COVID-19 lockdown and the 1957 famine

Amidst the lockdown due to the COVID-19, few old people recalled me their memories of 1957 famine. An untimely snowfall, a decade after the independence of the country had caused harsh scarcity of food for livelihood in the region. In the backdrop of both these tragic situations, 1957 famine and 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, Ladakh have to take few serious lessons. The significant one that I want to discuss here is the fact that Ladakh’s economy should be based on production instead of tourism.

Before the partition of the country, Ladakh had different routes for bringing food and other commodities. Most prominent of them were from Kargil-Skardu route, from Zoji Pass, from Chelong Nala etc. However, with the partition Ladakh found its main route completely closed to Baltistan. As a result, Ladakh faced extreme poverty and scarcity of food commodities. In 1957 Kargil received untimely snowfall in the month of June. As a result, the population that was completely dependent on agriculture got all their crops destroyed. It resulted into famine in the region.

Old people recounted that many people who had horse and donkey went to Kashmir to bring food, rice and grain for survival. Many people who had less attachment with the land, some temporarily and some permanently, migrated to other places. But there were many who had no resource to do either of the two above mentioned options. They survived themselves after eating roots of trees and plants. Some even say that they survived after eating sole of their shoes.

Today in 2020, we are not in such a situation like 1957. But today in the COVID-19 lockdown people have shortage of basic commodities and ingredients like sugar, onion, oil, cereals, flour etc. Today we face such circumstances in a situation where the whole country is fighting to combat against the Coronavirus that has posed threat across the globe. The lockdown is a precautionary measure taken by the government to prevent the transfer of the virus from one person to another; but we have no alternate choice to the lockdown.

These two extreme situations gave us a lesson that tourism-based economy is not sustainable and appropriate for geographical location like Ladakh. Today people in Ladakh have enough money to spend for their livelihood but products and commodities are not at the right place due to the prevailing situation. In addition, the tourism-based economy has two major shortcomings. First, it increases the population; that in turn increases the pollution level in the region. In a region where water is scarce, the growth of pollution has adverse effect. Environmentalists have already warned that Ladakh cannot bear further growth in population.

Secondly, tourism bring monetary benefit with less efforts. The luxury of financial resource snatches skills and development in human being. In state of luxury people give few focuses on production, agriculture, handicraft, horticulture, and other skill required sectors.

However, the production-based economy is supportive for both the environmental concerns and development of skills in the people. Increase in cultivating and agricultural land would help in minimising the air pollution. It would also give selective invitation to tourists because of less facilities available to them in the region. Most importantly, the inhabitants of Ladakh have not to rely on other cities and States for their livelihood and other requirements.

دہلی تازیاداری – ایک مختصر تاریخ

ہندوستان کی راجدہانی دہلی میں جب عزاداری کی بات کرتے ہیں تو زہن میں تصور آتا ہے تعزیہ کا۔  دہلی میں عزاداری کا  250-300سالہ قدیمی جلوس جسے تعزیہ داری کہا جاتا ہے ، پرانی دہلی کی گلی سیّدان  کی ایک قدیمی امام بارگاہ سے نکل کر جامع مسجد دہلی، چوڑی بازار، اجمیری گیٹ، پہاڑ گنج، نئی دہلی، کناوٹ پلیس، پارلیمین سٹریٹ  اور دیگر علاقوں سے ہوتے ہوئے کربلا جور باغ میں اپنے قیام تک پہنچتا ہے۔


ہر سال محرم کے بعد یہ جلوس دو بار اربعین حسینی اور 7 ربیع الاول کے موقع پر بر آمد ہوتی ہے۔ اربعین پر نکلنے والا تازیہ سفید رنگ کا بنتا ہے لہذا سفید تاذیہ سے مشہور ہے۔ یہ تعزیہ 250-300 سال پرانی ہے جو سید خورشید علی رضوی سے منصوب ہے۔  7 ربیع اول پر نکلنے والا تعزیہ کالے رنگ کا ہوتا ہے لہذا کالا تعزیہ کہلاتا ہے۔  کالا تعزیہ 100-150 سال پرانا ہے اور سید معصوم علی رضوی سے منصوب ہے۔

