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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Undeniable Fact: The state continues to neglect its horticulture and agriculture sectors

Tarigami expresses concern over negligence of horticulture and agriculture sector and demands introduction of Crop Insurance Scheme in the state

(Mr. Mohammed Yusuf Rather, 59, was born in Tarigam village in Kulgam area of Anantnag district. He usually goes by the name Yusuf Tarigami. He is a two-time member of the J&K Legislative Assembly, and was elected from Kulgam in 1996. Mr. Tarigami is the secretary of the J&K branch of the Communist Party-Marxist, and a member of its national Central Committee.)

Srinagar: Expressing deep concern over the negligence of agriculture and horticulture sector by the successive governments and plunging it into ever greater crises, State Secretary CPI (M) and MLA, Kulgam M. Y Tarigami has said that lack of modern infrastructure and updated technical know how has rendered this core sector as most primitive thereby adding to the miseries of ruralites and those involved in it.

Mr. Tarigami while addressing a public rally at Shopian said that continuing neglect of agriculture and horticulture sector would be a costly folly which could plunge the entire state into deep economic crisis and social unrest. He said that despite tall claims by the government the agriculture and horticulture production remains stagnant. “We are yet to achieve self sufficiency in food grains, vegetables, fish, meat, milk and other commodities and even the horticulture produce is dwindling day by day,” Tarigami exclaimed and said that world famous apple, almond, walnut, Ladakhi apricot and even saffron crop do not with stand world market competitiveness for the incentives and technological aid is not provided to the growers and their interests not safeguarded.

Tarigami urged upon the government to introduce special Crop Insurance Scheme (CIS) for all types of crops, provide quality seeds, pesticides and fertilizers to farmers, rural infrastructure and incentives to marginal fruit growers, introduce Marketing Information System (MIS), promotion of horticulture, floriculture, pesiculture, epiculture and storage and transport facilities for the export of Kashmiri fruit. He said that due to intermittent calamities horticulture and agriculture produce gets damaged that makes the farmers and orchardists worrisome. He said that to save the farming community from the adversities of natural calamity introduction of CIS was inevitable.

Addressing the rally senior CPI (M) leader G. N. Malik and Ab. Khaliq Rather said that successive regimes in the state have been making tall claims to put an end to the rampant corruption in the state, but the graph of this curse has been rising instead of showing any decline. Today, it has assumed the proportions of an epidemic, which is contributing to the chaos afflicting the state today. They demanded that the Accountability Commission should be given free hand in dealing with the subject without any political intervention.

Youth leader Mohammad Abdullah Wani, while addressing the rally highlighted the problems facing the youth and demanded unemployment allowance for educated youth till they are provided suitable jobs. He dwelt upon the bankrupt policies of successive governments in the state and the centre, which had generated joblessness and desperation among the youth forcing them to resort to violence.

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