A new start

| Updated on: Oct 09, 2012

Amid all the brouhaha over the big bang reforms and the Prime Minister and the Government coming out of slumber, Rahul Gandhi taking a set of industrialists to Kashmir went almost unnoticed and under-reported.

While according to some of the national media reports, this is the first time such a set of business leaders is going to Kashmir, Kashmiri press dismissed the event off as yet another talk-promise session that would yield little. Perhaps, the latter set is right. Had industrialisation of the State been pursued with seriousness, maybe the nation would not been confronted with the kinds of problems it had in the last six decades in and vis-à-vis J&K.

For, commerce can be effective palliative. And, to be fair, the youth of the State have had little or no chance at taking a shot at useful work in their backyard. After all, tourism offers only so much scope. People may be interested in other pursuits too. Had industry and commerce developed, the youth would have been gainfully engaged. Frustration levels would have been low. Foreign elements may not have made much headway with them. One entire ethnic group need not have fled the State. Simply, money is certainly better to handle than AK-47, and infinitely more rewarding.

For the government, while the peace is in itself enough dividend, it need not have spent the large sums on security and law and order. All this money could have been spent productively. The Vajpayee government’s plans to incentivise industries set up in J&K fizzled out with non-local investors exiting the State. Even HMT Chinar Watches Limited located in Srinagar is languishing.

Any way, a new start has been made, and what if it is out of the mouth of babes…?

Published on March 12, 2018

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