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Cry Baby

In Development, Kashmir, News, Politics on 5 November, 2006 at 7:20 pm

There’s a cry baby everywhere. Cry babies are a hassle, no amount of cajoling makes them happy and that’s what has happened to Kashmir’s cry baby, which is none other than its winter capital Jammu.

Jammu claims that it has been neglected by the Kashmiri centric governments. A decade and a half ago it would sounded a bit true largely because at that time Jammu was just a transit point for Kashmir bound tourists. However, even back then Jammu’s industrial development was far better than Kashmir’s, since it was connected by a railway link. Even in the 42 years till 1989, India had not thought about connecting Kashmir by a railway line. It was probably for strategic reasons that India approved a railway line to Kashmir in 1995.

China took five years and one day to complete the work on the 1,142 kilometers of railway track between Golmund and Lhasa before flagging off the Qinghai-Tibet railway in July this year. India, on the other hand, is struggling to complete the 292 kilometer Udhampur – Srinagar- Baramulla rail link more than 11 years after the first approval came through. (courtesy of world tibet)

The work on the railway line is proceeding at a snails pace and there is no fear of questioning from anyone as the excuses of kidnapping of engineers, terrorist threats, attacks, sabotage and as a whole the possibility of Al-Qaeda blowing up the tracks since Osama Bin laden could be hiding somewhere near those tracks always come handy.

The Railway Ministry recently informed the Parliament that the crucial 148-kilometer stretch between Katra and Qazigund would only be complete by 2008-9 and that only 12 per cent work had been completed on this section so far. (courtesy of world tibet)

Back to Jammu. The allegations of discrimination by Jammu are a big fat lie today. Even though Jammu is on it’s way to attain the status of a metro in the next couple of years, the people of Jammu continue crying hoarse. Helped further and incited by BJP and the Shiv Sena, Jammu has lately been demanding the status of a state. However, even though they make a lot of noise about discrimination and separate state hood, they and their leaders know well that they are getting the best bet as long as they continue being part of the conflict ridden Kashmir. It furthers their interests. It helps them get a huge chunk of the money allotted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In Jammu the money takes the form of development while as in Kashmir it takes the form of more troops.

Even before the conflict Kashmir had no industrial development. Kashmir has always held an attraction and tourism, apples and handicrafts have always been the mainstay of its economy, but much of the infrastructure was developed and managed by the local businessmen. The best hotels, houseboats, apple orchards, handicraft industries and transport services in Kashmir have always been managed by local businessmen. The government has never seriously endured to develop Kashmir. No wonder that even though almost 90% of the total apple production of India comes from Kashmir, it still lacks a cold chain and storage system.

A conflict always gives rise to a different economic system and in the economic system that emerged in Kashmir, Jammu gained. While as Jammu had a flyover years back, even though it did not need one, Kashmir got a flyover a year back. The flyover became the center of media attraction with the Chief Minister of Kashmir gifting it to the people of Kashmir on Martyr’s day. A flyover is nothing out of the ordinary but in Kashmir it is, that’s because the government doesn’t have anything else to showcase its progress. A flyover became the symbol of the best the government in Kashmir could do. In Jammu, the politicians would have had to taste eggs had they tried gifting a flyover.

Jammu over the past few years has gained immensely. Figures show the stark contrast of the amounts being spent in Kashmir and in Jammu. As long as the state of Jammu and Kashmir was under Presidential rule, one really did not expect development, but what happened when the popular governments took over? What about the so called peace that’s in Kashmir? Why do Kashmiri people still have to move out for jobs when, according to a lot of people, Kashmir is the most pampered state in India. If one considers the amount of money spent on the army in Kashmir as the money spent on a state, Kashmir is indeed the most pampered state. It takes a lot of money to maintain 700,000 soldiers in a single state.

According to a report, private companies invested Rs 2,628 crore in the Jammu division, Rs 541 crore in the Kashmir division and Rs 5 crore in Leh region. That’s 82% of the total investments in Jammu and Kashmir was in Jammu.

Even the government is going all the way to pamper and cajole the cry baby. The government of Jammu and Kashmir is acquiring 375 hectares in Jammu for industrial development compared to just 82 hectares in Kashmir. That’s again 82% of the total for Jammu.

And Jammu still won’t stop crying; maybe they should relax and get a haircut!

  1. Before labelling Jammu as a cry baby let us go through a few statistics which have been missed in the article.

    1.J&K administration has 2.5 lakh government employees from the Kashmir valley, the number was less than one lakh in case of Jammu.

    2. The State secretariat had over 85 per cent employees belonging to Kashmir, while their strength was about 15 per cent from Jammu.

