Thoughts on economics and liberty

Draft article for comment: “Kashmir: A perspective from first principles”

Thanks to those who provided comments on the draft article which has now been removed. The final article is provided here

Sanjeev Sabhlok 15 January 2011.

 

 
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24 thoughts on “Draft article for comment: “Kashmir: A perspective from first principles”
  1. Hina Manerikar

    "All Indians must be treated on par (i.e. reservations must go); all poverty must be eliminated; corruption must be eliminated; and freedom (subject to accountability) must be ensured for all. All qualifications on Indians’ liberties must go".
    sounds like utopia. I am not being cynical, but how exactly do we go about achieving this? No political party is going to let this happen. Doing away with reservations will be opposed by those who benefit from it. Honest people cannot survive in politics. Even honest bureaucrats are shunted out.

     
  2. Hina Manerikar

    "All Indians must be treated on par (i.e. reservations must go); all poverty must be eliminated; corruption must be eliminated; and freedom (subject to accountability) must be ensured for all. All qualifications on Indians’ liberties must go".
    sounds like utopia. I am not being cynical, but how exactly do we go about achieving this? No political party is going to let this happen. Doing away with reservations will be opposed by those who benefit from it. Honest people cannot survive in politics. Even honest bureaucrats are shunted out.

     
  3. LK Kandpal

    As always, Sanjeev has written a thought-provoking article on the most disputed subject. As rightly said, the only solution to Kashmir problem is good governance. We have become so cynic that we tend to think that our rulers do not want to solve any problems. They want issues to keep lingering so that they can continue to hoodwink the masses and rouse such emotions from time to time. This also applies to other problems which our country is plagued with.
    Our intellectual class including the middle class is in deep slumber, most of us resigned to our fate. Our political class knows how to  rule and fool by following their time tested formula- create chaos, confusion, division and rule. 
    Solution- let good people come forward- lead from the front and govern. Otherwise do not whine or whimper- you deserve it!
    LK

     
  4. LK Kandpal

    As always, Sanjeev has written a thought-provoking article on the most disputed subject. As rightly said, the only solution to Kashmir problem is good governance. We have become so cynic that we tend to think that our rulers do not want to solve any problems. They want issues to keep lingering so that they can continue to hoodwink the masses and rouse such emotions from time to time. This also applies to other problems which our country is plagued with.
    Our intellectual class including the middle class is in deep slumber, most of us resigned to our fate. Our political class knows how to  rule and fool by following their time tested formula- create chaos, confusion, division and rule. 
    Solution- let good people come forward- lead from the front and govern. Otherwise do not whine or whimper- you deserve it!
    LK

     
  5. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Hina

    This is not utopia. This is what we fought independence for. This is why we wanted to govern our own nation. The fact that citizens abdicated their responsibility and gave up without trying doesn’t mean that this is not something achievable.

    I don’t care if any current political party is not going to allow this to happen. I’m talking about FTI and its leaders. They will offer this (or something broadly similar) to the people of India and their authority will ensure that these things are achieved.

    Reservations, for instance were agreed only for 10 years in 1950. There is no moral mandate for such things in 2010.

    I am convinced that India’s governance can be changed. It needs good leaders to step forward.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  6. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Hina

    This is not utopia. This is what we fought independence for. This is why we wanted to govern our own nation. The fact that citizens abdicated their responsibility and gave up without trying doesn’t mean that this is not something achievable.

    I don’t care if any current political party is not going to allow this to happen. I’m talking about FTI and its leaders. They will offer this (or something broadly similar) to the people of India and their authority will ensure that these things are achieved.

    Reservations, for instance were agreed only for 10 years in 1950. There is no moral mandate for such things in 2010.

    I am convinced that India’s governance can be changed. It needs good leaders to step forward.

    Regards
    Sanjeev

     
  7. raj

    Kashmir is a huge blunder and we must rectify starting with Article 370. I agree with everything you have to say on kashmir. Also, Indians from other states must be able to freely move to kashmir and also be able to hold property. Same applies for Kashmiris too. 
    Finally, there needs to some form of growth and development in Kashmir. For  a long time Kashmir is dependent heavily on government spending..this needs to be changed. Things may change when there is economic growth.

