Reservation for Pahari speaking people

It is a mystery as to why Pahari speaking people of Jammu and Kashmir have been deprived of getting the facility of 3 per cent reservation despite the fact that the J&K Reservation (Amendment) Bill was duly passed by both the houses of the legislature in February last year. Governor has already given his assent to the Bill in January this year nearly more than eight months back, but as many as eleven months after it having gone through the process of the Legislative Assembly. As a mandatory process, it should have been followed by issuing of Statutory Rules and Orders (SRO) to make it effective. In other words, the long wait by these hitherto neglected sections of the society, mostly living in hilly and difficult areas of Rajouri, Poonch, Baramulla and Kupwara districts of Jammu and Kashmir is continuing unabatedly since the process of the facility of reservation is, for the time being, left in deep freezer. The question, however, is as to why and how long?
Mired in absolute backwardness and poverty, these neglected people of our society virtually feel quite alienated to what was meant by empowerment but by nature, being increasingly peaceful and gentle, remain content with living a life of austerity and simplest bucolic style. The issue gains more importance and preferred attention due to these sections comprising 20 per cent of the total population of the state, now shortly going to become a Union Territory. These people are vulnerable to the denial of the infrastructural development that takes place in other areas of the state in ordinary course because of topographical disadvantageous position and inaccessible terrains which keeps them away from partaking of the fruits of economic development resulting in their remaining behind in areas of education, Government employment, medical facilities, social uplifting and the like. Not only that, their representation in political field, administrative field and other fields is equivalent to naught. With this background, the least to ameliorate their lot could be to grant reservation in admission in education – professional institutions and Government jobs.
The cumulative apathy of the Government at whatever levels could be gauged by the process of providing them some requisite relief to overcome their far from satisfactory status of living conditions in that it took as many as five years to get the Governor’s approval as it was first passed by the state legislature in the year 2014 with provisions of providing 5 percent reservation to these people living in hilly and mountainous areas and speaking the Pahari dialect. It could not go through due to technical, officialdom and political factors though a positive aspect of the issue is that all political parties in principle were in total agreement to do something for these people.
It can only be rued and undoubtedly viewed indignantly too that during the process of subjecting the bill to delays and deferments, as much as a long time of two years was just wasted over it simply because the Government of Jammu and Kashmir could not appoint a Chairman for the State Commission for Backward Classes during the period to put a note over it. These classical but habitual long and unspecified delays reminiscent of the working culture of the administration, caused innumerable quantum of denial of opportunities to these people to get benefitted from the process of 3 % reservation. It could be easily calculated that right from 2014 till date, due to one or the other reason, these people were subjected to total abject disadvantage and denial of bettering their lot and if calculated in terms of seats in education and number of jobs in Government sector and even in monetary losses to them, the results would be startling. Who would compensate for all this administrative apathy towards them especially strangely when even as on date, the position stands in abject inertial mode.
Does the Government want to continuously sit over the matter simply because these under privileged linguistic minority, economically backward and hitherto neglected but peace loving people have not come on the streets and agitated just like any aggrieved sections in the country very often do? For providing 3 per cent reservation to these people, issuing of the mandatory SRO is getting mysteriously delayed and further delayed giving room for enough speculations. This approach and a peculiar mind set are totally unwarranted and wholly unjustified.