Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Is Work Culture in J&K Government Possible?

Rising Kashmir sought comments from common people whether the work culture in government offices has shown any signs of improvement. Most of them said ‘No’.

Has work culture in government offices improved?

Attaullah Guroo, Businessman: I don’t think the work culture in government offices has improved. Instead it is deteriorating with each passing day, causing grave hardships for the commoners. I am a businessman and have no direct dealing with the government offices but still at times when I visit the offices, I feel ashamed of the work culture prevalent there. The corruption is rampant in the government offices and this hampers the work in offices and ultimately people suffer.

Khalid Omar, Student: In Kashmir, nothing has changed. Infact, the work culture in government offices has worsened. Senior officers in most of the government offices are corrupt and instead of helping people, they are bent on looting the people, who visit their offices. There is a conception among the officers and clerks that they are not accountable to anybody and as such they don’t do the work that they are supposed to do in their offices.

Mansoor Ali, KU Student: The tall claims of improvement in work culture in government offices by chief minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad is proving to be a hoax. In government offices, poor people are crushed by the officials and forced to pay through their nose. The poor people are the worst hit as the officials and clerks refuse to do their work unless they grease their palms. The work culture in almost all the government offices has been deteriorating. The government should conduct surprise checks to monitor the working culture in the offices.

Abrar Ahmad, Businessman: Unfortunately, on the pretext of militancy, the officials and clerks in government offices have not been carrying out their work satisfactorily. The government employees are enjoying unending holidays in the names of strikes and bandhs and this has made them lazy. These bandhs and strikes have impacted the work culture in government offices. Besides, the officials and clerks are not accountable to anybody and as such continue to do things on their own liking.

Altaf Hussain, Shopkeeper: Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad claims that work culture in government offices has improved and officials are helping people is a hoax. After the coalition government took over reigns of state, no improvement has taken in the work culture in government offices. This is because of the reason that we are born corrupt. The officials and clerks in offices have no sense of responsibility and are accountable neither to their conscience nor to their bosses. They have only one concern and that is money. People visiting the government offices are being treated badly and harshly by the officials.

Zahid Lone, Student: Work culture has only improved in Secretariat. In other government offices, the work culture has been deteriorating, much to the concern of common man. It takes days for a commoner to get his file moved from one table to another in any government office. A lot of effort and monitoring is needed to improve the work culture in the government offices. The government has to act forcefully to make the officers and clerks work.

Javaid Chopan, Labourer: The government employees sit idle in the offices and under such a situation, the work culture cannot improve. The government employees have become lazy and don’t perform their duties with sincerity and dedication. We, Kashmiris are so lazy and selfish that we don’t take our responsibilities seriously. We go on destroying the public property for our vested interests. Government has to play a vital role in improving the work culture in offices. This can be done by setting up special squads to conduct surprise checks of offices.

Nasrullah Ahmad, Student: Mohammad Javaid Chopan/ Labourer.In my opinion, there is definitely a change in work culture in government offices. The system is still in a vague state. I think conditions will transcend only when the officials and men in government offices realize their responsibility towards the people and do their work fairly. In my opinion, the uncanny nature of the higher authorities is responsible for the rise in the corruption levels in state. The government should devise a mechanism to monitor the activities of its officials and men.

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