Intro: People have gradually lost faith in the administrations run by state government in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has a lot to do in order to restore faith by giving them their due.
The regions of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), namely Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, are different because of its diverse geographic, cultural and ethnical. With their own kind of challenges and aspirations, these parts have the capacity to make any government work hard for six years. With many geographical indicators in hand, there is a need for government to setup milestones in taping the economic potential of the state. Power generation and tourism can do wonders but there is also an important ‘to do list’ which would make government of the state work even harder!
Ladakh is the largest, poorest and underdeveloped region of J&K. It still takes more than a week’s time and kilometers to reach far flung areas of Ladakh in the times of ‘Mangalyan’.
Ladakh is sandwiched between Pakistan’s terrorism and China’s expansionism. People of Ladakh who live near the Indo-China border have actually seen this expansion of China. In the course of time, they have seen villages of their relatives going into the China’s occupation and turning their homes ‘kachcha’ to ‘Pakka’ with 24 hours electricity. There are greenhouses, market complexes and motor able roads across the border. China is trying hard to buy the opinions of Indians of this side using this development show. But people there still love to hold tricolor with pride. It is the duty of the state government to work for welfare of these proud Indians. During the times of Kashmir (Valley) centric politics, these people have gradually lost faith in the administrations run by state government. Government has a lot to work for reinstalling this faith by giving their due shares.
Jammu is the second largest part of the state of Jammu-Kashmir. Like Ladakh, it also had felt suffocated during all these time of Kashmir centric parties with their own regional agendas. Their population is approximately same as Kashmir region whereas its share in administration is un-proportionally below. Along with enforcing developmental polices in this region, the state government could be working hard towards dismantling discrimination and unemployment from the region.
Kashmir is the smallest part with maximum number of constituencies; more than enough to make a government in the state. Till date, all the chief ministers have came from this region and it is relatively rich as it inhabits maximum number of government employee and maximum part of government funds is utilised here. Having all this, this part of J&K is vulnerable as it is the centre of Pakistani ploys, sectarian forces and international propagandists. Because of all these, this part faces severe problems of forced shut downs and frequent unrests hindering the prosperous economical march of the region. Here, government can work to setup a mechanism of spreading the right information to counter the propagandist machinery of all kind.
Then there is work which does not fall under any regional domain. The millions of refugees living in the city of Jammu belong to whole of Jammu-Kashmir. They are as Indians as anyone else and their distress should be considered on humanitarian ground. The present government should be kind and bold enough to take on their plights by putting legal hurdles aside.
Exodus of Hindus from Kashmir is a stigma on the face of whole of J&K. They are living as refugees in their own country for more than two decades. Making the respectable return of Hindus of Kashmir possible is the responsibility of the state government besides the need to ensure such incidences are not repeated.
Arvind ( The writer is a researcher at J&K Study Centre, New Delhi)