We require a separate All India Civil Service for J&K
If J&K can have its own constitution and local citizenship law, why can't it have a separate All India Civil Services? This goal could be realised perhaps only if the Govt. of J&K pressed hard for it to convince New Delhi.
J&K has two prominent social groups -- the Kashmiri Muslims and the Hindus/Sikhs of Jammu. The Pandits of Kashmir form a very small percentage of the population. The Kashmiri Pandits had a long tradition and history of higher studies and this was a big advantage for them in getting a lion's share of the top civil services. This fact, however, was not a sufficient solace for the political bosses of J&K because their main voters were the Muslims of J&K and the Hindus/Sikhs of Jammu. So when Shri Motilal Kaul and Shri Hiralal Kadalbuju ( both Kashmiri Pandits) joined IAS as direct recruits in 1966 and 1968 no significant ripples were created. Later on also when Shri Vijay Bakaya and Shri Shiban Lal Bhat joined as direct recruit IAS, in 1970 and 1976 the events went unnoticed. A sensation was created in the real sense for the first time when a Kashmiri Muslim boy Shri Muhammad Shafi Pandit and a Jammuite Hindu girl, Sushma Chowdhary joined the IAS as direct recruits in J&K in 1969. Both of them were from the two main communities of J&K and hence their appointment and success was politically important. Thereafter more and more success stories started coming in. When Myhammad Iqbal Khandey succeeded and when Shri Khurshid Ahmed Ganai came second in the All India list, everybody was highly pleased. After that success stories started trickling in from all quarters. Many boys and girls from Jammu and Ladakh started entering the IAS cadre of J&K giving solace to the people and politicians of J&K. The IAS and IPS did not remain the exclusive domain of officers from outside J&K.
Here we have to pause and think as to why it is important for the high bureaucrats of the state to be permanent residents of J&K. This is not the situation in the other states of India. In other states we have a long history of bureaucracy inherited from the British. No one asks the bureaucrats "Are you a permanent resident of this state or are you an outsider?" Being an Indian is good enough and there is no concept of a state subject. J&K has its own constitution and citizenship and it is like a country within a country. The people of J&K unlike the people of India are a politically aggrieved lot. No group is satisfied politically as long as the J&K issue remains unresolved. The people of Jammu would like to have a Hindu/Sikh Chief Minister from Jammu whereas the people of Ladakh would like to have a Lt. Governor in Leh. The people of Kashmir would like to live in an autonomous semi independent territory of their own and would like to have their own Prime Minister. No politician is still ready to give the people of J&K exactly what they want and so the people continue to live in a state of unease waiting indefinitely for their moment of ultimate happiness. In this state of uncertainty the role of the bureaucrats becomes very important. Therefore, it becomes important to ask these apparently silly questions, "Is the Chief Secretary a local? Is the DG Police a local person or is he an outsider?" In other parts of India these questions would be taken as stupid and unpatriotic. It is not so in J&K. In my view the IAS, IPS posts in J&K cadre should be reserved for state subjects and only if no state subject is available in the select list these could be given to outsiders. The people of J&K could press for this at the time of the permanent resolution of the J&K issue. The selection of the ten state subject candidates in the civil service this year assumes great importance in this context.
(Amit Kushari (IAS Retd) is former Financial Commissioner, J&K. Feedback at 09748635185 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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