Jammu & Kashmir Locked Horns with Destiny

Karanvir Gupta
Tomorrow when everything is lost, destiny is what we are going to blame it for! Aren’t we? But I believe in our case, destiny would also shy away from taking share for any of it. It might end up saying “I knocked your door not once but twice and thrice and many times but you were caught up in your own hysteria.” And maybe we never realised that it did bring upon us the fortune to rise from our ashes and take a flight but only to our oblivion!
They say there are two sides to a coin, but I say there are three as there are to our state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Public, The political parties and The Governance because it is a melange of all three that makes for a Government. Let any one of them rot and you have a spoilt dish on the platter. It has not been a great journey howsoever post independence. Invasions, political hiatus, terrorism have gripped the state in a state of fear and grabbed everyone’s attention for almost all of the time. And that is what has kept us in the news and be known for!
But what has done a greater harm is the moral decadence, lack of a vision and inability to have a Government that can look for the state as a whole rather than the regions. While we can be sure of who to attack and hold accountable when we are hit by terrorism and terrorists; what becomes a challenge is when the attack is by the folks and personnel sitting inside the offices.
Lets accept the fact that no party – howsoever strong in their ideology – has been able to put up a compact plan that can carve future for all three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. There has been no plan and action on how to promote business and foster more business opportunities in and from the state. We have not been able to put the three regions on the map of India as one of the key tourist destinations. Not a business centre, not a tourist destination, not the seat of education (which we were at one point of time), nor the place for advanced sciences! Then what are we, who are we?
We have always been busy in pointing fingers at each other weaknesses and making noise about the gaps that exist. What we could not do is work as a team and reinforce each other’s strengths and plug the gaps. By the grace of God, we have been gifted with bountiful nature. Natural resources are a godsend to us. Hydroelectricity, solar power and other resources could boost the revenue of the state manifold only if they are managed and nurtured well. But Alas!
Holding protests, boycotting elections, fuelling terrorism and instigating wrong sentiment amongst the public (via your twitter handles and media) has been our way to showcase our resentment to each other or to the nation. The reason: a handful of people sitting at the helm of affairs and viewing the world from their own lens. The coffers need to be fuller than before and clouts to be stronger. The result: A state of anarchy!
This has caused the public to lose hope in the future and provoking the generation after generation to move away from the state. Creating a potential void and opportunity for infidels to enter the state. Over the period of time this has also caused the political parties to be myopic and not been able to work for the public (irrespective of any region). Lastly the governance has lost the direction because each move is directed by a political or a personal motive rather than the common welfare. Not more can be said about how we are upto brewing an unfit ecosystem for anything to thrive.
Or may be this is a part of the sinister plan to not let public grow in the state! Because the moment the public grows and prospers – it opens the gateway to many more like minded individuals and industries to enter the state. This would mean a lost game for the incumbents and losing the state (real estate, resources, power) to other parties. What they forget is ‘Ubuntu – I am because we are’. If “we” is gone, your I is as meaningless – revered political parties.
Will it ever change? Will we be able to grow and prosper? Will we come to a point where we know “who we are and what we stand for”. Or is it going to be a lost touch with the reality, a lost direction, a lost future and a lost state? Yet another year gone by and we have not paced up well with the national and global scale of growth. Its time we unlock the horns with our destiny!
(The writer is an IIM Shillong Alumnus)