Kashmir has been in the news for a while now, with national and international coverage focusing on law and order in the state and how the situation is slowly spinning out of control. The police and the army are being widely perceived as instruments of state repression. Amidst all of this, is the news that there was a huge clamor for police jobs among youth in the state, with nearly 60,000 men applying for about 3000 jobs with the state police.
It is already clear to the powers that be that the ongoing protests in Kashmir are not a result of any external propaganda, but are largely representative of the growing resentment citizens of the state feel for the central government. Young educated youth were ready, stone in hand, to stand up to the state forces. Yet, the same youth turned out in huge numbers to compete for jobs in the state machinery. Does this mean these youth value a job and food on the table more than political autonomy? If so, isn’t this a clear signal to the Government of India that focusing on enhancing opportunities for economic development and taking steps to improve the standard of living will be more effective in bringing peace and stability to the valley than use of force?