Id Disaster: The ‘Unjust’ grant of Scheduled Tribe standing to higher gastes in Jammu Kashmir

Id Disaster: The ‘Unjust’ grant of Scheduled Tribe standing to higher gastes in Jammu Kashmir

Muzaffar Choudhary

In a latest flip of occasions, there’s rising apprehension and concern concerning the potential grant of Scheduled Tribe (ST) standing to higher castes in Jammu  Kashmir (J&Okay).

This choice, based mostly on linguistic concerns, not solely violates the rules of social justice but additionally poses a big menace to the foundational material of democracy. The transfer perpetuates present social stigmas, derogatory remarks, and discrimination confronted by tribal communities, exacerbating the longstanding inequalities they endure.

The classification of Pahari from a linguistic to a tribal group has sparked controversy. The federal government’s choice to confer Scheduled Tribe (ST) standing on Gadda Brahman Padars, Koli, and Syeds Mirs, who’re higher castes and don’t meet the Lokur Committee standards for tribal standing, raises issues.

Furthermore, Mirs, Dars, and Syeds are each Pahari and Kashmiri individuals, resulting in questions on how the federal government will bifurcate them. This transfer might result in penalties for traditionally marginalized actual tribals, impacting the tribal id of Jammu and Kashmir.

The BJP’s try to achieve assist within the Pir Panjal area by granting ST standing to those higher castes is seen skeptically, elevating questions on whether or not it’s a strategic transfer or a real effort for inclusivity.

The potential impression on the political dynamics, notably in regards to the influential Gujjar Bakerwal group, needs to be fastidiously thought-about earlier than reclassification. The federal government should weigh the implications totally earlier than continuing with this transfer.

Centuries of Unjust Remedy

Tribal communities in Jammu and Kashmir have weathered centuries of marginalization, deprivation, and exploitation. Colonialism solid a shadow on our ancestors, systematically oppressing them whereas the higher castes, together with Syeds, Rajputs, and Mirzas, assumed positions of energy. This historic benefit has seeped via generations, perpetuating an everlasting imbalance of energy and assets that continues to plague our communities.

Social Stigma and Discrimination

Regardless of pockets of progress, tribal communities persistently encounter social stigma, derogatory remarks, and discrimination. Stereotypes of being “backward” or “primitive” persist, eroding our dignity and rights.

Restricted entry to training, healthcare, and employment alternatives perpetuates a cycle of deprivation. The latest choice to grant ST standing to higher castes additional deepens this injustice, intensifying the present challenges.

Widening the Gulf

On the coronary heart of a democratic society lies the idea of social justice – guaranteeing equal alternatives, equity, and inclusivity, particularly for traditionally marginalized residents. Granting ST standing to higher castes in Jammu and Kashmir widens the hole between the privileged and the deprived, undermining the essence of social justice. This choice disregards the struggles and aspirations of tribal communities, erasing their id and contributions to society.

The JK Reservation Modification Invoice

The JK Reservation Modification Invoice emerges as an assault on the survival of tribal communities, notably the 40 lakh Gujjar Bakerwals. Past being only a invoice, it represents a scientific menace to our existence. The passage of this invoice has unleashed a wave of suppression, with peaceable protests denied, and the suitable to voice our issues systematically quashed. The query that looms giant is: why is the central authorities silencing tribal voices?

On January fifth, 2020, a 20-year-old Gujjar lady in Zarkan Shalidar village, South Kashmir, confronted an arduous journey to ship her second little one. Carried on a picket stretcher via ankle-deep snow, her husband and another members trekked 5 kilometers to the sub-district hospital.

This poignant incident sheds gentle on the persistent challenges confronted by Gujjar Bakerwals throughout harsh winters. Remoted from the world, their villages lack electrical energy, plunging them into darkness, whereas college students grapple with unsafe journeys to distant colleges.

The federal government should tackle these urgent points. The proposed anti-tribal invoice, granting Scheduled Tribe standing to higher castes, widens the disparities and is a menace to the survival of the tribal group, their tradition, and id. Pressing measures are essential to bridge these gaps and guarantee an equitable future for the marginalized Gujjar Bakerwal group.

Detentions, Denials, and the Combat for Rights

Over the previous 2.5 years, the Gujjar Bakerwals have taken to the roads, elevating their voices for his or her rights.

Nonetheless, this journey has been fraught with suppression, detentions, and arrests. The essence of a democratic nation appears to be at odds with the battle of the tribal communities as they grapple with the suppression of their voices.

Pressing Considerations: Past the JK Reservation Modification Invoice

Current incidents add urgency to the issues of tribal communities. The deaths of three tribals in military custody are a stark reminder of the challenges we face.

The federal government’s implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) on the bottom is crucial to guard tribal lands from encroachment by entities just like the Jammu Growth Authority. Regardless of the existence of FRA, our group faces insupportable habits, demanding fast consideration.

A Plea for Reflection and Motion

As tribals, we urgently implore the federal government to mirror on the far-reaching penalties of its selections. The JK Reservation Modification Invoice is a menace to the survival of tribal communities. Rectifying this course is crucial earlier than harm happens.

As a substitute of silencing tribal voices, the federal government ought to deal with addressing points confronted by our communities. This contains offering higher instructional services, healthcare providers, livelihood alternatives, and implementing affirmative motion measures to bridge the social and financial divide.

The writer is a tribal activist. The views expressed are his personal.

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