Preservation of echology; a Voice from Laddakh

by Hafsa Anis

On 26th January, the republic day of India, SonamWangchuk sent an SOS message to PM Modi , saying “not all is well in Laddakh”. Sonam also announced 5 day climate fast and have appealed to others to have one-day solidarity fast on 30th January. Sonam is under “house arrest” by territory administration for his protests and far reaching message. He was not allowed to travel to khardung La to join a protest of like-minded people. “I am going on a hunger strike from January 26; the republic day is the day when India adopted her constitution. I am not going to do this hunger strike at home, I will do it on the road , and in the cold” he announced in a video clip. SonamWangchuk , a character who inspired the fictional character of phunsukhwangdu, protests in his village at the altitude of 18000 feet , at -40 degree centigrade. What is the protest for? Sonam , the education reformist of Leh , a part of erstwhile state of jammu and Kashmir is demanding the laddakh to be included in sixth schedule. After abrogation of article 370, Government of India had promised to include Laddakh in sixth schedule. 90 percent of Laddakh’s population is tribal, so the area qualifies to be in sixth schedule, but government of India didn’t make it happen. The investors keep coming to Laddakh for mining and extraction of minerals. The glaciers are melting at very fast pace , which is intensifying the threat to not only Laddakh and Kashmir but also to the wider region of south Asia , including Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and South East Asia including combodia and Vietnam. The life of about 2 billion people who depend on the water resources of Tibet is on threat. Not only this, the threat is also significant for fauna and flora of the region, which can prove a catastrophe. Laddakh, also known as “third pole” is important strategically and serves as defence line of India both towards China and Pakistan. So, the military presence in the area is also contributing to depletion of glaciers. Melting of glaciers will cause both floods and drought in South and South East Asia. The demand of Sonamwangchuk is actually demand of preserving the future of the globe. But government of India is offering deaf ears to this demand. India is likely to head G20 summits for year 2023, and there are some events planned to be held in Laddakh and Srinagar. These events can provide an opportunity to Sonam to register his pleas before other countries. Sonam is using social media, especially twitter space to spread his message. He was also invited by Switzerland government to study the preservation of ecology system there. Sonam also presented the model “Ice Stupas” to offer the alternate for glaciers but his ingenuity went ignored in South Asian culture. India is adopting the policy that exacerbates the climate threat. India is mainly responsible for depletion of Glaciers. It was India who started venturing on Siachan Glacier and Pakistan had to respond in defence to protect its sovereignty. Heavy military presence on Siachan Glacier accelerates the melting of glacier. These developments have turned Kashmir from traditional to non-traditional security threats for both countries.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Stay Connected

Follow and subscribe

Contact CISS AJK

Center for International Strategic Studies AJK, King Abdullah Campus Chatter kalas Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir