DDC elections: Democracy in conflict with citizenship rights

Holding DDC elections for democracy and development after imposing provocative citizenship laws to encroach upon the job and land rights of the people of Jammu is by all standards of understandabilities a crude joke as unquestionable fact is that the citizenship rights lay down the basis for democracy and development in Jammu & Kashmir like any other part of the country. While decisions allowing non J&K residents to apply for local government jobs and exercise the right to purchase land under new domicile law have been already put in place to drastically reduce the basic citizenship rights of the J&K residents in their own homeland, yet again the top leaders of the party in power at the centre presently on campaign trail for ongoing DDC elections in Jammu & Kashmir promise government jobs and protection of land rights to J&K residents obviously for winning elections being held for constitution of district development councils (DDCs) for the first time in Jammu & Kashmir since downgraded to a union territory. Exploiting the emotions of the people over their basic citizenship rights is a new low in politics not only in Jammu & Kashmir but also in other parts of the country but reports about the revival of protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) coming from parts of north eastern states again show that people rise above the considerations of electoral politics when it comes to fight for their basic citizenship rights. DDC elections are not about democracy but about right to involvement of people in the developmental process through their elected representative but democracy is all about right of people to law making and as such DDC elections can’t be a substitute to democracy.

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Development through public involvement in the district development councils (DDCs) alone can’t cool down the rising tempers of the people of Jammu & Kashmir against the central government’s last year’s August 5 moves on erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state, but measures to restore the legislative powers of the people alone could mark the beginning of a new democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir. Unless and until the political party in power at the centre does not give up it’s agenda of exclusiveness for furthering the causes of inclusiveness, DDC elections won’t by any standards of understandabilities change the priorities and preference of the people of the Jammu & Kashmir . 

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Unless and until the central government does not restore the rights of J&K people to law making, the involvement of people’s elected representatives in the development processes through district development councils (DDCs) won’t change the public perception about the concept of a working democracy in Jammu & Kashmir. Development through public involvement in the district development councils (DDCs) alone can’t cool down the rising tempers of the people of Jammu & Kashmir against the central government’s last year’s August 5 moves on erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state, but measures to restore the legislative powers of the people alone could mark the beginning of a new democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir. Unless and until the political party in power at the centre does not give up it’s agenda of exclusiveness for furthering the causes of inclusiveness, DDC elections won’t by any standards of understandabilities change the priorities and preference of the people of the Jammu & Kashmir .

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