBI. v Jammu and Kashmir e-Governance Agency (JKEGA) set up to accelerate IT enabled projects and to receive grants directly from the centre and other donor agencies. Five projects i.e. State Wide Aare Network (SWAN), State Data Centre (SDC), Citizen Service Centres (CSCs), State and Departmental Web Portals and Capacity Building sanctioned for Rs. 142 crore; v Rs. 70.45 crore released under CRPF for providing free of cost ration to the families of drought hit districts the months of December, 2009 and January-February, 2010. v J&K Muslim Specified Wakfs and Specified Wakf Properties Board re-constituted.


ASSAUGING ASPIRATIONS v A comprehensive Sher-i-Kashmir

Employment and Welfare Policy for Youth (SKEWPY) announced to address unemployment. v Voluntary Service Allowance (VSA) for the educated unemployed approved. v An Overseas Employment Corporation created to facilitate seeking overseas employment. v NASSCOM to provide range of IT skills in the colleges of the State in collaboration with Kashmir University to improve employability of youth.

GENERATING POWER v Six power projects of 1799 MW capacity under execution by NHPC, Sewa-II (120 MW) being commis-

sioned in January 2010; 450 MW Baglihar Power Project Phase II being expedited. v 93 MW New Ganderbal HEP, 37.50 MW Parnai HEP; 240 MW Kirthai HEP and 50 MW Lower Kalnai power projects being taken up in State Sector through State Power Development Corporation. v Rs. 500 crore earnmarked under PMRP for upgrading electrivity transmission and distribution system.

SPREADING LITERACY v Two Central Universities for Kashmir and Jammu sanctioned. v 5.301 Rehbar-e-Taleems regularized. v 18 new Polytechnics being set up. v 94 posts of Principals. 1316 posts of Lecturers. 43 Headmasters, 129 Masters; 86 Teachers and 1813 posts of various categories of non

teaching staff created in School Education Department for upgraded schools; 141 (10+2) Lecturers appointed; 200 posts of Lecturers for 5th subject (viz Computer Science/IT, Bio-Chemistry. Functional English, Environment Science & Bio- Technology) created for Higher Secondary Schools. v Under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan 620 EGS centers redeployed for providing educational facilities to habitations without schools; 43 KGBVs made functional/operational. v 169 primary school and 53 upper primary school buildings constructed; 653 primary schools being upgraded to middle schools. v 18 new Polytechnics being setup. v 414 posts of different categories created for the newly established 18 Government Degree Colleges. v Government Degree College. Ganderbal inaugurated; Construction of Degree College buildings at Budgam, Bandipora, Dooru, Sopore, Akhnoorm Hiranagar, RS. Pura, Basohli and Thanamandi and Women College Kathua completed; work on 18 other upcoming colleges intensified. v Government Degree College, Gurez started.

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS v During 2009, the Kashmir Valley received 4,75,505 tourists, including 23,636 foreign tourists. In addition, Ambassadors and High Commissioners

of various countries also arrived in the Valley. Accordingly, the number of pilgrims coming to Mata Vaishno Devi surpassed all previous records by reaching 76.57 lac. While, 78,573 tourists visited Ladakh during 2009, 3,92,774 pilgrims paid obeisance at Shri Amarnathji Shrine in most co-ordial and amicable atmosphere. v Contributory Pension Scheme (New Pension Scheme) for employees joining service on or after 01.01.2010 launched. v 11,487 works taken up under National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, generating an employment of 58,52lac mandays upto November, 2009 Rs. 68 crore expended up November, 2009. v 95,497 households provided job cards under NREGA during 2009. v Under PMRP, 8 additional model villages completed during 2009 taking the figure to 84 villages; 20 more being completed by Marcyh, 2010; Under Indira Awas Yojna, 5,844 new houses constructed. v 1197 SSI units registered during 2009 with estimated investment of Rs. 236.90 crore, creating employment for 7466 persons. v 164 Large and Medium industrial units with estimated investment of Rs. 4192 crore and employment potential of 31,489 persons approved. v National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) sanctioned by Government of India and being established at Ompora Budgam on fast-tract basis at an estimated of Rs. 70 crore. v Development of additional land of 950 kanals at an estimated cost of Rs. 20.20 crore at Khunmoh Phase-III undertaken. v Acquisition of 2850 kanals of land for Phase-III Industrial Growth Centre, Samba under process. v Rules for appointment of kashmir Migrants notified. 3000 posts created. v Land identified at Vessu in Kulgam, Qazigund in Anantnag and Khanpur in Baramulla district for construction of additional transit accommodations; Rs. 8.35 crore released for this. v Nearly 901 kanals and 28 marlas of evacuee land retrieved from encroachments. v Rs. 11.50 crore relief disbursed among farmers whose crops got damaged due to hailstrom/natural calamities.


TOWARDS NORMALCY v CRPF replaced by local Police in certain areas after 20 years. Empowered, Committee under Financial Commissioner. (Home) set up to monitor action on State Human Rights Commission's recommendations; major portion of backlog cleared during 2009. v Security forces directed to adhere to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to minimize civilian casualties; Strong action taken against personnel of Security forces and Police v found involving human rights violations. v Presence of Magistrates necessary while dealing Law and Order. v 478 militancy related incidents reported till December 15, 2009 as against 680 in the corresponding period previous year. v Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks (CCTNs) being implemented for better policing. v 44 Government buildings and a number of private houses vacated by Security Forces after construction of 36 barrack blocks; Divisional and State Level Committees of officers constituted to monitor phase vacation. v Emergency and Fire Stations set up at Kralgund, Qalamabad, Puhroo and Tulail.

