Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kashmir: economics and stone pelting politics

Kashmir is the latest flavor of the media. Everyone talks of the various political players in that field, India, Pakistan, China,Afghanistan, China, the hindus, muslims, buddhists, terrorists, mujahideens, seperatists, moderates, the Muftis, the Abullahs, the mullahs, the pandits, the Valley, Jammu, Ladakh etc etc etc.
There is total silence over the key issue: not politics, not religion but economics.
Kashmir does not allow non Kashmiris to own property there...a constitutional oxy moron. Just imagine the chaos if the same principle were to be made applicable in all the states of India or if Kashmiris were to be banned from purchase of property in the rest of the country!
Bair haal, the issue of this piece is the economics of Kashmir. Its much vaunted handicrafts and tourist trades have yet to be resurrected after the terrorist/separatist imbroiglios. And agriculture remains nascent.
For the aam aadmi, a good part of his rozi roti comes from providing goods and services to the Armed Forces and allied services which are being targeted as unwanted in the troubled state.
Is it not obvious that this is what is actually making the mare run in Kashmir --- at least until the property owners will shift focus and buckle down to industry to usher in adequate income and job generation to keep the youth out of unnecessary violence.
In a terror, violence infested state? Question of the chicken and egg here, Siree!!
What do the Political analysts have to say about this angle?

In passing, stone throwing is old hat in Ahmedabad. For decades, piles of stones have lived on strategic terraces in the Old City, well worn with use and identifiable by owners and their neighbors who come out to collect their missiles after every riot; often they sling stones to each other shotuing " this one is yours, bhai."
Stone pelting was a form of protest patented even in Palestine, where the young warriors covered their faces to avoid being recognised by the official machinery. This trend has become rampant in the Valley, faces covered to avoid identification.
Are they hiding from the terrorists or the law keeping machinery to avoid being picked up by either side? or to be recognised as Mercengary Soldiers of the Stones, whose stone slinging skills are up for sale to the political player who has organised the mischeif of the day?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Arm Chair analysis. You have no idea about Kashmir and its politics, so stop writing about a topic you don't know about.

Kusum Choppra said...

it is easy to dismiss common sense as arm chair analysis, when one does not know better. would welcome any suggestions that you may have to offer to usher in peace and prosperity into Kashmir.