Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kashmir and Development Economics...on Facebook

Recently a couple of friends asked about my opinions on Kashmir. I am sadly not as informed on these issues as I should be and, after looking at the issues briefly, I only have some loosely collected thoughts on the issues. Let me at least start off with the questions raised by my friends.
Aha. But didn't you once use a Jain swastika as your avatar at Thom's? That's what made me think she was. Our babysitter is a Jain. Don and I are talking about Kashmir, and Don has taken a Jainist approach on a facebook thread about the issue. Your and Dina's opinions on the subject are welcome if you feel so inclined.

I read through the whole thread and not sure about the "Jainist approach" as Don practiced. The Swastika as I had used is a general Hindu sign as in the sign I used:

I see that Jainism post uses the same symbol but then Portal:Jainism uses:

And the link to Jainism is slightly less elaborate and more like the Nazi symbol at the bottom of Portal:Hinduism. Anyway, my wife says the one I used is a general Hinduism symbol.

I think the threads referred to are private conversations but the that started the research was at Germaine Taylor via Suhail Paradise Burning. And this got me involved in a discussion on a Kashmir thread at Videos Posted by Koshur Mazloom.

There certainly was a lot of information covered so let me just briefly state my observations so far through a couple of my posts:
1. I suppose the question that has not been addressed {at least on this thread} is what happens after India leaves Kashmir? Does anyone seriously think it will spontaneously form a new nation state and everyone will respect its territorial int...egrity? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you.

Too many outside interests have stakes in the outcome. And if it dos fall to Pakistan or China, what then? Do you think it will be better off or... Burma and Afghanistan should provide clues on those two outcomes.

2. Viability is not the issue. Strong states will do what it wants on weaker states. Since all three powers in the region have stated an interest in Kashmir then it is foolish to think that just because of independence that it suddenly becomes... an autonomous state.

So Amar Diwakar, I am sure you are right about the economic viability of Kashmir, but it takes more than that. Although I would be curious as to how the poverty levels compare in Kashmir with the averages in India and then in the poorest states.

As one of my friends would say, you may have no purpose in war, but war may find purpose in you. {Or something like that...}

3. On one of my forums, I am studying Development Economics and one passage that might be of interest here is this from:
Paul Collier, "On Economic Causes of Civil War" {Page 7}:
Between them, these four variables {Per Capita Income, Share of... Primary Exports in GDP,Ethno-Linguistic Fractionalisation, Economic Inequality (Gini)} make a huge difference to the chances of civil war. Consider two societies, one ideally endowed in terms of the four variables and the other catastrophically endowed. The ideal society would have the maximum income found in our sample ($9895), the maximum natural resource endowment (67%), the maximum inequality (0.69), and the maximum ethno-linguistic fractionalisation (93). It would have a risk of civil war of under 0.000001 percent. The catastrophic society would have the lowest income found in the sample ($316), a slightly above average endowment of natural resources (0.18), the lowest level of inequality (0.30), and a slightly above-average degree of ethno-linguistic fractionalisation (46). It would have a risk of civil war of 0.97.

Just a couple more links I want to add. The first was presented on the initial thread above at Huffington Post titled Arundhati Roy: What Have We Done to Democracy?. The second one was for a search on "azadi" at What ails Kashmir? The Sunni idea of ‘azadi’. I looked it up as people were throwing that term around in a forceful manner.

Some of the issues with Kashmir have been studied by Paul Collier. Might add some more of what he wrote on conflicts and developing nation states.



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