     
  8. raj

    Kashmir is a huge blunder and we must rectify starting with Article 370. I agree with everything you have to say on kashmir. Also, Indians from other states must be able to freely move to kashmir and also be able to hold property. Same applies for Kashmiris too. 
    Finally, there needs to some form of growth and development in Kashmir. For  a long time Kashmir is dependent heavily on government spending..this needs to be changed. Things may change when there is economic growth.

     
  9. Surya

    I agree with your long-term outlook. But I would also like to know, what short-term approach you prefer. When we have a sufficiently liberalized India, Kashmiris might see sense in staying within the union. But at present, they are seething with anger. In the current situation, I feel removing article 370 would prove counter-productive.
    My opinion is this. It should be put across to the protesters that union with Pakistan would be foolish for them, considering that Pakistan itself faces an existential crisis now. And it should also be conveyed that an Azad Kashmir would have three hostile big powers surrounding it, making peace a distant dream. Kashmiris would lose access to trade with mainland India if they separate. This should be our key plank. 
    And New Delhi should warn army against making statements undermining the civilian government in Kashmir. We should make sincere efforts to confine army to the borders. While it is important to listen to Army's concerns, they should be secondary to civilian concerns.  It is also high time, we recognized LOC as the border. 
    But the UPA government is incapable of making any of these decisions. It's only focus is on winning the elections and wouldn't mind stoking the sentiments in the valley. If NDA comes to power, they would start off by making noise about Article 370, without simultaneously reducing the army presence in the valley. While it is true that the article should go, we need to gain the trust of Kashmiris first.  And neither of the major parties seems capable of such vision.

     
  10. Surya

    I agree with your long-term outlook. But I would also like to know, what short-term approach you prefer. When we have a sufficiently liberalized India, Kashmiris might see sense in staying within the union. But at present, they are seething with anger. In the current situation, I feel removing article 370 would prove counter-productive.
    My opinion is this. It should be put across to the protesters that union with Pakistan would be foolish for them, considering that Pakistan itself faces an existential crisis now. And it should also be conveyed that an Azad Kashmir would have three hostile big powers surrounding it, making peace a distant dream. Kashmiris would lose access to trade with mainland India if they separate. This should be our key plank. 
    And New Delhi should warn army against making statements undermining the civilian government in Kashmir. We should make sincere efforts to confine army to the borders. While it is important to listen to Army's concerns, they should be secondary to civilian concerns.  It is also high time, we recognized LOC as the border. 
    But the UPA government is incapable of making any of these decisions. It's only focus is on winning the elections and wouldn't mind stoking the sentiments in the valley. If NDA comes to power, they would start off by making noise about Article 370, without simultaneously reducing the army presence in the valley. While it is true that the article should go, we need to gain the trust of Kashmiris first.  And neither of the major parties seems capable of such vision.

     
  11. skandan

    Dear Sablok,
    Some factual points. There was no option to the princely states for independence under the Act. Second recent studies  have pointed about the geopolitical compulsions that created  Pak. Imm after the second world war new paradigms took over for the west-to rein in Russia/china. Also middle east-on account of oil. British civil servants had fostered ML during the pre-war years. Partition a big mistake proved subsequentely on acccount  of huge toll- recog as such by Jinnah also. That is history. Sub devts.predicated on this. 
    In terms of freedoms that you seem to cherish so much in your article- the imp point is-does it lead to adequate civil and political rights for its people? As such using this barometer the J & K Constitution  does guarantee them. Much is lost because in practice people are hemmed in on account of praxis of geopolitics. So the real freedoms will come in all the nations that have a stakeholder status in the region recognise the need for respecting kashmiris-most imp pak. should stop terrorist tactics- as it will lead to retaliation by India- considering the historical past of insurgencies this is a serious issue – hence the need to stop armed means by all concerned. 
    "The people of kashmir are fed up of all kinds of violence, state or otherwise. These views are personal. If you find meaning in what is said you may like to proceed on this basis. love
    skandan

