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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Then it was Charisma, Today it is Corruption

Isaar laments about degenerating societal values

We the Corrupt ----- and We Don't See Anything Wrong in it


I was working as contractual lecturer at +2 level. For at least four months our wages were withheld and the reason was that we had not greased the palms of the concerned official hence the punishment. Though we tried our level best to resolve the issue with the office, we couldn’t make any progress. Meanwhile the then Chief Education Officer paid a surprise visit to the institution I was working in. I found myself lucky enough to register a complaint before him as he was the boss of the boss I was the subordinate of. I was shocked. The officer bluntly told me rather rebuked me for not being in good rapport with the office. “Look my dear I can reduce the corruption but cannot do away with it” he said without any sign of remorse on his face. I took the said officer as an exception then.

More than ten years have passed since, however, things seem happening the same way as it did then before me. The matter is not of some petty currency notes but the grave concern is that today’s officers have lost their credibility. Some people with vested interests get their own cake baked at the cost of their character. Somewhere it happens with mutual understanding between the officer and his subordinates and somewhere it is manipulated by the wily officials of the officer’s office. Such cases are rare where only the officer’s commandments are followed. Factually the officers with heavy metal are missing as do the stars from the sky while the sun shines.

There was a time when an officer was considered to be next to God not because he had some more constitutional rights than his subordinates and common people but because he was a the chosen one and the best among the lot. He used to be the person who was thought to be accountable before his conscience. The then officer was man of charisma. His stature was of a height that could hardly be measured by a common man. His main goal was public service which at times he would undertake at his own costs. The then officers never gave sermons of honesty or punctuality to the people who worked under their seal and signature. They simply practiced with great deal of conviction what they wanted others to do.

April will be over but the schools are still witnessing chaos and confusion as the academic train is still to get on rails. Every now and then transfer orders of teachers emerge from nowhere. Again the train gets derailed. Not only this, teachers are retransferred even in less than a week’s time without genuine grounds. Somewhere politics plays its card and somewhere it is due to some polite hellos. The three months winter break proved to be insufficient for the authorities to settle down the less important issue like transfer of teachers and now when the teachers are supposed to be in the classrooms, they are being whisked away and fixed somewhere else like electric poles. Wasn’t the long winter break a golden period for making these transfers and organising various training and capacity building programmes? Why now when it becomes irritative even for a lay man who hardly has anything to do with the academics. Shall we call it inefficiency of the authorities or God forbid all this is a part of some conspiracy. Whatever the case may be the sufferer is that little angel whose innocence is highly being exploited. That little kid knows little how his career is being chocked in the name of administration.

Let us all, as teachers, spare some time and visit our conscience and see how murky it is. Let’s renew our conviction and try to throw out all the dirt of greed and haughtiness that has accumulated in our remorseless hearts. Let’s have some patience. Let's learn to be humble and honest.

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