Srinagar: Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi's
push for corporate investment in Kashmir to generate employment
has been well-received by the youth here.
While the media hype surrounding the visit of top corporate bosses
here might not be matched with the enthusiasm of the local youths,
the over two-hour long interactive session at the Kashmir
university's auditorium Friday was a grand success.
The concerns of local students regarding their future dominated
the session, as each question asked was focused on their desire
for a better tomorrow.
Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, said his company would
soon get in touch with the university authorities to start
internship programmes "in Kashmir, for Kashmiris and by Kashmiris".
In another session with local entrepreneurs, where Rahul Gandhi
and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah were also present, Tata made
another important comment. "Rahul Gandhi has not only opened a
window, but a door for the country's corporate sector to invest in
Kashmir," he said.
While Rajiv Bajaj of Bajaj Auto Ltd promised another visit to the
university in December, Deepak Parekh, chairman of HDFC, said his
bank would ensure credit flow into the Valley.
Ashok Reddy, CMD of Team Lease, announced that his firm would
provide job consultancy and placement service through innovation
centres in the state.
Rahul Gandhi walked the extra mile to strike a chord with
"My family comes from Kashmir... I am also a Kashmiri," he said at
the foundation laying ceremony of the ambitious Rs.2,680 crore
tunnel project across the Zojilla Pass.
Union Minister for Road Transport C.P. Joshi laid the foundation
of the project.
During Rahul Gandhi's two-day visit starting Thursday, the
separatists did not call for a shutdown in the state, although a
small group of students raised slogans inside the campus when a
brainstorming session was on in the packed Kashmir university
What perhaps went unnoticed was that Rahul Gandhi did not talk
politics during his visit.
Speaking to over 2,500 elected village heads, who had gathered in
Srinagar to demand security and honorarium, Rahul said he would
take up the issues with the prime minister and the state
Rahul also steered clear of repeating the Congress demand for
extension of constitutional amendments 73rd and 74th to Jammu and
Kashmir to empower the village heads.
In a nutshell, the visit has given a newfound hope to the younger
generation of Kashmiris here.
What remains to be seen is that how quickly the promises of
setting up internship programmes, campus placements and innovation
centres for the Kashmiri youth are fulfilled by India Inc.