"If I survive, I will see you”. Education reformist Sonam Wangchuk can be heard as saying in a video going viral since he posted it on Saturday.
Through this video, Wangchuk has highlighted the popular demand of the tribal people of Ladakh to include their land under the 6th Schedule. And to press for it, he has said that he would hold a symbolic fast from January 26, Republic Day, for five days.
His move comes at a time when the Budget session of Parliament is slated to begin on January 31 to conclude after over two months on April 6.
In his video with the headline, ‘ All is not well’ in Ladakh, he is heard raising the people of Ladakh’s demand from top spot of Ladakh surrounded by glaciers and snows bordering China on one hand and Pakistan on the other.
Wangchuk says further he will sit on dharna( symbolic fast) "not from the comfort of a shelter but out in the winter chills". "If I survive, I will see you," he says while signing off.
In fact, during the 13-minute-long video, Wangchuk can also be heard talking about the 2020 Ladakh Hill Council polls that were won by the BJP and the scrapping of Article 370 in 2019, which led to the formation of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir as two separate union territories.
His video shows BJP manifestos promising inclusion of Ladakh under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda assuring them that their demand will be met. Strangely, neither the BJP nor its government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fulfilled their demand till date.
So says Wangchuk: "People of Ladakh are stunned that why the government that answered its 70-year old demand for a union territory has not been heeding this demand”( inclusion of the UT’s land under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution).
He is further heard saying in the clip, as he raises concerns about the likelihood of businesses expanding in the UT which is set to further increase the burden on limited resources, including water. "Mining and such activities could melt glaciers. Moreover, Ladakh is strategically important for the military and has played a role in Kargil and other wars."
Ladakh has nearly 95 per cent of tribal population while the Constitution seeks 50 per cent of tribal population in an area for applicability of 6th Schedule.