Fair-Weather Government

In a welcome suggestion, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has highlighted the need to reverse the ''escapism'' of Darbar Move. Government will move to Jammu in summer and stay back in Valley in winter. There is no doubt it is a very pragmatic proposal to reform the 139 year old practice which was started by Maharaja. The Darbar Move, as Omar has underlined, is escapism: The governing class abandoning the provinces in their most problematic time of the year or conversely, shifting to either of them when the provinces enjoy their best of seasons. In its essence, Move is an indulgence of a sense of royal entitlement, more an assertion of the right of the ruling elite to a good life rather than a periodic exercise to bring government closer to people of Kashmir and Jammu. But one thing which even reversing of the Move will not resolve is the need for the people of two provinces to travel long distances for six months a year to bring their grievances to the notice of the government. In past, there have been some other suggestions to tackle the problem. One such solution being talked about is that the practice should be restricted if not abandoned. It is argued that Move should be confined to civil secretariat itself. Many departments, including the corporations could be bifurcated so that people can have access to officials round the year. However, the question remains whether such an elaborate exercise can be undertaken without being seen as the move towards de-facto division of the state. But given the unique requirements of the governance in the state and its need to reach across the geographically and climatologically diverse regions, such an exercise should only be read as a welcome process of decentralization. The overriding need is to find a solution that addresses the neglect of all the three regions of the state and the far-flung and unconnected areas therein. Chief Minister's suggestion is a good step in this direction and there is a need to build upon it and if needed, further modify it to find a more rational answer to Darbar Move.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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