By Robinder Nath Sachdev and Ven Parameswaran
On August 5, 2019, the government of India took a historic step, executed in an elegant manner, to reorganize the governance of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, into a Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir, with a far-reaching vision of peace and beautiful ecology in the vales and rooftops of the Himalayas. To students of history, governments and policies, and international relations, this is a landmark step in the chronicles of India about which historians shall write a hundred years hence. Whereas in the now and present, over 1.3 billion people of India are feeling as if a burden of the past has been lifted, with a new dawn in the one-ness of India. No doubt there are also some voices within India that disagree with this decision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government. But that is the strength, beauty, and challenge that any democracy must navigate. By reasonable estimates this step and way forward has more than overwhelming goodwill in India, and the few dissenting voices will always be welcome to contribute to a healthy argument and debate which will help shape a more perfect Union of India.
The Opening Gambit
Above being said, what none should doubt is that this gambit by India has opened the gateways to peace and prosperity for the people of Kashmir, and for the people of India to contribute and participate in the harmony and its dividends, as within any territory of India. The next 6-12 months are critical and important as the security blanket in Kashmir is slowly lifted and life returns to normalcy. As the routine of lifestyles and business kicks back into gear, the challenge for the Modi government will be to deliver a seamless and smooth transition concurrent with an economic take-off in the Kashmir region. Within one-year Kashmir should be vibrant with peace, culturally colourful with life, and Mother Nature's vast and gorgeous abundance of the region being shared by Indian and foreign tourists, nature enthusiasts, and seekers of calm and spirituality, minus its image as a region of "bombs-bombs-bombs", that President Donald Trump talked about in his presser couple weeks ago.
The entire might of India, strategic, and military, is now applied to ensuring the success of Kashmir as a peaceful, culturally vibrant, and the most beautiful of Himalayan region as captured in the simple words of the German philosopher F. Max Muller when he said that if there is a heaven anywhere on this earth - then it is only, and only, in Kashmir.
The Business Opportunity for the Trump World Top Resort in Kashmir
Based upon the expectation that positive scenario as above shall unfold, and that the alternative scenario of bombs and violence in Kashmir will be a thing of the past, this column proposes creative thinking and an unprecedented business opportunity for top investors of India.
Though the chances of what we propose are slim, yet it must also be remembered that when ideas, audacity, and the universe align, then the returns on investments are beyond imagination and shape the tomorrow of history and generations. It is also well acknowledged that the project may be a non-starter due to the nuances and vagaries of geo-political and security issues, and the associated financial risk.
Therefore this opportunity that we suggest is squarely and aimed at only such Indian investors and promoters who have accumulated significant corporate and personal wealth, and who are nationalist in their worldview, and would like to bring positive change in Kashmir, and, who will be patient and long term in their returns. So, what are we proposing? As a new age think tank and incubator that has seeded and succeeded in pioneering out-of-the-box initiatives over the past 20 years between countries globally, and including experience of over 40 years in investment banking deals on Wall Street, we believe that the historic opportunity in Kashmir can also be converted into a business opportunity.
The Trump World Top Resort at Kashmir
Nestled in the high woods and forests of the Himalayas, a vast estate that sprawls over the mountains, with its own airport and helipad, green and clean energy, conventions, conferences, festivals and arena facilities, hotel and villas, golf course, wellness and relaxation centres, lakes, rivers and springs, adventure sports, skiing and hiking trails, flower and herbal gardens, organic farms, art and cultural fairs, horse-riding, and more, the resort can be marketed very well as a destination for the upper income and rich of the world, and for world summits, global and national conferences, meetings, and retreats.
A combination of Indian investment and the Trump brand, situated in one of the most exquisite locales virtually on the roof-top of the world, with savvy networks for worldwide promotion, coupled with unparalleled comfort, luxury and service.
Some readers of this column may have visited the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. There is no hotel in this world which can compare to the luxury, service, and experience - the large reception and lounge area, rooms and beds are better than best of anywhere in the world.
Of course, part of reason that the Trump International Hotel makes sense for visitors in DC to stay is that for businessmen and diplomats this is the best place to collect intelligence and make contacts. No need to make an appointment - you may run into a senior administration official at the bar, or at the lobby, or while sitting down for dinner. Liberally sprinkled with glamour of music, beauty, and dance shows that are unparalleled, this is where the elite and rich of America confabulate and shape the America and world of tomorrow.
While the Trump International is famous for its excellence in luxury and networking with mere mortals, the Trump World Top Resort will be famous for the luxury and joy of living in the clouds of Himalayas. The Trump World Top Resort can truly be and become the elusive Shangri-La up in the Himalayas that the world travellers have been searching.
And if not the Trump brand, then why not an Indian brand, with Indian promoters?
(Robinder Nath Sachdev is president of The Imagindia Institute and Ven Parameswaran is Senior Advisor of Imagindia. The views expressed are those of the authors)
(Disclaimer: This column is a creative writing to promote imaginative ideas for the economic development of Kashmir. The authors have no relation to any Trump business)