Published January 24th, 2017 by

Politics apart, he was a great administrator!

I intended to write this piece on the first death anniversary of Mufti Mohammad Syed, but then I changed my mind lest I may be branded as an unprincipled sycophant. Anyways, facts are facts and we should never distort realities. All my interactions with Mufti Sahib were in the line of my duty or social work.

I have first seen and heard Mufti Muhammad Syed at a public meeting at the remote village of Lalpora, Lolab in Kupwara district, in the late sixties when he was deputy minister for works. A young spotless khadi-clad Mufti Syed dominated most part of the public meeting held in an open space under the shade of huge walnut trees. I was a young boy of seven or eight years and walked several kilometers from Dardhpora village along with the children of my close relation with whom I had come to spend my summer holidays. That time I could not understand the politics, but I enjoyed the trip where people were amused with folk music and dance before public meetings. Ah! That was simple and wonderful Kashmir. Read More Meeting Mufti

Published January 17th, 2017 by

It was more about administrative reforms than about budgeting.

Finance Minister Dr. Haseeb Drabu is a well-read economist with a vast experience of working with national and international economic institutions. His time with country’s leading business media house puts him in the category of widely known economic analysts. Mr. Drabu has the distinction of serving at state’s premier financial institution, Jammu and Kashmir Bank as its Chairman and CEO. Such distinctive experience makes him a perfect Finance Minister for politically sensitive and economically stressed state of Jammu and Kashmir. One more aspect of Dr. Drabu’s multi-faceted personality is his attachment and interest with Kashmiri culture and its heritage. That reflects in his recently delivered budget speech where he has proposed insurance cover for cultural assets, like Artifacts, rare manuscripts, and paintings and Setting up of “Shamas Faqeer institute of Sufi and folk music”. Read More The Budget Speech

Published December 28th, 2016 by

All about trade unionism in Kashmir

After the fall of autocracy in 1947, a new era of empowerment and emancipation blossomed in the subcontinent; the aura of freedom and sense of authorization liberated mind and soul of almost everyone. Workers, especially government workforces who were the most exploited lot during the oppressive rule were the first to shun fetters of slavery and exploitation. Much appreciated Silk factory workers agitation in 1924 against Dogra ruler’s exploitation was a watershed for fight against tyranny by Kashmiri workers and became a benchmark for future trade unionism in Kashmir.

After independence most of the workers who were either underpaid or exploited to the extent of suppression made best of democracy and initiated trade-union movement in a big way. No doubt, political parties and politicians’ encouraged and patronized trade-unionism, but later exploited it for their own political gains. Later Indian trade unionism became so diverse on ideological and political lines that instead of ensuring justice, a large number of trade union leaders exploited this noble cause and ventured into coercion and political exploitation. Lobbying and gang wars changed the whole meaning of trade unionism in the region and even veteran trade union leaders in India, like Georg Fernandez and Datta Samant could not resist the temptation of political ambitions. The twenty days Railway strike in 1974 and great Bombay textile strike in 1982 changed the whole concept of trade unionism in India both for the best and the worst. Read More A murky trade!

Published October 26th, 2016 by

Whatever the situation, government employees are the ultimate victims!

Present unrest in Kashmir has now been completely overtaken by ego and stubbornness on all sides. There seems to be no breakthrough at any level and stake holders are engaged in exploring the ‘fatigue factor’. And in this experimentation of testing each other’s nerves only common-man is suffering badly. In this game of nerves state being a systematized entity with comprehensive powers has huge responsibility to safeguard the interests of its subjects in accordance to the existing laws. And in this structure of authority government can run its writ only through its vast network of employees, ranging from powerful bureaucrats to humble field workers. Collectively, all government employees are ultimate instruments of governance. So, rightly speaking no government can run without the active participation or support of employees. The police and law enforcing agencies too are integral part of government employees as a whole. Read More The employees’ unrest

Published September 8th, 2016 by

When we talk beyond borders the contours of conflict and its resolution invite international ramifications

It is almost two months now; Kashmir and its people are caught in a quagmire of turbulence and unabated violence. People are dying of bullets and pellets and if the situation won’t change, people may die of starvation and disease.  Discussing violence gives nothing but pain. However, seeking a justified solution to death and destruction gives you hope. Kashmir, at this point is desperately asking for a peaceful resolution of every conflict to the best satisfaction of its stake holders within the frame work of natural justice and equality. It has to be an out of box resolution where every stake holder including people of Kashmir has to cooperate. Read More Talks, how and with whom?

Published June 29th, 2016 by

Deceptive healthcare system and fleecing insurance companies!

With sweeping impact of materialism the old saying ‘health is wealth’ seems to have gone wrong now. If you don’t have enough money (read wealth) you are unable to keep your health in order. Almost in all parts of the subcontinent health sector has turned one of the most lucrative trades where deception is the most prominent trade secret. Well organized racketing at all levels binds the whole fraternity of healthcare with sole motive of making money out of desperate people. From unethical ailment overestimation to excessive diagnostic procedures; overpriced treatments to spurious medicines the whole healthcare system has turned messy. Read More It’s all about money