Thursday, August 21, 2008

And India pampers Kashmir!

And India pampers Kashmir! (Courtesy: Daily Rising Kashmir dt. August 21st, 2008)
M.M. Naqashbandi

It is in response to the article published in Times of India, 6 Aug 2008, titled Kashmiri traders to boycott Jammu productsIt pains one to read most of the comments here. How the people's mind can be poisoned by politicians is really unbelievable. Still, however, to set the records straight let it be known that Kashmir is not dependent on India, instead it has been made so by India. I would request all the sane people in India, and I know there are numberless of them, to consider following points before turning jingoistic.
1. If India wants to boycott Kashmiri goods, they surely can but the boycott should be complete. Please don't boycott the apples and shawls from Kashmir only, boycott the power/electricity that is generated in Kashmir and wired across, rather pilfered across to whole of India. You would be surprised to know that this boycott of yours can save Kashmir thousands of crores of rupees. I'm sure Indian media never aired that to the Indian public! Economists are of the opinion that if only electricity generated in Kashmir is retained in Kashmir and sold without hanky-panky, Kashmir can become like Singapore in no time. Besides Kashmir has tourism industry, agriculture industry, horticulture industry and many other such strong industries. There are many countries around the world that have only one of these industries and they are doing very well, infact much better than India. Kashmir has the potential to become Singapore of south-Asia if not discriminated against, or without mincing words, if "boycotted" by India and, given Independence.
2. Yes, India has pampered us a lot. We have been made to import even an egg from India, crippling our local economy. Our paddy lands which were verdant at a time have concrete structure atop now, this despite so-called laws against such conversion. And for all this thanks to India. What a ploy to cripple a colony and then turn it into a market to sell goods made in India. Brits did the same to India and that is not an old history. For those who think this is an exaggeration here is just a tip of the iceberg: The revenue India gets from an insignificant product like cigarette in Kashmir per day is one crore Rupees. Consider all the goods that India sells in its colony, Kashmir, and you understand why Kashmir is so important to India.
3. Please stop taking benefits from Indus Water Treaty, as India has reaped a lot owing to this anti-Kashmir treaty with Pakistan. Kashmiris request you to boycott Kashmir and Kashmiri goods, but let the boycott be complete. You may also ask your eight hundred thousand armed army men to boycott Kashmir as well. What say? That might as well reduce the number of Indians dying of hunger or the number of poor farmers committing suicide.
4. Rhetoric aside, one fails to understand what the Jammuites are asking for. Which land? Doesn't Jammu and Kashmir after all belong to all living in Jammu and Kashmir? Why do 800 kanals of land need to be transferred to SASB, when Yatris are already using 1000s of kanals of land. Kashmiri Muslims have never been against yatra, instead they have always been instrumental in facilitating it. Why suddenly (around election time!) has there been a need to transfer the land to a Board that doesn't have even a single Kashmiri Hindu on it? Something is surely fishy here. And for those who feel Kashmiris are against Yatra, the unprecedented number of yatris who visited the Amarnath Shrine this year should act as an eye-opener. I repeat, the number is unprecedented!
5. For those who pretend sense of History and ask for scrapping Article 370, should go to the roots of the conflict and realise that the promise the first Prime Minister of India J.L. Nehru made publicly to the Kashmiri nation (video available on google) whereby the future of Kashmir was to be determined in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people, has never been fulfilled by the Indian state. Would the sane Indians, known to keep their promises no matter what, break the tradition in the case of Kashmir? Or has the Indian nation assigned the slogan "jaan jaye par wachan na jaye" to trash bin?
The list of injustices done to Kashmiris, particularly Kashmiri Muslims is endless. To substantiate this a common Indian citizen can just ask him/herself a simple question: Why have Kashmiris not accepted India even after more than 60 years that too when, according to Indian public, Kashmiris are pampered? Why?

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