Role Of Economy In Deconstruction Of Conflict
Or Construction Of Self Sufficiency In Kashmir
By Inshah Malik
16 April, 2010
The state government of Jammu & Kashmir treats the state's economy as one of the imperative factors in driving the youth for the so called constructive growth and empowerment but to subside the demands of the educated youth the state government has considerably failed time and again.
The frustrated and psycho-socially affected unemployed youth has reciprocated their overwhelming attitude towards taking up jobs whatsoever the state has offered. The common perceptions of ‘sarkari naukari' as being the only long term means of social security verifies the fact of lagging experimentation with economy. The reasons are particularly of having suffered long term deprivation and having retained the unemployed status for a long period of time and hence unproductive attitudes in construction of economy which is Kashmir's case is also intricately connected with its politics.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir economic survey report (2007), the state of Jammu and Kashmir has a work force of 4.4 million that accounts for 44 percent of the population. According to the J&K development report 70% of the work force is employed in agriculture 20% in the public sector and 11.2% in the handicrafts. From these statistics one thing by now should be clear that Kashmir is an agriculture oriented state and flourishing of this particular sector is certainly the key to its prosperity and stability in the geopolitical scenario. Whats needs to be assessed is the negligible growth of home born industrialisation sector.
The state provided figures of unemployed youth in Kashmir is shooting almost the 5 lake mark, being predominantly uneducated, youth are at the target of both state and separatist claims but waisted in a huge way
The educated unemployed youth can wait for the state to pull in foreign (Indian) industries, multinational corporations or other privatised sector like telecom industry and BPO's to employ the youth because there are no government jobs and of course the process has begun already. The sense of change is apparently flamboyantly seducing the youth in Kashmir. The local newspapers record it as the remarkable developmental steps and the separatism movement in Kashmir has “stone pelting” as one of the predominant employment opportunity for these Kashmiri youngsters. So but naturally the new era of exploitation that is at the inception in Kashmir is welcomed for having no choice whatsoever. As initially stated the allured youth will deviate from the mainland occupation which certainly is agriculture.
The deprivation in that sector and ofcourse the migratory practices have to a certain extent led to discarding the agriculture as an economic option at all. However to lay a little emphasis on the Multinational corporations which are now setting feet in Kashmir are not a solution but another means of occupation in the first place. This has been long concluded that MNC's and BPOs are the revival of the western imperialism. The free market trade is nothing but would mean selling Kashmir to Kashmiris. It is very important to note that the BPO's employ youth in India or Kashmir at much lesser money which cuts their expenses in their homeland countries so not only are they saving but also cheating and hijacking the global south and now Kashmir.
Kashmiri educated youth still has an option to develop their own small scale industries and private sector which must be supported in order to slide up the ladder of growth and self sufficeincy. The economic survey of Kashmir the only available document speaks at length about how the economy is growing in Kashmir despite the fact that the land and the water resources are not in state's control (Naulakha, 2007). The responsibility of running a state must lay on the unemployed youth and various social entrepreneurship projects should be initiated by the youth themselves which will help in generating employment for many others as well and the brand products with a privatized label has a broad scope in Kashmiri context. Kashmiri economy is rendered to as a political economy the formation of which can drift the state either to India or to the separatism. The government in J and K has to be seen more as a predatory state where the state is subjected to pushes and pulls of interest groups, whose main interest is in redistribution rather than growth (Prakash, 2000). To assume the growth as coming from the further end and sitting, waiting therefore is not the solution for shaping up the economy. However essential steps will ensure positive steps in resolving conflict. The constructive economy will therefore not only deconstruct the conflict but may also be decisive in obtaining the ultimate goal of autonomy or complete merger with India.
Inshah Malik is a PhD scholar at Tata institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, India. Inshah.firstname.lastname@example.org