The 69 year old uncertainty about Kashmir’s political future has mortally damaged the process of the Governance and the Accountability in the State. There have been only very few patches in between when the State had good day to day Governance. Accountability has always remained elusive in spite of constitution of a plethora of organisations and commissions. For past sometime especially after the upheaval of nineties the State apparatus has been totally lacking in accountability. Politicians have always tried to make hay while the sun was shining. In fact, successive governments have tried to undo what the previous ones had done. The sole aim has been to capture power and advance their dynasties. In the meanwhile, the State has virtually gone to “Dogs”!
There used to be saying that “If there is a Paradise on Earth, it is this, it is this and it is this!” That is no longer true. In fact, Kashmir has become a “Dogs’ Paradise!” Srinagar was sometime back rated as the fourth dirtiest city in entire India. Over and above this, the politicians responsible for this mess have been demanding declaration of Srinagar as a smart city. Yes, it is smart in destroying every civic facility including roads, water bodies, river banks, and so on. In fact, all these things should be left as such so that people all over the world are invited to see how things should not be done.
If one just goes along the embankments of the flood spill over channel from Mehjoor Nagar to National Highway bye-pass Bridge near Tengpora, the amount of filth and garbage is sickening. A drive along the National Highway bye-pass from Tengpora to Qamarwari junction reveals tons of garbage, filth and stinking marshy patches on both sides of the road. The lamp posts on the road divider are also tilted in a number of places. The same is the case with garbage in many other areas in the city.
There is no control on building activity. Huge malls and hotels have come up in residential areas
in total violation of the land use prescribed in the master plan. Parking is a headache. All commercial establishments have been allowed without any provision for customer parking. Traffic is in a mess. There is no check on minibus drivers for stopping to drop and take passengers anywhere they like because of the regular hafta given by them.
The water bodies have either disappeared or turned into stinking marshes. Dal Lake is in throes of death notwithstanding the fact that the area along boulevard is kept somewhat clean by constant mechanised de-weeding. However, they are unable to do anything about the stink! Settlers inside the Dal Lake can’t be moved out being a strong vote-bank.In fact, one is reminded about an Arabic saying about a Camel. It asks the Camel as to which part of its body is straight?
Right now, Kashmir does not need greedy Politicians and their intrigues. It needs strong, honest and upright administrators who can deliver. In fact, Sir Walter also mentions in the Valley of Kashmir that a strong and just ruler can change the shape of things in Kashmir. Unfortunately, we have yet to see such rulers!The Governor’s rule in the present scenario may be better for some time. Incidentally, the Governor’s rule means direct rule from Delhi. Normally, Delhi tries to fulfil its agenda though proxy rule as direct rule is diplomatically uncomfortable for it globally!
Two leading journalists have given opinions on the Governor’s rule. One says “Mehbooba has gifted Kashmir to Delhi” and the other opines that the “Governor’s rule is a dangerous preposition”. It is true the Governor under the J & K constitution has sweeping powers. In fact, he is like a monarch! He could turn everything upside down if he so desired especially at Delhi’s bidding. There were only two Governors in the past that refused Delhi’s bidding. They were, L.K.Jha and B.K.Nehru.
The present Governor has the reputation of being an honest, upright and a capable person. He has chosen two most upright, honest and dynamic advisors who have served Kashmir in the past to the best of their abilities. If he utilises the time only for the developmental side leaving the political side to the “Politicians on Holiday” till they return, he could get a lot of things done. He has started the most important and urgently required project of dredging the Jhelum which the politicians had forgotten for almost a year. The project needs acceleration and constant monitoring to avoid a future disaster. Here comes in the missing accountability which must be fully restored. If the good governance and accountability are restored, people may ask the Politicians to extend their holidays for some more time!