تعزیہ داری صرف ہندوستان اور پاکستان میں ہی ملتی ہے۔ تعزیہ کی تاریخ  تُرک بادشاہ تیمور لنگ کے زمانے سے جا ملتی ہے۔ اکثر روایت کے مطابق بادشاہ 1398 میں دہلی پہنچا اور اُسی  سال ہی امام حسین کے دوضہ کی شبیح بنائی ۔ یہ روایت مستند بھی لگتی ہے کیونکہ اُنہوں نے جو تعزیہ بنایا تھا آج بھی حضرت نظام الدین کی درگاہ میں رکھا گیا ہے۔ دوسری تاریخ کے مطابق یہ نواب احمد علی خان شوکت یار  جو بہو بیگم کے خاندان میں سے تھے نے شروع کیا اور تب سے قائم و دائم رہا۔ نواب احمد خان رامپور 1787سے 1840 تک زندہ رہے، لیکن تعزیہ کی تاریخ اس سے پہلے بھی ملتی ہے۔ اس سے اندازہ لگایا جا سکتا ہے کہ یہ تاریخ زیادہ مستند نہیں ہے۔

دہلی میں مختلف تعزیہ نکلتے تھے اور ہیں جو اہل سنت ، اہل تشیع اور کچھ ہندو برادران بھی نکالتے تھے۔ سفید تعزیہ جو پرانی دہلی کی گلی سیّدان سے نکلتا ہے 250 – 300 سال پرانا جلوس ہے۔ اس کی شروعات سید خورشید علی رضوی نے کی۔ جلوس کا سلسلہ 1947میں بند ہوا جب خورشید علی کے پر پوتے سید محبت علی رضوی اپنے تین بھائیوں کے ساتھ پاکستان چلے گئے۔ سید محبت علی رضوی کا اس دوران ہندوستان سے پاکستان آنا جانا رہا اور 1953میں ہندوستان میں ہی مستقل قیام کیا۔ اس کے بعد امام باڑہ کا نام ہی اُن کے نام سے منصوب ہوا۔

اب تعزیہ  امام بارہ محبت علی سے سید محبت علی رضوی کے پر پوتوں کی قیادت میں  نکلتا ہے۔ تعزیہ کا ڑھانچہ شروعات سے ہی اہل سنت برادران بناتے رہے ہیں۔ اس پر کالا کپڑا اور گوڑا چھڑانا  تعزیہ دار کے گھر کی عورتوں کا کام ہے۔اس طرح پانچ تخت ، پانچ چھتری، ایک روضہ اور ایک گمبد  والا ایک خوبصورت تعزیہ تیار کیا جاتا ہے۔ تعزیہ میں بمبو کی لکڑی، رسی، آئینہ، پھول وغیرہ کا زیادہ استعمال ہوتا ہے۔

تعزیہ کے تیار ہونے پے تعزیہ کو سلامی پیش کی جاتی ہے جو اہلبیت امام حسین کی شان و شوکت کی عکاسی کرتی ہے۔ روایتی انداز میں سلامی پیش کرنے کے لئے علاقہ حضرت نظام الدین سے ایک ہندو عزادار   رام جی آتے تھے جو اپنے کئی نسلوں سے اس کام کو انجام دیتے آ رہے ہیں۔ اب اُن کے صاحب زادے مکیش آتے ہیں۔ سلامی پیش کرتے وقت تعزیہ دار کے گھر والے بھی تاشے بجانے میں شریک ہو کر عقیدت کا اظہار کرتے ہیں۔

سلامی کے بعد مرثیہ خوانی سے مجلس کی شروعات ہوتی ہے۔ مرثیہ خوان بھی کئی نسلوں سے مرثیہ خوانی کے فرائظ انجام دیتے آ رہے ہیں۔ پہلے انوار مرزا، اُن کے بیٹے سابر مرزا اور مرزا وزیر، اس کے بعد زاکر مرزا نے فرائظ انجام دئے۔ 2018 میں اُن کا انتقال ہوا اور اب اُن کے بیٹے حسین مرزا نے فرائظ سمبھالے ہیں۔ پھر مسائب پڑھ کر واقعہ کربلا اور مصیبت اہلبیت امام حسین کو یاد کرتے ہیں ۔آخر میں نوحہ خوانی اور سینہ زنی کے ساتھ تازیہ کو امام باڑہ سے باہر برآمد کیا جاتا ہے۔

باہر کھلے بازار میں نکال کر تعزیہ کو ٹائر لگایا جاتا ہے تاکہ چلانے میں آسانی ہو۔ تخت لگوا کر پھولوں کے ساتھ تعزیہ کو سجایا جاتا ہے۔ لوگ جوق در جوق تعزیہ کی زیارت کرتے ہیں، نیاز بانٹتے ہیں، اور اپنی مننتیں پورا ہونے کی دعا مانگتے ہیں۔ مختلف ماتمی انجمنیں تازیہ کے ساتھ نوحہ خوانی اور سینہ زنی کرتے ہوئے جامع مسجد دہلی کی طرف بڑھتے ہیں۔ بچے ، بھوڑھے، مرد ، عورت سب عقیدت کے ساتھ چہلم امام حسین علیہ سلام مناتے ہیں۔

