Kashmir : Business or Politics

Many keen observers of the J&K situation say that the current state of affairs has thrown the valley back by atleast a decade or so of development. It is also felt that the simple economics provided the means for the separatist movement to gain momentum again.

Its been said that the Fruit growers saw an immediate real threat to their livelihood by the economic blockade at Jammu. In the 10 days before the army was called out to clear the blockade, people in Kashmir had already lost crores of Ruppees. It was to avoid this further loss, that they opted to sell their produce in the markets across LOC- in the POK.

What the BJP led protestors failed to understand was that the economic pressure that they had put, could play in the hands of those promoting Pro-Pakistan movement in the valley- and thats exactly what has happened.

It was history repeating itself in the valley- with slight change in roles. When Raja Hari Singh was confronted by the newly formed Pakistan to join them (as against India), the then Paki government had imposed an economic bloackade of the region. India came forward to not only remove that bloackade but also as the saviour of the interests of the people. And the rest is history!

What we need to do now is to ensure that the economic interests of the people in the valley are not compromised by parties their vested interests. If we fail now to convince the people of Kashmir, that India truly feels for their economic independence- Kashmir might move strongly rapidly towards its Azadi !