After the abrogation of the special status of Jammu & Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and the dividing of the state into the union territory of J&K and Ladakh, it was believed that Buddhists are now ‘liberated’ from years of bondage and subjugation. But even after getting all due rights to preserve & protect their culture, language, and religion in the form of UT of Ladakh, they are still being hounded by radical Islamists.
Radicals against peaceful Buddhists
According to reports, the Muslim-majority Kargil region in UT Ladakh is upwelling due to the massive protest launched by ‘minority’ Buddhists. The agitation started due to the Muslim clerics’ objections to the renovation of the ancient monastery in the Kargil region.
Reports state, that clerics stopped and obstructed the reconstruction work of the monastery due to which the massive protest march was launched by Buddhist people.
On 15 March 1961, the then Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Gender Department, and Ladakh Affairs had sanctioned the monastery and area to the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) for the reconstruction, preservation, and protection of the ancient monastery.
But defying the order of the government, Islamists are opposing the construction activities citing the 1969 government’s notification which states that “the land can be used for commercial and residential purposed but not for the construction of a temple”.
As per the 2011 census, 76.87% of the population of Kargil is Muslims, 19.21% are Hindus, and 0.54% population are Buddhists. Due to the demography discrimination, peaceful Buddhists are being hounded by Islamists, and their rightful demand to renovate the ancient monastery is being denied.
It is a well-known fact that Buddhist people are historically being discriminated against and their culture, language, and religion were in state of decline due to the apathy of the earlier government’s policies. Although the separation of Ladakh from Jammu & Kashmir was thought to provide a lifeline to them but incidents like this suggest that they are still facing the wrath of Islamists in their own state.
Owing to the problem, the people of Ladakh are now demanding the inclusion of the union territory of Ladakh in the sixth schedule of the Constitution of India. They believe that after coming in the ambit of the sixth schedule, they will have more power to preserve their culture and religion. If incidents like this continue and Islamists are left free to hound the local population then it will have no use of changing the administrative status of Ladakh. Government must provide safety & security to Buddhists people and way out preserve their culture & religion from Islamist.
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