Kashmiri Pandits who have left Kashmir and settled all over the country have demanded the creation of a temporary seat in the Legislative Assembly for Kashmiri Pandits before the Delimitation Commission constituted for the new demarcation of Jammu and Kashmir. At the same time, there is a debate on whether there will be a floating seat in the Kashmir Legislative Assembly or not. There is also curiosity in the country about what this floating seat is. The nationwide film ‘The Kashmir Files’ shows how Kashmiri Pandits were evicted from Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits who fled from Kashmir to save their lives have settled in the last thirty years where their new life can begin. Efforts are being made by the government to settle Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir but Kashmiri Pandits are afraid to return because there is still fear of terrorists in Kashmir. On 5 August 2019, the government of our country revoked the special status given to Kashmir and declared Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir as separate union territories. At the same time, the government had assured that if the situation in Jammu and Kashmir worsens, Kashmir will be given full statehood. After the new demarcation, it was also promised to hold assembly elections in Kashmir. A lot of work has been done since the announcement of the new demarcation for elections in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Kashmiri Pandits have requested the Demarcation Commission to create a floating seat in J&K. He said that just as there should be a floating seat for Buddhist monks in Sikkim, similarly there should be a floating seat for Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir. Many people talk of Kashmiri Hindus instead of Kashmiri Pandits. Not only Pandits but other Hindus besides Pandits were also expelled from Kashmir. Floating seats have been demanded not only for Kashmiri Pandits but also for all Kashmiri Hindus expelled from Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits have demanded the creation of a ‘floating seat’ before the Delimitation Commission, which has drawn up new demarcations for the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. Giving the example of Sikkim, Kashmiri Pandits say that if it can happen in Sikkim then why not in Kashmir?
The only Sikkim Legislative Assembly in our country has a temporary seat for Buddhist monks. The seat is called the Sandhya Floating Seat. It was created in 1958 by a consortium of Buddhist monasteries following a demand for a floating seat from the government. Only Buddhist monks can run for office and only Buddhist monks can vote. This floating seat was retained even after Sikkim became a separate state in 1975. Sonam Lama of Sikkim Revolutionary Front is currently the MLA in this floating seat. Kashmir was given special status under Article 370. Sikkim has been given a separate status under section 371(f). When the floating seat was created in Sikkim, it was challenged in the Supreme Court. A person named Ramchandra Paudhal told the Supreme Court that no reserved and even floating seat can be created on religious grounds in our country. In 1993, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.
Kashmiri Pandits have also said that if floating seats are not made for Kashmiri Pandits like Sikkim, then make special arrangements for us like Puducherry. There are 33 seats in the Puducherry Assembly. Of these, elections are held on 30 seats and the government nominates representatives for the remaining three seats. Now it remains to be seen what the government agrees on, Kashmiri Hindus are not wrong. He should get his right. In this way a new way of entry will be opened for Kashmiri Pandits. Of course, even if it does happen, it is likely to be challenged in court. Today there are separatists living in Kashmir who are being looted in the name of Kashmiri Pandits.
There is a special arrangement of floating seats. Sikkim has such a ‘floating seat’ for Buddhist monks. If this happens in Kashmir, then only Kashmiri Pandits can run for that seat and only Kashmiri Pandits from all over the country can vote and choose their representative! It would be possible, wouldn’t it?
What about Kashmiri Pandits, terrorists are also targeting those people who come from outside and do normal work or labor in Kashmir. There have been five incidents of assault in the last two days. The motive of terrorists behind initiating targeted killings in Kashmir is that no non-Muslim dare to settle in Kashmir. Makhanlal Bidru, 68, of Bidru Medical Store in Iqbal Park area of Srinagar, was shot dead in October 2021 last year. Makhanlal was a Kashmiri Pandit. Bihar’s Virendra Paswan, who was selling panipuri at Lal Bazar Chowk in Srinagar on the same day Makhanlal was killed, was also killed. Supinder Kaur, a female principal of a school in Srinagar, and Deepak Chand, a teacher, were also murdered with the intention of spreading fear. Due to the strictness of the army, the terrorists could not carry out any major incident, so the terrorists adopted the method of target killing.
If Kashmir becomes a floating seat in the assembly, then it will be a big deal. The government had constituted a Delimitation Commission under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court Justice Ranjan Desai for the new demarcation of Kashmir. The commission has also made new demarcations. Seven new assembly seats have been added in Jammu and Kashmir under the new delimitation. The number of seats in Kashmir has been increased from 83 to 90. The politics of Jammu and Kashmir is divided into two parts. One is Jammu and the other is the valley area of Kashmir. Most of the terrorist activities take place in the valley area. Of the seven seats that have been added in the new delimitation, one is from the Valley and six from Jammu. There are 47 seats in the Valley and 43 in Jammu with a total of 90 seats. Jammu is dominated by the BJP and the Valley is dominated by local parties. The reason for slapping the terrorists is also because the local parties are watching votes from this area. Terrorists expelled Pandits and Hindus from Kashmir. If a floating seat is made then you will feel that the pundits have got their due!