For many years, I had been thinking of visiting the heaven on earth. As it appeared last year, I will be able to make it in my life. It got a boost when Popli returned after a holiday in Kashmir. But soon after, the trouble started. Today, I think the hope is bleak.
Is there any solution to Kashmir problem that India and Indians have lived with since its birth as the truncated nation in 1947?
Will the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the Valley bring peace?
Will some more economic packages improve the condition?
What is the ‘azadi’ demanded by the stone pelters?
BJP might have a brand of Hindu Party. But interestingly, none of the government till date including the saffron one showed any restraint on spending on Kashmir. As reported, the Centre spent over Rs 80,000 crore on the state. But the money didn’t flow to the right beneficiary. A handful of families, some of politicians, got richer. According to CAG, Rs 71,988 crore of excess expenditure between 1980 and 2008 is not accounted for.
Are the people in Kashmir more deprived and unemployed than those in other state? Not really. The unemployment rate is 4.21 percent and the per capita income was Rs 21,561 in 2008-09. Is it really frustratingly high or low respectively low causing the crisis? Not really. When India can employ Bangladeshi to the tune of the total unemployed in Kashmir, why can’t the unemployed of Kashmir with open borders get employed in India?
Unfortunately, India remains democracy. Even just hundreds of, may be paid, stone pelters can create crisis. Some unscrupulous can blame Indian armed forces for any death and injury and raise a bogey against it.
Perhaps today India must fight against the unscrupulous and their backers with a change in mindset. The political parties must go the people and convince that they elect the government. Let the people of Kashmir make all the leaders like Gilani, Yashin and Mirwaiz fight the election and transform the corrupt system and bring development that the few ruling families have failed till date.
If the police of the elected state government take responsibility, the armed forces can move in the operative zone along the line of actual control.
However, let every person asking for azadi must understand that India and its people can neither gift or allow the Kashmir to go to Pakistan at any cost. India can’t afford it.
I still dream to see the heaven on earth pretty soon.