On December 12, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said that Article 370 — which was revoked by the Centre in August 2019 — gave only secessionism, terrorism, nepotism and large scale corruption to the erstwhile state. He stated this during his address at the release of the docu-drama ‘Ehad-e-Kashmir’, produced by JK News Today. The event was held at the Convention Centre.
The LG said that the people of J&K always wanted peace, but Pakistan’s exported terrorism and its sympathizers tried to destroy this paradise on earth.
Decline In Terror Acts
Since August 5, 2019, Kashmir has seen a gradual decline in the seccessionist activities. Jamaat i islami was banned prior to the abrogation of Article 370. Religious radicalization has reduced, but it has not come down to zero.
Significantly, terrorism too has come down in Kashmir. Less number of youth are picking up the gun.
Nepotism and corruption flourished on the behest of the previous regime leaders. This has also gone down. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are feeling a sigh of relief. Their works in the government offices are done with much greater ease now.
The officers are conducting themselves in a responsible manner. The
common masses are cooperating with the administration in reshaping local governance.
People Want End To Corruption, Nepotism
As far as the corruption is concerned, the Anti Corruption Bureau has successfully trapped many corrupt officers. The Anti corruption Bureau is working hard to end corruption in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
From one side the common masses are giving positive responses towards the steps initiated by Administration to end corruption and nepotism. On the other side, the same people are scared too.
The reason is that the people earlier believed that the big sharks of corruption will be caught soon. But now they are observing that the Administration has not maintained strictness in netting the big sharks. As a result, many high profile but corrupt businessmen, political leaders, bureaucrats and others have been left off the hook. The common masses now feel that the officers, leaders and businessmen who are the root cause of corruption in the valley won’t be harmed.
The Talk At Social Gatherings
In social gatherings, people talk more about the positives of the present administration. But at the end of the talks, they came to conclusion that even though government has got success in curbing corruption, it has not been able to reach to big fish.
Those who have been in the corruption since decades are still thriving. No one dares to utter a word to them. The common masses feel that perhaps cases of land grabbing are registered only against people from poor and lower middle class background. The authorities do not initiate any action against the big encroachers or defaulters.
The common masses feel that the government has reached to every nook and corner of the UT to identify and demarcate the state owned lands. But they cannot figure out why the government has not reached those big sharks about whom everybody is aware.
The common masses believe that the intelligence agencies are fully aware of the land grabbing records of the former political elites, businessmen and bureaucrats. Because of this, it would have been an easy task for the government to retrieve the land. They feel that it is indeed ironical that the government reaches to far flung areas and leaves the elites. The common masses feel that it is a kind of injustice if the authorities only harass the poor people and leave the royals.
Fear Of Losing Ancestral Property
Some days back I had been to a remote village in Kokernag area of Anantnag district. The people of the area in their regular conversation said to one another that the time is coming near when we will have to leave our ancestral properties.
I jumped into the discussion and asked them what is the matter? A gentleman about 60 years old said, “We had been dwelling at this place from more than 100 years. Many times the revenue officials visited this place and measured our land. They assured us about the registration of our lands. We have some documents of our lands but the nature of the land has never been transferred.
After the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories, our fears of losing our ancestral properties have multiplied.
After abrogation, initially we saw tough action against the former political leaders. They were kept under detention. At that time we believed that only the big sharks are at the stake and not we people. But the time passed on. The big sharks are still big and are still moving around fearlessly even though they have grabbed
thousands of kanals of state owned lands. Common folks like us are continuously living in fear of land resumption or demolition,” he said.
Corruption In Recruitment Processes
Same is case for corruption. If the UT Administration had dealt with corruption with an iron hand, the youths would have been happy. They would have thanked the Administration for the strict action and for recruitment based on merit.
But corruption has marred the recruitment process. Corruption has not been uprooted. As a result, thousands of the youths have lost hope.
Earlier the backdoor entries in the departments had ruined the careers of aspiring youth. These days the corrupt officials at high positions are playing with the future of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
Low level officers are being trapped and caught red handed by the Anti Corruption Bureau. But the officers at high positions are not feeling any heat. There are many corrupt officers who are carrying on with their old patterns with impunity. They are dealing with transfers and postings, and making big money. Why does an officer pay for being posted to a lucrative position? Because then he will also start making big money. In this way corruption is flourishing unhindered.
Old Patterns Of Corruption Are Continuing
Early this morning one of my distant relatives visited my house. During conversation, he said that his son had recently got selected as a Class 4 employee in the Education Department. He was deputed in a school at Purmandal, Jammu. He said that we had to work hard to bring him to the Civil Secretariat at Jammu. Now he is working at the office of Secretary Education. Now he will be in the company of the Secretariat officials. From the talk of my relative, I could easily make out that the family is thrilled at the prospect that this man will make good money in the Education Department by taking bribe.
People have high hopes from the UT Administration. The government must take suitable steps against all corrupt officials. The administration should take harsh steps against elite land sharks and land grabbing mafia. The people have shown trust in the LG Administration. They have hopes that the LG Administration will finally rid our society of corruption.