Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party(JKNPP)

Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party Symbol

About Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party

The Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) is a regional political party of India. It is one of the prominent political parties in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The founder of the JKNPP is Prof. Bhim Singh, who was initially a member of the Congress
and represented the party as an MLA in the J&K State Legislative Assembly. However due to political differences between the state Congress and Singh, over protecting the economic, social and political interests of the people of the state. Singh resigned from the Congress and formed his own party.

In March 1982, a historic meeting was held in the Jammu Gulab Bhawan, being chaired by Bhim Singh and attended by some of the prominent individuals such as distinguished scholar Ghulam Nabi Goni, Faqir Nath, Mool Raj, Janak Singh, Javed Quadri, Jay Mala, Sudarshan Sambyal, Father Aziz William and many others. The meeting unanimously supported Bhim Singh's call to establish a strong opposition to the Sheikh Abdullah-led Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC), and form a party with a difference.

The party was officially formed on 23rd March 1982. The 23rd March was chosen as it was an auspicious day of martyrdom of the revolutionary freedom fighters Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh. The party upheld a secular-nationalist-democratic manifesto, such that it could represent the political identities of the three regions of the state, namely, Ladakh, Jammu Pradesh and Kashmir.

The name of the party is significant. It was originally registered as the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party. Its name was changed to the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party in 1996, as approved by the Election Commission of India. Bhim Singh believes that the inclusion of the name of an animal 'panther' was significant, as the JKNPP was formed to combat the misdoings of one animal, Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Abdullah of the JKNC by another animal, the panthers.

Presently, the JKNPP is the main opposition to the ruling JKNC, having had a remarkable electoral performance in the 2009 state elections. The present President of the JKNPP is Balwant Singh Mankotia.

Election Symbol and its significance

The Election Symbol of the JKNPP, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is the "Bicycle". This symbol is significant as it represents the true spirit of the party. The JKNPP has its political lineage from the revolutionary ideals of Baba Saheb Ambedkar's ideology of standing up for the rights and privileges of the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society. His movement, called the Dalit Panthers, was directed to fight against fascist, anarchist, communal and authoritarian tendencies prevailing in the country at that time. In the same spirit, the JKNPP is resolved to unite in protest for the maintenance of peace and security, as well as prosperity for the three regions of the state of J&K. The JKNPP proved its mettle when, led by Bhim Singh, it fiercely revolted against the Resettlement Act which the JKNC wanted to implement in the state. The Election Symbol of the JKNPP is thus significant, as it symbolizes the march of the JKNPP, towards overall progress and development of the various communities of the state. Like a bicycle which is used as a vehicle to reach a destination, the JKNPP ensures that reaches its destination of achieving justice through rebellion. More importantly, the JKNPP has as its ultimate objective, the establishment of "a real democracy through ultimate revolution".

Leaders of JKNPP

The leaders of the JKNPP, who are also the national executives of the party, are listed below:
  • Prof. Bhim Singh, Founder and Chief Patron of JKNPP
    He is a two-time MLA in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. He is a Human Rights activist and lawyer by profession, practising in the Supreme Court of India. Bhim Singh has remained a two-time member of the National Integration Council, nominated by Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in 1991 and by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008, respectively. He remained the Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party from its inception till 1996, though he continued till 2012. Currently, he is the Chief Patron of the JKNPP.
  • Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman of JKNPP
    He is the nephew of Prof. Bhim Singh. A lawyer by profession and was an Education Minister in the Congress-PDP government in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, headed by the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He is a two-time MLA in the J&K Legislative Assembly, representing the Ramnagar constituency.
  • Balwant Singh Mankotia, President of JKNPP
    He is a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, representing the Udhampur constituency. Although he took over as President of the JKNPP in 2010, he was elected in 2013 by a majority of the members of the party.

Achievements of the party

As a regional political party, the JKNPP has a number of significant achievements. Some of these are listed below:
  • The JKNPP very significantly saved the Numbedari-Chowkidari system from collapse in the hands of the Congress-JKNC alliance. The Numbedars and Chowkidars who had stopped receiving salaries, resumed their jobs.
  • It was the Bhim Singh-led JKNPP which moved the Supreme Court to hold elections in the militancy-torn Jammu and Kashmir in the historic year 1996. The Chief Election Commission of India was persuaded to conduct elections in the state, only due to the efforts of JKNPP.
  • The JKNPP is constantly fighting for the reservation of Scheduled Tribe status for the Paharis in the state, who inhabit the regions from Rajouri to Kupwara. It also sought ST status for the Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddies and Sippies of the state.
  • It was the initiatives of Bhim Singh that freed thousands of political prisoners through public interest litigations moved in the Supreme Court of India as well as the High Court. He relieved the poor sections of the society through such initiatives.

  • The efforts of the JKNPP resulted in the inclusion of Dogri language in the 8th Schedule.
  • The Women's Wing of the Panthers Party has been fiercely fighting to protect women from domestic atrocities in the state of J&K. They have also been instrumental in fighting against instances of female foeticide in the state.
  • The JKNPP made possible funds from the Union government, which who protect the refugees from Pakistan as well as the welfare of the Border migrants entering the state.

Address and contact details

Official Website of JKNPP: http://nationalpanthersparty.com/
Main Office of JKNPP: 17, Vithalbhai Patel House, Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001
Phone Nos.: 011-23718304, 23711194
Fax: 011-23320077
Central Office of JKNPP: 30-B, Gandhi Nagar Jammu Tawi
Phone Nos.: 0191-2458131, 2458488
Kashmir Headquarters of JKNPP: 96, Rajbagh, Srinagar (Kashmir)
Phone Nos.: 0194-2143535, 0194-19008143
Email id: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Last Updated on March 10, 2015