    3. Investment in the irrigation projects in Kashmir was of Rs 38.98 crore against Rs 14.15 crore in Jammu where the geographical area was 26,293 sq km against 15,953 sq km in the Kashmir valley.

    4. Jammu is denied its due share of seats in the Assembly with only 37 seats to the region against 46 of Kashmir.Although the number of registered voters in Jammu is 28,92,290 as against 25,46,913 in Kashmir.

    5. Each Assembly seat in Jammu has about 78,170 electorate against 55,367 in Kashmir.

    6. Jammu is also discriminated in the number of Lok Sabha seats as it had only two seats against three of the valley. Each Lok Sabha seat of Jammu had an electorate of 14,46,145 against only 8,48,971 of Kashmir.

    7. 26 development projects with an investment of Rs 16.29 crore had been undertaken in Jammu against 154 projects with an investment of Rs 104.73 crore in Kashmir.

    8.Of the total revenue collection in the state, Jammu as contributing 70 per cent, while the recoveries from Kashmir were less than 30 per cent.

    9. A sum of Rs 6.29 crore had been earmarked for the tourism sector in the Kashmir valley against Rs 94 lakh for Jammu. The Srinagar Municipal Corporation has been granted Rs 3 crore, while the allocation for the Jammu Municipal Corporation was Rs 1 crore.

    From these figures….I think Jammu people are not sheding crocodile tears.

    Reference Link

  2. Abhay,

    I would like to answer some of the questions / statistics that you have mentioned here.

    I will try to tackle each one of them chronologically (the way they appear in your comment)

    1. You say J&K Administration has 2.5 lacs…

    [Comment] I am sure these figures not only reflect the fact that there are more employees from Kashmir but also that the education was taken much more seriously by those from Kashmir. Times may have changed and now the situation might be very different. Also you have to understand that till early 90s Pandits also were residing in Kashmir and I am not sure whether this study has taken the migration into account.

    2. The state secretariat has 85%….

    [Comment] This seems to be an extension of observation no. 1 and so my comment above would again account for this as well.

    3. Investment in the irrigation …

    [Comment] You have mentioned the geographical area in Jammu and Kashmir but I don’t see stats for land which is tillable or fit-for-agriculture. May be the figures there are stacked heavily in favour of Kashmir and so the investment.

    4. Jammu is denied…

    [Comment] As far as I remember these decisions are made by Delimitation Commission which is a Central Gov’t body. So, you may raise this query with them.

    5, 6, 7 [Comments] My comments appearing in 4 hold for these as well.

    8. Revenue share from Jammu

    [Comments] To me there could be three reasons for this

    a) Toll for any goods entering into valley is collected at Lakhanpur, even if it is meant for Kashmir.

    b) There are lot of industries which have been set up in Jammu while Kashmir continues to grapple with issues of life-and-death and so the revenue share of Jammu will again be on a higher side.

    c) Revenue from liquor sale always contributes a major chunk to the state exchequer. Need I say more on this.

    9. Investment on Tourism

    [Comments] How many places in Jammu can you count as Tourist destinations. Let me count Vaishnodevi Temple, Mansar Lake, Patnitop… Help me mate for I cannot recall. I can help you on Kashmir’s tourist places – Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Yousmarg, Dal-Lake (it may be in shambles but you cannot miss the beauty), Mughal Gardens (have clubbed them for your sake) and many more. Now tell me where is more investment required.

    Having said all this, I would like to mention that I have a right to be wrong in my assessment as I am just an ordinary person who feels he has an opinion (regardless of whether it pleases people or not).

    I request all our friends to help Abhay understand the discrimination that has been meted to Kashmiris by pulling out some stats like he has. I am doing the same at the same time because our intention should not be to blindly deny or accept anything.

    Juz A Kashmiri

  3. Abhay,

    And I never knew the reference link is actually a BJP handout which has appeared in most of the news papers from valley. Now I really doubt those figures… Not that they are entirely incorrect but that I am sure there is another side to the coin which has been kept under wraps…

    Think about it…

    Statistics reveal what you want them to.

    Juz A Kashmiri

  4. Juz a Kashmiri
    Thank you for replying to all the points that Abhay had raised.

    Helped further and incited by BJP and the Shiv Sena, Jammu has lately been demanding the status of a state.

    Your reference link (a BJP handout) justifies my claim in the post. Thank you.

    Juz a Kashmiri has answered your questions well. However I do not know why you (rather the BJP) raised the issue of Assembly seats because it doesn’t matter whether Kashmir has all or none seats in the assembly. The present crisis of Kashmir is to a very large extent the result of the failed democratic system in Kashmir. Did you know that most of the leaders of APHC including the head of United Jihad Council had contested elections in 1987 and they lost because the Government of India never wanted them to win!

