After Assam, now the discussion has started on the rapidly changing demographics and illegal land encroachment due to the Muslim community in Uttarakhand. According to a recent report, the demography of Nainital has changed unusually over the years. It is the effect of illegal encroachment and changing demography that for the past several months, the demand for bringing a land law is being raised by the local people of the state on social media, especially on Twitter. How effective such demands are may be debatable, but it cannot be denied that suddenly the local people of Uttarakhand are aware of the illegal encroachment on land, changing demography and its impact on the citizens, politics and administration of the state. Looks worried and alert.
According to the news published quoting intelligence agencies, the effect of the change in this demographic is clearly visible on the local people’s own profession and business. Since the economy of Nainital is mostly dependent on tourism, the share of local people in almost all tourism related profession is decreasing. According to the report, this type of economic interference is not limited only to the profession or business carried on legally, but incidents of illegal occupation of local land by Muslims from other states have also increased. In this regard, the local people have given memorandums from the officials of the administration to the ministers, but till now no concrete action has been taken on these complaints. This is the reason why local people took to social media to spread awareness about the need of land law.
— Jai Uttarakhand (@jayuttarakhand) September 27, 2021
Like other states, there has been talk and concern about the changing demographics in Uttarakhand. Last month itself, a video of a debate between the local people and the administration over the removal of the illegal mosque built on the Tehri dam went viral. After the efforts of the local people, that illegal mosque was removed, but the question arises that why is it necessary to build a mosque, tomb or other religious place in a legal or illegal way? In the process of illegal construction and removal of encroachments in Chandrashekhar Azad Park in Prayag this month, three tombs and fourteen graves were removed. The problem is that this could happen only after the Allahabad High Court order and the question is; Why is it difficult to stop such illegal constructions at the administrative level?
A few days ago, in Assam, the government had not only resorted to systematic violence to stop the process of removal of illegal land encroachments, but also saw low level of political propaganda and international propaganda in the country and abroad. Government efforts to remove encroachments in some Arab countries, including Pakistan, were presented as oppression of Muslims and also appealed to boycott Indian products. Necessary action has been taken to check the violence but the question of Chief Minister of Assam is; Why the violence took place when an agreement was reached between the illegal occupants and the government to remove the encroachment remains unanswered.
Sometimes it seems that public or private properties have been lawfully or illegally occupied by groups working under a long-term plan. The construction of religious places and buildings in this occupation culture is only part of the long-term plan. The problem is that there has always been a lack of administrative agility needed to prevent this. Sometimes institutional interventions have been visible but considering the gravity of the problem such institutional interventions are insignificant. In such a situation, the matter has now reached the political readiness, will and alertness of the local people. From the point of view of a common Indian, the time is not far when the removal of illegal occupation in electoral issues will be an issue which will not be easy for political parties to take lightly.
Changing demographics and local occupations and legal or illegal occupation of land are like the chicken and egg question. The question whether the demography is changing due to occupation or whether the occupation is increasing due to the changing demography will always remain. Apart from institutional readiness, the role of political parties and local administration, it is necessary to understand that such encroachment is not just a matter of illegal occupation of land but is a direct fight to protect civilization and culture and turning away from it is neither a matter of citizens nor citizens. In the interest of neither the government.
Perhaps this is the reason why the promise to remove illegal encroachments has started finding a place in the BJP’s manifesto in Assam. The present government of Uttar Pradesh has also done important work in this direction but this is only the beginning. In such a situation, it can be expected that the political parties of other states will also understand the gravity of this problem and ensure that this ever-increasing problem will be part of their election manifesto.