ظہر کا وقت ہوتے ہی سارے عزادار حسین بازار میں ہی نماز قائم کرتے ہیں۔ اس منظر کو دیکھ کر وہ مقام یاد آتا ہے جب امام حسین علیہ سلام نے اپنا آخری نماز ادا کیا تھا۔ جنگ کے دوران نماز قائم کر کے امام حسین علیہ سلام نے یہ بتا دیا کی نماز کتنی اہم ہے۔ آج بھی عزاداران امام حسین جلوسوں کے درمیان نماز قائم کر کے پیغام امام حسین کو زندہ رکھنے کی بھرپور کوشش کرتے ہیں۔ تعزیہ جلوس کے دوران کچھ بچے بھی نظر آتے ہیں  جو ننھے ہاتھوں میں پلے کارٹ لے کر پیغام امام حسین اور پیغام حضرت علی اصغر کو دنیا کے سامنے پیش کرتے ہیں۔ مختلف جگوں پر لوگ عقیدت کے ساتھ امام حسین کی یاد میں سبیلوں کا بھی انتظام کرتے ہیں۔ جلوس کے دوران صفائی کا بھی خاص خیال رکھا جاتا ہے۔ نوجوان گروہ ہاتھوں میں پلے کاڑٹ اور پنی لے کر سبیلوں کے پاس کھڑے رہتے ہیں تاکہ جلوس گزرنے کے راستے میں گندگی نہ ہو۔

اس طرح نوحہ خوانی اور سینہ زنی کا سلسلہ اجمیری گیٹ پر ختم ہوتا ہے۔ اس جگہ عزاداران امام حسین علمائوں کی قیادت میں مغربین کا نماز ادا کرتے ہیں۔ اجمیری گیٹ کے بعد عزادار شعار بلند کرتے ہوئے منزل کی طرف گامزن ہوتے ہیں۔ پارلیمنٹ اسٹریٹ پر لوگ تھوڑی دیر کے لئے آرام کرتے ہیں ۔ تعزیہ کو درگاہ شاہ مردان، جسے کربلا جور باغ کے نام سے بھی جانا جاتا ہے پر دفن کیا جاتا ہے۔ تعزیہ دفن کرنے کا مخصوص جگہ رکھا گیا ہے۔ دونوں تازیہ کے درمیان میں   بزرگان بانی جلوس کی قبر موجود ہے۔

The article was first appeared in the weekly Voice of Ladakh on 12 November 2019 | Volume 07 | Issue 39. The views expressed are at sole responsibility of the author.

Fear of Dominance in UT Ladakh

The Central Government in a significant decision bifurcated the State of Jammu and Kashmir among two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. People in Leh district of Ladakh welcomed the move and celebrated the “freedom from Kashmiri dominance”. While Kargil resented, fearing discrimination from Centre government and dominance of Leh. The contention seems to have shifted from earlier Kashmir-Ladakh to within communities in Ladakh on communal lines. The cold desert is now hot in politics.

Like other parts of India, Ladakh also has diverse communities, languages and cultures. But unlike many other regions in India, Ladakh has a history of co-existence, peace, inter-community marriages, gatherings, celebrations etc. The region Ladakh, now Union Territory, has two districts; Buddhist dominated Leh and Muslim dominated Kargil. But other religious minorities like Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and sectarian minorities like Sunnis and Noorbakshia also make a significant number in both the districts. Either by election or nomination, all these minorities and sects have ensured proper political representation in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils (LAHDC). But after the reorganisation of the State, all is not well in Ladakh.

Few weeks before bifurcation of the State, all of a sudden, the Buddhist community of Zanskar region in Kargil embarked demand for a separate district. However, the demand intensified after the reorganisation move. On 17 August 2019, the Kargil wing of the Leh based Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), in a letter to the Governor of the State Satyapal Malik complained over political marginalisation of Buddhist minorities in the district. After a harsh reply by Sheikh Nazir-ul-Mehdi Mohammadi, President of Anjuman e Ulema e Isna-Ashriya Kargil (influential Muslim organisation), the situation in Kargil became tense. The LBA Leh in another letter to Home Minister alleged Sheikh Nazir of “infusing communal hatred” against Buddhist minority.

On 20 September, the Youth Wing of the LBA Leh in a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah misrepresented Kargil saying that they (Kargil) have “decided to demand that Kargil should be merged with J&K UT”. Going further they “urge(d)” the Central Government to merge Kargil with J&K UT and the Buddhist dominated areas in Kargil with Leh. The letter also demanded to join Lahul Spiti from Himachal Pradesh into newly formed Ladakh UT. One would easily understand what is hatching behind all this hue and cry; a Buddhist dominated Union Territory.

