Tusar N Mohapatra favours the "creation of about one hundred states that are substantially autonomous who, in turn, form a EU like structure on purely voluntary basis."
In my opinion, it would be better to have free trading and self-governing CITIES and TOWNS – not like the EU of today, which is a Super-State, but like the Hanseatic League of old. The principle of SUBSIDIARITY should be invoked for giving powers to higher levels of government.
Next, Vipin Veetil is apprehensive about the separatists favouring collectivism. On the ground today, the Kashmiris are united about opening the Muzaffarabad road for trade. Kashmiris today want free trade.
Secondly, although Sheikh Abdullah was a socialist, the common Kashmiris in Srinagar are all traders – and highly skilled traders too, if I may add. As I sipped kahwa on my houseboat deck, boatman after boatman approached me in their shikaras to peddle their wares. There is a floating market on the Dal Lake. My houseboat owner was a trader of carpets – and Kashmiri carpets are second only to Persian carpets – and on his office wall there was a sign in Urdu and English which said that "Allah favours the honest trader, who will surely enter Paradise to be in the company of the Prophet himself." I have no doubt that a liberal movement in the Valley can result in changing the name of Lal Chowk into Neel Chowk – "neel" meaning blue, the universal colour of liberalism.
Lastly, let me take on the miserable comment from a reader who goes by the pseudonym "Opinor," who says: "Kashmir competing with Australia, NZ economically? What a joke .. those Kashmiris cannot even figure out what is good for themselves."
What condescension and what hopelessness! What supreme arrogance! Actually, many Asian nations have effectively competed with the West, starting with Japan and going on to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and now Malaysia. As an independent free trading and self-governing CITY, Srinagar has all the potential to rise quickly to modern western standards.
Incidentally, the Kashmiris know fully well what is good for them. It is the government of India – The State – that is a totally clueless entity. It does not know what is good for India. It thinks employment guarantees, loan waivers and "education" are what we need. When all we really need are roads, highways and expressways. And Liberty. Nothing else.
Opinor is as clueless as The State. He should visit Srinagar to see the Kashmiris for himself. So should Vipin Veetil – who could spearhead the campaign for renaming the central market of Srinagar NEEL CHOWK. [12:02 PM]