The employees’ unrest

Whatever the situation, government employees are the ultimate victims!

Present unrest in Kashmir has now been completely overtaken by ego and stubbornness on all sides. There seems to be no breakthrough at any level and stake holders are engaged in exploring the ‘fatigue factor’. And in this experimentation of testing each other’s nerves only common-man is suffering badly. In this game of nerves state being a systematized entity with comprehensive powers has huge responsibility to safeguard the interests of its subjects in accordance to the existing laws. And in this structure of authority government can run its writ only through its vast network of employees, ranging from powerful bureaucrats to humble field workers. Collectively, all government employees are ultimate instruments of governance. So, rightly speaking no government can run without the active participation or support of employees. The police and law enforcing agencies too are integral part of government employees as a whole.Present unrest has passed through many critical phases and has touched the skin of almost all; government employees as part of government and as an integral part of the society also suffered a lot during this period. Government employees, particularly the field functionaries, middle rung officers and workers down below were most vulnerable to all sorts of pressures stemming out of this unrest. No doubt, government employees born on the establishments of the government, duly paid for their services are governed by certain conduct rules, and cannot go or indulge in any activity that goes against the (just) policies of the government. However, government employees too are human beings and important part of the society; they cannot ignore their justified role towards the society and the social system. Every employee as an individual has a personality of his own with individual thinking that, at occasions, has to blend with the collective thinking of the society with certain compromises and the accommodations in the best interest of the people. So a government employee cannot be expected to behave in isolation, ignoring his or her responsibility towards his society or commune. This duel role of a government employee as an important limb of the government and an integral part of the society puts every government employee at crossroads at many occasions of his or her career. With an exception of hypocrites and sycophants every government employee at some occasions of his career faces a tough choice between duty and call of his inner voice or conscience. And only the God fearing, straightforward and responsible people make the right choice.

During these three months of unrest most of the government employees decided and delivered what their call of duty demanded and maintained a fine balance between their duty and conscience. Facing all odds from all directions, employees tried to do justice with their duty and profession. In the whole valley medical fraternity braving violence, intimidation and even bullets did an exemplary job. Electricity people, public health engineering workers, and other emergency services staff stood by their commitment towards their duty. Poor employees facing hostilities without the luxury of personal security, fortified accommodation and escorted transportation unlike their top ranking superiors, made to their work places and provided their services to the best of their ability. As I said employees are eyes, ears and limbs of administration and no government can run its any amount of writ without active support and participation of employees. So, if government managed its sail during these three months it was possible only because of those poor drivers, peons, clerks, field officers and field workers who would at occasions smuggle out their official dress in carry bags while coming out of their houses during unrest. They would walk miles and miles on foot and report to duty well in time.

Surprisingly, after all these hardships, if employees are put to harsher and stringent tests of conduct rules (which otherwise, are subservient to fundamental rights and most importantly to natural justice) or a section of their colleagues are put to termination (virtual death for a poor employee) without due process of law, using arbitrary rules of denying opportunity to hear, then I am afraid this dispensation has to revisit its potential of empathy and sympathy towards its own people.  Kashmir government employees have not faced this proverbial ‘devil and the deep sea’ situation first time. Earlier, at several occasions the same ‘Agni test’ was there, but that time it was not people’s government.