Tuesday, February 19, 2019
 News Details
Time To Pause And Reflect

By B L Saraf

People in Jammu region are fighting a war that circumstances have thrust upon them . A war - waged , without arms and ammunition , neither for annexation of the territory nor to vanquish any one . It is , undoubtedly , an existential battle – one to save whatever has been left with them . Very rightly , a Jammuite feels political marginalized , geographically squeezed , emotional under siege and let down by the very persons whom he brought from nowhere and placed on the pedestal . Worst of all , he stands accused of that what he stood against and fought all his life despite grave and persistent provocations from various quarters .

It is indeed a cruel blow to the psyche of a common Jammu resident to face a charge of sectarianism . We are told that Mahatma Gandhi saw “ Roshni Ki Kiran “ in Kashmir , in the darkest period of 1947 , when human blood inundated streets of the Sub –Continent , outside J & K . However, having seen how a common Jammu resident respected human life and , unmindful of their caste , color and creed , gave shelter to those who felt persecuted elsewhere in the State on the onset of armed militancy in 1990 , it can be said, without any fear of contradiction , that had he be living , Gandhi Ji would have seen that “ Roshni Ki Kiran ‘ shining brighter in Jammu than it was in Kashmir , in 1947 .

What Jammu province is going through , presently , was seen coming by those who have a little bit of concern for the province . Jammu has been stretched so much on various directions that there is a real threat of it going into pieces socially , politically and demographically . Situation is very alarming . We have West Pakistan Refugees roaming rootless in a place where they have been living for seventy years , denuded of all human rights and the dignity . Plight of POK displaced persons is no better . They are yet to enjoy basic state rights . Authorities are uncaring . For the Jammuites situation becomes far worse when they see illegal immigrants of foreign countries enjoying certain rights denied to the WPR and POK displaced persons . They see it as an unwanted burden on meager economic opportunities and resources available to them . There is a feeling , not without a reason , that for the ‘ real resident’ space in Jammu is shrinking.

What compounds situation further for the common person is his feeling of political orphanage , sense of deprivation of due share in representation in the state legislature and the executive , on account of skewed representation law . The agitation, therefore , is the painful expression of disregarded sensitivities , diminishing political and economic opportunities and assault on the demography.

We are really in testing times . That provides an opportunity to a brave and emancipated mind to stand the test and hold back anger and emotions, while not relenting on the fight for the cause . it is an occasion to realize that we don’t travel too far in our anger that it becomes difficult to retrieve the steps . Care has to be taken that too much strain is not put on our social and communal fabric as to tear it apart . That will be doing a great injustice to the proud pluralistic ethos and culture of Jammu . If not for anything else , this is to be done to deny a cunning and crafty politician an opportunity to play his dirty tricks .
Then there is need to understand that whatever we do here may have an adverse impact elsewhere in the country and the state and jeopardize the broader ‘ national cause ‘.

People living in Jammu province must be thankful to the HCB Association Jammu and its affiliates in the division for taking up the public causes , vigorously , at the cost of their economic interests . A day without work means to the lawyers a day without earnings . They have given their hundreds of days to the public causes , without looking to their religious or caste color . We must appreciate it .

It must be said here that a poor girl child in Khatua has been a victim of heinous crime . Crime is religion neutral . Sectarian considerations should never be allowed to intervene in the path of justice . Justice must be done to her and her near and dear ones – as also to the society at large . At the same time accused must not be condemned before a trail . They too need fair justice , both in realty and the perception .It needs to ensured that the accused have access to the quality legal advice . For us , as the students of law , it is important to ensure that ends of justice are met, at all costs . It won’t make a good picture if we are seen as law breakers and as an impediment to the due process of law.

There is nothing to look forward to the judiciary and lawyers in Pakistan . The way they are behaving may provide a lesson which we in India should never learn . Both have come under an international scrutiny for variety of reasons . The glaring being the one where the “ respected members “ of Lahore BAR association, in 2011 , came out to greet with honor Mumtaz Qadri and showered rose petals on the vehicle which brought him to the court, to face trial on the charge of killing Salman Taseer - then Governor of Pakistan Punjab for whose protection he was depute by the authorities in Lahore . Governor’s fault to earn death penalty at the hands of his security guard was that he had condemned the Pak blasphemy law which incarcerated non- Muslims on flimsy grounds . Pakistani lawyers , with some exceptions , instead of coming on the side of law bestowed honors on the murderer . They are yet to come out of the after effects of that disrespectful behavior . We must exercise extreme caution not to be seen in the light which is focused on the lawyers across the borders.

Jammu people are up against an indifferent political structure . Daunting and long drawn battle lies ahead . Therefore, it is time to pause , reflect coolly and then come up with a strategy to move forward , along with every section of the society , to achieve the goal .

(The author is a Former Principal District & Sessions Judge. Feedback- [email protected] )

(Disclaimer: The views, observations and opinions expressed in above write up of Scoop News are strictly author's own. Scoop News does not take any onus or liability for the veracity, accuracy, validity, completeness, suitability of any of information in the above given write up. The information, facts or figures appearing in the write up in no way manifest the position, standpoint or stance of Scoop News and the Scoop News does not assume any encumbrance or answerability of the same. All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent Courts and Forums in Jammu City Only)

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