In a new turn to the ensuing controversy between Gujjar and Paharis over reservation in J&K, the two communities have taken to social networking sites, bashing each other.
The two communities are opposing each other since long time, fearing that same status to other community will harm their representation.
Talking to Newspoint, senior Pahari leader and former MLA-Mushtaq Bukhari said that after the case was recommended by the state cabinet, “I updated my facebook account, congratulating community members for achievement, which was not digested to some of the Gujjar leaders, who made offensive and unparliamentarily comments on my wall,” said Bukhari, “although it was not a big issue, but handful of Gujjar leaders inflated it out of proportion.”
He said that not all Gujjars have problem with ST status to Paharis, but few ‘self proclaimed’ leaders in the disguise of different names and organizations raised this issue.
“If seen constitutionally, Pahari is the only community which deserves ST status. Even only one or two castes from Gujjars really deserve it, as they are settled community and not wandering nomads like Paharis,” he said, “They always oppose our rights.”
Pertinently, the state Cabinet recommended Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Pahari-speaking people.
“In 2008 union ministry of tribal affairs constituted a committee to survey socio economic condition of the Paharis and after satisfaction the same was recommended by the state government,” Bukhari said, “I don’t know why they are opposing something which is totally legal and ethical.”
“The reason Gujjars, who have this status since 1991, oppose this move of the government is that they feel that paharis will give them competition,” he asserted.
Meanwhile, Gujjar leader- Dr Javed Rahi expressed dissatisfaction over the recommendation of the cabinet.
“There are no criteria for recommending ST status on the basis of religion. There is not even a single political scientist and economist in the Committee of Experts then how come this panel can study socio-economic conditions of the Pahari people?,” questioned Dr Rahi