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Ladakh's Case for Sixth Schedule Safeguards



  Mar 26, 2024

Ladakh's Case for Sixth Schedule Safeguards



Q: What is the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution?

A: The Sixth Schedule provides for the administration of tribal areas in the northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram, granting them autonomy through District and Regional Councils with legislative and executive powers.

Q: Why is Ladakh seeking Sixth Schedule status?

A: Ladakh is seeking Sixth Schedule status to secure land rights, employment opportunities, and cultural identity for its people, especially after losing its statehood and becoming a Union Territory following the repeal of Article 370.

Q: Does Ladakh meet the criteria for Sixth Schedule protection?

A: Traditionally, the Sixth Schedule has been applied to northeastern hill tribes with distinct cultures. While Ladakh has a unique tribal culture, it is not located in the northeast, which is the primary region covered by the Sixth Schedule.

Q: Can Ladakh’s demand for Sixth Schedule status be justified?

A: Ladakh’s demand can be seen as a way to address disaffection due to the absence of exclusive representative government and to protect its interests in the face of rapid development and tourism.

Q: What are the concerns associated with the Sixth Schedule?

A: Some Constituent Assembly members feared that autonomous councils under the Sixth Schedule might intensify separatist tendencies and threaten stable governance. However, supporters argued that it would integrate communities into the Union by providing autonomy.

Q: What alternatives exist for Ladakh besides the Sixth Schedule?

A: Ladakh could potentially be governed under the Fifth Schedule, which also provides for the administration of tribal areas outside the northeastern states, though with less autonomy than the Sixth Schedule.

Q: What is the significance of the Sixth Schedule for tribal communities?

A: The Sixth Schedule offers significant protections and self-governance to tribal communities, allowing them to manage their affairs and preserve their cultural identity within the framework of the Indian Union.



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