Death, darkness and dogs

Of existing dispensation and `achievements' thereof



Over four years have passed since the existing dispensation took over. What both coalition partners: Congress and National Conference, had promised in their respective manifestoes during election campaign in 2008 is known to all. Particularly NC had gone a step ahead by promising everything minus Azadi. It had among other things promised restoration of pre- 1953 position to the state, revocation of AFSPA, employment to youth, uninterrupted power supply,  development, corruption free administration, transparency in every field, accountability and improvement in work culture.
Most of the gullible people particularly those who are devoted and loyal to NC because of their love and devotion for late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah---legendary leader of his time head and shoulder above others, had hoped that the scion of Abdullah family Omar Abdullah would go his grandfather’s way in winning over the support, love and loyalty of masses in the state by living up to their expectations and that he would also offset the unenviable performance of the his father Dr Farooq Abdullah as chief minister of state  from 1996 to 2002 which eventually led to the NC’s rout in 2002 elections leaving space of power for the newly formed party of Muhammad Sayeed who had not till then won any election in Kashmir.
What people witnessed and experienced during over four years of Omar Abdullah rule is mushroom growth of dogs, tremendous darkness due to power shortage,  killings, arrests, stupendous increase in the level of corruption to the extent of being rated as second after Bihar, hike in power tariff and water fee and unusual interference in the administration of every department by politicians and trade unionists. In short Death, darkness, dogs and corruption could be termed as the hallmarks of this dispensation.
In the last four years of Omar Abdullah led government, one of his cabinet colleague was forced to demit his office because of a impersonation case in an MBBS examination and another was divested of portfolio as minister for school education for misusing his position to help his son pass matriculation examination through unfair means. There are charges of land grab and scams against another minister. Of late it was revealed that a former minister in Omar Abdullah’s cabinet was instrumental in the supply of spurious drugs to hospitals. It is alleged many patients might have died in hospitals due to these spurious as it has been found that the antibiotics supplied to the hospital had zero percent efficacy.
Late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, who had earned the sobriquet of Sher-i-Kashmir (Lion of Kashmir) and Bab (father) had a dream of building Naya Kashmir and he passed on the leadership of NC to his son apparently with the expectation that he would translate his dream into reality. After the death of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah in September 1982, the reins of NC leaderships remained in the hands of Dr Farooq Abdullah. Since 1982 NC ruled the state for about 17 years intermittently but without making any enviable difference.
In these 17 years, the descendants of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah could not do anything to improve power supply in the state. Despite having capacity to generate 20000 MW hydro- electricity, the state is currently going through the acute power scarcity and reports of protests are pouring in from all the areas of Valley.
Notwithstanding many flaws and shortcomings with Mufti Muhammad Sayeed’s three year rule from 2002 to 2006 in the state, one cannot ignore truth that at least people were liberated from the darkness the NC government had plunged them into from 1996 to 2002. 
Late Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah will be turning sides in his grave over the performance of his descendants as rulers of the state as they failed to translate even an iota of his Naya Kashmir dream into reality.
(Ali Muhammad Dar is sub-editor Greater Kashmir)

Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 10 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 11 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST

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