The plans ahead
There is a place called Secretariat
A thanksgiving is overdue to the current government in Jammu and Kashmir, because it has learnt to travel faster to the places where it should be seen hearing the people. This thanksgiving comes from a group of people, loyal National Conference workers and a few others who owe one or the other thing to the government. They say what the government ministers want to hear. Those are religiously played out to their “leader”, with the twin purpose of getting mandate for the next election and a berth in the ministry. The kind of sycophancy which is seen and heard nowadays has no precedent. All this is happening in election year. So much was the tweet effect of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah that the durbar move timings should be reversed, that soon after the reshuffle on January 15, all ministers were seen in the Valley. Not only that. Chief Minister himself led by example. He parked himself in Srinagar and Gulmarg. It was a good combination of vocation and vacation.
The scenes of ministers walking on snow were captured by the government cameras as if all of them were in a mode to work. They wanted to show as if they were working 24X7. A newly inducted minister on his visit to Pulwama in south Kashmir asked the people that they need not tell him what he needs to do for them. Instead, he asked them to make way for the cameramen and photographers so that they could capture him being in the middle of the masses. “ My press note will take care of all what you want”, the minister said and that was the end of the minister’s interaction with the people.
For others, the whole exercise is guided by the approaching elections- 2013-2014. That there is a place called secretariat where people expect themselves to be heard was forgotten by the ministers because the secretariat is nothing more than a building where ministers and bureaucrats come to fulfill a formality. It has been reduced to that status, if at all any status it is left with.
Kashmir is very, very important for the National Conference . The party wants to get as many seats in its kitty during the coming elections as possible. After all, this party has been in power for most of the years since the Partition or Independence. Going by what Party’s General Secretary Sheikh Nazir says that the agenda is unfinished and Plebiscite is the only solution. There is hardly any voice in the party that has dared to challenge the General Secretary. Even the Party president Farooq Abdullah cannot over rule him. In such a situation where there is no one who can pull back the General Secretary or challenge him, it becomes difficult to understand that why this party should not focus on 46 Assembly seats. It should. But that is happening at the cost of the day to day work that should be happening in the secretariat. The seat of the government is deserted.
The Government that claims to have studied the people and empowered the people has made National Conference headquarters at Nawai-i-Subh as its administrative headquarters. The people are suffering in Doda, Rajouri Poonch, Kargil and Ladakh, but no one is paying attention to those godforsaken places. Doda, or as some people, prefer to call it “ Chenab Valley”, National seems to have conceded it to the Union health Minister Ghulam nabi Azad and his cohorts
Having said all this, the main factor should not be forgotten that elections are fought to win, not to lose. No party or leader stares at the defeat. Its basic idea to keep its flag up, up and up, but the basic governance should not be left to the lifeless buildings. Indeed votes bring leaders to the rooms in the secretariat, its sanctity should be honoured, because the work done from the secretariat wins votes. True, it is that the state like Jammu and Kashmir governed from the Secretariat alone, but there should be some semblance of administrative activity there. Why it should not be left to the panchyats to look after their affairs, why should ministers interfere in the day to day governance . Let them sit where they are supposed to Secretariat. But they are not there.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 5 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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