Kashmiris should own their future

People of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered immensely due to conflict, especially people of Valley. While as the areas south of the Pir Panjal have witnessed relative peace for more than a decade now, Kashmir continues to be in the vicious circle of violence. It is also afflicted with disruption of normal life in one form or the other.
As far as the political spectrum is concerned, there are as many opinions as there are voices. The local political leaders are not unified in their demands for what is termed as “resolution of Kashmir issue.” Some speak of autonomy, some of self rule. With no perceptible leadership change in the last few decades, the positions being held are rigid and uncompromising which has resulted in a political stalemate.

The worst sufferer in this situation is the common man – those who earn their living through trade and provision of services or farming and cultivation or through jobs in the private sector, etc. It is these people who bear the brunt of violence and due to disruptions that are caused by political developments.

A common man earns his living with a lot of hard work and great difficulty. In Kashmir the difficulty factor multiplies many times over. The resultant earning being less than normal leads to despair and frustration. There is rampant unemployment leading to the earning of a single family member being shared by too many; raising families has become a big challenge.

The children ordinary people in Kashmir are growing up in an environment of fear and uncertainly, missing schools frequently and finding fewer opportunities for recreation. They are being subjected to hate and prejudice through constant exposure to the disruptive environment.

The common man has, on many occasions demonstrated his desire to leave the conflict behind and lead a peaceful life, but the forces aligned against him are so powerful that they drown his aspirations in their own interests and do not allow any kind of change to take place.

The only solution to this cycle of despair and hopelessness lies in the common man rising to take his destiny in his own hands. Here it becomes pertinent to study the strengths in favour of the common man, the factors that can assist him in bringing about the change that he desires.
Common man in Kashmir needs to realise the potential of this freedom and political empowerment that he possesses and he needs to use the same to his advantage. It is time to reject all the conspiracy theories to control the politics in Kashmir.
The youth of Kashmir should move out in large numbers to become a part of the corporate success story, their education and hard work gives them this potential and they need to leverage the same. Modern day world is a cosmopolitan hub where professionals and different cultures simply melt in; there are challenges in this process but millions are facing and overcoming the same.
While going out to work the people of Kashmir should also attract as much investment in their land as is possible. The region has great value for setting up of business ventures in view of its vast natural resources, great climate, cheap labour and facilities that the government would be ready to provide. Exploitation of the potential will change Kashmir forever.
It is time for the people of Kashmir to seek ownership of their own lives and stop being stooges in the hands of vested interests. They need to look at the future in a manner that brings in the much needed peace and prosperity. A positive and open minded attitude will go a long way in the realisation of these dreams.