These series of letter, carrying demands on communal lines, infused a sense of fear among other communities also. In a press conference, the Noorbakshia (considered a sect of Shia Islam) community in Leh complained over discrimination in the district. The community also demanded a separate district and more representation in the LAHDC Leh. Earlier, when Zanskar’s demand for separate district soared, people from Drass sub-division in Kargil district also marked a considerable protest demanding separate district for themselves. The Drass subdivision contains a huge population of Sunni Muslims.

Recently, in another significant move, the government approved a Medical College, Cricket Academy and a 200 Bed hospital; but all in Leh. Kargil saw it as discrimination what they feared from day one of bifurcation of the State. The Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (influential organisation in Kargil) and the District Congress Committee in separate press releases protested against the “discriminatory” approach. Few weeks before, the Joint Action Committee Kargil was assured by the Governor and Chief Secretary both of no discrimination between Leh and Kargil. The Chairman of the Legislative Assembly Haji Anayat Ali who recently joined BJP also had assured people in Kargil of not getting discrimination from Central government. This recent granting of three developments all in Leh is seen as a betrayal in Kargil.

Most of the communities in Ladakh have a sense of insecurity of dominance by another group. This insecurity is leading towards discord and conflict. Amit all this, discriminatory approach, allegations and subsequent exchange of harsh words lead to erosion of tradition of co-existence and peace among different communities in the sparsely populated cold desert. The government, after taking such an extreme step like bifurcation, also has the responsibility to take early preventive measures to avoid any confrontation in the border region. The community elders in Ladakh also have an obligation to appease their respective communities and refrain from any provoking words towards other communities.


Anwar Ali Tsarpa is a resident of Ladakh. He is a research scholar at the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ladakh Express team.

How Civilised Gar-Khil Welcomed Anil Ali? A Political Satire!

More than 300 BJP Karyakartas (workers) with 150 vehicles warmly received Haji Anil Ali in Gar-Khil after joining the Bhagt Janata Party (BJP). Addressing the gathering at TFC Kargil, Anil astonishingly said that he had never thought that BJP would get such warm welcome in Gar-Khil. 

Among more than 300 BJP workers and supporters, few clerics were also seen hugging, touching cheeks, rubbing shoulders and congratulating him. The clerics actively followed the tradition that asks, not to hate the sinner but the sin. But they forgot the tradition that asks to, not side with oppressors and tyrants. However, people after a long time got a topic to show their anger, piousness, enthusiasm, wit, linguistic skills and many more. 

The 4G internet has civilised people in Gar-Khil. They know how to salute a person with words mingled with mother-sister. They are speedy to turn pages from history to check once’s Janam Kundli. This civilised tradition is a new lesson for people in Gar-Khil. Anil Ali has demonstrated what he is. But what about hundreds of people who are reflecting their background with his words on social media?

Since the beginning, he (Anil) has struggled alone on all fronts, Anil self-pro-claimed. Like faku NaMo, he forgot the fact that Youth Wing was his launch pat towards his social and political carrier. He had support from religious organisations in his social and political carrier. Now that support is negligible against his image as a BJP Karikarta. After all, how much he has struggled and learned from his political journey would come to know if you listen to his speech carefully. 

He said when whole India has no problem with BJP why Gar-Khil should keep themselves departed. On this, a Sheikh whispered on my smooth cheeks behind the right ear, “We must depart ourselves like the 72 in Karbala who departed themselves from whole Kufa and Sham”. I replied, “Sheikh Sahab, Kahen bhi Shuru ho jatay ho, he is Anil Ali, not Anayat Ali”. Sheikh Sahab: “O, Acha”.

Anil Ali further said, “there is no choice for us other than the BJP”. Yes, for slaves and Karikartas choice is limited to BJP; but dignified communities have many other options, to resist, to protest, to descent and to believe in the democratic power transition.  He further proclaimed that his struggle and dedication has made him a “Khatarnak” (dangerous) man. It seems that he has shared some meal with the Bhagts; because he has learned to flex muscles over political opponents and those who descent. He threatened to take action not via local administration but from “Centre”. After all, by this statement, his opponents must know that his bread is coming from the government at Centre.

It would be interesting to know what reward is awaiting for him for his loyal obedience as BJP Karikarta. Let’s wait!

Rethinking UT Ladakh

One who accepts or reject things without any reason is out of rational human category says Rumi.

