JK’s perpetual dilemma

We face the challenge of overlapping political aspirations and economic needs

Suhail Bedar
Srinagar, Publish Date: Sep 12 2017 11:18PM | Updated Date: Sep 12 2017 11:18PM
JK’s perpetual dilemmaFile Photo

Kashmir has had its  good and bad times. Its deep entrenched and intrinsic wisdom spans  3000  years or maybe more, giving her pride of being an enriched ancient civilization . Since  170  years or so,  fate has tied valley’s knot with two diverse yet  beautiful Cultures- Jammu and Ladakh. But  lately scientific knowledge and technological strides have  re-fashioned  citizens’ lifestyle that has undergone sea change in recent times.  New political thought process  and  birth of capitalism-soaked  economy  have together  thrown up new challenges. Economic polarization and wanton precipitation of wealth and assets has followed. Ill-addressed  transition  from absolute feudal  agro-based  society to a high end  capitalistic social order  has left  indelible marks,  by way of  concentration of wealth into the hands of a select  class. Majority of our home grown top layer capitalists are an entirely new lot, remotely entrenched in negative quadrant of our Social Ethos, that smacks of Aristocratic tendencies. This does not auger well for an infant democratic state?  Definitely not! Because a huge and widespread middle and low income groups are being consumed as  fuel for  heating up  the glittering yet dangerous capitalistic black pot. All this  to sustain the cobweb of unbalanced and lopsided capitalistic social order. Such an arrangement poses a grave threat to the basic politico-economic  equilibrium, vitiating the system  Top-down. 


 21st century  J & K. 

The challenge  therefore is- How to arrest and eliminate  exploitative economic  system-  in the next quarter of 21st century without denting citizens’  political aspirations? An answer may not be simple. J&K is currently in dilemma. Unfulfilled political aspirations and economic  requirements are poised  at cross purposes. Although both are essential and fundamental to citizens of J&K –all regions alike. Each  phenomenon, however, exerts quantitatively  equal  thrust on the other. That is why  after each spell of  politically sensitive agenda the  Economic bandwagon  knocks our doors. Whether we accept it or not this is  a perpetual reality since mid fifties. Vividly manifest in Kashmir region than Jammu and Ladakh. No denying the fact that vested interests have been exploiting the indispensability of our economic needs to suppress the political aspirations. This so often generates social instability by defeating  genuine political aspiration of citizens. 

Economic agenda  should not   be at cross purposes with Legitimate political Aspirations. Yet these twins cannot be compartmentalized either. Discussing and strategizing economy the  same way as political issues, is  primarily important. So can we strategize economy  for say next 25 years? Could  it be an all inclusive Corporate Sector  catering alike  to the needs of our rural and urban economies with a massive withdrawal of non-contributing  Government  Departments , in favor of  private sector. Or else, a corporate sector that  creates those benign  corporate entities and manufacturers who  manufacture products and  sell services  affordable to huge middle class consumer  segment of our society  with equal thrust on Export Centered Economy(ECE). If so, we then must envisage an economy that focuses on  “Rational Wage System” based on  Real time Cost of Living and a wider base for tax collection while exploiting our Natural Resource Base. Citizens across rural and urban geographies  must then find sufficient job opportunities around. Quality  services at affordable price across healthcare institutions, educational  institutions, eateries, public transport, communication  and  sports, all in private sector, must be basic and forthcoming. For achieving  such goals  our  citizens  Think Tank  must invest time and wisdom in tune with  21st century requirements. This needs socio-economic effort  across spectrum. Prospective entrepreneurs  must  integrate their Economic ideas in tune  with genuine political aspirations of citizens. A robust Economic Regulatory Mechanism (ERM) based on reliable Information Technology system is the key. Human greed and lust for illegal money should end.  Secret, unholy and unclean vested human interference in fiscal  affairs needs to be kept at bay . Sincerity of thought and intent  is however, still a factor.


Tail Piece

 Unleashing  economic agenda to decimate political aspirations should cease to be the goal of political elite and their support system. Again, political entities should not decimate economic road map using weapon of political agenda. In nutshell, a balanced yet vibrant Liberal  Economy  that  keeps the  common ordinary citizen as its core responsibility, without prejudice to his/her political aspiration, should replace the “elitist capitalist economy”  representing nothing but an anti-thesis of our political aspirations. This could be founding stone  of our consistent  yet crystallized  “Political Goals”  in 21st century  J&K. By law  of  nature,  unfulfilled political and economic Aspirations of citizens of J&K  have no option but to go shoulder to shoulder whether we like it or not. Therein lies the challenge  before “People at Helm” across the spectrum.                                                                                                                             

The Author  is  an Engineer  

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