One India, United India – Jammu & Kashmir
India’s Dream and the people’s dream for the last 7 decades is finally fulfilled. All through my life, I was made to believe there would never be a solution for Kashmir and problems will persist for infinity. But, something unbelievable has happened on the day of 5th August 2019 when Home Minister Amit Shah walked into Rajya Sabha and proposed revoking of Article 370.
Today the same was proposed in Lok Sabha and it got passed. The bill to make Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories. It’ll mean there is a line drawn between J&K and Ladakh. J&K will be UT but with an elected govt and Ladakh will be completely controlled by Governor appointed by President.
The historic decision by Indian Govt has rattled the Separatists and Pakistan. Pakistan PM Imran Khan is shocked by this and is trying to threaten India in their parliament. This will, of course, do no good but just satisfy the egos of the Pakistanis.
What will this move mean to J&K?
Sure most of us have understood Article 370 by now. Simply put, people from across the country can buy and sell the properties in both J&K and Ladakh. People can start businesses and important investment in the tourism industry will see a big jump. People setting up new business or industries will bring in more jobs to the youth and realise their dreams. We will see more peace and development from all the corners with no bias towards Jammu or Kashmiris. Much needed change is welcome for India, only wait is to fulfil the promises and bring higher GDP contribution to the Country by J&K and Ladakh. And finally, if you dream to own a flat in Srinagar facing the Dal lake or want a Penthouse for yourself in the mountains of Ladakh, all that is possible now, with the scrapping of Article 370.
Economic Contribution by J&K to India
Let’s get into the facts, as per the GDP data for 2016-17 Jammu & Kashmir as a state has 78,163₹ per capita income, ranked 15th and is 26,000₹ less than India’s average per capita income. As per 2018-19 data, Jammu & Kashmir increased per capita income to 94,992₹, but it has fallen to 23rd position as the other states picked up and the difference goes up to 32,000₹ as the country average jumps to 1,26,406₹.
When we look at the GDP Data, Jammu & Kashmir contribution stands at a negligible percentage of 0.83%. This is unacceptable because India’s average contribution per state stands at 3%. While the top ten states average stands at 7% contribution. With the capability and the resources available in the land of Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir one can expect a better contribution. But that is not to be if we go deeper, GDP also includes the Govt’s expenditure. With J&K being border state and most of the army placed in J&K we can understand how much Govt spends.
With the abrogation of Article 370, this will change. Soon with the efforts of every Indian and the Govt and the openness to change from Kashmiris will bring in more prosperity and development. J&K will play a much bigger role than expected in India’s targeted GDP of 5 Trillion by 2024.
This is only possible if the change is accepted by Kashmiris and embrace the rest of Indians. More than the people, separatists should be shut and Pakistan infiltration must stop. This is not going to be tough, as Central Govt is directly involved in the state affairs. Let’s hope for a big change, let’s turn Ladakh into the ‘Tourism Capital of the Country’ and ‘Jammu & Kashmir into the peaceful state in the country’.
For now, its time to celebrate the task of completely integrating Kashmir into Indian Union.