The Central Government in a significant decision bifurcated the State of Jammu and Kashmir among two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. People in Leh district welcomed the move while Kargil resented. The decision fuelled debates in both the districts over the pros and cons of the new order. Community elders in Leh conducted a meeting, and Kargil formed a Joint Action Committee. The advocates of UT argue that Ladakh can move ahead and fulfil its aspirations as Ladakh region and not as a subsidiary of any other part. This author argues that Ladakh, as a unit, will always remain subsidiary to either Central (as UT) or State (as region) government. Ladakh has to decide on the appropriate one. The below points would determine what is necessary: UT or Statehood?

First, thinkers argue that “cultural distinctiveness, strategic importance and special treatment and care of the backward and tribal people are very much applicable for creation of Union Territory of Ladakh”. The former J&K State with special status fulfils the three consideration; so, this reason stands null. J&K State with special status had protected them all. However, now in the new order called UT, protection of any such kind is not guaranteed. Including Ladakh in Scheduled Tribal Area is uncertain because the reorganisation bill mentions nothing about it. Thus, the argument “Union Territory is good” has many “ifs” and “buts”. If we are protected under Scheduled Tribe Area; if our land remains protected under Fifth Schedule; if our jobs are protected are all uncertain. Losing a thing in hand for something unpredictable is not rational.

Secondly, to fight for the above-said protections, Ladakh’s pressure is very ineffective as they are small in number. But to fight for the restoration of Special Status of J&K is much easier as they have a more significant like-minded force in Kashmir, Jammu, activists in other parts of the country and an international community. In future also, if Ladakh needs to make pressure on authorities for any demand, they would be incapable. In a state, a region like Ladakh can quickly build pressure because of being one-third of the State. But it will be difficult for a small UT like Ladakh to pressurise the government in Delhi. In a State, Ladakh could aspire in both Legislation and Parliament. Besides, the State also would fight for their demands. This reorganisation move has declined Ladakh’s strength.

Thirdly, Ladakh is demanding all the protections that they had under the Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir. Leh leaders, by advocating for changes in Article 370 has led to the removal of similar protections from Kashmir and Jammu, but they are demanding the same for themselves, which is unethical and selfishness. According to some Kargili leaders, such “wicked policy” is not what their “Vichar Dhara” taught.

Fourthly, on share in annual Budget, Ladakh as Division in the State of J&K is much benefitted than as a Union Territory. Other Union territories without legislation, like Daman and Diu (2.43 Lakh population), with an area of 111 sq. km got 821.48 crores in Annual Budget 2018-19; Dadra and Nagar Haveli (3.44 Lakh) with an area of 491 sq. km got 1177.99 Crore. Another Union territory with Legislation, Puducherry (12.48 Lakh) with an area of 490 sq. km got 1601 Crore. Ladakh (2.74 lakh) has a total area of 59146 sq. km gets three to five times more than other UTs.

J&K Budget used to divide in the ratio of 70:30 percent. Thirty per cent is for district plan under which both Leh and Kargil gets 100 Crore each. In the remaining 70 percent of the total budget (80313 Crore in 2018-19), that makes approx. 56000 Crore, Ladakh as a separate division entitled to at least 30 percent. But if they get only 10 percent, even then Ladakh entitled for 5600 Crore which is four to five times more than the Budget for other Union Territories. Here Ladakh have to realise what they have lost.

Fifth, some argue that employees would get an increment in Salaries. Employees would indeed get an increase in salaries but at a prohibitive cost. Ladakh as UT, if fail to get land protection, its demography will change. Lands will be polluted; water is already scarce, and polluted air would be dangerous in an already dry climate. Unemployment will increase. People’s purchasing power will decline, and the products will be expensive. So, in such a situation, an increase in wage has no meaning.

Sixth, in the recently declared Divisional Status, and the delimitation of 2024, Ladakh entitled to more MLCs, MLAs, MPs and at least one member in the Rajya Sabha also. But now Ladakh is degraded from a State to Union Territory, that too without legislation. Ladakh lost political rights. Youths’ political aspirations have usurped.

Seventh, one major mistake, most of the leaders in Ladakh and Jammu is to look Article 370 and 35A as protection of Kashmir region only. Maharaja Hari Singh initiated the essential part of the Article, restriction on the purchase of land by outsiders, in 1927 for protection of Jammu region from wealthy outsider merchants. These restrictions are for the good of the whole State irrespective of region. Its abrogation or change expose land, culture, identity and language to external threats and pollution.

Eighth, abrogation/change of Article 370 and 35A gives the Centre government an upper hand to do whatever they want with Ladakh. For greater national interest, Ladakh might be forced to merge with another country like Pakistan or China. It is not impossible; because under the Land Boundary Agreement 2015 between India and Bangladesh, India transferred 17158 acres of land (111 villages) along with a population of 37369 to Bangladesh. For a broader national interest history could repeat in Ladakh as well.