    Do you know that Nehru once told Bakshi (the man installed by Delhi after Sheikh was arrested) that it would have done him (Bakshi) good if he had lost a few seats. Politicians in Kashmir have to do what their masters in Delhi ask them to because history is witness to the fact that whenever a politician said no to Delhi, he was thrown out.

  5. Juz A Kashmiri,

    Thanks for your valuable comments. I will try to respond to your comments chronologically (the way they appear in your comment)

    1. You said “…the education was taken much more seriously by those from Kashmiris…”

    I am sure you are well aware of the meaning of “stereotype.” For example – Sardars are idiots, Marwaris are miser and of course the most recent one is “Muslims are fundamentalists.” Congratulations!! You just added a new one-“Kashmiris are serious about education” as if it depends upon community. Stereotyping habit is absolutely wrong. I wonder if you had been India’s education minister you would have termed the Bihar’s illiteracy on the people themselves saying that “People do not want to study”!!!! Is Bihar or any other state literacy or illiteracy depends upon the people will or lack of will?

    If Kashmiris are more educated than Jammuians then again it is the result of overlooking by the governments and not due to this stereotyping statement-That Kashmiris are more serious about studies. The difference of employees is 1.5 times. Does that mean that on an average a Kashmiri is 1.5 times studious or intelligent than a Jammuian??

    Anyways apart from this stereotyping let me again present you with few stats. The literacy rate of Kashmir valley is 23.10% while the Jammu figure is marginally high at 26.24 % ( See reference 1). So the difference in employment is clearly due to government apathy not due to the un-intelligence or lack of study on part of Jammuians.

    2. Same argument for state secretariat holds true.

    3. Investment in the irrigation

    Check a few websites and you will realize that Kashmir has substantial number of more rivers and streams than Jammu. I am not a geologist but my common sense is curious to know: Who needs more irrigation projects? A district with more rivers or a district with less rivers??

    4, 5, 6, 7. Regarding less representation of Jammu in seats/elections.

    I did not blame Kashmiris for this. But by passing the buck to central government does not mean that this is not discrimination.

    9. Regrading investment in tourism

    I do agree that Kashmir has more places than Jammu for sight seeing. But the number of tourist visiting Kashmir is far less than Jammu. For reasons you know well enough. Now does you see another side of coin?

    10. Regarding Srinagar crop and Jammu crop allotment of funds.

    Again I don’t blame Kashmiris for this, but discrimination is discrimination.

    Reference 1
    Reference 2

    Please add the literacy figures for different districts and check the results.

    Once more your valuable comments are most welcome and will be highly appreciated.

  6. To Kashmir

    You said: Did you know that most of the leaders of APHC including the head of United Jihad Council had contested elections in 1987 and they lost because the Government of India never wanted them to win!

    Yes I know. I know that leaders of Hurriyat as well as Hizbul chief Syed Sallaudin had taken part in elections under UJC. But will you mind telling the readers that the issue that they fought under was “Kashmir will be freed after victory in elections, therefore vote for us”

    Naturally people must have voted for UJC and I do agree that NC win in those elections looks suspicious.

    But what you do not see is that instead of development issue UJC fought elections on independence demand but do you know that under Indian constitution no state is allowed to fight elections on the basis of right of separatism…which they had done!!!!

    “Now if by any chance your argument is “Kashmir is not a part of India and India had promised a plebiscite.”

    [This is not my argument hence irrelevant assumed reference to UN resolutions deleted]

    Oh yes talking about cry baby Jammu. It seems Kashmiri separatist party who blame Nehru for having a soft corner for Kashmir which they allege is one of the reasons for not letting off Kashmir are double minded. How on earth do you explain that one of the most important separatist Kashmir party has the name JKLF although Jammuims have never been a part in this secessionist movement. It seems they love Kashmir Jammu more than Nehru’s love for Kashmir! Therefore named organisation as JKLF instead of KLF. Is it a case of dragging the cry baby along with u? There is a saying in Hindi “maan na maan mein tera mehmaan” (which means: no matter whether you agree or not, you are mine) If you feel that you are not a part of India, then first give that opportunity to others as well. Do not drag Jammuians when they are not with you!!!!

  7. you are some one (right or wrong less matters) who have his thinking and point … so you got blogrolled

  8. But will you mind telling the readers that the issue that they fought under was “Kashmir will be freed after victory in elections, therefore vote for us” Naturally people must have voted for UJC and I do agree that NC win in those elections looks suspicious.

    UJC was fomed in 1994. I am not sure how people voted for UJC in 1987, maybe you can shed some light.

  9. […] the Cry Baby that never stops crying injustice – ranks at 186, giving us a decent indicator of where the […]

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