‘Ladakh’ dedicated to peace!

Ladakh has been a buzzword in the media in recent times. Ladakh, in the northern part of India, was historically part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir until 2019.

In 2019, the Indian government decided to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Following the passage of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act in the Parliament of India, Ladakh was separated from the state of Jammu and Kashmir on 31 October 2019 and established as a Union Territory of India.

Due to this, two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were created. It was announced that Jammu and Kashmir would have a separate legislature and the union territory of Ladakh would have no legislature.

Terrorism has been a major obstacle to the progress of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The decades-long dispute over Kashmir between Pakistan and India erupted into terrorism and civil war under pressure from Pakistan. Due to this there was unrest in the region.
Despite this, the Muslims of Ladakh lived in harmony without succumbing to extremist impulses.

As a result of the Kashmir struggle, Ladakh, which was annexed to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, faced problems. The state governments of Jammu and Kashmir had built a border around Ladakh. The people of Ladakh had lost faith in the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

Ladakh is divided into two districts, Leh and Kargil. Leh is the largest district of Ladakh and Buddhists live in Leh city. Kargil is the next largest district. Kargil district has a large population of Muslims.

This move by the Indian government to partition Ladakh was aimed at giving Ladakh its direct administration and control. The decision of the Government of India was greeted with celebration and optimism by the people living in the Buddhist-majority Leh district of Ladakh.

Leh district has the Indus, Seok and Nubra river valleys. Kargil district has Churu, Dras and Zanskar river valleys. River valleys are densely populated areas. The hill slopes are inhabited by the Sangpa nomads who are pastoralists.

Buddhism and Islam are the main religions in Ladakh. Muslims are 46.4% here. Most of them belong to the Shia school of thought. 39.65% Buddhists live here. They belong to Tibetan Buddhism. Hindus constitute 12.1% and other religions constitute 1.85%.

Comparing the two districts of Ladakh, in Leh district, Buddhists are the majority with a proportion of 66.4%. Muslims are 14.3% here. 17.1% are Hindus. Christians and other religions account for 2.2%.

Kargil district has a Muslim majority of 76.9% and Buddhists of 15.5%. 8.2% Hindus live.

The people of Leh district see the move to separate their district from the state of Jammu and Kashmir as an opportunity for greater autonomy and development for their region.

They see the Indian government’s decision to separate Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir as a positive step towards addressing the long-standing demands of the Ladakh people for sharing of resources.

Located in the Himalayas on India’s northern border, Ladakh is one of the coldest regions in the world. It is cut off from the rest of India for about six months every year.

Roads in Ladakh blocked due to heavy snowfall. Agricultural fields freeze during the snowfall. The people of the region are unable to grow or maintain crops.

Ladakh is one of the least populated regions in India. Its culture and history are closely related to that of Tibet.

With unique cultures, Ladakh is a region of stunning, natural charm and spiritual heritage.

Buddhism was first introduced to Ladakh in the first century AD, when the Kushan Empire dominated the region. For centuries, Buddhism has flourished in Ladakh unchallenged by other religions. However, after the spread of Islam in Ladakh in the 15th century, its religious and cultural landscape changed.

This change was brought about by the migration of Muslim traders from regions such as Kashmir, Afghanistan and Central Asia. These traders came to Ladakh and established settlements, married Buddhist women and established contacts with the local Buddhist population. This brought about a significant change in the religious and cultural dynamics of Ladakh. Along with Buddhism, Islam also took root in the region.

In Ladakh, where Buddhists and Muslims live together, religious tolerance and harmony are exemplary. It is a region where peace and harmony can be maintained between Muslim and Buddhist communities.

The coexistence of Muslims and Buddhists in Ladakh is a great testament to religious harmony, mutual respect and commitment. The unique social harmony here has contributed immensely to the overall peaceful atmosphere of Ladakh. It is seen as a great example of interfaith understanding and cooperation.

Various religious festivals and traditions are observed by people belonging to different religions. The attitude of the people of Ladakh to protect religious diversity has helped to foster unity and mutual understanding among them.

Tibet has had a significant influence on the culture and religious traditions of Ladakh over the centuries. Ladakh came under their influence due to Tibetan refugees taking shelter in the region. Following the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959, Tibetan refugees began to enter India in large numbers.

The cultural heritage of Ladakhis and Tibetans share many similarities, thus Ladakh is often referred to as “Little Tibet”.

The Dalai Lama’s recent visit to Ladakh highlighted the Buddhist heritage shared by Tibetans in Ladakh. Buddhism and Islam have played a major role in shaping the social, cultural and religious fabric of the region over the centuries.

Ladakh was very marginalized and backward during its accession to Jammu and Kashmir. Now it has been converted into a Union Territory and is directly governed by the Central Government in New Delhi.

Overall, Ladakh has a knack for maintaining cultural identity, bridging inter-religious differences and maintaining social harmony.

The post ‘Ladakh’ dedicated to peace! appeared first on oneindias.

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