Podcast; Voices from the lockdown: Ladakh's Buddhists disappointed about lack of legislature under UT status, say Centre's move 'won't help much'

The demand to be designated as a separate Union Territory has been made by the Buddhist-dominated Ladakh since the 1940s.

Greeshma Kuthar October 20, 2019 16:53:54 IST
Podcast; Voices from the lockdown: Ladakh's Buddhists disappointed about lack of legislature under UT status, say Centre's move 'won't help much'
  • The demand to be designated as a separate Union Territory has been made by the Buddhist-dominated Ladakh since the 1940s

  • The movement gained ground from 1989, under the leadership of the Ladakh Buddhist Association

  • The Centre's decision to bifurcate the state, which was seen as the logical conclusion of the peoples' movement, was received with a mixed response in Ladakh

Sunday marks the 77th day of the Centre's restriction on communication services and public movement in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 in the restive region. While postpaid mobile services have been restored, the internet and prepaid mobile services are still non-functional.

In addition to abrogating the law which accorded the state with a degree of autonomy, the Narendra Modi-led government also declared that State of Jammu and Kashmir will be bifurcated into two Union Territories, one comprising Jammu and Kashmir, and the other comprising Ladakh.

The demand to be designated as a separate Union Territory has been made by the Buddhist-dominated Ladakh since the 1940s. The movement gained ground from 1989, under the leadership of the Ladakh Buddhist Association. The Centre's decision to bifurcate the state, which was seen as the logical conclusion of the peoples' movement, was received with a mixed response in Ladakh. While local BJP leaders celebrated the move, many from Leh were disappointed with Ladakh being reduced to a Union Territory without legislature.

In this episode of Firstpost podcast Voices from the lockdown — an attempt to bring to the fore voices unheard due to severe State clampdown — we speak to two Ladakhi Buddhists to understand the predicament of the community.

Greeshma Kuthar spoke to Sonama Dawa, the Secretary of the Ladakh Buddhist Association. Today's podcast also includes excerpts from an interview with Tamchos Gurmet, a lawyer and the naib sarpanch of Kanji Village, who argues that the status will not contribute anything new to Ladakh.

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