Darbar Moves

While Valley took time off to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, the state government silently moved its Darbar to Jammu. There is thus a certain sense of vacuum that has followed the festivities. Heightening...

While Valley took time off to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, the state government silently moved its Darbar to Jammu. There is thus a certain sense of vacuum that has followed the festivities. Heightening this feeling further is the precipitous dip in the temperature, hurtling Valley into the cold embrace of the winter. There are other usual symptoms of this winter inertia in evidence: power supply is failing and a deep administrative vacuum sets in. Problem is likely to be compounded several fold when it snows. Even though governments talk about addressing this sense of neglect, in practice they usually come up far short of fulfilling their promises. Will this winter be any different? It looks unlikely given the existing state of government services. This calls for a very practical solution to the problem. We need to find a way to get around the downside of Darbar Move given that there is no way to end this age-old practice. In fact, there are already some suggestions doing the rounds. 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 of the hour is to find a solution that addresses the neglect of all the three provinces of the state and the far-flung and unconnected areas therein.  A solution that obviates the need for the people to travel for even the minor official work while Darbar shuttles between Jammu and Srinagar. It is time that the government at least start a debate on the issue.

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