Prof (Dr) Nutan Resutra
In the sweet Dogri language, there is a beautiful saying which implies that the needs of two different parties is satisfied even if the products are below standard ! Ironically, this is exactly the situation with our Union Territory (State) of Jammu and Kashmir.
Today, we will not talk about how Jammu has suffered till date in everything: in terms of employment, tourism, power centre, everything when it comes in comparison with ‘better and superior’ part of the State. But we will surely talk as to how the Kashmir Valley has suffered especially in the last so many years due to terrorism; a war that is being fought by the Government of India with a very heavy price. And yet we do not see any end to this proxy war with Pakistan. Add it up with loss in terms of tourism, education, human rights, etc. etc. Definitely, Kashmir does need a healing touch and a proper, strong policy to put it back on the rails. Obviously, the million dollar question is : what to do. And the answer lies in our Dogri saying manjj bhukhi te ……….!
In other words, the solution to Kashmir Problem lies in these pearls of wisdom :
A Separate Kashmir State !
And if Kashmir is made a permanent State, what about Jammu? Again the answer is simple : a separate Jammu State !
My esteemed readers have all right to laugh on me for saying so. They can surely say: what’s this logic. What is the relevance of a separate Jammu State got to do with the so-called solution to the complex Kashmir problem ? Well in fact, these two are an inseparable part of our discussion.
With Kashmir pampering and Kashmiri-Centric thoughts, let’s ask : why should the Jammuites be given a separate State ? And the answer is; because its in the interest of Kashmir!
Many veterans, defence analysts, authors and interlocuters have mooted many ideas and plans to eradicate terrorism from the Valley, but it still exists; just as the mythological hydra grows with two more heads when one head is cut. When Kashmir is permanently made a State, the first and major favourable casualty would be the ever shrill voice of dissent.
It has become a routine that voices are raised against India as if it is a foreign colonial power. Writing of derogatory slogans on walls, raising them during funerals of who-knows-who-they-were has been accepted as a regular feature now. No matter what could be a local issue, suddenly demands prop-up ranging from so called plebiscite to a threat for welcome intervention by China or Pakistan, as was the latest shagoofa of Doctor Farooq Saheb ! This adds fuel to fire of terrorism triggering unrests and further terrorism related protests and activities. Sadly, the real casualty is none other than common innocent people who are only worried about making their ends meet!
Once I had a one to one interaction with the then Advisor to Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. I honestly told him that a common man has only bare needs : he wants uninterrupted electric supply, water supply twice a day, normal schooling/education activity, routine business activity and respectable economic activity. And he had assured me that very soon we will feel the difference under Mufti Saheb. We did not.
With a separate Kashmir State, all anti-national activities would lose sheen. Even the proponents of so called Gupkar Alliance would lose ground and be compelled to highlight local issues only.
With this one stroke, we would be able to win proxy war unleashed by Pakistan without any further loss of most precious human lives, be those security forces or the local population.
When Kashmir becomes a separate State, all attention would be paid towards enhancement of existing tourism activities which would invariably give a much needed boost as of today. This in turn would attract Bollywood, Tollywood, Bhojpuri and other Indian cinema. Not only that, there is every possibility of entry of players from Hollywood as well making it akin to Switzerland. It will result in a chain reaction of development and prosperity of the really deserving common people. All this would in turn enhance an increase in economic status of the local people bringing back the now gone golden days. Under these circumstances, no one would dare disturb peaceful atmosphere of Kashmir in future again.
By becoming a separate State, Kashmir is going to be in a win-win situation from the point of view of India, the World plethora and the Kashmiris themselves.
Now what about Jammu ?
As I had mentioned in the foregoing paras, manjj bhukkhi would get share of her grass as well! Jammu will also be gaining in terms of all its desires, aspirations and developments which till date had been denied to it. Just today I happened to read about the tourism sector projects of Jammu being sabotaged by none other than the Government officers themselves in the Civil Secretariat for obvious reasons. This story finds place on front page of the leading local daily where the correspondent specifically mentions that the concerned ones are not doing any proper follow up of the schemes submitted under Prime Minister’s Development Package, for fear that Jammu might not get even an iota of betterment in the vastly potential tourism sector! Is this what happens in a Union Territory also; one surely wonders.
But with a separate Kashmir State, the policy makers then will not have to be worried about Kashmir as it would be a happy, prosperous State getting whatever it wants. And Jammu too would be happy with its share of grass; becoming more nationalist and more accommodating for the Government of India and all Indians. The wisdom of elders in saying manjj bhokkhi…….. will solve our modern day problem of Jammu & Kashmir. This is indeed heads we win and tales also we win !!