A unique kind of fluid political situation exists at the moment in J&K. After the demise of the late chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the political dispensation of PDP-BJP conglomerate has so far failed to restore political governance in the state. In fact, they have 'willfully' surrendered it to the Raj Bhawan.
Basically, our political scenario constitutes two main divisions: mainstream and separatist politics. However, one main transformation took place. Separatist politics lost its rigidity over government formation. They seemed to have separated the system of political governance from their larger goal. Precisely, the separatist cadres don't mingle the two now. But the popular mainstream political system has failed to capitalize on it.
With a common goal of governance, there is surprisingly lack of consensus among the two coalition partners. This has genuinely invited sharp criticism against the inordinate delay of government formation. When, against all odds, people voted them to power to get good governance, it simply amounts to political crime by denying them the most deserved governance for none of their faults.
So it's again an issue of good governance. We know it implies the process by which the ruled are guaranteed the right to good life which inter alia include good housing, sufficient food, quality education, justice and fair play, security of life, liberty and property. At our place neglect of even basic concept of governance is not a sudden phenomenon. Let us own it that the gradual decline in the heritage of trust in the institutions of governance has been there since 1947. We find borrowed ideas being implemented without assessing the suitability, acceptability and adaptability to the local environment.
Let's understand, the concept of governance has over the years gained momentum and a wider meaning. Apart from being an instrument of public affairs management, or a gauge of political development, governance has become a useful mechanism to enhance the legitimacy of the public realm. At the same time, it has also become an analytical framework or approach to comparative politics. And it is the combination of political, bureaucratic and corporate governance which together can lead to good governance.
Last year in this month alone when wedlock between PDP and BJP was announced I had suggested the new political dispensation to take governance as responsibility, not as opportunity. Ours is a state flooded with wide range of economic issues. I had reproduced some listed challenges in setting up agricultural growth, infrastructural development, fiscal consolidation, building social infrastructure and managing globalization to sustain, accelerate and translate growth to broad-based poverty reduction. Here it is the good governance which can meet all these challenges.
Here a reminder in the context of Kashmir imbroglio is inevitable. The political as well bureaucratic governance has traditionally remained hostage to the basic six-decade old conflict. So, historically speaking, here governance has always carried a big question mark. Basically, as opinions galore, it is the basic disputed nature of the state which has not allowed good governance. In other words, governance has always remained hostage to the basic conflict and in such situations one cannot expect good governance.
But the new political dispensation was a ray of hope to turn the things around. Time is still on their side as for this they (who have been voted to govern) need big heart to take governance as responsibility and not let down their people any more.
(The views are of the author & not the institution he works for)