One wonders how they are playing with our innocence…
Either we have failed as a nation or we are so gullible that any Tom, Dick and Harry with ulterior motives and nefarious designs can exploit our innocence! Both hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and tragic death of Zia-ul-Haq made us to agitate on streets of Kashmir for weeks. And for the last more than two decades we as a nation suffered immensely for just cause of empowerment and emancipation, however, at election time most of us did not hesitate to jump the election bandwagon for petty gains, depicting the travesty of our bruised character. Personally I am not against any electoral process till it serves the interests of people and not an occasion to beat the deceptive drum of normalcy. Cutting a very long tale of our indecisive mindset short let me come to the point. The recent uproar over creation of new administrative units in the state, particularly in the valley has created an atmosphere of vacillation and divided the whole society into much smaller and irrelevant compartments created by opportunistic politicians. Instead of seeking and asking for just and good governance the public attention got diverted to petty issues of agitating for irrelevant issue of administrative units.
After much talked about Mushtaq Ganiae Committee report, regarding formation of new administrative units created confusion within the coalition partners the government announced Cabinet Sub Committee to seek public opinion. Interestingly, the CSC members toured almost all districts of the state to gather feedback from public even after the Ganiae report was never made public. This whole process of hiding contents of the Ganiae report and setting the public opinion ball rolling through CSC created confusion within the public and in every nook and corner of the valley people started shouting, “we want tehsil”. Compulsive appeasement of coalition partner is acceptable, but political exploitation of the issue at the time of impending elections is worst form of exploitation. Both coalition partners along with other political parties made use of this situation of uncertainty and confusion to the best of their ability. Even political dispensations that claim to be the saviors of common-man and are apparently pleading and beating the drum of value based politics became party to this ambiguity.
I remember the days when we had just three districts in Kashmir valley—Srinagar, Baramulla and Anantnag. Everything was smooth and administration was run efficiently even without the present-day facilities of better communication and quality infrastructure. Undoubtedly, there was scope for addition of new administrative units and the governments of the time made additions judiciously and without any political consideration. However, during last many years in the absence of any valid issue to divert the attention of electorates our manipulative politicians resort to ploy of creating administrative units just at the fag end of their tenure and secure their political prospects. This whole drama is enacted so finely by exploiting sentiments of ‘easy to fool’ Kashmiris, that too without bothering about anticipating the possible financial implication in creating such units. If analysts are to be believed the present administrative unit creation extravagance will cost not less than fifteen hundred crore burden on exchequer, per year. How come a state that cannot afford the salary bill of its employees will be able to meet the additional financial burden of fifteen hundred crore? A state whose revenue expenditure is almost four times than its capital expenditure can never think of creating new administrative units in its wildest dreams leave alone creating such units. But, here ‘Bawa Adam he nirala hai’.
Poor people! By creating unjustified administrative units they are promised ‘Roti, kapda aur makaan’ at their doorstep; given the notion that they will get justice at local level without any trouble and ultimately they will be made to believe that this is the real azadi (empowerment and emancipation). Unfortunately, politicians who could not deliver for six decades are making such tall claims. By the time these lines will reach to the readers many people will be celebrating their imprudent acts not of their own but at the behest of exploitative politicians and others will be agitating for not being part of this mad crowd. In any case the common man is the loser and not the politician who made this gimmick rolling!