My last week column was followed by a shock. I was making acase for a longer Eid celebration, it got even shorter. Our administrationcouldn't see people celebrate for more than a day. Just the first day afterEid, schools were raided. Yes raided is the only way to describe the act. Theofficers of the education department – like a typical anti-terror squad bargedinto empty schools to see as to whether the staff is present or not. Suspensionorders were issued against some teachers found guilty of celebrating Eid evenon the second day.
What is wrong with us. What is wrong with our system. Wehave a haunting fear that someone somewhere is celebrating. By doing this whatare we trying to prove. This that we mean business, that the rest doesn'tcount, that we have no regard, no care for the social sensibilities which makeus human.
In the name of discipline we have lost honour, confidenceand identity. We act like pawns, like jokers, like hooligans – a three-in-onepackage that makes us ridiculously special in our own right. In the other partof the state religious festivals are being officially declared as holidays andcelebrations continue for days. How will the Director School Education (KashmirDivision) explain this shameful act in view of his own counterpart issuing afive-day official order as `Pooja Holiday' in Jammu. If this is sense of dutywhat is that? If that is respect for sensitivity, what is this? Are weselectively secular? Our tragedy is unparalleled. We have turned administrationinto an institution of sadism. More we trouble our people, greater the joy wefeel.
We are not against imposing discipline, but is this the wayto do it? Ensure attendance and accountability in all offices. Take employeesto task, make them work, but let them breathe. Life is not all administration.Our bureaucrats need – I repeat – life therapy. They need a course in commonsense – which they have divorced after marrying the chair they are in. They arelike lifeless, feelingless, pieces of flesh and blood unfamiliar with humanconditions.
There are hollows in our life which power alone cannot fill.It's filled with logic, with understanding, with empathy. Drill some sense intoyour heads. Festivals are the signature tune of our life. They inform ourexistence. I celebrate, therefore I am. Festivals are not an excuse to evadeduty, but an excuse to flee from the dullness of life. Our education tells usso, our values tell us so. By choking people from enjoying the time thatbelongs to them, we are actually showing our incompetence. Competentadministrators have a different way to show their performance. They leave animpression deeper and more lasting. After mid-day meals we are floating aconcept of mid-day raids. It speaks of a shallow – and a violent – mindsettypical of slaves like us.
The act is condemnable and has been condemned. DSEK mustapologize for what they have done. For spoiling others' celebrations and theirstoo. They must learn to behave like humans first, officers then.