Where have gone the days of a graceful retirement.? Selective reemployment is really becoming a problem now!
Long back, in comparatively smaller and less developed state like Jammu and Kashmir retirement even at the age of fifty five years was accepted graciously and government employees would relish their post-retirement life. Engaging themselves in social work and getting associated with other community matters was the best pastime after retirement and considered the most respectable stage of every government servant’s life. Those days very few would prefer a business venture or a post-retirement career assignment. Contentment then was the essence of a blissful life. But for the last more than two decades the post-retirement scenario and the attitude of most of the employees has experienced a paradigm shift, a shift from absolute contentment after a long and dedicated service to an outlook of unfinished agenda. Many reasons influenced this changeover. Modernization, improvement in life expectancy through better health care, exponential increase in educated class and upgraded knowledge may have played a vital role in post-retirement expectations and ambitions. However, materialism and disproportionate transformation in every aspect of life are the most vital influencers of employee’s mindset vis-à-vis their post-retirement thinking and lifestyle.
In Jammu and Kashmir State where in the absence of established and workable economy and organized employment sector government service is the main source of employment for educated workforce, the post-retirement ordeal is obvious. Presently, amid large number of retirees with comparatively longer life expectancy the state is in a situation of despair under the burden of huge pension bills. To handle the situation prospectively government recently opted for a unique recruitment policy with no provisions of post-retirement benefits, thus depriving a large number of prospective employees of their financial and social security after retirement from active service. This is one aspect of austerity and financial discipline proposed and adopted by our planners and their political lords. But on the other hand the same dispensation has adopted an exceptional methodology to ignore its own planning and will to curb financial seepage and administrative irregularity. The way, past several years’ reemployment and engagement of retired officers in state government was done brazenly even after adopting self restraint (through policy decisions and government orders) was completely in contravention to government’s legal, moral and constitutional obligation. The country’s census report along with the stat census data clearly indicates that the present contemporary era is the age of young people armed with knowledge and latest technology. Ignoring this young brigade and their relevance in contribution to progress of the state and the country by denying them their role through these backdoor entries is nothing but ignorance. Preferring exhausted and obsolete brainpower over young and knowledgeable minds is not only unethical but unlawful on part of our rulers and will surely invite an aggressive uncertainty at certain stage. May be the managers of the government are better judges and believe in financial discipline and austerity through reemployment of existing but exhausted human resource, then why government is indecisive about the long pending key demand of its employees regarding enhancement of retirement age from existing fifty eight years to sixty years. If their principle of ‘reuse’ holds good then they should have generously accepted the demand and strengthened their cherished mantra of recycling retiring employees. Unfortunately, that is not the objective of the government! Instead intentions speak a different language; a language of nepotism, mala fides and extreme sycophancy.
Frankly speaking we are not here to advocate either enhancement in retirement age of state employees or support the governments idea of prolonging the matter to the extent of denial, but yes as conscious citizens we firmly believe in doing away with this selective reemployment, engagement and extension in service of few selected blue eyed officers of nepotistic order over the heads of young, energetic and conversant generation. Interestingly, most of the reemployment and extensions are showered on people whose entry into the service in the first instance was either controversial or doubtful. This trend of showering benefits of bonus employment along with prize assignments amounts to breach of trust and perpetuating corruption, that too in the backdrop of recent order regarding blanket ban on reemployment and extension of service. Authorities essentially cannot accommodate every ones wish and desire but at least they should respect their own decisions taken in the best interest of justified governance and equal opportunity for all.