HEALTH FOR ALL v Draft Drug Policy being formulated for the first time. v Remuneration of contractual doctors enhanced from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 16.000 per month and for paramedics to Rs.

9000 per month. Special incentives of Rs. 8000 and Rs. 4000 for doctors working in very difficult and difficu1t areas respectively. v Rs. 2,627 crore Health Infrastructure Development Plan formulated and sent to the Centre for approval. v Unani Medical College for Kashmir and Ayurvedic College for Jammu announced.

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS v Rs. 356 crore sanctioned for rehabilitation of Dal dwellers. v Rs. 401 crore agreed, under UIDSSMT for Anantnag, Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara and Ganderbal towns of the Kashmir Division. Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri, Udhampur, Doda, Poonch and Baramulla towns already brought under the ambit of UIDSSMT. v Artificial lake coming up along the banks of Niki Tawi at Jammu at a cost of Rs. 25 crore. v Wages of daily rated workers raised from Rs. 70 to Rs. 110 per day. v Rs. 600 crore Integrated Forest Resources Management Project formulated. v Sher-i-Kashmir Multi-sports Activity Centre (Gindun) coming up at Rajbagh at a cost of Rs. 17.37 crore. v Rs. 14.756 crore package announced for construction and upgradation of existing stadia all over the State. v 551 mega and 216 other Lok Adalats held; 21,217 cases settled. v Preparations in full swing to conduct Panchayat elections in early 2010. v Rs. 132.92 crore sewerage project for Srinagar City and Rs. 129.23 crore for Jammu city under execution through National Building Construction. v Conversion of 4,781 units of dry latrines into flush latrines in 54 towns with a central subsidy of Rs. 4.48 crore sanctioned by Government of India. v Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana covering all sectors of agriculture introduced for the first time; Rs. 46.97 crore work plan sanctioned. v Novel Health Insurance Scheme for female sericulture workers launched in collaboration with ICICI Lombard. 5000 workers covered so far. v Rs. 600 crore externally funded Integrated Forest Resource Management Project for J&K being expedited. v 7,640 militancy victims covered under pension and other schemes by the State Rehabilitation Council for militancy Victims. v 2 lac Gujjar and Bakarwals students being provided Pre-Matric scholarship. v Monthly pension worth Rs. 18.81 crore disbursed among 3.32 lac old-age persons, windows and physically handicapped under Integrated Social Security Scheme. v 120 Common Service Centres commissioned; Video conferencing facility available at 19 places. v Scale of food grains under APL categories for the rations of urban/rural areas of J&k restored to 13 kg per soul per month. v 98 CAPD sale outlets in Kashmir division and 57 in Jammu division have been opened.

Issued by : Directorate of Information and Public Relations


HELLO

Office of the Regional Transport Officer Jammu Division, Ware House, Jammu

Good Morning Jammu Do’s :Ø Keep City Clean and Green. Ø Always obey Building Bye-Laws. Ø Grow Plants to have Healthy Environment. Ø Plant a Tree at least Once in Life. Ø Use Garbage Bins for disposal of waste. Don’ts : Ø Don’t start any construction without permission from Jammu Municipal Corporation. Ø Don’t throw/dump Garbage/Debris/Mulba on the roads/lanes and drains. Ø Don’t keep goods on pavements. Ø Say no to polythene which is banned by Govt. of J&K. Ø Don’t smoke in the Public Place which is an offence. Ø Don’t deface public property through posters and writing, it is an offence.

In case of any Complaint Contact on following Telephone Nos. 2547440 9419109781 Sanitation Officer Zone Ist 9419105069 Sanitation Officer Zone 2nd 9906004579 Veterinary Officer 9419102797 In case of no response, please contact Commissioner or Joint Commissioner (A) on Telephone Nos. Commissioner, JMC 2542192 Joint Commissioner (A) JMC 2546252

Tel/Fax : 0191-2435476 Subject : Residence or place of business proof for registration of vehicles. PUBLIC NOTICE It has been observed that owners of vehicles of various types are approaching in this office without documentary proof of residence or place of business for registration of their vehicles. Under section 40 of Motor Vehicle Act 1988, documentary proof of residence or place of business is primary requirement for registration of vehicles. Without the clear proof of residence or place of business no vehicle can be registered by the registering authority of the area. It is notified for the information of the general public that they should file clear documentary proof of residence or place business for getting their vehicles registered in order to avoid inconvenience and any loss to them. DIP/J-7943 Dt : 20/1/2010 Authorised Dealer :

VARILUX

Health Officer

Jammu Municipal Corporation KEEN TO SERVE U BETTER DIP/J-311P Dt : 18.01.2010

Sd/Regional Transport Officer, Jammu

aman.kwality@gmail.com

KWALI TY OPTI CIANS Authorised Dealer : Baush & Lomb, Rayban, Fastrack, Tommy, Vogue etc. Jain Bazar, Jammu Phone : 0191- 2542468

50-North Block, Bahu Plaza Complex, Jammu Phone : 0191- 2471036

For booking your advertisement on this page call Ravi Verma @9018887136 9419180762 email : raviverma81736@gmail.com


Felicitation to people of J&K on

61st Republic Day

Strong pillars of democracy strengthen our determination to usher J&K in new era of peace, progress & prosperity so that vision of Model State is realized Directorate of Information & Public Relations, J&K Government


EPILOGUE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY 2010 ISSUE  

An analysis of one year working of state government in Jammu and Kashmir. This is a unique performance review of Chief Minister Omar Abdulla...

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