Ladakh and the Sixth Schedule

A Ladakhi innovator and engineer completed a five-day “climate fast” to draw leaders’ attention to the region’s fragile ecology and secure its protection under the Constitution’s Sixth Schedule.

Fast for the Fragile Ecology of Ladakh

  • The fast emphasises how vulnerable Ladakh’s ecology is to climate change, with melting glaciers posing serious threats to the region’s flora, fauna, and people.
  • Ladakh, as a cold desert, relies on glaciers to meet its water needs.
  • Melting glaciers, on the other hand, cause the loss of potable water, endanger agriculture practises, erode sustainable practises, and force locals to migrate.

About Ladakh

  • Ladakh is a region in northern India that borders China and Pakistan.
  • The region is home to several ethnic groups, including the predominantly Buddhist Ladakhi people.

Ladakh has a high demand for the Sixth Schedule.

  • Local tribal communities in Ladakh have asked for the Sixth Schedule provisions to be extended to the region.
  • Concerns about the protection of tribal rights and the preservation of local communities’ distinct cultural identities have fueled the demand.

Current administration in Ladakh

  • Following the division of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories, Ladakh was granted Union Territory status in 2019.
  • The administration of Ladakh is currently governed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh and an elected Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC).
  • Meeting tribal aspirations: The Parliamentary Standing Committee recommended including Ladakh in the Sixth Schedule because tribal communities account for 79.61% of the total population.
  • Autonomy and self-government: The extension of the Sixth Schedule to Ladakh could give local tribal communities more autonomy and self-government.
  • Cultural preservation: It may also aid in the preservation of local communities’ distinct cultural identities as well as traditional practises and customs.

Obstacles to this demand

  • No further fragmentation: Some have argued that extending the Sixth Schedule to Ladakh would lead to further fragmentation of the region and new administrative challenges.
  • Political capital is being depleted: Concerns have also been raised about the potential impact of the demand on the region’s political and administrative structures.

@the end

Overall, the demand to extend the Sixth Schedule provisions to Ladakh is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of the needs and aspirations of local tribal communities, as well as the region’s broader political and administrative context.

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