Appeal for pan-Indian solidarity with the Pashmina March in Ladakh


  • April 5, 2024
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The next phase of the ongoing struggle in Ladakh, spearheaded by the People’s Movement for the 6th Schedule’ has begun with women who sat on hunger strike, this past week. The  ‘Pashmina March’ has been announced from the 7th of April. On that day thousands will march towards the Changthang area along the China border.

 

Groundxero | April 5, 2024

 

Ladakh has been a region rich in natural resources and biodiversity, and unique in its social and cultural diversity. A large part of the population in the trans-Himalayan region belongs to tribal, indigenous communities who have been living there since centuries, by protecting the nature. In the past few years, there has been a huge people’s movement in this region (People’s Movement for Sixth Schedule), in which the Apex Body, Leh and Kargil Democratic Front (KDF) have together raised the demand for declaration and protection of Ladakh under Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and its recognition as a State.

 

Along with thousand citizens of Ladakh, Sonam Wangchuk, who is known for his unique experiments in education and work on alternatives, recently completed his 21-day hunger strike. Yet, the Indian government remains silent and has not engaged in meaningful dialogue with the activists and people.

 

The demand of the movement is to achieve decentralized democracy and via that actual, sustainable, environment-friendly development! From the Constitutional perspective, the demand to recognize Ladakh as a State and include it in the Sixth Schedule are very important and necessary.

 

NAPM support these demands for democratic rights and to protect the Himalayas from centrally imposed ‘development’ plans that destroy the environment and unjustly profit the corporations.

 

The next phase of the ongoing struggle in Ladakh, spearheaded by the People’s Movement for the 6th Schedule’ has begun with women who sat on hunger strike, this past week. Youth will follow next and if necessary, Sonam Wangchuk will resume his fast for the second time. The destructive ‘development’ plans have caused displacement of Ladakhi people, especially the nomadic pastoralist groups, who have been deprived of accessing natural resources.

 

In addition, despite the Indian government’s attempts to conceal, it is stated that China has been encroaching on large swathes of Indian territory, which too is leading to displacement of the local communities. Concerns regarding territorial sovereignty raised deserve to be taken seriously. It is to bring to light these plights of the Ladakhi people and to protect their identity and existence, the ‘Pashmina March’ has been announced from the 7th of April.

 

On 7th April, thousands will march towards the Changthang area along the China border. Gandhiji’s longest hunger strike lasted 21 days. Sonam Wagchuk and other local activists are taking inspiration from the Dandi March to organize the Pashmina March. This is a historic moment. Through the Ladakh Movement, the citizens of the country have been urged to organize marches/yatras in their areas, rallying support for their issues and joining this movement to save their mountains, rivers, forests, and biodiversity.

 

National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), supports the Ladakh movement, and will express solidarity through active participation from across the country. All people’s movements, organizations, groups, and allies are urged to organize marches and other programs in their regions on 7th April in support of the Pashmina March in Ladakh, connecting it with their issues and showing solidarity to Ladakh’s suffering and their struggle against governmental policies.

 

Save Ladakh. Save the Himalayas. 

 

Save the Environment. Save Democracy.

 

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