Regional autonomy only way forward: Rana

Samba, May 12: National Conference Provincial President Devender Singh Rana on Sunday reiterated that regional autonomy to the three regions under the overall superintendence of the State government is the only way forward to assuage the political aspirations of the people and address to the political dimensions of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Such a mechanism will provide a sense of political empowerment and end the apprehensions of discrimination among the people”, Rana said while paying tribute to Shaheed Shashi Bala and Hoshiar Singhji at a function organized by Internationalist Democratic Platform here this morning.
Rana said regional autonomy together with well-structured district councils will end the sense of deprivation and ensure complete involvement of the people in decision making. He said the doctrine of regional autonomy provides a mechanism for empowerment of sub-regions and administrative mechanism at district level to take governance at the grass roots level, on the analogy of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils. The concept of regional autonomy essentially aims at assuaging political, economic, developmental and psychological aspirations of the three regions of the State, he said, adding this will also be a counter to the machinations of dividing Jammu and Kashmir on regional and communal lines.
Rana said that myopic politics, based on hate and mistrust, has caused a huge dent to the time tested unity of the State and the time has come when people of different faiths and regions should take a lead in bridging the gap. For this, he called for inter-community and intra state dialogue for promoting better understanding and harmony, saying respecting each other’s’ sentiments is imperative for healthy societal growth. He said inter-community discourse will help in eschewing misgivings and strengthening the bonds between various segments of society. “We must take a lead and initiate this process at grass roots level by interacting with each other”, he added
The Provincial President said the society has to grow in unison and spirit of camaraderie by isolating all those creating division, either due to ignorance or for vested interest. For this, he highlighted the crucial need of imbibing the spirit of selflessness and righteousness, corner-stone of every religion, saying unity and tranquility alone will help in isolating such forces. “We have to fight collectively against all those who promote hate, which is not in consonance of our pluralistic ethos”, he said and urged the people, especially youth, to come forward and play their useful role in this regard.
While paying tribute to the martyrs, Rana said their martyrdom has added one more feather to the land of warriors. He described Samba as the birth place of warriors and intellectuals who have scripted sagas of valour and left indelible mark of intellectual genius. He said the popular political movements have taken off from this fertile land of braves.
Rana discussed volley of subjects while speaking on the agenda ‘Emerging political scenario in India vis-à-vis Jammu and Kashmir’. He dwelt in detail on Article 35A of the Constitution, terming it a manifestation of the state subject laws enacted by the visionary Maharaja Hari Singhji, way back in 1927, essentially to protect the rights, identity and dignity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Duggerland. He said any attempt of tinkering with this constitutional provision will hurt the Jammu region the most in terms of losing jobs to the youth of outside state and businesses to affluent business houses of the neighboring states.
“Safeguarding Article 35A is not anti-national”, Rana said and lashed out at those who attach anti-national tag to those struggling for safeguarding this constitutional guarantee. He said patriotism is core of Indian ethos and when it touches the borders of hyper-nationalism it could be counter-productive and lead to mistrust and suspicion in the society. He said every Indian from Kashmir to Kanyakumari is a proud patriot and there is no need for certificate from anyone, least from those indulging in hyper-nationalism.
I D Khajuria, President IDP, Faculty in the Department of Political Science, University of Jammu, Dr Ellora Puri, R. K Badyal, Patron PFFHV, Karan Singh, President, PFFHV, Vijay Singh Sambyal, Ex DIG, Bir Singh, Santosh Khajuria, Pritam Sarpanch Salmah, Major Singh, Sarpanch Markoli Maj Dileep Singh, ex Sarpanch also spoke on the occasion and paid tribute to martyrs.
The programme was held in coordination with the Mahila Adhikar Sangathan and People’s Forum for Human Values Samba.
Earlier, Devender Singh Rana was taken in a procession, led by National Conference District President Samba, Mohinder Singh, Provincial President Women Wing Satwant Kour Dogra and Chander Singh up to the venue of the function.