Monday, January 28, 2008

Preserving cultural heritage of the Himalayas

Preserving cultural heritage of the Himalayas
By:Salman nizami
The psyche of people has been influenced profoundly by several mountain systems in the world but in our region Himalayas have played a great roll.A certain uniformity of cultural pattern can be seen here also from the north eastern to the north -western Himalayas .The apparent unity of Himalayan culture is reinforced by the influence of lamaism from the north and the cultural influence from the plains.Himalayas have three distinct Eco cultural divisions (1)North eastern region which consists of sikkim ,arnachal pradesh and the remaining states of the north east where Himalayan culture is relatively well preserved.
(2)The middle region consisting of uttarpradesh where the Himalayan Eco system has been severely damaged and (3) The northern western Himalayas consisting of himachal pradesh,kashmir and ladakh where both the lama cultural traditions and the Hindu tradition survive with great impact of sufisun and islam.The khankas and ziarats of great preachers of Islam are preserved with grandeur but great deal of pilfering of art objects has been going on.Therefore,the three distinct cultural situation and the three sets of problems of preservation and development have to be recognized.
At present we have no institution for the study of Himalayan culture as a whole.The north western regional office of the anthropological survey of india,located at Dehradun has concentrated on the studies of Himalayan communities. A university has come up in arunachal pradesh and they have put in efforts to have their museums.There is also the north eastern hill university.Here we have enterprising individuals or groups who have been collecting artifacts on their own for preservation.
A special attention is required to protect and preserve the cultural heritage of the himalayas.At least the department of authropology,ancient history and archeology are to be established and strengthened fully in universities of state to conduct such studies on the following lines:
(1)Assisting and setting up of museums and libraries etc.(2)Study and research of all aspect of cultural heritage.(3)collection of objects of art and craft with documentation of cultural artifacts including the folk,music dance and literature.(4)Training in traditional and folk art and.(5)Dissemination through audio visual programme of art and culture.In the short term prospective the academy of art, culture and languages may launch a scheme for providing financial assistance for research, documentation and selection of artifacts and for implementing other objectives to (I) Institution including the concerned departments of universities(II) voluntary orgainsation,museums,libaries and research bodies(III)individual experts engaged in the task.
Adequate provision should be made in the plan of the department for long term projects as well.

Augmenting economy in J&k.... By: Salman nizami

Augmenting economy in J&k....

