After all we uphold democracy as principle!
Respected Mufti Mohammad Syed Sahib,
I am a diehard fan of democracy—a democracy that not only preaches freedom and equality but delivers it too. The beauty of real democracy is that it empowers the people and simultaneously reminds them of their responsibilities. I am not here to lecture a political and administrative doyen of your standing about democracy, but I am trying to make a point and draw your kind attention towards plight of lesser mortals.
Anyways, politics and political shadows on administrative setup aside, I and many people like me have a genuine grievance that I have personally been agitating relentlessly for the last more than three decades of my public life. The menace of monstrous favoritism! Favoritism along with its genetically identical sibling corruption took its roots in early sixties of last century when Kashmiri people were very fondly tasting and relishing their premature democracy. Since then it made gradual inroads into vital systems of our day to day life. It is now a full bloomed disease that requires enormous political and administrative will to weed it out. Favoritism has a long history. However, allowing it to flourish under the wings of democracy is the worst situation of infraction. Through these lines, I am not here to blame your political wisdom and administrative acumen while checking the menace of favoritism, but we were expecting a visible change that was promised and was expected of an able administrator of your capability and stature.Mufti Sahib, personally I would have never brought this contagious issue in these blessed lines because I have left these exclusively for the good of mankind and Kashmiri people in Particular. But, many of my colleagues and friends in the department of Agriculture officers fraternity often pester (pester, but in a cordial and loving way) me for not representing their genuine aspirations and sufferings. I always plead with them that this rot is not only with the agriculture department of the state but a ‘ghar ghar ki kahani’. Ways and means are always bulldozed out for the blue eyed and for that the old maxim ‘rules are for fools’ becomes the law. I also very often remind them of service conduct rules, which strictly prohibit any government employee going against the policies of the government. But as courageous losers and enthusiastic fighters their argument “favoritism and violation of rules are never the policies of a democratic government” encouraged me to address these lines as a passionate appeal to your good-self on behalf of my desperate colleagues.
Like all government organizations, department of agriculture too has its service recruitment rules and were revised in the year 1988 in order to reorganize the department on modern lines. Thus Jammu and Kashmir Agriculture (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules 1988 came into being. No man made rules are flawless, yet if applied religiously even weak rules can deliver justice. However, since 1988, for the last more than quarter of a century these rules were applied but selectively or otherwise never applied on one pretext or the other just to pave way for few selected proverbial ‘blue–eyed men’. During these more than twenty five years, hundreds of departmental promotion committee (DPC) exercises were stage managed in the garb of these rules only to create an atmosphere of confusion and animosity within the ranks of officers inviting legal wrangling. This all was obviously done to pave the way for the selected ones and allow favoritism to flourish. Let bygone be bygone! Not as a matter of choice but as the only available alternative, because legalities put latches on an issue that never gets resolved in prescribed period of time. However, legal luminaries may wind this issue under the garb of ‘latches’ but in the department of agriculture and all other departments plagued with such disease of induced favoritism we are compelled to call it share injustice. A cursory look into the administrative affairs of the department of Agriculture will reveal a scenario of a spillover of ad hoc promotion industry camouflaged under the trade name of ‘OPG—own pay and grade’.
I personally, being a strong believer of optimism, humbly request on behalf of my colleagues and friends to use your good offices to restore the rule of law and provide long eluding justice to officer of Department of Agriculture and on the same analogy to all other establishments of the state government.