Published March 16th, 2016 by

One wonders why do we compulsively spend our precious capital just to complete the financial year.

During my more than three decades of service with the state government I had great experience of duty, subordination, rights and working of our administration. Inheriting and carrying the British legacy of administrative structure which was more a system of suppression than administration, our system of governance is entangled in a dilemma of running a democracy with iron hand.  In almost all departments the sense and responsibility and subordination varies from person to person and rights—these are never delivered to every ones satisfaction. Working of state governments departments is always governed by a hierarchy and a set pattern of job chart. Unfortunately, there is always a vast gap between Powers assigned and powers derived (exercised to be precise) within the existing hierarchical system. And this flawed balance of power over the period of time has created an inconsistent system that will require huge efforts to reform and balance. Read More March, the month of pointless expenditures!

Published March 9th, 2016 by

All it takes is honesty, impartiality and sincerity.

I believe in and practise democracy by conviction. So, in any case these lines should not be interpreted as a campaign to denigrate political governance and people’s participation in governance—democracy in political parlance. For the last several weeks our state is under governor’s rule, certainly a provision within the state’s constitution. The Governor’s rule was imposed after people’s representatives failed to come to a conclusion of shaping a government. But even after constitutional validation and faults on part of the elected representatives such absolute centralization and concentration of administrative powers within a handful of people is viewed negatively. Different people have different opinion about the present spell of Governor’s rule. Politicians instead of blaming their ego and failure always demonise such arrangements of governance and on the other hand people as always make assessment on performance of the government. However, a few weeks’ time is a very short spell to assess performance of an administrative setup more comprehensively. Read More Governance with a difference!

Published March 1st, 2016 by

Materialism has done the damage.

On universal garden and landscape scenario only two forms of gardens are documented as formal and informal. Almost all Mughal gardens are formal and the rest all landscape is categorized as informal. So, most of our landscape in Srinagar is formal. Formal pattern of landscaping suit well to topography of Kashmir as formal terraced gardens can be carved out easily out of hilly terrain. Srinagar and its surroundings have a long history of gardens amid beautiful landscape. However, the Mughal era in Kashmir was glorious period for magnificent gardens and orchards. Mughals preferred Dal and Nigeen banks and its catchment area for laying beautiful and spacious gardens in Srinagar city and its vicinity. Unfortunately, at present several of these gardens are either in bad shape or have vanished from the landscape scene of Srinagar. During the last four decades several modifications and additions were made to dwindling landscape of Srinagar. First informal landscape in Srinagar was tried at Nehru Memorial Botanical garden (NMBG), later more planned informal landscaping (Japanese Gardens) at Sheri-e-Kashmir institute of Medical sciences, Baghi Shagufa near Nigeen Lake, and Zabarwan Park on boulevard set a new trend of informal garden laying in Srinagar. Read More Bleak Srinagar Landscape!

Published February 23rd, 2016 by

…….and departmental vigilance officers.

In 1994 to strengthen the anti-corruption mechanism, our state government tried to create an antidote for corruption within the system itself by designating Departmental vigilance officers (DVOs) and issued a circular No. 12 of 1994 dated 22.2.1994 through GAD (General administrative department). The idea of DVOs was to nip the evil of corruption at the bud. To a large extent this apparatus helped a lot in identifying the corrupt elements within the state administrative machinery. With the passage of time necessary corrections and measures were made to strengthen the institution of DVOs. In this regard several circulars and orders were issued by the GAD during the years 2002 and 2003. This sincere effort of government and saner elements within the administration created an infrastructure for checking corruption with very less investment. DVO concept later became the bedrock of state vigilance commission (SVC) and has proved a vital link for SVC. Read More The virus of corruption

Published February 2nd, 2016 by

Leaders can be bad but not trade unions.

I write here neither to support any slanderous language nor to appease someone who has not been magnanimous enough to have patience with a large number of over- exploited class of employees. Last week’s face- off between Director School Education, Kashmir (DSEK) a brilliant, energetic and an honest bureaucrat and teachers forum president Abdul Qayoom Wani, one of the most energetic trade union leaders in the state is not only unbecoming of government functionaries but has created an unpleasant situation for both of them. Where from this argument originated, no one is sure? AQW claims that his association of teachers and its leadership, particularly Qayoom Wani was subjected to tags like mafia. But, unfortunately the response of AQW to this alleged name calling and belittling was not only unwarranted but smacks of extreme arrogance that too while holding a respectable position of a leading trade union leader. His remarks were not only harsh response to an unpleasant argument but insulting personal remarks against a senior officer. Read More Shun your Egos!

Published January 20th, 2016 by

Mehbooba Mufti will have to learn to deal with her allies!

Untimely demise of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Syed has created a vacuum in Jammu and Kashmir politics. An able administrator and a humble soul, Mufti Mohammad Syed throughout his five decade political career pursued a political belief that strengthened bond of Jammu and Kashmir State with Indian union. He never deviated or compromise with his stated political position. He was holding this political belief by conviction. Starting his politics with Congress party he faced many ups and downs; made several political experiments and more than a decade earlier in most charged political atmosphere succeeded in changing the political hegemony within the state by shaping PDP out of political junk. However, at the end of his political career while making a unique political experiment; totally against the political tide in Kashmir he may or may not have left a mark or made a political blunder that only political analyst and historians will judge.    Read More Bargaining power