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news details
Apple sheikhs of Kashmir
11/7/2019 10:02:23 PM
Omkar Dattatray

Kashmir is in the news from the last over three decades because of the militancy and terrorism which unfortunately took the heavy toll of forty thousand precious lives. If we go deep and think objectively we will definitely come to the conclusion that Kashmir issue is there and is also in the news ever since the nation attained freedom from the British yoke and as children we have been hearing Kashmir, Kashmir but the issue of Kashmir stands alive even after seventy year of self rule and independence thanks to the narrow handling of Kashmir by the first prime minister Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru. Indian rulers ever since freedom have considered Kashmir as an economic issue and the problem continues even today. Indian government has pumped tones and tones of the tax payers' money in Kashmir but the problem remained unsolved and this is the irony. Kashmir is not an economic problem but is a political as well as law and order problem. But Indian government is fed on false notion that Kashmir is an economic problem and until this notion is there the Kashmir issue will remain alive. Therefore this outdated notion should be given a goodbye and the rulers sitting in Delhi should realize that Kashmir can be solved by winning the hearts and minds of the Kashmiris and not by giving economic incentives as the majority of Kashmiris are well to do and affluent. They are rich and wealthy and do not need economic incentives and doles leave alone a very small number of kashmiris who are really poor and are living a life of penury. Thus instead of pumping money into Jammu and Kashmir, it is necessary to focus on the development of the small number of people of the erstwhile state now union territory who are poor and deserve economic upliftment. But the people of Kashmir are masters of wealth and are rolling in riches and do not need economic packages. Farmers of Kashmir have turned to orchard farming than cultivating paddy and have become big orchardists over the years. Earlier production of apple was confined to North Kashmir's Sopore and some areas of Shopian only but now almost all places of the valley are flourishing as apple production has become a big industry and is fetching a big revenue to the apple producers and such apple producers can be appropriately called as 'Apple Sheikhs of Kashmir' as they roll in riches and wealth. There are apple Sheikhs of Kashmir as there are Arab Sheikhs who are very rich people and are affluent and are next to none in economic power. The Kashmir orchardists who have grown sizeable in number are very affluent and possess palatial buildings and luxurious cars and have a high standard of living. So government of India should concentrate on the small number of people of Kashmir who are really poor, deserve economic help and upliftment and not others who are rich and affluent. Therefore the government should not measure all with the same yardstick but should make an objective distinction between affluent majority and poor minority of kashmiris'. Central government needs to take off the defective blinkers and see the reality of Kashmir and not pump money without any accountability as was happening from accession of Jammu and Kashmir. Now that temporary article 370 and article 35-A were repealed and the state was re-organised into two union territories of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh, the things may change for better and a new Jammu and Kashmir is born where the poor and needy who deserve financial and economic help are provided these on a priority and their poverty will be eliminated and they live a life where they can at least make both ends meet. All said and done it can be called safely that majority of kashmiris are affluent and rich and can be bracketed as Apple Sheikhs just like Arab Sheikhs and there is no doubt in this categorization.
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