According to some media reports, the Indian government is toying seriously with long pending demand of people of Jammu as well as Ladakh to divide the state of Jammu and Kashmir into three parts i.e Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. According to media reports, PM Modi wants to solve the issue of Kashmir before 2019 general elections and it is also possible that PM Modi may himself in a month or so announce trifurcation of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
People of Ladakh and Jammu have been very vocal in demanding to trifurcate the state. They claim that they have nothing to do with anti-national movements going on in the valley. They also allege that the focus of the Delhi and J&K government is always on Kashmir. Other areas of the state are a pariah for the establishment of the state as well as of the centre. The demand for separate state has been very high in Ladakh region. All Religious Joint Action Committee (ARJAC) leaders passed a resolution demanding union territory status for Ladakh. In a memorandum to Prime Minister, ARJAC leaders had said, “Ladakh is fundamentally different from Kashmir in all respects — culturally, ethnically and linguistically. Over the years the successive governments of the state have adopted a policy of discrimination and subversion towards the region with the sole objective of stifling its people and marginalizing its historical, religious and cultural identity.” The ARJAC leaders further said, “In modern times, when the whole subcontinent has passed through the process of decolonisation to enjoy the fruits of national Independence, we, the people of Ladakh, and our land still continue to suffer under the old concept of colonial administrative structure, which suited the imperial interests and feudal rulers under the name of the pseudo-state of Jammu & Kashmir.”
The ARJAC leaders further added, “Nationalism remained a dominant ideological creed and became a rallying force among the Ladakhis to fight back the Pakistanis and the Chinese who made frequent bids of conquer our land in 1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999 wars. The jawans of Ladakh Scouts played an exemplary role in decisively foiling the enemy’s misadventures.”
The ARJAC memo further stated, “Our humble submission is that we are neither the problem nor part of any problem involving the state. Rather we are the solution. We firmly believe that all of us live only if India lives. Our commitment to patriotism is firm and unequivocal. Our people and soldiers have never hesitated to make supreme sacrifices in the discharge of their duties towards the country. We shall never fail the nation.”
People of Jammu also favour trifurcation citing the discriminatory attitude of parties of the state towards the region. They are not happy with the hegemonic rules of the Kashmiris. People of Ladakh and Jammu are discriminated when it comes to government jobs and other government schemes and benefits. Most of the policies are Kashmir centric. Whatever, unfortunate thing happen in Kashmir, it has its reverberations in Jammu as well. Happenings in Kashmir affect the business of Jammu in some way or other. Leaders of Kashmir are seen as usurper of the rights and funds of Jammu. They strongly believe that they can manage their state successfully without Kashmir. Since Jammu region of the state has more area than Kashmir, it also generates more revenues. In Jammu, there are more opportunities for trade and industry.
The best solution to remove the headache of people of Ladakh and Jammu is to divide the state into three parts. This trifurcation will kill many birds with one stone. It would be extremely helpful to localize the menace of terrorism and separatism to the valley only, and business of other areas would not be affected. It would help in providing better administration to neglected regions of Jammu and Ladakh, boost the development of other areas, would give more autonomy to the other regions to run their own affairs, the resources and taxes collected from Jammu will be used for the betterment and development of Jammu, Ladakh being a union territory would get funds directly from the Central government and could spend it in developing tourism in the region in order to generate revenues. And, the most important things, the trifurcation would also help in gaining a strategic advantage against the fight against cross-border terrorism and infiltration.