During 2010 mass uprising when I got an opportunity to interact with P Chidambaram, Sushma Sawaraj, Arun Jatley and many other national level leaders at SKICC, who were part of All Party delegation, then Home Minister P Chidambaram sought my views on governance in J&K, as he was told by the top officials that we have e-governance in civil secretariat.
I responded; "In any system there can be four types of governances including no governance, bad governance, good governance and e-governance. Currently we are having no governance, for God's sake give us 'bad governance', so that some day we can improve and dream of good governance and talking about having e-governance is befooling our own selves." Mr Chidambaram and his colleagues after a long laugh subscribed to my views by and large. My observations about governance and poor work culture have been endorsed by a competent IAS officer Rajiv Ranjan working as Deputy Commissioner Kupwara in his recent interview to a renowned local newspaper by responding to a question that what are the challenges to provide good governance in J&K.
"There are many challenges. But to me the biggest challenge I observe is poor work culture prevalent in Kashmir. People are less motivated to work. When you force them to work, they lose patience and level allegations intern." For all of us including govt. employees, contractors, police officials and traders who are associated with carrying out day to day business and developmental works governance is nothing but a money making machine and one who makes more personal gains out of it deserves more respect. I can say with authority that any developmental project duly approved by any competent authority in the state can be completed within 55 to 65 percent of the approved cost if executed with honesty, dedication and in a planned manner.
My observations and analyses makes me to say with confidence that a Bhabu sitting in an office or a Village Level Worker (VLW) or any official of their equivalent status make not less than 5 to 8 lac rupees a year by ways of corruption or malpractices. It is not difficult to imagine that what would be the earnings of HODs and other top brasses. Various developmental schemes especially MGNREGA and IAY etc have turned fortunes of most of Panchs and Sarpanchs. How can our MLA, MP, MLCs and ministers be far behind, they are the real masters and treat the whole state as their ancestral property?
Still common man doesn't cry that why he is forced to pay the bribe for pity genuine issues but his worry is that despite paying bribe his work remains undone and he is forced to beg from table to table and office to office. No doubt there are very honest and competent people in every class of society but their number is so meagre that they can't make a difference. While army couldn't hesitate from making money out of coffins of Kargil Martyrs, separatists didn't care even providing a fencing to the graveyard of Pathribal Martyrs despite claiming themselves their only heirs. Our police has been successfully blackmailing New Delhi and making best personal gains in the name fighting militancy.
Many have made a good use of Pakistan's involvement and interest in Kashmir and even relatives of notorious police officers have succeeded in getting medical, engineering and other professional seats in Pakistan, otherwise meant for children of martyrs. I don't claim to be the lone warrior nor want to hurt anyone, but we all need to introspect that from civil secretariat to Hurriyat Headquarters whatsoever happens is directly related to us, as we are the ultimate losers, beneficiaries or whatsoever. We all need to change for good at individual and collective levels.
The least we can do is to realise that it is our land, and by all the standards we are and will be the owners, rulers, sufferers and the gainers for all reasons and by looting and cheating our state and its resources, we are darkening our own future. We may not change things overnight but can change our selves may be not in one go but gradually. Once we go for self introspection and self reforms, others will certainly follow.