People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 25

June 29 , 2008


CPI(M) For Reviewing The Decision

M Y Tarigami, J&K state secretary of CPI(M) and MLA, has  issued the following statement on June 17, 2008

IN the specific context of the recent controversy surrounding Shri Amarnath Shrine Board and the transfer of forest land to it, it is important that all relevant facts are brought before the public domain for debate and discussion. It hardly needs any elucidation or reiteration   that Kashmir has historically remained a repository of the core values of pluralism and tolerance. These   values of humanism and tolerance, constitutive of Kashmiri ethos remained intact even during the recent troubled times despite many provocations. The Amarnath Yatra continued on traditional lines with the active support of local population. It is pertinent to recall that the Muslim - Maliks of Batagund, Phalgam continued to remain associated with the holy cave and the Yatra. They remained virtual custodians of the Holy Cave.

How unfortunate that the Holy Cave and the Yatra which symbolise the core values of Kashmiri ethos are appropriated by the vested interest, ranging from state institutions to petty political groups, to carry out their nefarious designs! The electoral and ideological calculus of these groups is now fairly established and exposed. The result is that the core values of pluralism and tolerance, basic to the identity and culture of the Kashmir are becoming a casualty.

On the top of it, the transfer of forest land in ecologically  high fragile and sensitive areas is  bound  to further   damage  the  environment and  the ecology of the state. It hardly needs to be mentioned that forests have  already suffered massive damage  due to negligence of  the state governments from time to time  and we cannot afford  further vanadalisation of this wealth. Keeping in view the potential of the controversy and the role the communal   forces are playing,   it is urgent that all facts basic to this controversy are brought before the public opinion.

The competing statements of the senior cabinet members in the coalition government are facilitating polarisation of people    along communal and regional lines.  It is important for the coalition partners to understand that after sharing principal offices of the government they cannot escape the collective responsibility of the decisions they have taken.

Keeping in view the sensitivity of the issue it is warranted that the decision of transfer of forest land be reviewed.

We also appeal to all the political parties to desist from politicising the issue on sectarian lines.