Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Timely Editorial in a Kashmir Daily Advising Youth to Look Beyond Government Jobs

The Rising Kashmir advises protesting youth seeking government jobs to look for other opportunities

Opportunities galore

It needs a will to look beyond Government jobs

The energies, and of late some of the innovative methods, that go into the protests of unemployed youth can be used otherwise too. It can be used to explore alternative fields of employment and entrepreneurship. Notwithstanding the fact that Government of the day is under an obligation to provide avenues and opportunities for the unemployed educated youth, the protesting groups need to think of alternatives.

It indicates a psyche of dependence when we find, every now and then, various groups of students with good educational degrees to their credit, protesting against Government for not being provided employment. Carrying banners and placards and shouting slogans against Government has become a common scene in Srinagar. Hardly any day passes without witnessing protest of one kind or the other by unemployed youth. In order to be listened by the relevant quarters new methods and means are adopted; some tried to sell clothes on the roadside, some polished shoes on the pavements and some demonstrated by staging sit-ins on the road, blocking traffic while others went on hunger strikes for weeks together.

One can not ignore the plight that these unemployed youth are facing but one can not either help ask a question to them, even if it irks. Did all these protests help in any way? Every one of them knows that it didn’t. Besides wasting their precious time they are also wasting opportunities which are so abundantly available in the present day world of business and enterprise. It also indicates lack of confidence and will to look beyond Government jobs. While Government can not be exonerated of its failure to provide jobs to the young educated talent, the protesting youth can not be appreciated for what they are doing. Even if we place our sympathies on their side it will be unjust to pamper them and encourage them to continue with such useless exercise. They should shake themselves up and break the shackles of sloth and step into the larger world where people are on a hunt for talent.

All these young protesters need to do is to explore the greater world of opportunities and prove their worth. Today if they are facing the problem of unemployment, tomorrow they will have to make a choice between good and better offer, for there won’t be just one agency that will like to employee them. The problems of scarcity will suddenly change into problem of plenty.

Jammu and Kashmir, however, does not have a business climate that encourages investment by Indian or foreign multi-national companies because of archaic laws that foster corruption and government intervention in every detail of public life ("worst of the worst" License Raj), as well as poor transparency and governance in the functioning of the State government. For more details, please open the following link:

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