Friday, April 09, 2010

Where is the money, honey?

The commies think striking is counter-revolutionary.
In Kashmir we believe otherwise. The art of going on a strike has been near perfected. Conflicts clear your head and make you take risks. Month-long strikes are routine. If last year was completely dedicated to human rights violations [against Shopian rapes] the year before saw protests for the alleged dilution of Kashmir’s special status [against Amarnath land grab]. This is the season of economic picketing. All the government employees have abandoned work in Kashmir. The strike is now in its sixth straight day – and expected to go on for another couple of days, at least. Demands range from payment of arrears according to the recommendation of the 6th Pay Commission to an enhancement of the retirement age from 58 to 60.

It is a funny situation. Like trundling down a cliff in a wagon without brakes and fighting over which songs to play. The bankrupt state of Kashmir stands to lose upwards of Rs 25 crore each day of the strike. The state government has no money. To meet the demand of its 450,000 mutineer-ing employees, it needs Rs 4000 crores [close to a billion dollars]. That is more than the revenue the state government raises in taxes in one year. Omar is cornered. The demands attempt to put a shake on him. Going to Delhi, asking for funds is an option but will the federal government foot the bill? What of our economic independence? Is interim taxation an alternative?

Already we have as many unemployed youth, as the striking government employees.

Meantime everyone is lovin’ it. Stay home. A good midday meal. Quick Friday prayers. Nun-Chai [Salted tea] at 4pm. IPL in the evening. The strike continues.

© Sameer
Filed under: Mini-blogs