The mountainous region of Ladakh was declared to become a Union Territory when the government of India had announced their decision to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate UTs.
The people of Ladakh have been demanding UT status for a long time. As a part of the Jammu and Kashmir state, the Ladakh region was always ignored. The politics was always centred around Srinagar and the people of Ladakh had never got their due in participation, representation and in terms of funds allocation.
With the announcement of the UT status for Ladakh, the region has been expressing its joy and pride at finally being able to celebrate their language, culture and identity.
The announcement of Ladakh’s UT status has catapulted its young MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal to national prominence. When Namgyal roared in his historic speech in the Lok Sabha, he had communicated the 7 decades of pain, hard work and struggle that his people have been through to finally get free from the clutches of Srinagar’s politics and assert their identity as a unique region with a rich cultural heritage.
Namgyal has been rejoicing with his people after the announcement. Today he was seen dancing with the locals to mark Ladakh’s first Independence Day after the announcement of UT status.
— ANI (@ANI) August 15, 2019
Namgyal started the day paying tributes to Ladakhi leaders who had sacrificed their lives in the struggle for the rights of the people of Ladakh.
On the occasion of Independence Day, we celebrate the martyrdom of our heroes. We paid our respects to the 4 young heroes who laid down their lives agitating for the UT status for Ladakh. pic.twitter.com/lrXcgjmogs
— Jamyang Tsering Namgyal (@MPLadakh) August 15, 2019
BJP’s National General Secretary Ram Madhav is in Ladakh to celebrate India’s Independence Day. Together with Tsering Namgyal, Ram Madhav also paid tributes to Ladakh’s hero HH Kushak Bakula Rinpochey, the leader who had raised the demand for the UT status of Ladakh decades ago.
HH Kushak Bakula Rinpochey was a Buddhist Lama born in in the Matho branch of Ladakh’s royal family. Recognised by Dalai Lama as a reincarnation of Bakula Arhat, one of the legendary sixteen direct disciples of Gautama Buddha, Bakula Rinpochey was a key figure in reviving Buddhism in Mongolia and Russia by linking them with the community of Tibetian exiles in India.
HH Kushak Bakula Rinpochey was the Ladakhi leader who had firmly announced that Ladakh will remain a part of India and will never align with Pakistan. He was also the Indian ambassador to Mongolia later in his life and was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
Independence Day celebrations are currently underway at Leh, Kargil and several other parts of the region.
— ANI (@ANI) August 15, 2019
Ladakh will be officially recognised as a UT from 31st October. While Jammu and Kashmir will be a UT with assembly, Ladakh will be a UT without assembly. With its own identity away from the dominance of Srinagar’s separatist, appeasement centric politics, Ladakh is looking forward towards days of infrastructural, educational and economic advancement.