Will Omar break the ice?
That will change the whole narrative
ANALYSIS BY SAHIL RAINA
Omar-led dispensation has almost completed three years in office. The period has not been bed of roses for the government and its leadership. The State witnessed upheaval on law and order count and a new phenomenon of ‘stone-pelting’ emerged on the spectrum of violent expression of anger by young persons. The summer unrest since 2008 continued for three seasons consecutively providing vested interests field days to perpetuate unrest to fish in troubled waters.
The unemployment crisis deepened during 20 years of disturbance. A shattering economy caused frustration and dismay. Constant failures of tourist seasons and political manipulation played negative roles and anger among youth reached the climax.
Lack of professionalism in police force to handle public disturbances and use of force without applying constraint was an insult to the injury. Once again politics by both mainstream and separatist groups came on centre stage to further damage the law and order situation. So much so the State was brought to the brim of economic disaster. Those who should have been part of the solution to the crisis liked to be as part of the problem for power politics and derailing government. At one point in time it looked that government functionaries were mute spectators of the crisis counting the days of the government.
One should be frank enough to recognize that the youngest Chief Minister of the country was alone with some of his cabinet colleagues putting in his wisdom and energy to defuse the crisis. At one hand he was issuing advisories to the security forces and police regarding restrain in the use of force while controlling the mobs and on the other handy he was engaged in public interactions to pacify their anger and make them aware of the designs of peace detractors and elements sprinkling fuel to the fire.
No one can deny that despite tremendous pressures from all across, Omar Abdullah held his ground firmly and steered the ship clear of tumult waters to the shore of tranquillity. He proved all prophecies of political pundits false and emerged as a victorious and a successful captain.
I am not here to shower praises on Omar Abdullah but to recognize once calibre and capacity along with short comings is only justified way to analyse his actions. Difference in political ideologies is a natural phenomenon in politics but refusing to recognize the worth of the opponent for the sake of politics is most unfortunate practice in present day political scenario of the country. One should have the character to acknowledge the qualities even of his opponents while disagreeing with their point of opinion.
People are witness to the fact that for the first time in the political history of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah in the capacity of a Chief Minister addressed the political grievances of people and from the day first put his entire weight on making the nation to recognize the necessity of transforming Jammu and Kashmir from ‘securitized’ narrative to a political initiative. Much to the astonishment of wide-ranging political leaders, the Chief Minister explained this view point before the Prime Minister, UPA Chairperson and the Central leadership in a public meeting at the occasion of inauguration of a Railway Station at Qazigund some two years earlier.
From that day we are seeing Omar Abdullah strongly batting for this aspect which is the only fact of the political and development story of Jammu and Kashmir. We are also seeing him advocating the necessity of dialogues – both internal and external to resolve the political grievances of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and settling the issue once for all with Pakistan through a peaceful and sustain dialogue.
If I ask the politicians of Jammu and Kashmir to keep their hand on their heart and say had they ever heard any Head of the State speaking in such a plain terms about the necessity of addressing political issues of Jammu and Kashmir politically instead of dealing with these through economic initiatives? Have they seen any Head of the State other than Omar Abdullah so vigorously advocating this significant point not only in the public but at the highest forums of State Legislature and National Development Council meetings presided over by the Prime Minister and attended by all the Chief Ministers of the States besides top brass Central bureaucrats?
This is the reason that the political analysts across the country appreciated the candid behaviour of a Head of the State describing Omar the architect of building edifice of new and practical political discourse in Jammu and Kashmir paving the way for settlement of K-issue once for all for the larger interests of peace and stability in the sub-continent; particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.
Thanks to the leadership at the helm at Central Government level for recognizing the need of engaging different shades of people in the State in talks with the Interlocutors and also pushing forward the dialogue process between India and Pakistan on all issues including Jammu and Kashmir. This speaks of the astute and fact-full attitude of Chief Minister to drive home at various levels the importance of political addressing of issues in a political manner.
Despite unrest and heap of problems Omar Abdullah inherited from his predecessors, he did not lose sight on economic development and unemployment challenges. He gave first of its kind Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) and initiated measures for the development of MSME sector in the State and focused on skills development and employability. The Rangarajan Commission also recognized these initiatives imperative to deal with employment crisis.
Omar Abdullah made Right to Information Act vibrant and functional by providing Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners to the State Right to Information Commission. He gave teeth to the Accountability Commission and put in process establishment of Vigilance Commission in the State. These are steps on ground depicting visible intension of Omar Abdullah-led Government to deal with corruption more purposefully and effectively.
The enactment of Public Service Guarantee Act and its implementation is yet another initiative of Omar-led Government to empower people and make them master of situations so far as it relates to the obtaining identified public service from the identified departments within the identified timeline.
Holding of Panchayat elections after over 30 years in the State is yet another feather in the cap of the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah and he has rightly received wide-ranging appreciation and applause for the same. The current year’s peaceful summer and successful tourist season tells a lot about the good sunny days ahead. Though this depends on how Central Government seriously carries forward its initiative to deal with political matters politically.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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