Politics of favors!

We need to clean the system of all this mess.

Politics is as old as civilization. The literary meaning of politics is ‘making of a common decision for a group of people’. It is a social service that channelises and articulates the aspiration of people. Most of the Kashmir political canvas for the last more than five thousand years is dotted with intrigue, cruelty and exploitation. However, after the dawn of people’s politics, people had high hopes of equality and justice. But unfortunately our democracy was either premature or could not keep pace with other democracies in the world.

In Kashmir, at present we have a fluid and tricky political situation. The uncertainty of politics perished several genuine politicians and many unscrupulous elements made inroads into political realm. Pushing their way up on the ladder of this flexible politics, much of these corrupt made politics a trade rather than a profession of social service. Over the last more than sixty years Kashmir experienced several shapes of politics and very few politicians left their mark on Kashmir politics. Most of politicians more often used politics as a tool to favor their own men and patronize their political constituencies. Whenever politicians behaved in contravention to their mandate, people showed them door in accordance to fundamentals of democracy. More than a year ago Omar Abdullah led collation of National Conference and Congress were exactly rejected by people. It was all because of favoritism, corruption, and mismanagement that this collation could not manage a comfortable sail in 2014 elections. Floods also played the spoilsport and thus the fate of this coalition got sealed and a new regime of hope came into being.

After an almost split verdict and the prolonged deliberation on permutations and combinations regarding new alliance, a new but unique combination of ideologically apart coalition got shaped. With their common minimum program they promised a lot and may be during their six years tenure they will be able to fulfil much of their promised agenda of good governance and come clean to the satisfaction of people. However, for more than a year of governance nothing substantial has changed on the front of reprehensible favoring of undeserving and patronizing the unscrupulous. The blue-eyed, nepots and the favorites are again on the forefront making hay while the proverbial ‘Sun’ of this regime is shining. Like earlier rulers the adhocracy and temporary arrangements in administration are flourishing like an industry. Many moles in bureaucracy with open support from their political masters are out to establish their kith and kin at the cost of hundreds of aspirants. It seems as if eligibility, merit and set rules are no criterion but, only the relationship and proximity to power are the only virtues for excellence and promotion. Such situation of doubtful flexibility, favoritism and undue patronage in almost all spheres of life is an eye-opener both for the leadership of present political dispensation and the people at large, as well.

Good governance is not only correcting financial health of the state; making people and particularly the state employees accountable, but it has to be a just, honest and impartial government. Nepotism and corruption are the biggest monsters that eat most vitals of our values and resources, breed inefficiency and are symptomatic of bad governance. Sacking few corrupt employees and boasting about otherwise defunct institutions curbing graft can be good publicity stunts but not the real people friendly measures.

The recent adverse statements of head of state accountability commission and one of its members in public speak volumes about both previous and present governments. In the absence of element of impartiality within the governance what is the difference between the earlier system of NC, Congress coalition and the present arrangement where people had pinned their high hopes? The previous alliance at the end of its term tried to woo every section of society and resorted to every populist ploy like abolition of new recruitment policy and enhancement of retirement age of state employees, but during their term most of the time they did not do much about curbing corruption and nepotism and failed. And this was and is an eye-opener for all of us.