Ladakh MP Jamyang Namgyal said that it was wrong to say Kargil was unhappy.
New Delhi: After making waves with his passionate speech in the Lok Sabha during the debate on revoking Jammu and Kashmir’s special status—a move hugely celebrated in Ladakh—Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, 34-year-old BJP Member of Parliament from Ladakh, told The Sunday Guardian, “Ladakh’s demand for Union Territory status is as old as 71 years. The Narendra Modi government has realised the importance of Ladakh, which shares boundaries with China and Pakistan.”
He said that Article 370 has not let development happen in Ladakh. “Article 370 had hindered very powerful schemes like the Right to Information, the abolition of child marriage, among others, from reaching the ground. This government under the leadership of Narendra Modi has rectified all past mistakes,” he added.
Namgyal said, “Ladakh has got freedom from the dominance of Kashmir and step-motherly treatment. Nobody so far listened to us; now this government is at least doing what is necessary.”
He flayed Nehruvian hypocrisy by saying, “In 1948, the then president of the Ladakh Buddhist Association had requested Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to either bring Ladakh directly under the Central administration or make it a part of East Punjab, but under no condition keep Ladakh with Kashmir. But the government at the time did not even listen to us.”
He referred in his speech in Parliament the pledge by the late Shyama Prasad Mukherjee and how the BJP government has fulfilled his dream. Namgyal said: “Sath saal pahle Shyama Prasad Ji ek sangharsh liye ki ek desh me do Vidhan, do Pradhan nahi chalenge (60 years ago, the late Shyama Prasad Mukherjee took a pledge that in one nation, two Constitutions and two Prime Ministers will not function).” Replying to reports that people in Kargil were protesting the removal of 370, he said, “I come from that area. I know my people. 70% of the people are supporting this move and those who are protesting do not know what is right for them. These people (Peoples Democratic Party and National Conference) are planning these protests on phone.” He added: “These people will not participate in panchayat elections, but when it comes to their thrones, they will resist.” Pointing to the National Conference led by Omar Abdullah and the PDP led by Mehbooba Mufti, Namgyal said that Article 370 benefitted only two families in Jammu and Kashmir. “Members of these two families think that Kashmir is their father’s property.”
Namgyal, 34, is a first-time Member of Parliament. Earlier, he had served as a councillor in the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh and also as the state media secretary of the BJP. He was born in Matho village to a carpenter father. Namgyal was also associated with student politics during his college days at Jammu University and was quite active on issues concerning his own people in Ladakh. He became the youngest MP from Ladakh at the age of 33.
His speech was applauded by the treasury benches and Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself tweeted his praise. The PM wrote: “My young friend, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal who is @MPLadakh delivered an outstanding speech in the Lok Sabha while discussing key bills on J&K. He coherently presents the aspirations of our sisters and brothers from Ladakh. It is a must hear!” The MP also became a Twitter trend with thousands of posts mentioning his speech.
Asked about the applause, he replied, “I didn’t speak for praises. I spoke for the betterment of my state.”