A Sudden Domicile

A Sudden Domicile
Azad Hussain

In the middle of widespread panic over the coronavirus, the central government has come up with a new domicile law for Jammu and Kashmir. Perhaps the government at the centre has found this a good time to avoid any kind of mass protest by people who would oppose it in Jammu and Kashmir.
The law says that no person shall be eligible for appointment to a post carrying a pay scale of not more than Group-4 (Rs 25,500) unless he or she is a domicile of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.  This has created apprehension that the local job aspirants would have to face more competition with the increased number of new entitled residents for Group-4 level posts, while for appointments to above Group-4 level posts, they would have to compete at the national level.
Now it is to be seen what kind of other options the government at the centre would go in for, after their tall promises, to provide employment to the increasing number of educated unemployed youth in Jammu and Kashmir. Despite assurances from various Kashmiri political faces that they had received assurances relating to job security and land ownership rights from the centre, and no law would be introduced which would hurt these rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the new domicile law has come all of a sudden, and now those who earlier had claimed assurances from the centre are calling it “unacceptable”.
The common people in J&K, who are bound under lockdown, are unable to express their reaction to the new domicile law, except on social media platforms. There, some have described it as “an insult heaped on injury” and some as “an obnoxious piece of superimposed legislation”.
Unsurprisingly, BJP leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have welcomed this domicile law and termed it as a ray of hope in large advertisements issued in big numbers. But such statements only amount to saving their own skin and showing loyalty towards their bosses.

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