By: Salman Nizami
Economy in J&K is characterized by existence in great or less degree of unutilization or underutilizion of manpower on one hand and unexploitation of natural resources on the other hand. The state has more or less rich natural resources but these are not utilized properly and important ones are yet to be explored.
About 75% of all state workers earn their livelihood on agriculture, Horticulture, Floriculture, Handlooms, Paper Machie. Rice, Maize, Barley, Wheat and grains are the field crops of our state, only rice is grown in plains of state and remaining are the agriculture crops of hilly terrains.
Vegetables are also cultivated but scarcely.No doubt our state grows variety of fruits which include Apple, Pear, Cherries, Apricots, Peaches, Quinces, Pomegranates, Strawberries, papayas ,Mangoes, Walnuts, Melons, Bananas, Lemons, watermelons etc. Dried and fresh fruits raisins are also available.
The state has poor industrial background i.e. Cottage industries, carpet weaving industries, blanket weaving industries, bat factories, worms raised on mulberry leaves which provide silk, copper utensils with ornamental work and fine finish. Need is to develop more and more industries and steps are yet to be taken for Hydro-electric dams and development of general infrastructure which has been demolished during wide spread cold war in one and a half decade of turmoil and devastation. Free entry and exit system are to be adopted and allowed in trade contributions which can help a lot in the upliftment of broken economy of state.
Our economy is one of the most poor and backward economies. Agriculture is the main stay of population but techniques used in Agriculture are primitive. Inspite of population exodus there are evidences of natural calamities which reduces the economy from bad to worse. Ours is industrially backward economy having few industries with less labour force engaged. Our state have tremendous mineral reserves. Kashmir sapphire is considered number one in the world mineral market. State economic potential lies in sapphire up to Rs. One billion expected. Inspite of trouble torn, shattered economy due to turmoil its economic potential is god gifted and gifted still stands at its rank. All though during this turmoil period our state got hindrance or we can say difficulties in improving and enhancing its natural potentials but yet these sources are positive.
We have world famous lakes,meadows,lusty pines, ice cold peaks and grand chinars which are the main identity of our state scenic beauty . There is lack of research in such aspects which can help in the upliftment of our economic growth. Kashmir is another Switzerland on earth as regards its tourism potential.According to reports our renowned sapphire specialist Gen. Manager J&K minerals our sapphire is perceptible on account of its charmful colour we can even say that our sapphire provides its monopoly among other sapphires of the world.
Our state is having its precious sapphire mines at high altitude in Distt. Doda at Padder Kishtwar. It is stretched at a large area of 120kms. This mine contains precious sapphire worth Rs. Crores. Before some years our state sapphire was sold for 1.50m at Geneva having a best record.Present Government is trying its best for improvement still it is economically weak and it will take too much efforts hard work and devotion.For this purpose J&K mineral department is paying a huge sum for its preservation and security because for last few years they have not sold even a single sapphire expecting higher rate tenders while as the costs incurred on security maintenance and preservation have exceeded. The J&K mineral is being run by non technical or unskilled persons who even don't know what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce .Resulting in our economic downfall.
Our JK minerals undertakes the mining but defers collection of precious stones resulting the market in the hands of smugglers who dare the inclement weather at the cost of their lives even on difficult terrains. Therefore our Govt. should try to priorities this mining process because it is the only alternative for exploiting our natural reserves and helping the economic growth of our state.
Our J&K sapphire is only one degree lesser than diamond but yet in international market it is preferred than diamond due to its super cornflower blue colour which shows Zoning. Which is associated with very small layers and liquid inclusions giving velvety or sleepy appearance being its identification.
There is enough scope for thermal energy also. 75% to80% population of our state is dependent over agriculture resources. Thank God we have plenty of natural resources but of no use. Majority of our population is in rural areas being dependent have scarce and limited means. Due to poverty and unemployment they can even hardly make two ends meet. It is clear that they cannot make available to themselves the kerosene or liquefied cooking gas. They are to arrange fuel by hook or by crook. Government should take dared steps to facilitate the poor consumers by implementing the fuel relating or substituting gasification plants which provide or facilitate our common consumer at very affordable cost. Because our state is having buffer of lignite reserves. It is found in abundance in Nichahom near about 90m tons and its combustion is tested at Bharat Heavy Electrical ltd. Thermal power stations will also prove fruitful for our needy people. Modern technology should be used to ensure accelerated growth and employment avenues. Our state is having its own resources for installation of thermal power stations. Hydraulic mini power station which can help a lot in providing benefits in power sector. According to Economic Times of November 5, 2005 if the signed MOU with the ONGC will cost Rs 75 crores on project installation so many states will get benefit from this project. This project will merely be based on gasification of lignite reserves already available in this state. Modern technology at lower costs will prove fruitful in converting coal lignite into combustible gas production. Not only this lignite deposits or reserves will also help in producing electricity and for manufacturing activated Carbon and can yield great qualities of sulphur and traces of a radioactive substance Garmaniuna. The lignite reserves by producing power can help us in lowering down our daily power import to great extent. It can help in providing power in winter season in our state not completely but in the shape of relief at very low cost.The thrust may be laid on micro Hydro electric projects because our economy is having plenty of little big water falls which can help In producing power to large extent as large scale projects prove costly and consume a major portion of funding besides being time consuming .
