Kashmiris have history of being forced to abide by the decisions imposed on us. Long before there was greater illiteracy and poverty in this Valley and autocratic rulers who had purchased it along with the people from British treated all the subjects as slaves. There was forced labour called Begaari that still sends chill down the spine. The process of selecting a person for Begaari or forced labour was something similar that we had gone through the process of Crackdowns where security forces cordon the whole area and order everybody to come out of their homes. A forced labourer was being whipped and forced to carry the supplies for Maharaja's forces and forced to work in the most challenging conditions, sometimes climbing the toughest altitudes with supplies loaded in boxes on their backs. A bunch of morally conscious youth of that time who fortunately got literate with highest degrees realized the oppression and they raised their voice against the autocratic Rulers. What followed is history but special reference is made to this part of the history only to relate with present Government's recruitment policies.
The only difference is that in the past the educated youth raised the voice and made people to rise from deep slumber and in modern times those very educated youth are subjected to bonded labour where bond is renewed every next year. The next year if more energetic and high in terms of percentage if found and discovered, the older one loses his job. Now the new Government policies as that of "Fixed Salary Mode" or new recruitment regime that will entitle non-gazetted recruits to get only 50% of the basic pay (pay band a+grade pay) for the first 2 years at the MINIMUM of the pay band, for next three years such employee will get 75% of the basic pay (PB+GP) at minimum of the pay band are making mock of the degrees that Kashmiris possess.
The most educated youth with highest degrees as Ph.D, M.Phil, (JRF, NET/SLET) and what I call cream of the society can be seen as contractual lecturers where their confidence is shattered at the very first entry into College or Secondary School Institution. Where I remember an example, when one acquaintance of mine working in college as contractual lecturer was scolded by peon upon former's request to keep gates open for more 15 minutes as he was not done with his practical classes. Peon of the college bluntly replies, "You are a contractual, be in your limits and how dare you order me". What can be more heart rendering? When it comes to Kashmir, it seems rulers are prone to exploit the subjects and now educated youth are target. Personal aspirations are also important which keeps humans working with dedication and enthusiasm. When there is steep inflation, where will our employed youth stand? What about their personal aspirations? How can they plan their lives with such policies where they will be payed half of the basic pay for initial many years of their service? Those crucial years and golden years of their youth where energy level to work much harder is high. Where will that energy level go?
In an era of high inflation, where prices are towering each passing day, a Rahbar-e-Taleem teacher gets Rs 50 per day for his priceless contribution and great responsibility of teaching. A medical graduate gets Rs 75-100 per day. Agriculture Officer under this Rahbar Scheme gets Rs 75 per day in this era of high prices and steep inflation. It is believed that Nation's future depends upon its youth. So where is our nation heading towards? With such policies we may grow frustrated because when our mental outlook will be seized, there will be no production.
(Author is Delhi based Geoscientist, currently in Kashmir as Geological Consultant and can be mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)