J&K land for sale: Demography and ecology at stake, timing of notification?

ArticleJ&K land for sale: Demography and ecology at stake, timing of notification?


J&K land for sale: Demography and ecology at stake, timing of notification?

Ubaidullah Nasir

J&K land for sale: Demography and ecology at stake, timing of notification?

On one hand all major political parties in Kashmir valley have come together to fight against abrogation of article 370 and 35 A and to get restored previous position on the other central government has issued a new notification enabling out siders to purchase land in the valley though for a limited purpose of commercial use mainly setting up industry, and establishing private universities colleges and schools. Union government notified the new laws for the region ending the exclusive rights enjoyed by the local people of that region. In a clever move Ladakh has been kept outside the purview of this notification to please the mainly Buddhist population of the region. It may be noted that like Kashmir valley protest voices have also been raised in Ladakh against opening up its land for outsiders. According to information separate notification will be issued for Ladakh region. Timing of the notification is also very important. Bihar is going to polls, first phase of polling is going on today ( Wednesday October 28 ).The election is more crucial for BJP than to JDU because it will have national repercussion so to please and consolidate its core vote bank BJP has thrown its trump card in the ring. To what extent it will affect the voters is another thing but BJP is using all weapons in its arsenal, this is one among them.

Under the new J&K development act the centre has omitted the term “Permanent residents of the state” paving the way for investors outside J&K to invest in the state. The centre has been arguing that article 370 hampered development as investors were unable to purchase land prior to abrogation of article 370.According to amendment made to J&K land revenue act samvat 1996 “No sale gift exchange or mortgage of the land shall be valid in favour of the person who is not an agriculturist”. The agricultural land could not be used for any nonagricultural purpose except with the permission of the District Collector. The introduction of the UT of J&K reorganization (Adaptation of central laws) third order 2020 by the union home ministry has resulted in the repeal of about 11 land laws including the J&K big landed estates abolition act that has resulted in the famous land to tiller rights. It may be remembered that after annexation of J&K in Indian union the then Chief Minister (then Prime Minster of J&K) Sheikh Abdullah has introduced most revolutionary land reform in J&K giving owner ship to landless farmers that was called land to tillers.
J&K lieutenant governor Manoj Sinha has said “we want that like other parts of India industries should be setup in J&K. My government is committed to peace progress and prosperity “But industrialization has never been a problem there. One still remembers that during previous government many industrialists and investors have visited Srinagar with Rahul Gandhi and have assured investment there. The development index of J&K is far better than many other states of India including Gujarat whose Gujarat model is much publicized development model. Not only land but environment laws are and were an issue there because ecology of the state has to be preserved also and heavy industrialization may damage the ecology there.

Political parties in Kashmir who have come under one umbrella to get article 370 restored have opposed this amendment. National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that the amendments have put J&K up for sale. With these new laws in place tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with, as purchasing nonagricultural land has been made easier. These new laws are not acceptable to people of J&K. Another former Chief Minister with whom BJP has formed the government there Mahbooba Mufti has termed this amendment” yet another step that is part of nefarious designs to disempower and disenfranchise people of J&K. Such brazen measures reinforce the need of people of all three provinces of J&K to fight unitedly”.

This is a fact that people of all three regions Jammu, Valley and Ladakh wants their demography and ecology preserved they are afraid that if land of their region is opened to sale for outsiders, not only their ecology but their demography may also change as has happened in almost all major cities of India for example first there were more Punjabis in Delhi than old traditional Delhiwallas who are now a thin minority confined mainly to old Delhi. They are afraid that once the gate is opened they will become minority in their own state and regions. This fear has its roots in history. After annexation Sheikh Abdullah smelled it and article 370 was included in the constitution on his insistence mainly to preserve demography and ecology of the state.

Another important factor is that the constitutionality of the abrogation of article 370 and 35 A is under the consideration of Supreme Court the way it was done is an open violation of constitutional method clearly mentioned in the provisions. SC has issued notices to union government it is surprising that SC is not giving that important to this case as it should have given even stay order was not issued giving rights to central government to do what it wants to do but if in future the SC declares this as ultra vires how the things being done today will be undone then? It is a subjudice case and Modi government should have shown some restrain and maturity in implementing the core ideals of its parent organization the RSS but in its hurry to get political mileage it is distancing people of Kashmir from the rest of the nation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the author. Buzinessbytes is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, practicality or truthfulness of any information provided in this article. All the information has been presented in this article as it is. Any information or facts or opinions expressed in this article are not of buzinessbytes, and buzinessbytes is not liable in any way for them.

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