Special Discrimination !


We use the word ‘equality’ with much fanfare at the Government level; however, the actual action is just the opposite. It is paradoxical that squandering of public money on a group in the name of equality is done by discriminating against someone. The announcement of an economic package of Rs. 1,350 crore for Jammu & Kashmir seems to be an example of this. Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha has announced this economic package for Jammu & Kashmir to help businessmen and small traders affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as to boost economic activities, including tourism in the State. Not only this, 50% concession on fixed charges for payment of electricity and water bills for one year, 5% rebate on interest for the loans of every entrepreneur for the next 6 months has also been showered on the people in the State.

In fact, there are many more States in India that are suffering from the same problems which are cited for funding Jammu & Kashmir. Therefore, the real question is whether such a fund has been ever given to these beleaguered States ? The people do not object to giving a package of Rs. 1,350 crore, but to the amount of money that has been wasted on Kashmir in the last 73 years post- Independence. It is the right of every Indian taxpayer to know the result of so much spending. The Government should also provide this information to the people on its own. The manner in which money was squandered on Kashmir during the Congress regime is immeasurable. This money was hardly reaching the people of Jammu and Ladakh regions, which has always been the complaint of the people’s representatives of these two regions. This means that roughly 80 to 90% of the total funds were spent on Kashmir alone. That too in the name of development. Then, why has there been no development in the last 7 decades ? No one has asked Congress about this. On the contrary, terrorism and separatism have flourished there. It was as if Afzal Guru was born in every house there.

Even today, the practice of taking vows of dismembering India is prevalent in Kashmir. Are the funds used for this purpose ? It is in Kashmir that the soldiers who are defending our borders are pelted with stones, the religious fanatics here are fighting for Pakistan against our troops, they are after our soldiers’ lives, our National Flag cannot be hoisted in Kashmir.

As many as 4.5 lakh Kashmiri Hindus were displaced by making the land of Sage Kashyap the centre of jihadi terrorism. All these things happened there; however, the development for which crores of Rupees have been poured by the previous Governments is still not visible here. What corruption could be bigger than this ? Does this not mean that the religious fanatics have used this money for wrong purposes by keeping the Government system in the dark ? In short, the funds given to Kashmir so far have gone down the drain. Therefore, the present Government should immediately investigate this and try to hang the culprits.

The duplicity of people’s representatives

If the funds are being misused or not being spent on the expected projects, it is the responsibility of the people’s representatives to hold the Government agencies accountable. However, the role of our people’s representatives has always been of duplicity. It should be noted that these representatives who shout ‘GDP has gone down’, ‘Unemployment is rising’, ‘The economy has collapsed’, etc. do not even utter a word about such funds being spent from the Government coffers because the beneficiaries are their voters. From this, it is clear that the policies of political parties are decided based only on religion. This is also a kind of discrimination. Not only this, even the States that are shouting that ‘No money has been received from the Centre’, ‘The Centre should give our share for the State to us’, are silent on the squandering of billions of Rupees on Kashmir alone. Have they never seen this discrimination so far ? Or have they conveniently ignored it ? What is the percentage of people in Kashmir who pay taxes ? How many do not pay taxes ? Why does anyone not talk about this ? This picture must change. Even today, millions of people in India sleep hungry, many do not have a home of their own, many are unemployed. These funds could have been used for such people. For this, the citizens should now demand an answer and follow up with the Government. If the money you have paid in taxes has been given to a single State in excess of the limit for so many years, it is the responsibility of people to at least legitimately ask the Government about its result.

The present Central Government has abrogated Article 370 and Jammu & Kashmir was given the special status of a Union Territory. However, this State continues to enjoy the special privileges, which they have enjoyed for many years based on Congress-sponsored discrimination and with almost zero results. Hence, the real question is when will this special discrimination stop ? The Government should remember that if such fruitless special concessions continue, the objective of abrogating Article 370 will never be fully achieved. How can special concessions succeed when the ‘special status’ has failed ?