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, June 19, 2012

A DNA Malignancy Called Corruption

Bashir speaks for many who wonder if it is a malady which has been left untreated for so long that it is incurable now

(Mr. Bashir A. Bashir, 62, was born in Srinagar. He passed his higher secondary schooling from Baghidilawar Khan, and  graduated from the Gandhi Memorial College Srinagar. Mr. Bashir completed his Law Graduation from the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in Urdu. and received his M.A in Political Science from the University of Kashmir. He joined the Bar in 1973 and was appointed as Additional Advocate General of the J&K in 1984 till 1986. He is a practicing advocate of J&K High Court and has been recently designated as the Senior Advocate by the Hon'ble High Court of J&K.)

We The Corrupt

Corruption has rendered us rootless and lawlessness has spoilt our society. In a democratic setup people are governed by the rule of law. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before law and equal protection of laws irrespective of any distinction of creed, cast, color, gender, religion etc but these are only golden words written in the pious book of constitution. The reality is different.

We have an Anti-corruption Organization called Vigilance Commission which aims at eradicating corruption. Has the said Department come to the expectations of the people. The answer will be a simple no, then what for is the department. Even some people will suggest winding up the department. Some percentage of the corruption might come down. The tragedy is that most corrupt are the most vocal in public gatherings against corruption knowing it fully well that it is all ritual without any seriousness or any accountable consequences. Rates of mutton are increasing every now and then and the government fixed rates are never adhered to. 

Take the instance of Food Adulteration. People are being supplied adulterated food and all kinds of eatables including fruits even. But does any body bother about the quality and safety of the items we take for ourselves and our children. Do we know what do we feed them with? Have we been able to convict even a small trader in this field not to talk of any big fish who enjoy all the patronage of the powers-that-be. Where then is the law of the land. Corruption is at such a peak that one of my clients told me he had to pay Rs.17,000/- for getting a dispatch number and date written on a government letter. Posts are apparently filled by recruitment process but behind the curtain the rule book is `pay and get it'. We have drug Controller to check the spurious drugs and the costs of the drugs but we know the drugs are spurious and sold in this state with impunity. Is any body bothered even in the least. I purchased few months before a product. The MRP written on each bottle is Rs.6030/- but one bottle was sold for Rs.2350/- and the other for Rs.2500/ and the third one for Rs.2700/. This all happened within a span of five days and all three cash memos are with me. For any innocent person MRP written of Rs.6030/could be easily charged when the actual price is much less than half of it.

That is the extent of corruption we all seeped into. The question is who will pull us back. Nothing less than a miracle. The lawlessness is at its worst and stringent measures are required to meet it. If we let it continue like this, we will be heading for a worse tomorrow.

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