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.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Economy is Agrarian, but the Usual Focus is on Tourism

Yusuf Tarigami reminds public that Kashmir's future revolves around its farmers

(Mr. Mohammed Yusuf Rather, 60, was born in Tarigam village in Kulgam area of Anantnag district. He usually goes by the name Yusuf Tarigami. He is a member of the J&K Legislative Assembly, and was elected from Kulgam. Mr. Tarigami is the secretary of the J&K branch of the Communist Party-Marxist (CPI-M), and a member of its National Central Committee.)

One day state level Kissan Conference held at Srinagar

Srinagar: CPI (M) State Secretary and MLA Kulgam, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has said insufficient allocation for agriculture and allied sectors has made the State dependent on massive imports of food grains and other essentials besides, affecting the livelihood of millions of the people engaged directly or indirectly in agriculture, horticulture and related sectors. Tarigami was speaking at state level Kissan Conference held at Srinagar.

The one day conference was attended by farmers, growers and agriculture labourers across the State and was presided over by kissan leader Ghulam Nabi Malik.

Lambasting at government for ignoring agriculture and horticulture, the primary sectors of State’s economy, Tarigami said that due to the negligent and unplanned agriculture policies by the successive governments farmers have been subjected to deep economic crises and disgust. He said that all schemes under these sectors have proved ineffective and unproductive due to poor implementation. Tarigami urged the government for making the Kissan credit card and other lending schemes transparent, easy and farmer friendly.

Criticizing the State government for neglecting the core sectors of agriculture and horticulture, the CPI (M) state secretary alleged that farmers of the State have not been benefited under agriculture loan waive off scheme as has been done in other States of India. He said that under the said scheme loans worth thousands of crores provided to the farmers were waived off in rest of the country and added that the farmers of the State, who have availed the lending facilities and have paid off these be provided cash incentives as has been done in Andhra Pradesh.

Tarigami said that CPI(M) stands for safeguarding the interests of farmers, growers, labourers and common man, adding that it has time and again advocated for implementing the crop insurance scheme in Jammu and Kashmir for benefiting the farmers and growers in the event of natural calamities, which mostly cause severe damages to their crops. He demanded the government for providing relief to the farmers whose crops have got damaged due to recent hailstorms in some parts of the valley.

Asking the farmers and growers to be a part of organized movement that would compel the State government to pay added attention towards agriculture and horticulture sectors and protecting their interests, Tarigami said that CPI (M) would continue with its pro-farmer, pro-labourer and people oriented policies whether at national or State level.

Alleging that the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the State was in shambles, Tarigami urged the government to ensure its streamlining and revamping. He said that due to mismanagement and malpractices in State’s Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution system, the consumers were suffering for want of food grains and other essentials through PDS. Tarigami also demanded for immediate implementation of the Cabinet decision wherein provision of 11 Kgs of ration per month per head was restored. Up-gradation of public utilities and services were also imperative, he said and urged the government for ensuring accountability and transparency in the delivery systems.

Malik addressing the conference demanded the government for providing quality fertilizers, chemicals and inputs to the farmers and growers during the current Kharief season.

The Conference also passed resolutions with regard to implementation of a broad based agriculture policy in the State, crop insurance scheme, provision of relief to hailstorm affected farmers, and protecting economic interests of farmers and growers.

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