Editorial: Is Kashmir a graveyard of entrepreneurs?

The idea of a successful entrepreneur in Kashmir is a myth – at many levels.

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From schooling to higher education every parent spends hundreds of thousands of rupees on his son or daughter, to make them ready for life. With time, some join jobs and others, a few, walk on the path of becoming entrepreneurs. But with the abnormal situation in Kashmir, most of these entrepreneurs – full of dreams and passion, fail to make a mark. It is not always that they are incapable of achieving success but to be a successful businessperson or industrialist, the path should also be smooth. Whether it was civil uprisings or government clampdowns, Kashmir’s aspiring entrepreneurs have faced serious challenges at every front. From simple documentation to setting up an industrial unit and then to keeping it afloat, there is no stress-free track. The government has spoken highly of development but at the very basic levels, young people face disappointments, such that many tend to give up on their dreams. And with uneven political conditions, whatever they may have launched, it reaches to a point where they become owners of sick industrial units or failed businesses with huge debts. For the rest of their youth, they have to earn – from different means, to clear debts. The idea of a successful entrepreneur in Kashmir is a myth – at many levels. If the government or those at the helms of affairs seriously want to strengthen entrepreneurship, especially in industrial sector, then it is time to make some changes. It is important to provide ease of work atmosphere for such youth, who have the abilities, but fail when they face the reality. The administration is planning to create more industrial estates but there is a blind eye towards the older ones. It should be clear whether a young person can dream of entrepreneurship or it is right to say Kashmir is a graveyard of entrepreneurs.

The editorial appeared in our 20-26 January 2020 print edition.

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