     
  12. skandan

    Dear Sablok,
    Some factual points. There was no option to the princely states for independence under the Act. Second recent studies  have pointed about the geopolitical compulsions that created  Pak. Imm after the second world war new paradigms took over for the west-to rein in Russia/china. Also middle east-on account of oil. British civil servants had fostered ML during the pre-war years. Partition a big mistake proved subsequentely on acccount  of huge toll- recog as such by Jinnah also. That is history. Sub devts.predicated on this. 
    In terms of freedoms that you seem to cherish so much in your article- the imp point is-does it lead to adequate civil and political rights for its people? As such using this barometer the J & K Constitution  does guarantee them. Much is lost because in practice people are hemmed in on account of praxis of geopolitics. So the real freedoms will come in all the nations that have a stakeholder status in the region recognise the need for respecting kashmiris-most imp pak. should stop terrorist tactics- as it will lead to retaliation by India- considering the historical past of insurgencies this is a serious issue – hence the need to stop armed means by all concerned. 
    "The people of kashmir are fed up of all kinds of violence, state or otherwise. These views are personal. If you find meaning in what is said you may like to proceed on this basis. love
    skandan

     
  13. Radheyshyam S. Poddar

    Reservation per se is wrong.. However, it needs  to be emphasized that It has been necessitated on  account  of  unscrupulous exploitation of the weaker sections of the society by the elite influential class. This has happened in all cultures and societies. Hence I would tend to view the system of reservation as a bitter pill to remedy the disease that, willy-nilly  infects every society, where  unhindered wanton freedom (unchecked by law) is permitted. Influential classes who can get away with the atrocities, do tend to get encouraged  to exploit the vulnerable sections of the society. Was it some management guru who said   – if some thing  can possiibly go wrong in a large system, it  will surely go wrong in a very short time?  Idealistic utopian societies  with perfect blend of freedom  and self-discipline , do not exist.
      Hence  the practical way out of the Kashmir imbroglio would be to  accept the present line of control as national boundary of India allowing the existing portions of kashmir in Pakistan and India  with the respective countries. Improve governance  , reduce corruption at all levels. Have a system where enterpreneurship pays  but corruption has a very heavy cost..

     
  14. Radheyshyam S. Poddar

    Reservation per se is wrong.. However, it needs  to be emphasized that It has been necessitated on  account  of  unscrupulous exploitation of the weaker sections of the society by the elite influential class. This has happened in all cultures and societies. Hence I would tend to view the system of reservation as a bitter pill to remedy the disease that, willy-nilly  infects every society, where  unhindered wanton freedom (unchecked by law) is permitted. Influential classes who can get away with the atrocities, do tend to get encouraged  to exploit the vulnerable sections of the society. Was it some management guru who said   – if some thing  can possiibly go wrong in a large system, it  will surely go wrong in a very short time?  Idealistic utopian societies  with perfect blend of freedom  and self-discipline , do not exist.
      Hence  the practical way out of the Kashmir imbroglio would be to  accept the present line of control as national boundary of India allowing the existing portions of kashmir in Pakistan and India  with the respective countries. Improve governance  , reduce corruption at all levels. Have a system where enterpreneurship pays  but corruption has a very heavy cost..

     
  15. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Radheyshyam,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Re: Reservations,  NOTHING can justify it. Let's not attempt to justify the unjustifiable. Two wrongs can never make a right. I've explained this at length in BFN (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/) and also in this article: http://sabhlokcity.com/2010/10/reservations-are-incompatible-with-freedom-and-justice/. India is wrong – VERY wrong – to take a shortcut to "justice" by creating major injustice. The system has merely extended the life of the caste system which violates the Vedas and would have died out by now had it not been enshrined in our Constitution.

    However, I've allowed for a conditional withdrawal of the system in my article, i.e. subject to every child in India receiving high quality education.

    Re; Kashmir – thanks. I fully agree.

    Regards

    Sanjeev

     
  16. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Radheyshyam,

    Thanks for your thoughts. Re: Reservations,  NOTHING can justify it. Let's not attempt to justify the unjustifiable. Two wrongs can never make a right. I've explained this at length in BFN (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/) and also in this article: http://sabhlokcity.com/2010/10/reservations-are-incompatible-with-freedom-and-justice/. India is wrong – VERY wrong – to take a shortcut to "justice" by creating major injustice. The system has merely extended the life of the caste system which violates the Vedas and would have died out by now had it not been enshrined in our Constitution.

    However, I've allowed for a conditional withdrawal of the system in my article, i.e. subject to every child in India receiving high quality education.

    Re; Kashmir – thanks. I fully agree.

    Regards

    Sanjeev

     
  17. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Skandan

    Thanks for the input re: recent research. Glad to know this – and will research some more. I didn't realise Jinnah himself had said that – happy to know more about this.

