The question of Pandits
KP rehabilitation is an issue all must be serious about
PM’s employment ‘package’ for Pandits, has somehow begun to diffuse now. Thousands of young boys and girls have sought and got employment in the governmental galleries in the Valley and their professional lives have now begun to fall into a pattern. And just as anywhere else, there are certain professional issues, challenges, and of course, a particularly gutless machinery at work. While for many, it has been a welcome ‘stability’ of sorts, for many others, it has been a refined disillusionment and to be able to cope up, they have adapted to their certified fields. And for their families too, the matter is closed with their kids having got ‘at least a secure job’. So far so good…
The processes of adaptation and social friction move parallel to one another and sorting out these two processes is the closest we can achieve a healthy social outlook. Anyway, what I mean to express here is a concern for the bluntly pathetic modes of so-called ‘employment generation’ which our society has adopted. In ideal terms, generation of work is a direct result of efforts of individuals and support from the administrative mechanism. Since the collective bankruptcy of our bureaucracy and general administration in this context has always been quite evident, we never actually had any genuine work-culture in any part of the state and the possibility of it being developed in the impending years is really very bleak.
After our migration from the Valley in 1990, our parental generation managed to secure footholds in the murky societies across India by ensuring a proper educational atmosphere for us. In India, which no longer was a rose-coloured dream-state we had earlier imagined to be, we just managed to pull on through. Times were changing and so were the established concepts of education and seeking employment. Economy was opening up and 90s became a decade dedicated to setting up of foreign investment channels and the demise of totalitarian economic policies. At the same time, as the options increased, we looked forward to a quota-based ‘Engineering’ degree in Maharashtra and other parts of the country and then, high-paying jobs with MNCs. Kashmir and the concrete ideas for social change took a backseat and then, vanished altogether. We most certainly had our own concerns to deal with and as years passed by, this mechanical trend enveloped our lives, leaving no breathing space for fresh ideas of dynamism. And now, after all these years, we are back again. But this time, we appeared on the scene as ‘employment-package diggers’. The governmental apathy, which has deeply affected both the majority and the minority communities, somehow blew out like a hurricane lamp and now we are again scrambling to lay our hands on a few jobs in the government departments!
But then, to say that there was a desperate need for these jobs, especially for the over-aged and poverty-stricken sections of our society, is a fact. There are various sections of our community, for whom this employment package has served as a whiff of badly-needed life support. There are people like one Mr. Koul, a young Physics professor from Srinagar, who went totally insane, after his home-lab was burnt by militants in early 90s and he lost everything and young people like Shammi Bhat, a Civil engineering graduate and a dear friend of mine, whose father was killed in 1991. This trauma, coupled with terrible poverty and faith in the false promises of our corrupt community ‘head-men’ finally got to him and he lost his life to drugs four years ago. There are numerous such painful stories of personal tragedies and economic deprivations, across community lines (because poverty knows no religion) and for such sections of Kashmiri society, any job, which bears the promise of a guaranteed salary at the end of the month, is simply indispensable.
Volumes upon volumes of statistical literature decry the actuality and also the fact that nothing is being done about anything. And some forced exertions and the ever-changing ministerial temperaments mean nothing, totally nothing. Stagnation of any kind is obviously the outcome as is generally visible anywhere in the suffocated aspirations of people.
What really is disturbing is the total absence of initiative on the part of our intellectuals and prominent figures in our community, who, after sending their own children away from the harsh grounds of our own realities, seek name and fame for themselves by descending on our heads as our benefactors and preachers. These are people who have a say in governmental circles and can, if they so wish, create a lobby for nurturing creative ideas for our generation - ideas, which serve as instruments for creating jobs rather than seeking jobs. Practical industry-oriented educational syllabi which can directly lead to people-government partnership for employment generation. Wishful thinking!
In this influx of job-seekers, there are also people who were doing rather well in cities across India, but for whom the allure of a fixed, secure and safe livelihood, which leaves no grounds for deadlines, ‘targets’ (and efficiency) proved to be a most attractive prospect. There are many who, after putting in several years in private sector, are now ‘drained-out’ and just want to spend their days peacefully. And then, there are those who wish to live close to their families and for whom, the glaring lights of vocational competence are a secondary option. But a large chunk is of those, who are simply misfits in their work-atmosphere and are now also feeling held-up by the local sense of ‘morality’. As several of my friends have confided, they just miss those days and night-outs of booze and of free association with the opposite sex! But in response to queries about returning back to old haunts, they tend to remain tight-lipped, murmuring about the impossibility of any such venture. Pathetic…
As I mentioned earlier, there are genuine work-seekers, who need this vista in order to pull on with their lives, but far greater are the numbers of those who’ve just grabbed these jobs and they are complete oddballs. For instance, there are engineers who ended up working in primary schools as teachers and Arts graduates, who preferred to work as police constables! There suddenly seemed to be frenzy about just clutching whatever opportunity was there, with no thought to professional competence and social responsibility. After all, what can be expected from an electrical engineer, who knows nothing about child-psychology or behavioral science but is working in a primary school? What kind of social contribution can anyone expect form a chemistry graduate who was made to wield the baton of a police constable?
In any socio-economic curve, the fallouts of economic depreciation can be gauged from social imbalances. And in the relation between individual and the incumbent administrative and cultural set-ups, it is the responsibility of both to ensure the sustenance and growth of each other. When viewed in relation to this established principle, what we find in Kashmir is nothing short of an unspeakably undefined contrast.
And our stances of striking deals in such places where striking cords is needed, has done nothing to help us out. To take forward the dialogue of growth is a task which serves the purpose of political maneuverings and nothing else. Required alteration is the hegemony of conscious efforts and nothing can change that.
What we have been witnessing in Kashmir is not just a steady growth of literacy rate and of common perceptions, but also, a parallel decline of systems where the rotting talents could have been utilized for ordinary welfare activities. Even though many among us like to argue that whatever be the manifestations, the root problem is political or at least organizational, the dilemma is not just the apparently chaotic class conflict or the turbulent recent history of Kashmir, but is rather well entrenched somewhere in our own minds, in our own attitudes-the problems which lead a person to choose the safest possible exit, rather than take up the challenge of change.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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