Legally defining, this move has challenged in the Supreme Court. As per constitutional experts, this decision wronged in many aspects. There is every chance to restore it if the court order comes in favour. If not restored, resisting against this decision would lead Ladakh to a higher negotiation value; probably UT with legislation. Thus, this author suggests not to bow immediately. Show patience; resist the move; aspire for a much greater share.

This article was firstly appeared in the Weekly Voice of Ladakh on 09 September 2019, Volume 7 | Issue 32. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ladakh Express team.


I’m not sure what is the exact ratio. But the overwhelmed stories on Instagram and Facebook pose that every next youth on vacation in Kargil is either on tour, bike riding, picnic, dancing, rolling in market, parties etc. They must have the liberty to do all this; because these hardworking youth are tired of playing PUB-G, Ludo and tik-tok videos that they have played for past ten months in Jammu, Delhi and Chandigarh.

They promised while being in students’ association to conduct counselling and educational events while in Kargil for vacations. But, in good deeds, bounties accumulate once you wish; so, need not be practical.

After all, what they are doing is also productive. They are the ambassadors from different cities like Jammu, Delhi and Chandigarh to civilise the uncivilised people in Kargil. People in Kargil don’t know how to dance, how to conduct parties, what to do on picnic. So, these guys are playing a vital role in teaching them.

How uncivilised the people in Kargil are? They conduct boring birthday parties with food and supplications. Thus, a group of “educated” guys have launched a video of floor dance. Don’t miss to watch that.

The clerics are also right in being silent over these issues. Don’t say anything to these civilised English-speaking youth. They are the future of Kargil. Let them do whatever they want. After all they are on a mission to civilise the uncivilised people of Kargil.

All the best guys. Complete your mission soon. After that you have to get back to PUB-G and Ludo mission!

14 Lollipops Assured for Gar-Khil; Khatak Chat-khan Explains – A political satire

In Gar-Khel people are curious to know the 14-points that the Joint Action Committee has kept in front of the Chief Secretary. The leaders in Gar-Khil have taught by Topidar Abdul how to befool rats. Write salt on sugar bag and lime-stone (chuna) on rice bag. Similarly, they initiated the dialogue with disapproval of reorganisation bill and ends with conditions for UT status. Leaders know that internet is down in Kashmir; so, Kashmir will not know that Gar-Khil has conditionally embraced Union Territory.

1- The CEC Kacho Khatak Chat-khan in an interview to media revealed the 14 points on the condition to not tell the Kashmiris. He told that Gar-Khil had never demanded UT but Divisional Status. We thank you for fulfilling our demand of Divisional Status for few months, no matter the State itself is no more, of whom we are a division. I may have to go to Kashmir in future, so I must say that Article 370 and 35-A were protection for us; and we are against the reorganisation of the State.

2. We demanded a separate UT for Gar-Khil. Later we will demand separate UT for Drass, Sankoo, Shargole and Zanskar.

3. We demanded UT with Legislative Assembly. As we have demanded separate UT for Gar-Khil, so we can have an Assembly. I am elated to be the Chief Minister.

4. The LAHDC Act 2018 had provided me wings, however after the reorganisation the LAHDC Act 1997 is considered. I am feeling helpless to fly except chopping Khatak, so we asked them to restore the LAHDC Act 2018.

5. We demanded to include Ladakh in Schedule Tribe area on which the Chief Secretary has assured to include it in the Sixth Schedule. Because of this our lands and jobs would be protected.

6. The Schedule Tribe category applicability will remain the same as assured by the Chief Secretary.

7. In all Central Universities, professional colleges and institutions 50 seats in each will be reserved for the UT Ladakh students. Is it Local ghee with BIG BIG Haryanavi Paratha?

8. JAC demanded the demarcation of UT Ladakh from Baltal instead of Zero Point. This demand is put forward keeping two points in consideration. First, people of Ladakhi ethnicity reside in those areas. Second, the Ganderbal authorities give less preference to opening and maintenance of Zojila pass.

9. In the process of delimitation, if new districts create in Ladakh we have demanded them to take the decision after consulting both the Hill Development Councils of Leh and Gar-Khil.

10. Demanded either to continue Urdu as official language or replace it with implementation of Ladakhi language. Ladakhi language is common in both Gar-Khil and Leh.

11. Demanded to rename the UT as “Union Territory Leh and Gar-Khil” instead of “Ladakh UT”. This would provide a more inclusive feeling to people of both districts. The Chief Secretary said, it is not a big deal.

