Good Government needs better mindset

Mr. Omar, it needs more than what you have done



“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted”
       (Albert Einstein)
On completion of four years in office, Omar Abdullah while addressing Panches  and Sarpanches at TRC Srinagar, has set a good precedent of presenting a self appraisal report highlighting his successes and failures. The coalition Government has published a long list of achievements on Peace and Development substantiating its commitment and determination for public empowerment, transparency, strengthening of Institutions and making public services legally binding. Expressing shortcomings on account of poor electricity, less jobs and corruption, Omar has made a strong case for “A Model of a Good Government”. In public life there is no Institutionalized mechanism to review the Self Appraisal Report of politicians and political parties. But in a democratic setup it is people who not only review but also accept or reject the performance of politicians and political parties.
 Good governance is the manner in which power is exercised in the management of economic and social resources to shape public policy and provide goods and services. The world over good governance is evaluated in term of world bank indicators which captures six key dimensions of governance i.e. (1) Citizen’s voice and accountability (2) Political stability and lack of violence (3) Government effectiveness (4) Regulatory Quality (5) Rule of Law (6) Control on corruptions. The foundation of all these dimensions are based on political stability which is most relevant and important with respect to Jammu & Kashmir state, as it is key to growth and for realizing any future vision. With its chequered history, Kashmir is unfortunate to have remained politically most unstable as its political issues are yet to get resolved. Different political leaders and political parties have different perception of Kashmir problem and are seeking different solutions ranging from “Aazadi” to “Self Rule” and “Autonomy”. At Wanpoh (Anantnag) on 28th October 2009, Omar Abdullah was bold to state that economic packages cannot be substitute for political resolution of Kashmir issue. Further he suggested that Central Government need to seriously address the political aspects of Kashmir problem, so that it is relieved from shadow of gun. This gesture of Omer Abdullah raised high hopes for better political future of state. In the scheme of things of National Conference, granting of Autonomy is only solution of Kashmir problem, and it has remained a political trump card of National Conference which has ruled the state for more than 28 years. Indira-Sheikh Accord was termed as a political compromise in this direction. Massive mandate of 1977 was a public approval for restoration of internal Autonomy. Mirza Afzal Beg, the then Dy. Chief Minister headed the committee to make the recommendations and thereafter nothing was achieved. After the onset of militancy in 1996, Narsimha Rao’s offer of “Autonomy  with sky as the limit” was the main poll plank of National Conference which returned to power with a clear cut mandate. Autonomy resolution passed on 27th June 2000 by Farooq Government was rejected by NDA Government at centre, of which Omar Abdullah was a part. It was as late as 24th July 2008 while speaking on Nuclear deal in parliament Omar Abdullah cursed his conscience for having remained a part of BJP dominated NDA Government. To counter the Gen. Pervez Musharraf’s four point formula, in 2006 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unilaterally appointed five working groups to look into all the aspects of Kashmir problem. Of these the recommendations of justice Sagir and C. Rangarajan were most important. Justice Sagir recommended the restoration of internal Autonomy as demanded by National Conference and the report submitted to Omer Abdullah in October 2010 was referred to cabinet sub-committee of the collation Govt. which has been recently granted seventh extension. Congress being a part of sub-committee, the report is not expected to move even an inch in the positive direction. The PMO has already said “No” to the much hyped claim of the Govt. of getting back the Dhul-Hasti and Salal Power Projects in accordance with the recommendations of another working group headed by C. Rangarajan.  In response to 2010 unrest, the recommendations of interlocutors headed by Dileep Padgaonkar for setting up constitutional committee to review all acts and Articles of the constitution of India extended to Jammu & Kashmir,  is eating dust in Home Ministry. Omar Abdullah has failed to pursue these initiatives of Govt. of India and take a stand for implementation of these recommendations which at least to his understanding could have made some head way in political resolution of Kashmir problem. Instead, revocation of AFSPA is his obsession and with the rest he seems to be happy, counting boom in tourism and panch elections as dividend of apparent peace. Under these circumstances people are bound to get alienated and raise voice leading to political instability and even violence. In the name of managing peace, these dissent voices have been suppressed. Thousands of youth are in jails on frivolous charges, 150 youths and even minors have been detained under draconian public safety act. Political activists are either in jails or under perpetual house arrest.
 Till 2014, it is still a long way to go. Omar Abdullah having surrendered his constituency to the Congress against the liking of common people need not remain complacent with developmental agenda. Kashmir has seen best of rulers like Bakshi Ghulam Muhammad who has done wonders in development. Yet he ended up as a political non-entity. During Governors rule in 1986 Jag Mohan was showered with traditional “Sheerni” for his black topped silken roads and he continues to be the most hated person in Kashmir. Since National Conference claims to have played a historical  role in protecting the cultural and religious identity of Kashmir,  it is time for Omar Abdullah to perform on political issues or else his party would end up the “India Shining Way” as what counts in Kashmir cannot be counted. Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said “Good Government is no substitute for Self Government.”
The writer is Mr. Ab Qayoom Khan  (IFS) Rtd. Member  All India Muslim Majlis – e-Mushawarat. New Delhi 

Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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