The real indicators – stop the humbug called ‘Kashmir is hurt’ – R. Vaidyanathan
IT is fashionable for the bleeding heart liberals (BHL) in India to talk out of turn and use POTA (Pulled out of Thin Hair) data to justify their rantings. They fail to recognise the thin line between being a liberal and a subversive and often forget the English word called ‘democracy’.
The lumpen liberals like that one book wonder Arundhati Roy (who proudly proclaimed in the USA a couple of months ago that she has ceded from India since India is not a democracy) need not bother us since we need some infinite degree algebraic brainless wonders in our political discourse to have some buffoonery. But when the other BHLs like Vir Sanghvi and Swaminathan Aiyar and P B Mehta talk about Kashmir and say ‘Kashmir is hurt,’ we need to sit back and wonder what is happening. The first two even suggest a plebiscite in Kashmir about their choices due to their hurt.
Why are Kashmiris hurt? The first reason given is that polls were mostly rigged in J & K (not just in K) except the recent one where the screaming Mehbooba’s scheming father (Mufti Sayeed) could become chief minister. This argument is specious since the first candidate to cede from India on this ground should be Bi har since time immemorial polls were rigged in that state.
Just glance at the newspapers of the Seventies and Eighties.Then you will find in every poll the maximum number of people have been killed in that state.
What about Bengal? Jyoti Basu could not have lost Baranagar to a CPI candidate but for rigging by Siddhartha Ray’s Juba Congress boys. Now in every poll CPM indulges in scientific rigging according to its opponents. The Dalits of Western UP will tell horror stories of rigging by Jats till the arrival of Seshan and BSP in that order. So are the Dalits in Tamil Nadu. But none of these states are encouraged to cede from India by the BHLs.
In spite of the fact that some polls might have been rigged in J & K we should recognise that our general elections are different from that of Pakistan where generals get always “elected.” Do the “hurt” Kashmiris really prefer generals getting “elected” or general elections? It is for all of us to discuss. But interestingly or intriguingly every chief minister of Kashmir after 1947 is a Muslim.
This is in spite of the fact that J & K has a population of nearly 10 million and one third of that is Hindus, according to the 2001 Census. Andhra Pradesh with less than five percent Christians has current ly a Christian CM.
The second issue of hurt is regarding their socio-economic condition. In every indicator J & K stands in the top rung of all the states.
Some of the indicators are:
1. Per capita Consumption of Electricity at 759KWh (2006-2007) is much higher than in UP , MP , Rajasthan, Bihar,WB, etc. (Rajya Sabha Question No.2908-21-04-08).
2. Per Capita Central assistance at Rs. 2860 (in 2000) much higher than all states; with TN at Rs.260 and UP at 385 and WB at 426 and all India figure of Rs. 395. If at all; the rest of India should be hurt about it.Even total assistance of Rs 2631 crore in 2000 is the highest among states. (Rajya Sabha Question Nb.1370 dated 0308-2000.) 3. State-wise per capita availability of Milk in India (2005-2006) at 353 gms per day for J & K is much higher than most of the states with all-India average at 241 gms per day . (Rajya Sabha Question 1801 dated 11-08-2006).
4. State-wise per capita allocation for Agriculture and Rural development (2002-2003) at Rs. 305 (Rs.245 and Rs.60) is much higher than most states including TN at Rs. 188 and AP at Rs. 125, Maharashtra Rs 202 (leave alone BIMARU states) with all-India average at Rs. 152.(Lok Sabha Question 4659 dated 2304-03).
5. State-wise per capita expenditure (Current and capital) on health in India in 2001 at Rs. 363 is much higher than most states with TN at 170, AP at 146, UP at Rs. 83 and WB at Rs. 206 and a national average of 167. (Rajya Sabha question no. 756 dated 28-07-2003) 6. State-wise average monthly per capita consumption expenditure of farmers in India in 2003 at Rs. 712 for J & K is the third highest in India next to Punjab at Rs 828 and Haryana at Rs. Rs 741 with national average being Rs 502. (Rajya Sabha Question 1759 dated 08-12-2005).
7. The distribution of households in terms of ownership of dwellings at 94 per cent is one of the highest in India (Table H-5 Census of India —The StateJ&K — Census 2001).
We find that this state is among the top quartile or among the top percentile in every socio economic indicator.
The other major complaint is regarding owning land /property in Kashmir— in relation to the Amarnath Board getting 40 acres with “usage rights” during the yatra season.
It is surprising that our investigative media has not explored the real estate in Bangalore/Mumbai/Hyderabad owned by the Kashmiri leaders like Sheikh /Omar Abdullah, Mufti Syed, Mehbooba Begum, Mirwazi, Yasin Mallik, Geelani and various others taking extreme or moderate positions.
The mindless youngsters shouting azadi on the streets of Kashmir should be clear whether they would like to be part of India that is democratic and becoming a world power or want to be ruled by the army of Pakistan to protect their religion from imagined crisis.
If it is the later then the road to Muzzafarabad can be opened for the willing to leave to the land of honey and milk.
As far as India is concerned, it should conduct a referendum encompassing the entire country about the future of Kashmir and the need to keep Article 370.
That is the only referendum we should think of.
The bleeding heart liberals should realise that they are subverting democracy and the thin line between a liberal and terrorist is getting blurred.
Enough of this nonsense called ‘Kashmiri is hurt.’ (The author is Professor of Finance, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. The views are personal and do not reflect that of his organisation.) email@example.com
Some key indicators of inequity in Jammu vis-à-vis Kashmir region of J&K State:
1 Area-26293 sq kms (Jammu) 15948 sq kms (Kashmir)
2 Total revenue generated-75 % (Jammu) 20% (Kashmir)
3 Total voters-3059986 (Jammu); 2883950 (Kashmir)
4 Assembly seats allotted-37 (Jammu); 46 (Kashmir)
5 Loksabha seats-2 (Jammu); 3 (Kashmir)
6 Cabinet ministers(till 7th July,08) –5 (Jammu); 14 (Kashmir)
7 Unemployment status-69.70 % (Jammu); 29.30% (Kashmir)
8 Representation in state govt. jobs-1.2 lakhs (Jammu); 3lakhs (Kashmir)
9 Percentage of employees from local area-less than 25% (Jammu); 99% (Kashmir)
10 Power generation -22 Mega Watt (Jammu); 304 Mega Watt (Kashmir)
11 Rural electrification-less than 70% (Jammu); 100% (Kashmir)