J&K is a ‘special’ administrative unit in many ways. Some of these specialities are historic burdens that the people are made to carry on their shoulders for more than a century now. Like the rotation of sun and moon, in J&K the seat of power, with all its ancillary bodies makes a rotation twice a year. The Darbar moves in after six months and then after another six months it moves out. This times it has risen in the summer capital of J&K. Now Jammu is the centre of the universe for those who have anything to do with the government. The files and the officers are seated there and the poor people anywhere in this territory, called J&K, are bound to make a pilgrimage to the secretariat at Jammu.
The history and the politics of this Darbar move aside, ask those who scale the mountains of hardships because of this twice-a-year administrative ritual, what is means in terns of money, time, energy and disruption in the family. And this applies not just to the people of Kashmir region. It equally applies to the people of the Jammu region. However, what adds to the hardships of the people here is the condition of the Srinagar-Jammu road. It’s uncertain, and it is dangerous to travel on this. All the man made schedules fail when it comes to travelling from Srinagar to Jammu, or the other way round, in the winter months. But no matter what, we have never been able to solve this problem. Mankind can conquer Mars, but we will be bogged down by this problem for ages to come. Sometimes one wonders, can this problems be ever solved. The reason for this issue becoming intractable is that the relationship between the people of the two regions is mired in a divisive political history. The political leadership in the two regions have failed to forge a relationship that could make us look at such administrative problems in an objective perspective. It is for this reason that no administration, and no government would ever be able to solve this problem. The solution, in the long run, depends on the content of the relationship that the people of the two regions share. In the short term, people’s problems can be solved by taking recourse to technology, and making radical administrative changes. Yes, the road that connects the two regions needs attention.