Jammu needs to be heard

Apropos J.P. Singh’s article ‘A Retrograde Step’ (D.E. 27 March), the most forceful reason for the bifurcation of the erstwhile J&K State has been the long ruthless discrimination of Jammu and Ladakh regions by the Srinagar administration. Despite continued protests for so many decades the redress of the grievances of Jammu region remained elusive.
Mr. J.P. Singh has rightly raised the question that the bifurcation has not brought any substantial change in the discrimination syndrome because it is the bureaucracy that runs the administration in the UT and the bureaucracy never had any soft corner for Jammu region. What concrete and tangible outcome do we find in the reorganization of the State for the people of Jammu region? None. We understand that in the original proposal before the Union Cabinet there was the trifurcation plan for the state but then at the last moment the plan was changed.
The real demand of the people of Jammu region, therefore, does not end with the economic development of the region but with reviving the vibrant and impressive identity of the people of the region as the masters of their destiny. Jammu wants direct liaison with the Union Government and not through the Srinagar conduit. Jammu refuses to be asked to play the second fiddle to the majoritarian tyranny of the valley. The people are entitled both the options, viz. total autonomy or total integration.
K.N. Pandita