Now, Kashmiri Gujjars invite Rahul Gandhi to their homes


Jammu : Having heard about Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi moving without security, staying in huts of the poor and downtrodden in Uttar Pradesh and even having a bath in the open, the Gujjars in Jammu and Kashmir have urged him to visit them and share the experiences of their nomadic life.

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The request has been communicated to Gandhi in a letter sent Sunday by the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, an organisation of the Gujjar community.

“The Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir today extended an exclusive invitation to Congress general secretary and Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi to visit the state and stay with them in their tribal huts and nomadic ‘dharas’ (temporary shelters),” a statement from the organisation said.

Javaid Rahi, national secretary of the foundation, said: “To feel the plight and dilemma of our tribal life, which is identical to the life of Dalits in India, we urge Rahul Gandhi to visit us.”

He said that Gandhi should be part of Gujjar community’s “toughest nomadic life for at least a day and a night”.

“It is another unfortunate part of our life that we – the Muslim Gujjars – are living a marginalized and stigmatized life since 1947 in this Muslim majority state,” the letter says.

“Our glorious tribal identity is facing a great threat of vanishing and our language – Gujari – and our culture is on the verge of extinction,” the letter says.

Rahi said: “We are looking forward to offering him traditional Gujjar food like ‘makki ki roti’ (corn flour bread), ‘mirchi’ (chillies), ‘makhan’ (butter) and other specialities.”