......... one wonders why don''t they show it when they are in the chair
Apropos the “Memorandum to the Honourable President of India” by group of citizens published in Greater Kashmir. All of them are reputed personalities with broader academic and professional knowledge and experience. We are proud to have these intellectuals in our state. But one fails to understand that why these people start concerning about the society only after becoming the former and not when they are incumbent. Not all but most of the signatories are former bureaucrats or administrators in other fields. While in chair every bureaucrat while trying to be more loyal than the king proudly signs the orders of imposing section 144, PSAs without valid reasons and without following the due procedure for which they are mostly struck down by the Hon’ble High Court. At the same time I salute the people in this group who have still not reached the age of superannuation and have showed courage to sign the memorandum.
Let us not judge their character on the basis of the above stated facts. Better late than never. If they have started concerning about the society after their retirement it is fine. But let them do something different and concrete which will compel the Indian civil society to think that something wrong is happening in Kashmir. May be they start supporting the Kashmir cause in what they call a democratic and peaceful way. Let us analyse the way they have adopted to show their concern about Kashmir.
According to the constitutional provisions and well set law in India President is only the nominal head, real power being enjoyed by the Prime Minister and his council of ministers. Legally and constitutionally he cannot direct the Union of India to enter into a dialogue with any of the stakeholders in Kashmir. Otherwise too the incumbent President of India cannot be trusted to put his efforts in starting a long lasting dialogue on Kashmir. Pranab Mukherji is the same person who according to your own concealment has not responded to your earlier memorandum of same concerns which you are raising at this time. He is the same person who ditched Engineer Rashid, MLA Langate. When Mr. Pranab Mukherji visited the valley in connection with his presidential elections. Engineer Rashid in a clear and strong message told Pranab that he will only vote in his favour if he after becoming the president would sign the mercy petition of Afzal Guru. Pranab responded positively. But after winning the presidential elections the first thing he did was that he rejected the mercy petition of Afzal Guru and even remained silent when the demand for returning his mortal remains started rising. At that time the party of which he was a nominee for the presidential post was in power in the centre as well in that state of Jammu And Kashmir. Therefore writing him about your concerns at a time when he has genuine reasons for excuse is in my opinion a wastage of time. Instead of re-writing memorandum to the Hon’ble President the respected group ought to have sent the memorandum to the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu And Kashmir or the Hon’ble Apex Court of the country which could have treated it as a Public Interest Litigation. The group in support of the other groups could initiate a dialogue among the members of the civil society by organizing seminars on Kashmir issue in some other states of India. The group like Bar Association could have approached the Hon’ble High Court or the Hon’ble Supreme court of India with the pleas of challenging the use of pellet guns and ban on internet and social networking sites. The group should send the copy of this memorandum to United Nations Human Rights Council so that the world human rights body takes note of your concerns which are the concerns of every Kashmiri.
You have no doubt raised the genuine concerns, but I request you to kindly do some serious efforts for the resolution of the long pending issue.
(Inayat Malik is a Lawyer, Writer and a Social Activist.)