Lime stone is also a key economic feeder for our poor state economy. Technical infrastructure is needed for ensuring the best results from such abundant reserves of our state.We are having multi-beneficial reserves or deposit at Reasi Basoli, Uri,Khrew, Handwara, Udhampur, Khalsi, Mattan, Trehgam, Kalakote, Verinag, Junglegali etc and are having limestones of each and every rank. Not only this but our limestone have capability of cement as well as chemical grades. Resulting the potential of million tons of production.
Our Government has either to take drastic steps for installation and implementation of such projects, plants or privatize it so that it can be utilized by providing modern technological infrastructure in such project to increase economic worth. Due to non-attention on such projects which can help in accelerating economic progress of our poor sate by providing employment to imaginable percentage.
Measures are to be taken for mini projects.Our limestone will help in producing cosmetics, rubber even poultry feeds and paper. But our plants projection is installed at the pattern of our neighbouring state like Himachal Pradesh having similarity on ecological point of view. The production of cement in J&K does not compensate its demand resulting the imported cement is utilized. So there is scope for additional production to make state self sufficient according to consumption. There are reserves of Borax Sulphur used in the state small scale units. In the shape of drugs, Polishes, Canies, Oil paints and so. The raw material is also used in matches industry, rubber industry, fertilizers, coaltar, dyes, jute industries, Rayon industries which can help in providing good percentage of employment to our state. Our state has great potential of Gypsum in some areas. Gypsum is simple and not a complex plant. Its extraction is easy for useful units. Successful results can be achieved at lower costs, minimum time and manual working. It can provide the fertilizer plants for boosting the agricultural industry and avoiding the importing fertilizers. We have plenty of Gypsum reserves in District Doda, District Baramulla at Boniyar Dhani, Naloosa, Bighama Sayidan and Kooda Pani, Assar, Ganga Kanga. Kannoli, etc.Our Gypsum reserves are rich and having traces of chlorine which will provide grade one fertilizers. These plants can provide a good deal of revenue to the common plant holders to add our state economy. It is best material for pottery but unfortunately we have lack of this Pot Art. It can be used in paints crayons, insecticides, fire proofing. It is revenue producing machinery at very low cost. But need is the attention of Government towards such small and invisible reserves. Although our Government has tried also for Gypsum industry for a long time but the same is running in rough weather.
Marble is a metamorphic rock framed due to re-crystallization of lime stone. Our state has rich reserves in this sphere also and are found at Makrana the Greatest potentiality holder. It lies in Kupwara District. It has produced marble in bulk. Inspite of this reserve marble we have at Marhama, Therefore this industry can also be expanded up to our desire although the efforts are on . Our state has enriched forest resources. Agriculture and forests are our basic resources. Our state is wholly and solly covered with the forests of 'A' grade wood. Our forests are also our heritage and will be the heritage of our children's if we preserve and save them. In one or other way they provide basic necessities. Our wood is used in different ways. We have buffer stock of aromatic and medicinal plants in our forests. As well a large quantity of such plants weeds are being exported to foreign countries where these get finishing into valuable medicines.
Scientific observations also reveal the fact that our state can become a key holder for such aromatic medicinal, herbal and perfumes industry. If our natural resources are keenly exploited these will give a thrashhold to our poor economy. These plants are also useful in cosmetic goods. Take the case of Kashmir lavender. It has got the key position in the world by Aroma. It is also abundantly available. Aromatic industries if planted on commercial scale can give best results in acceleration of retarted growth of our economy. If the herbs, medicinal plants and weeds will be operated and exploited in effective and proper order it can meet our demand of drugs to a great extent. There are so many valuable famous medicinal herbs like kuth, Teethwan, Aroma, Roza Doma Sceena, having great economic value.
Need is to extract and export these goods at a large scale for the economic upliftment of state. Agriculture is the backbone of our state economy. Nearly 80% of our population is dependent on agriculture. Our economy is having grand quality and quantity of agriculture products but appropriate care is needed. Facilities to common masses belonging to agriculture in the shape of subsidies, fertilizers, modern technique of production, irrigation facilities and other needful arrangements are to be provided. Our economy is herited by Horiticulture, Sericulture, Handicrafts, Handlooms, Paper Machie and other fine arts. Floriculture is getting developed in full swing and our material is being exploited and also preferred and appreciated.
Horticulture is getting world renowned familiarity in quality and grading we have not limited or scarce sources for implementation but we need care, attention putting in dedicated efforts for developing our sources. Our state has remarkable brand of seeds which compete with the European seeds as well unfortunately our seed industry lost its rank due to traditional methods of production Zirhama, Trehgam, Rshwari, Aawora etc.
State has rich and sound production of cocoons also. As it is best subsidiary source of income but need is to propagate through media and other agencies so that awareness is provided about it benefits .Cocoon has got rise in its value price as compared to the base year and the current year. Therefore if effective and collective efforts will be made in this sector our silk industry will get boost in no time and will also feed particularly the women folk . The cocoon is getting higher than expected costs in the various open auction markets in our state.