12. Demanded to keep the UT headquarter on rotational basis in Leh and Gar-Khil. It also included equal sharing of secretaries to be appointed in the UT.

13. Demanded for reservation to Ladakhi students in competitive exams. It was accompanied by the demand for Separate Public Service Commission for Ladakh. But I wonder how it function when Gar-Khil gets separate UT? Ooo, Gar-Khil will have separate PSC.

14. Demanded separate police headquarter for Ladakh commanded by an ADG rank officer.

The Chief Secretary did not give assurance on three points that consist of: Separate UT for Gar-Khel, UT Leh and Gar-Khil, and Legislature for the UT. I don’t know what the second point is exactly about. Because above CEC said that the Chief Secretary said renaming the UT is not a big deal. But he assured to strongly take up the issue at apex level. The other issues are assured to fulfil by 31 of October. I don’t know which year, because the Khatak Chat-khan did not mention the year.

Shuuhhh! Don’t tell anyone, especially Leh. Because Gar-Khil is going to be a Smart City among the 100 other cities. It is different thing that others are still waiting to be Smart!

Kargil must protect intangible assets

3 minutes read

Since Ladakh declared a Union Territory and particularly after few so-called leaders joined BJP, we have observed a steep upsurge in comments and discussion among people of Kargil. Few things need to contextualise in this context. Why people in Kargil, in comparison to other districts and societies, concerned more on social issues? Are this concern and uproar useful or problematic? Questions like this are a matter of research for social science students.

In issues like that of the university, divisional status, Union Territory, airport etc. we have seen people in Kargil quickly responding for their social concerns. In village life also people are cooperative; villagers extend encouragement, economic support, human resource support etc. to each other in need. Students from Kargil studying in other cities also stay together in the form of associations and organisations. All these shows that people in Kargil have a strong bonding with each other. This bonding results in their concern for their common social, economic and daily issues.

From where this bonding came from? Ethnographic observation of villages in Kargil brings to the conclusion that villages in Kargil have frequent festive and religious gatherings. Festive gatherings like marriage, celebrations of birth, death anniversaries, Mindok Rgyaspa, Mamani, Losar; religious congregations like Moharram, Eid, Orchay etc. tie people like pearls in a thread. These frequent gatherings allow them to know each other concerns and happiness. That is why a prominent leader had said, “Whatever we have is from Ashura and Imam Hussain (a.s.)”.

These bonding cause easy assemble, gathering and response to any common social concern. In a society where people are concerned and aware of their rights could hardly exploit by others. The unity and interest among people in Kargil saved the community over issues like Divisional Status and University. If unity persists, God Willing Kargil will triumph in the current struggle against the imposition of Union Territory.

It means that these concerns are intangible assets of society. Societies that have active people, concerned minds, throbbing hearts, restless bodies could protect their interest and values from external and internal threats. This bonding is an asset; SAVE IT!

A primary concern that needs attention from the whole society is to save this bonding from spoilers. Who are spoilers? Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, PUBG, Tik Tok, and wastage of time with mobile will spoil your bonding with other people around you. If you waste your time with these things, you will not get enough time to spend with your kith and kin.

So, these concerns and throbbing hearts for each other are blessings and bounties. In current situations, instead of spoiling your anger and anxiety in social media gossips; fruitful discussions, policy formation and positive actions will be better for the whole society.

Kargil Contortionist : Narrative of a self- taught contortionist


Shabir Al Hakim (Kargili)

Can we extend both our feet above our head or twist shoulder at 360°? Well,while most of us can barely stretch well after excercise,but Kargil based teenager can do unbelievable stretches.

Mohd Baqir ,17 year old, resident of Silmo village is a self – taught contortionist has the uncanny ability to bend and twist his body into unbelievable shapes and posture,most of which is beyond the capacity of averageperson

Some stretches Cobra bent leg to head touch, Hand hook,Pike fold

Baqir is a student of Jaffaria Academy of Modern Education School Kargil in class 7th become the most flexible person in Kargil. Although he has been practicing contortionist since early age at home.He never learn a single technique from any trainer,he soon realised that his ability to contort was extraordinary.

Some best stretches

His talent wowing people and his friends with his incredible talent…

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Buddhist – Muslim discord in Kargil: Things you need to know?

A controversy has been erupted in Kargil district of Ladakh when the Buddhist community of the District demanded separate district for Buddhist majority villages. The Buddhist Community of Kargil in a letter to Governor demanded separate district for Buddhist majority areas.

Following the statement, reaction from both the influential Shia Muslim organisations became public on Friday prayers.