    The concept of partitioning India was untenable on ANY logical ground. The harm caused to the people of the Indian subcontinent by this really bad decision has been very extensive, as you have noted.

    I'm not sure, however, what you mean by "the imp point is-does it lead to adequate civil and political rights for its people? As such using this barometer the J & K Constitution  does guarantee them."

    I've shown in BFN (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/) how even India's constitution violates basic freedoms (e.g. property rights, affirmative action, needless interference in policy through directive principles, etc., and above all: socialism enshrined in the preamble). And 370 clearly diminishes freedoms of the people of India to live and settle in Kashmir. When India itself is not a free nation, how does the JK constitution "guarantee" freedom? These are all disastrous policies with far-reaching consequences in the daily life of citizens.

    I am offering FREEDOM in all its ramifications to the people of India. Not some second-rate statist socialist corrupt state. That is HUGE! It is radically different to the current system of governance in India in almost every way. It will make a huge difference to the people of Kashmir (and India). That's why I'm looking for leaders who understand freedom (and governance) to step forward. We have offered third rate governance to India for 60 years. Kashmir has not been given anything better.

    I agree that Pak should recognise Kashmir, but why have we not withdrawn our complaint in the UN? We need to close this topic. But that can't be done without formal joint recognition of the LOC by both sides, and (preferably) formal treaties to throw open our borders to trade and cultural interaction.

    We have a lot of work ahead before we get there, particularly given Pakistan's lack of any cogent reason to exist. It needs Kashmir to pretend that there is a reason for its existence. And it needs India as an enemy else its people will ask: Why do we have Pakistan!? I believe that as the Muslims in India do BETTER than those in Pakistan, this issue will become more pressing and urgent. We need to guide Pakistan towards a democratic and peaceful solution. Not just by asking it to stop sending terrorists into India (it won't!) but by SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING WEALTH in India.

    Anyway, thanks for this. Very valuable.

    Regards

    Sanjeev 

     

     

     
  18. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear Skandan

    Thanks for the input re: recent research. Glad to know this – and will research some more. I didn't realise Jinnah himself had said that – happy to know more about this.

    The concept of partitioning India was untenable on ANY logical ground. The harm caused to the people of the Indian subcontinent by this really bad decision has been very extensive, as you have noted.

    I'm not sure, however, what you mean by "the imp point is-does it lead to adequate civil and political rights for its people? As such using this barometer the J & K Constitution  does guarantee them."

    I've shown in BFN (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/) how even India's constitution violates basic freedoms (e.g. property rights, affirmative action, needless interference in policy through directive principles, etc., and above all: socialism enshrined in the preamble). And 370 clearly diminishes freedoms of the people of India to live and settle in Kashmir. When India itself is not a free nation, how does the JK constitution "guarantee" freedom? These are all disastrous policies with far-reaching consequences in the daily life of citizens.

    I am offering FREEDOM in all its ramifications to the people of India. Not some second-rate statist socialist corrupt state. That is HUGE! It is radically different to the current system of governance in India in almost every way. It will make a huge difference to the people of Kashmir (and India). That's why I'm looking for leaders who understand freedom (and governance) to step forward. We have offered third rate governance to India for 60 years. Kashmir has not been given anything better.

    I agree that Pak should recognise Kashmir, but why have we not withdrawn our complaint in the UN? We need to close this topic. But that can't be done without formal joint recognition of the LOC by both sides, and (preferably) formal treaties to throw open our borders to trade and cultural interaction.

    We have a lot of work ahead before we get there, particularly given Pakistan's lack of any cogent reason to exist. It needs Kashmir to pretend that there is a reason for its existence. And it needs India as an enemy else its people will ask: Why do we have Pakistan!? I believe that as the Muslims in India do BETTER than those in Pakistan, this issue will become more pressing and urgent. We need to guide Pakistan towards a democratic and peaceful solution. Not just by asking it to stop sending terrorists into India (it won't!) but by SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASING WEALTH in India.

    Anyway, thanks for this. Very valuable.

    Regards

    Sanjeev 

     

     

     
  19. Sharam Agaya

    "Religion must stay clear of all discussions on governance”
    How is that compatible with freedom?? 

     
  20. Sharam Agaya

    "Religion must stay clear of all discussions on governance”
    How is that compatible with freedom?? 

     
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