Let the Jehad commence

Greater Kashmir

The Chief Minister while addressing public gatherings in Doda district Sunday said the people were his eyes and ears in his Jehad against corruption. Since assuming office, this is the fourth time when the Chief Minister has publicly promised stern action against the corrupt elements. In his first message to the corrupt elements, the Chief Minister had hinted at removing corrupt officials and what he called deadwood from the administration. A warning to the corrupt elements and appreciation of the honest officials followed this. Early this month the Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Akhnoor said the corrupt officials were being watched. However, no action was taken for unknown reasons. The silence, rather inaction of the government has sent wrong signals to different quarters and the people, by and large, fear miscarriage of the proposed campaign against corruption. Unlike his predecessors the Chief Minister seems more interested in good governance than playing politics. Therefore, people have pinned their hopes on him. The Chief Minister must bear in mind that he is heading the second most corrupt state. The menace, therefore, cannot be eradicated by issuing statements from time to time. Unless stern action is taken, the problem shall remain there to squeeze whatever is left in the veins of the hapless people. Unfortunately successive state governments have encouraged corruption for their political interests. The results are obvious. Today a widow seeking ex-gratia has to grease the palms of the corrupt officials to get the relief amount released. This reflects the deterioration the society has undergone. Similarly a retired teacher has to pay a hefty sum to settle his pension case. No file moves in the offices unless a currency note of higher denomination is placed on it. The irony is that the parents of the detainees have to pay to ensure the timely production of their wards in the courts. Of course there are some honourable exceptions but by and large, corruption has become a way of life. Corruption has ceased to be a detested act in this neglected land. As the corrupt officials demand graft as a matter of right the law enforcing agencies watch helplessly. Jammu Kashmir happens to be the only place on earth where the corrupt officials are ‘punished’ with promotion. There is no denying the fact that corruption could not be weeded out completely especially in a state where the government has been encouraging, shielding and promoting the corrupt officials. It is also a reality that the fight against corruption shall take some time. But the drive against corruption must begin from somewhere. The Chief Minister has to take measures ranging from overhauling the law enforcing agencies to breaking the nexus between corrupt politicians and officials. The Chief Minister has vowed to give a Khushhal (happy) state devoid of corruption, malpractices, high-handedness and injustice to the hapless people. He expects a warm hand to accomplish the stupendous task. The people have assured the Chief Minister of his support in his Jehad against corruption. This was quite evident from the reaction of the people at Akhnoor and Doda. They are waiting for the Jehad to commence.