On Friday (23 August 2019) prayers President of Anjuman e Ulema e Isna Ashriya Kargil, Sheikh Nazir ul Mehdi said:

Sheikh Nazir ul Mehdi speaking on an occasion. The image is old and symbolic.

The Buddhist Association of Kargil in a letter to Governor has maintained that (villages) Bodh Kharboo, Wakha, Shargole, Garkone etc consist of 14 villages should grant status of a separate district as people of Kargil oppress them. This is what they have given us as return for our good behaviour with them. A perfect example of Sharafat ka Najaiz Faida. As much as we showed respect to them, they crossed every boundary. They have mentioned that the (Hill Development) Council, Border Development (etc.) gives them nothing.  They are not allowed to construct Sarai and Gonpa (monastery) etc. After all they have included all lies. If we look in reality there is no single Buddhist village without road. However, many Muslim villages likes Itchu, Sharchay etc have no road yet. They always exaggerate things. I would like to communicate them today; if they want to create discontent and conflict in the society, we will not allow them to do so. Listen, with your open ears. If we want, we can observe Ashura (procession of 10th Day of Moharram) in Bodh Kharboo, Zanskar. Do justice and live with justice. The development in Buddhist areas is much better than other areas of the district. I appeal the administration also to stop such kind of distorts. If anything, displeasure embarks unwantedly, you will be responsible for that.


On the same Friday, Chairman of IKMT, Sheikh Sadiq Rajai said in this regard:

Sheikh Rajai
Sheikh Sadiq Rajai speaking on Friday. The image is old and symbolic.

Amid the anxiety in J&K that is caused by reorganisation of the State, some other issues have been deliberately raised to neglect the former one. Beware that it could be a wicked deliberate attempt. Don’t circulate and listen to rumours. Now they (Buddhists) have said that the Kargili Shia community has not allowed them to construct Monastery. This is a baseless statement. Wherever there is Buddhist settled, Monastery has already constructed and functional. If someone ask to construct a mosque at a place in Jhalandar where no Muslim are settled, what would they say? Obviously, their reply will be, why you need Mosque here as there is no Muslim? If in a Buddhist area I ask to construct a Mosque what would you say? You will reply, why you need Mosque here? Similarly, your demand for a Monastery in a complete Muslim area is ridiculous. Then tell me; is this a genuine issue or politically motivated? Their elders have said many times that they have a land at a certain area where they want to construct a Monastery. When saw in official records it was declared as a land of Sarai not Monastery. (Haji Hussain told that the said land is disputed between two communities. The court has also declared it as Sarai rather than Monastery.)

Secondly, you have alleged that Muslim youths have converted immature girls from your community. This is weakness of your religion. They are not immature but they have sensed that this (Islam) religion is safe and appropriate for them. They did not convert for us (Muslims) but for this religion (Islam). Ask these girls; they say that, Islam gives cleanliness, honour, respect and dignity. If you give a minor comparative literature review of Islam and your religion, you will understand the fact.

You further say that we did not eat with you. Yes, this is true, because our religion did not allow us for that. Why we don’t eat. You must conduct a scientific study on that. Islam did not permit Alcohol and Carrion (Murthar meat). Even in Halal meat we don’t eat 15 things/ parts. Because these, according to Islam, are not fit for health of a man. You drink Alcohol and eat carrion and even after that ask us to eat along with you.

Obviously, your girls will embrace Islam. The number is very few because of your restrictions. If restrictions are removed from their free will to study Islam, the number will be overwhelmed. Don’t you have the tradition of polyandry? These religious obligations are not acceptable to mind also. These minor girls screamed for their rights and freedom. We are free from such filthiness. According to some traditions of your religion washing with water is disapproval. We are obliged to perform ablution (Wuzu) five times in a day. We are obliged to perform lavation (Ghusul) of the whole body if we are on Janabat (impurity caused by discharge of semen). You must understand why we perform ablution, Ghusul; why we refrain from alcohol and carrion. If you do not refrain from them, we will refrain from sharing meal with you. We welcome you to read our holy book Quran and Nahjul Balagha. These books are guidance for you (non-Muslims) as well, not only for us (Muslims).

I encourage the clerics to answer such misunderstandings with preaching and rational discussion. I appeal you all to not create misperception, rumours and discord in the society, if you want to coexist peacefully.

After the statement of Sheikh Nazir, a letter bearing number LBA/M-19/1215-23 on LBA’s letter head appeared on Social Media. The letter addressed to the Home Minister Amit Shah by the Ladakh Buddhist Association alleged Organisations in Kargil particularly Sheikh Nazir of infusing communal hatred among people of Kargil against Buddhist Community. (Below is the letter)

LBA Leh on S Nazir statement

LBA Leh on S Nazir statement 2