National Conference Additional General Secretary Mustafa Kamal Sunday said that the era post 2019 coincided with a steep decrease of locals in bureaucracy, saying the wanton discrimination meted out to locals had increased a sense of alienation and disenfranchisement among all sections of the society across Jammu and Kashmir.
A statement of NC issued here said that expressing concern over the "existential crisis" the people of J&K were facing, Kamal said that the disbanding of the All India services J&K cadre and the successive measures undertaken by Government of India (GoI) vis-à-vis J&K had unseated the local people from all corners of power giving a ditch to all democratic norms and the relation between J&K and New Delhi, which was contingent on a constitution that recognised the unique political identity of J&K.
"A systematic plan of downsizing local bureaucrats is being pursued. This explains the reason behind widespread alienation among people in J&K. The widespread administrative inertia, and unaccountably that has beset the entire region reveals the shoddy failure of the administration to rise up to people's aspirations and requirements. It is a rare sight to spot a Kashmiri in higher administrative posts. Similar is the case with the people from Pirpanjal and, Chenab regions," he said.
Kamal said that with the J&K cadre of the all-India services having ceased to exist, the doors of power had been permanently closed for locals in the bureaucratic setup.
"Previously only 50 percent of its all India service officers were direct recruits chosen through UPSC exams, the other half came from Kashmir Administrative Services officers who were promoted into All India services. In other states only 67 percent of the officers are direct recruits. With the J&K losing its status unconstitutionally, and undemocratically the ratio of locals in the bureaucracy has reduced to 33 percent from 50 percent. In a highly sensitive region like J&K, which has all long been on boil since 1947, it has always been necessary to have officials who can comport with the locals and understand their issues. Both the J&K government and GoI in previous decades have strived to maintain the balance. The present government has chosen not to be sensitive to the issues of J&K, pushing the locals to the wall. The measure has affected the development activities as well. It is very imperative for the GoI to make amends to this rule and ensure 70 percent of the all India service officers in J&K are locals. The measure will give a sense of entitlement to locals," he said.