OPEN LETTER BY A GORKHA TO GOVERNMENT OF JAMMU KASHMIR

26 Dec 2017 12:15:45


 

[This is a letter by a retired army officer, who is a Gorkha, highlighting the grim situation of Gorkha community in J&K. Gorkha Community has tilled the land of J&K with their blood. But in return, they are not awarded equal treatment under Art. 14 as is awarded to other permanent residents of J&K. Shockingly, they are deprived of basic human rights by State Government of JK in the garb of Article 35A inserted in Indian Constitution via Backdoor entry in 1954 superseding the established procedure. Article 35A sanctifies the crass discrimination which deals blow to rights and dignity of Gorkha Community. In J&K, the Gorkhas are out rightly denied by State Government in unjust, unfair and discriminatory manner : the, Permanent Resident Certificate,  right to vote in local elections of state, government job & social welfare benefits, moreover, even their children are denied admission in Professional colleges. Laws of J&K have reduced them to the position of a “second class citizen“.]

 

December 19, 2017

 

Subject: Seeking kind attention and due consideration towards the problems and challenges being faced by the thousands of  Gorkha community members residing permanently in the State of Jammu & Kashmir, caused by the gross violation of their basic human rights, which have been denied to them ever since 1947.

Respected Sir,

  1. The Jammu Kashmir State has a Gorkha population of around One Lac. It is an appalling state of affairs, and a matter of great shame that the Jammu and Kashmir State has still not taken adequate measures to rehabilitate the thousands of  Gorkhas and give them their essential rights even after 67 years. The large population of people, whose beloved ones fought for the army of the Jammu & Kashmir Maharaja, now live in the most inhuman conditions. After more than 70 years of independence, we are still denied the status of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and are victims of social and economic discrimination.

 

  1. We are residing in Jammu and Kashmir right from the beginning of the Dogra Regime in 1846. Maharaja Gulab Singh received the first contingent of Gorkha defence personnel under the command of Col. Bhakta B. Thapa from Sikh Darbar to Dogra Darbar. Assimilating fully with the local population we have fought shoulder to shoulder with Indian patriots in defending and guarding the frontiers. Infact, during the Pak Invasion of  Jammu Kashmir in 1947 we, the Gorkhas of Jammu & Kashmir acted with undaunted, unsurpassable courage and showed exemplary devotion to duty as part of the armed forces of the State. Even after 1947, three wars were fought against Pakistan and one against China. Time and again we rose to prove ourselves, the incomparable warriors in the hour of need. Even in the Civilians Line, the services rendered by us are of highest order as far as love of the nation, honesty, obedience, faithfulness, sincerity, labor and hard work are concerned. 

 

  1. It’s a mockery on the state governance which even after seven decades of independence has miserably failed to bring the Gorkhas, who are as much part of the populace of J & K State today, as any other community, to the mainstream development and provide them with the basic minimum requirement of suitable shelter, education and employment opportunities. Still there is no concern for the rehabilitation and development of the Gorkhas, who toil and serve the State without any hope for a future that is in all fairness, thoroughly deserved by them. By way of this application the Gorkha community looks to the State Government to hear our cry for help in this dire circumstance that has been prevailing among us for an unduly long period.  Today, it is an anticipated task for the responsible State Forums to highlight the issues, concerns and the demands of our Gorkha Community. It is the hour of the need to provide our Gorkhas a status of permanent residents to  enjoy the basic rights just like any other citizen of the country.

 

  1. Our Gorkha community is living in the State for a period of more than 3 centuries. We are denied of the right of permanent resident status even today by State of J&K. This itself, is violative of the basic human and fundamental rights of the members of our Gorkha Community including the ‘Right against discrimination’ and ‘Right to life’ as conferred under the Constitution of India. The members of our Gorkha Community, who are an integral part of the  State of Jammu & Kashmir are deprived of their inalienable fundamental rights by not conferring on them basic civil and political rights. India being a signatory to the ‘Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’, is bound to ensure to its citizens of every State these basic rights, which to the great misfortune of us are denied to our Gorkha community residing in Jammu and Kashmir.

 

 

 

  1. After perusing the above paragraphs it will become apparent to you that the plight of our poor Gorkha community is presently so grievous that:
  2. we can’t avail our fundamental rights which should be guaranteed to us as citizens of India,
  3. Our children have no right to obtain higher (professional and technical) education in the State, where we have lived in for three generations,
  4. We are discriminated against in the matter of securing government jobs even though we have the requisite qualification,
  5. We have become bonded laborers in the State confined to watchman duty, which amounts to slavery of a sort.
  6. To crown it all, our greatest peril lies in the fact that the State has (contrary to national and international human rights law) thwarted any mechanism or procedure for them to achieve our fundamental rights, by implementing a farce called “Permanent Resident Certificate”.

 

  1. Therefore in the light of above mentioned facts and circumstances, it is most humbly requested that this Government should take appropriate measures to help us, as we are still deprived of our fundamental rights for past seven decades. Now, it is time that we should be brought into the mainstream of Jammu and Kashmir population and we should be given access to our fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of India and in keeping with India’s international obligations to follow the U.N. Charter and international conventions.

 

  1. In view of the aforementioned circumstances, it is most respectfully prayed to you to confer the basic rights including civil and political rights, which are inherent to any human being, on the members of the Gorkha Community.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Col. Rajinder Singh

   (Victim of Jammu Kashmir)

(This is an English translation of a letter, originally written in Hindi)

 

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