Temporary schemes Temporary solutions
New Delhi’s K-policy unchanged even after 60-years
BIG BITE BY JAVAID MALIK
Hundreds of youth engaged as volunteers under National Youth Service (NYS) scheme by the state government staged a protest in Srinagar earlier this week against government’s reported move to shelve the scheme.
According to media reports, on the instructions of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh nearly 8000 youth from across the Valley were engaged as volunteers under NYS scheme immediately after the 2010 unrest ended. The volunteers were assured that it is a government job and they would grow along with the passage of time. Initially they were promised Rs 2500 as stipend, which they have been getting since the day they were engaged.
With signs of 2010 unrest fading away and 2011 passing off peacefully, the government seems to have decided to do shelve the scheme. Recently one of the officials of the Youth Service and Sports Department said, “The scheme was started after 2010 unrest. It was just to engage youth. We don’t even know why it was started.” It appears official revealed a truth.
Massive protests which rocked Kashmir Valley in 2010 were led by youth. Nearly 118 unarmed youth fell to the bullets of forces during 5-month unrest. The first step which state and centre governments took after the unrest ended was to engage the youth. Many police recruitment drives were held across the Valley and many temporary schemes like NYS were started to keep the youth busy. It is strange that only temporary measures were taken to address grave issues. If the NYS scheme is shelved it will render 8000 youth jobless. It seems think tanks have started believing that everything is under control in the Valley and there is no need to worry.
It is unfortunate that New Delhi’s Kashmir policy even after 62-years remains unchanged. History stands testimony to the fact that New Delhi during past six decades has only taken temporary measures to address various issues confronting Kashmiris. Had leaders in New Delhi taken long term measures situation in the Valley could have been different. Closing down NYS scheme would shatter the youth who were engaged as volunteers. Unemployment is the biggest problem which the Valley has been facing for past many decades but New Delhi’s response towards addressing this problem has always been lukewarm. One fails to understand why people at the helm want to leave all the issues related to Kashmir unaddressed?
Finding a solution to Kashmir imbroglio is a far fetched dream. Addressing small issues should not have been a big issue but unfortunately people sitting in New Delhi project even a small problem as a Herculean task. Providing Rs 2500 to 8000 youth is no big deal for an economic power like India still it wants to save the money and disengage the youth who were engaged after a meticulous and a speedy recruitment drive.
The stipend which the NYS volunteers have been getting since 2010 is nothing more than peanuts but the fact is that their engagement as volunteers at a young age had given them a sense of empowerment. New Delhi during past six decades has empowered many people in Kashmir but along with the passage of time it has disempowered them also. Use and throw policy remains unchanged. Rule for all Kashmiris seems to be same. Fate of Kashmiris irrespective of whether they are NYS volunteers or top bureaucrats or politicians is written by New Delhi.
It seems all steps taken by New Delhi after 2010 unrest ended were temporary. The much hyped appointment of three member panel of interlocutors also ended in a fiasco as the report submitted by the panel is gathering dust since October 2011. It looks like that New Delhi’s policy of just taking cosmetic measures would never change. Think tanks need to bear in mind that such measures add to the alienation and resentment. New Delhi’s shortsighted Kashmir policy has not even helped its cause in Kashmir. It is very strange that people at the helm still want others to believe that they have won the hearts and minds of people.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 2 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 3 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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