The plans ahead

There is a place called Secretariat

Impressions

BINOO JOSHI

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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