The Plain Facts | Kashmir - poverty and terror

The Plain Facts | Kashmir - poverty and terror
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First Published: Mon, Aug 23 2010. 01 10 AM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 23 2010. 01 05 PM IST
Kashmir is on the boil once again.
A common view is that the rage on the streets is a spontaneous revolt against poverty and neglect, rather than a result of active fanning of trouble from across the border.
Also See Kashmir: Poverty and Terror (PDF)
The cries for secession will be muted once the lot of the average Kashmiri improves.
A new measure of poverty that has attracted global attention does not provide the numbers in support of this contention.
The Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative has developed a new poverty metric that seeks to broaden the definition of poverty. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) reflects the well-known view of Amartya Sen that poverty is more than just a lack of income. MPI looks at deprivation in its many dimensions—from access to schooling to the type of flooring used in houses to the availability of clean toilets. It will be used by the United Nations in its next Human Development Report that is to be released in October.
Jammu and Kashmir does not seem to be doing too badly.
It is tenth in 21 states for which data is now available. The proportion of poor Kashmiris is lower than the comparable figure in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Gujarat and Maharashtra are only slightly ahead.
So why is Kashmir overwhelmed by waves of violence while these states are not?
Write to theplainfacts@livemint.com
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First Published: Mon, Aug 23 2010. 01 10 AM IST