JK News Today


National Conference Provincial President Mr Devender Singh Rana on Friday cautioned against repealing Article 35A, saying any such attempt will hurt Jammu most than the other two regions of Kashmir and Ladakh in the State.

“State Subject Laws, the essence of Article 35A, were enacted by Maharaja Hari Singh Ji in 1927, essentially to preserve special identity and economy of Jammu region from the onslaught of the non-state subject traders thronging from the neighboring states”, Mr Rana said at a press conference at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here this evening.

Mr Rana was flanked by State Secretaries Mr Surjeet Singh Slathia, Mr Rattan Lal Gupta, MLA Dr Kamal Arora and other senior leaders.

The Provincial President said that the revolutionary Permanent Resident Laws of the Maharaja Bahadur and Land Reforms Act of Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah guaranteed the State’s special identity besides political and economic empowerment of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

Reacting to reports and growing apprehensions about moves to tinker with this special proviso, Mr Rana said that if at all the overall interests of the sensitive State, especially the Jammu region, are to be saved from outsiders domination, the fake state subjects should be identified on fast track basis and divested of the permanent resident certificates, which have potential of depriving jobs to locals and destabilizing the economy.

“Instead of getting driven by ultra-nationalism, the votaries of Article 35A must realize the fall out of removing this constitutional proviso, which is detrimental to overall interests of the state in general and the people of Jammu in particular. He said a growing consciousness is dawning upon the people of Jammu with regard to their rights and the likely subjugation they might suffer in the event of state subject laws, brought in by the Maharaja to retain peculiar identity and heritage of the Duggarland, are dispensed with.

Mr Rana said that in such an eventuality, the apprehensions of the jobs going to outside youth and businesses getting usurped by affluent traders are as grave as they were ninety years ago when the Maharaja Sahib was constrained to bring the law”, he said, adding that the Article 35A is anything but not-anti national, as it forms important ingredient of the Constitution of India. In fact, this Act endorses the wisdom of the Maharaja and his far-sight which is reflected in the presidential order of 1954. He termed the Act as religion  neutral, regional neutral and caste neutral. The chances of non-state subjects making their way to Jammu are more likely because of its proximity to other parts of the country and conduciveness in terms of security scenario, culture, topography and terrain, he said hoped that the self-proclaimed champions of the Jammu cause will not ignore this reality.

“Protecting Article 35A is to save the proud Dogra heritage and culture”, he said, adding that National Conference will take its crusade in this regard to logical conclusion. He gave the background of the enactment of permanent residence laws in 1927, saying that the Dogra Maharaja Hari Singh Ji had sagaciously acted upon the representation of Jammuties, keeping in view the threat of outside domination over the poor subjects of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. He said a duty has cast upon every Dogra, irrespective of caste, creed and religion to preserve their glorious heritage and identity, which is being put in peril by the BJP by overt and covert means.

“Dogras will fight for upholding this constitutional proviso and if any course correction is needed at all, it is to identify and deport the fake state subjects, who have exploited and usurped the legitimate rights and avenues of sustenance of self-respecting Dogras”, he reiterated.

The National Conference leader referred to the euphoria being created by the BJP over the issue of Rohingyas, wondering that despite ruling the country for the past four years and partnering the government with PDP in the state for three years, nothing was done in this regard. “Who is stopping New Delhi and Srinagar from deporting Rohingyas under the Foreign Nationals Act, he asked.

Prominent among those present in the press conference included Dr Kamal Arora, MLA, Ms Shehnaz Ganai, MLC besides Th Kashmira Singh, Sheikh Bashir Ahmed, Babu Ram Pal, Mrs Bimla Luthra, Mr Brij Mohan Sharma, Haji Mohd Hussain, Choudhry Haroon, Mr Gurdeep Singh Sasan, Mr S. S. Bunty, Mrs Vijay Laxami Dutta, Mr Anil Dhar,  Mr Dharamveer Singh Jamwal,  Dr. Shamshad Shan, Mr Abdul Gani Teli, Mr Vijay Lochan, Mrs Dilshad Malik, Mr Pradeep Bali, Mr G H Malik,  Mohd Saleem, Mr Rohit Bali, Mr Rakesh Singh Raka, Mr Sanjay Gupta, Mr Ashok Singh Manhas , ML Munshi, Mr Zeeshan Rana and others.