Binoo Joshi

JK News Today’s special commentary

Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s call to Gujrati industrialists to invest in Kashmir has been read through two prims – the journey of the Valley from turmoil to hub of tourism should be extended a helping hand to make it self-reliant and partner in ever-expanding economy of the country , and also that this initiative would help in mainstreaming Kashmir.

There is something more than to it . The point that needs to be pondered over is the timing and the place from where Amit Shah made this appeal . It is the beginning of 2024 , and the place was Gandhi Nagar, Gujrat, at the closing ceremony of the Vibrant Gujrat Global Summit, attended by delegations of more than 30 countries , including heads of state . Primarily, the Gujrat summit was to consolidate and expand the investment opportunities for the global investors in the western state of the country, which has emerged as a shining example of richness of good governance and huge investments from far and wide , but by bringing Kashmir in focus , the Home Minister has sent a very powerful message to the investors and the people of Kashmir alike . Kashmir sits in core of the Indian nationhood . It was a messaging for o the people of Kashmir that Delhi is here to articulate and pitch for their welfare, economic stability and progress within borders of the country and abroad .

It is a reflection of confidence of the Government of India in the improved situation in Kashmir – the place which had a stigma of being a terror hub – convergence of the forces of terrorism from across the border and also from within of the elements having a vested interest in disturbances and troubles. Now Kashmir has changed . It is a hub of tourism . Tourists are investors of different kinds . They are short-term investors but whose involvement and investment in the place have long-term benefits and positive consequences . The tourist arrival of nearly 20 million tourists in Kashmir has given people a confidence in their place and they have invested in the opportunities provided by the tourist arrivals in huge numbers .
That was first step , which boosted the growth in confidence and normalcy in Kashmir. Now the Government of India is moving to the next level – giving a momentum to the investment in the Valley to change its economic landscape forever . The investors set up units or they establish their business outlets in a big way . They are here to stay and provide long- term 24×7 benefits to the population .Investment is a two-way journey – it shows the desire of the investors to put their capital and technologies at a place where from they can reap dividends . The investors go by their business interests . They want to earn profits. It is not a charity . But they do rush to the places where they see opportunities to gain from their investment in capital and human resources .
For the local people , the investment from outside , is a source of double joy – they can gain employment , learn new things and they also invest in expanding the idea of peace . Such investment from both sides leads to convergence of strengthening bonds which cement the understandings and reinforce the idea of India .
With this emphasis , Home Minister told the audience at the summit , “ I would like tell Gujarati industrialists , in case they want to expand towards the north , then please invest in Kashmir . By doing so please support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative in mainstreaming Kashmir.”
This theme was invoked at the summit by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha , whose initiatives in J&K have rid Kashmir of all stigmas of the past and where a business-friendly atmosphere has come to stay He extended a very passionate invitation to the industrialists of the country and foreign countries with a nationalistic fervour , underscoring the importance of investing in J&K, saying “ investing in J&K means investing in the unity and integrity of Bharat.”
He went on to sketch the map of opportunities in J&K that the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made possible . “ Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi , J&K has developed a strong -investor friendly environment , economic stability , highly skilled manpower and tremendous opportunities in tourism , hospitality , agriculture , horticulture , handicraft and handloom , IT and manufacturing”.

( Binoo Joshi is a renowned journalist based in J&K, currently Editor of JK News Today, credible and vast expanding digital platform of north India).