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The “normal” purpose of a political party articulation and aggregation of voice gets warped in places riven by conflict. Kashmir is no exception this. This process of mediation in conflict ridden places like Kashmir gets transformed into politics of patronage. In this schemata, development becomes politicized and a patronage disbursal concept and mechanism. People, in this sense, become consumers of the politics of development. But, people have bread and butter, prosaic issues like those of health, connectivity, education and so on, issues that the so called mainstream in Kashmir monopolizes. But, in this domain, the story appears to be that of unaberrant neglect. While the story appears to be the same everywhere, facilities in Beerwah, especially in the domain of health care, are found wanting. A digression might be warranted here. In the context of Kashmir, which is the political centre of gravity of Jammu and Kashmir, the state is rather disembedded from society. It is here that development becomes politicized as the connection or relationship between state and society is sought to be fostered by or through development. But, while development is not a neutral concept or practice, it becomes more politicized in the context of Kashmir for the reasons delineated here. However, despite this function of development in the region, it, in practice, becomes hollowed out here. While the ostensible reasons for this are manifold, one salient one is that the so called mainstream political class forgets about this. This amnesia is fostered either by either a cavalier laxity. But, whatever the reason, it is, at the end of the day, people who suffer. Broadly and generally speaking, the so called mainstream’s abdication of its role of “development”, for whatever reason, implies and means that people suffer from lack of amenities and facilities. People have to live and thereby have needs and issues. But, when those supposed to fulfill these needs neglect them, people have no redressal choices or mechanisms. In the final analysis, development in Kashmir can only happen when an n number of variables and constants are addressed. One of these constants which remains to be unaddressed are the conflictual conditions here. Till these are addressed, development which is a proxy for patronage here will be akin to a huge black hole.

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