JAMMU, APR 22:
Maintaining that the Jammu region has a long tradition of Hindu-Muslim unity and harmonious coexistence , the Gujjars (Muslim) today asked Dogras (Hindu) to let us collectively uphold the centauries old tradition of cohabitation and togetherness in the region. Let us not allow any force to divide us on religiouse lines, they said
In a programme organised here by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation the speakers said in Jammu Dogra – Gujjars integration has taken root in the historical past of this culturally rich Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir state.
The programme was presided over by noted Gujjar scholar Dr. Javaid Rahi while a number of tribal elders and youth participated.
Dr. Javaid Rahi in his address asked Gujjars and Bakerwals who are living in Jammu , Samba , Kathua , Riasi and Udhapmur districts to remain in touch with the local heads of Dogra community and work together without any fear and distress .
At the same time, he asked his community to remain alert of rumours also. He suggested that a dialogue between the community and various groups, including the Jammu groups must be started immediately which will address the issues of suspicion .
Expressing anguish over growing intolerance towards tribal community the speakers said let’s have a conversation on various issues to resolve doubts emerging among communities lets not think on the communal lines.
The Gujjars and Dogras are brothers living together since centuries and division is against the interest of the communities and the state, the speakers said and asked the Jammu based groups who are openly talking against tribal to have a fair view on the issue.
“Jammu is traditionally known for tolerance, brotherhood and religious harmony and we appeal elders of majority community for strengthening of these old practices,” the speakers said.
The speakers said the Nomadic Gujjar Bakarwals have been part of Jammu society and the Kathua conspiracy is aimed at falsely fabricating a situation to demolish traditional local affinities.
The TRCF pleaded that the Forest Right Act-2006 be extended to the state to rehabilitate nomads like other states rehabilitated.