Ladakh’s Sixth Schedule Demand

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will meet with Ladakh civil society representatives as the Union Territory continues to demand statehood and constitutional guarantees under the sixth schedule of the Constitution.

About Ladakh

  • Ladakh is a region in the northernmost part of India, bordering China and Pakistan.
  • The region is home to various ethnic groups, notably the primarily Buddhist Ladakhi people.
  • Ladakh has a high need for the Sixth Schedule.
  • Local tribal people in Ladakh have asked for the Sixth Schedule powers to be extended to the region.
  • Concerns over the protection of tribal rights and the preservation of local communities’ distinct cultural identities have fueled the demand.
  • Ladakh was accorded Union Territory status in 2019, following the separation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two independent Union Territories.
  • Ladakh is currently administered by the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh and an elected Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC).

Meeting tribal aspirations:

  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee suggested placing 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 people 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 desire

  • No additional fragmentation: Some have argued that extending the Sixth Schedule to Ladakh would lead to further fragmentation of the territory and new administrative issues.
  • 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 need to extend the Sixth Schedule provisions to Ladakh is a complicated subject that requires careful assessment of the interests and ambitions of local indigenous populations, as well as the region’s greater political and administrative context.

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