Save Ladakh: Sonam Wangchuk’s Fast enters 14th days, people showing solidarity

Wangchuk and his supporters are sitting on 21 days fast demanding “ inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution........

LADAKH-   The  21 days  fast  by climate activist Sonam Wangchuk entered 14th days on Tuesday. But where the govt is silent, people in Ladakh are coming forward and showing solidarity with Wangchuk. Wangchuk and his supporters from the Ladakh Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) are sitting on 21 days fast demanding “ inclusion of Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution” besides other demands” .

The Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) has called for a half-day strike in solidarity on Wednesday, March 20. KDA said the struggle for full statehood for the Union territory of Ladakh  was set to intensify further after talks with the Home Ministry earlier this month failed to make any headway and there has been no outreach after Wangchuk’s hunger strike.

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There was a time when channels across the country were visiting Ladakh to interview Sonam Wangchuk. Bollywood filmmakers were making films like 3 Idiots on his life. The same Sonam Wangchuk is fasting under the open sky even in minus 10 degree temperature for 21 days demanding  the “ Sixth Schedule of the Constitution should be implemented in Ladakh, and  parliamentary seats should be given in Leh and Kargil districts” .  The people of Ladakh do not want bureaucratic rule but want people’s rule.

In a post on X, Wangchuk wrote: “This Government likes to call India the ‘Mother of Democracy’. But if India denies democratic rights to people of Ladakh & continues to keep it under bureaucrats controlled from New Delhi then it could only be called a Stepmother of Democracy as far as Ladakh is concerned.”

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On 3 February, under the leadership of Leh Apex Body and Kargil Democratic Alliance, thousands of people also demonstrated in Leh, the main city of Ladakh. Since then this movement is gradually gaining momentum.

Actually, Ladakh was a part of Jammu and Kashmir before 2019. Article 370 was effective here also. It provided land, jobs and unique identity to the people here. But after the abolition of Article 370, Jammu and Kashmir was divided into two union territories. Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. While there was an assembly in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh was handed over to the administrator.

For the last two years now, the people of Ladakh have been agitating for statehood and constitutional guarantees to protect their land, jobs and unique identity.

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Social activist Sonam Wangchuk, who is on fast unto death, says that when 370 was abolished  on that time BJP and its ministers from Delhi had assured the people of Ladakh that the people here would be protected under the Sixth Schedule. The same assurance was received from every ministry of the Central Government, this assurance was also given in BJP’s 2019 Lok Sabha manifesto but it has not been fulfilled yet.

Although many rounds of discussions have been held regarding these demands, but nothing came out of it and now Sonam Wangchuk is sitting on a fast unto death for 21 days from March 6 with the same demands.


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