C Rangarajan and company has churned out yet another magic document that would theoretically see an end to all the miseries, the people of the state have been reeling under since last many decades. The expert panel headed by the top-notch economist of the country has rolled out an ambitious 2,000 crore program for putting an end to the burgeoning unemployment in the State. Many Kashmir observers in New Delhi as well as some politicians back home, have a strong belief that increase in employment opportunities in the State, especially the Valley, would solve half the Kashmir issue.
The panel was constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the aftermath of the 2010 summer uprising in which more than hundred youth were killed. The report, made public yesterday, has underscored the need for skill development in the youth for their better employability. The report has made it clear that absence of a robust private sector coupled with politically sensitive environment has degraded the potential and the capabilities among the youth.
While it took a mass agitation of the scale witnessed in the last summer to catalyse the formulation of the expert group, lack of serious initiatives towards building of private sector and addressing the problems of unemployment, by successive regimes in New Delhi is one of the factors that has sustained the trust deficit between the local population and the mainland society. The sense of urgency that would be seen in the formulation of the expert panel for the creation of employment opportunities was only a reflection of the summer unrest, aimed at pacifying the growing criticism on the killing of youth both at the national and international levels, genuine non-reactionary efforts were seldom employed to model in J&K, especially the valley.
The recommendations of the five working groups, including the one on economic development of state, which submitted its report in November 2006, are gathering dust in the corridors of power, the fate of the latest homework done by the head of the Economic Advisory panel to prime Minister will be decided partly by the future political events in the state and partly by the political will at the Centre to facilitate the translation of the recommendations into reality.
The timing and place of release of the report were strategically decided, with apprehensions of another round of agitation, the sweeping arrests of the youth by the state police over the last one month reveals much about the double speak of the governments.