Episode 11 | In conversation with Sonam Dawa and Tamchos Gurmet | Buddhists of Ladakh and UT status

Episode 11,  Oct 20, 2019, 02:30 AM

Episode 11
77th day of communication blockade since August 5, postpaid mobile services restored, internet and prepaid mobile services still down.

After abrogating Article 370 and Article 35 A on August 5, the Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah declared the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be bifurcated into two Union Territories, one comprising Jammu and Kashmir regions, the other comprising Leh and Kargil, collectively Ladakh. 

The demand for Union Territory status has been made by the Buddhists of Ladakh since the 1940’s. The movement gained speed from 1989, under the leadership of the Ladakh Buddhist Association. The August 5th decision, which would seem to be the logical conclusion of this long movement, was received with a mixed response. While the BJP leaders celebrated the move, many from Leh were disappointed with Ladakh being reduced to a UT Status without legislature. 

To understand this better, we will be speaking to two individuals from Ladakh today. 

First up, we will speak to Sonama Dawa, the Secretary of the Ladakh Buddhist Association. The Ladakh Buddhist Association has been in the forefront of the agitation for UT since the beginning.  After Sonam, we will speak to Tamchos Gurmet, a lawyer and the naib sarpanch of Kanji Village, who argues that UT will not contribute anything new to Ladakh.