Does Jammu & kashmir lack development as claimed by Amit Shah?

 This was never about development. Its a land acquisition project. The whole point of the exercise was to take away whatever remaining autonomy the people of Kashmir have and bring it further under the control of the central government.

“Hitler´s primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

The above quote is from the report, A Psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler: His Life and Legend, by Walter C. Langer.

On Monday, Amit Shah proposed to scrap Article 370 and made claims about how article 370 is an impediment in the development of the region.

He said that people of “the country” wanted to know why Article 370 was still in operation in Jammu and Kashmir, and why “despite getting so much money, its people are still poor.” “Article 370 ensures there is no PPP model, no private investment in the state. 370 ensures healthcare in Jammu and Kashmir suffers, no doctor wants to go there. 370 ensures there is no right to education for the children of Kashmir,” Shah said.

Well, he lied. 

According to national family health survey 205-16, Kashmir is far better on the development indices compared to other Indian states and much better than Gujarat, the purported model state according to BJP and its supporters.

 

Although it is true that while J&K lags in job creation, investment and growth but that is the case with the rest of the country. The per capita domestic product of Jammu and Kashmir as of 2016-17 is low but higher than most other northern states.

Despite being heavily militarized, the state is not as backward as several north Indian states that have had no such exceptional laws, and have in fact been ruled for substantial periods by the BJP itself. 

According to a report from Hindu, Jammu, and Kashmir also fares much better in other human development indices like life expectancy, healthcare, and education compared to other states in India, something that the esteemed Home minister claimed is the reason 370 should be removed.

  1. In 2017, Jammu and Kashmir’s Human Development Index (HDI) was 0.68, higher than even States like Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. Kerala had the highest HDI (0.77) while Bihar had the least (0.57). The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators.
  2. Jammu & Kashmir has a fertility rate of 1.6 which is comparable to developed countries like the UK and US.  Also, the state has better systems in place for the children born as compared to other states with an infant mortality rate (IMR) of 24 while Madhya Pradesh had the highest (47 infant deaths per 1000). The national average for IMR was 31. Goa had the lowest IMR (8 infant deaths per 1000)
  3. Amit Shah claimed that Article 370 is the reason the state is “still poor”. Once again he was wrong. J&K stood eighth in terms of poverty rate (10.35)%. while Chhattisgarh had the highest poverty rate of 39.93%. The national average was 21.92%.  Goa had the lowest poverty rate of 5.09%.

According to Amit Shah, scrapping of 370 and 35A, will bring in investment, growth, and jobs. Well, the same rhetoric was fed to the rest of the country minus any article abrogation, before 2014 elections. 5 years on, the economy is in recession, unemployment rates are the highest in last 45 years, Prime minister solution to it is to open ´pakora stalls. There was no article stopping development in UP, Bihar and other backward states of India. Can the home minister explain?

What does Amit Shah mean when he says Kashmir is lacking development?

Since the last couple of years, we have been fed this model that development only happens when large industries are set up. For the large industry to be set up, the land is acquired from the locals by force or coercion by the government and state machinery. When the locals become landless, they either flee the region or work for measly wages in these industries. We have seen this kind of development model in Central and East India. These are also the regions which are the poorest and fail in all development indices. So whose development is Mr. Amit Shah talking about?

Why would the home minister lie to the parliament and to the people of India?

This was never about development. Its a land acquisition project. The whole point of the exercise was to take away whatever remaining autonomy the people of Kashmir have and bring it further under the control of the central government. Centre´s muscular approach of militarization has further alienated the population. If that was NDA´s intention then it has succeeded in it. Now as next step it wants to control it through political subjugation.

Kashmir valley is the only Muslim majority region in the country. By taking away article 35A, BJP is pushing its agenda of changing the demographics of the region. By allowing Hindu settlers to buy land there, the intention is to reduce the Muslim majority and make them second class citizens. The move is to bulldoze any future resistance that may come when the central government wants to push the local muslim population out, remove its claim of autonomy and complete its nationalisation project.

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