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.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Only State Where Bureaucrats Routinely Ignore Politicians

This is no surprise given that J&K is a state where accountability is nonexistent

J&K Babus do Not Care Much About Legislative sanctity, Says Report

Syed Junaid Hashmi (Early Times)

Jammu: Putting a question mark on sanctity of Legislative Assembly, committee on Government assurances has virtually condemned the State Bureaucracy for showing causal approach towards the fulfillment of commitments made on the floor of the House by Ministers of the ruling coalition.

The report for the year 2011-12 maintains that customary approach of State Government towards assurances given on the floor of house is awful and contrary to significance that Legislative Assembly holds for the legislators and even commoners. The report blatantly puts the entire blame on the IAS and KAS officers serving at various positions in the State Government.

It has stressed that none of the departments in State Government show enthusiasm towards addressing the concern of legislators on various issues for which the ministers might have assured action on the floor of the house. It further says that response of State Government to some very sensitive issues raised by public representatives has been unsatisfactory.

Report goes on to pronounce that Babus in civil secretariat overlook the communications of the Assembly Secretariat in respect of the Action Taken Reports (ATRs) and the process of implementation. Committee maintains that in utter disregard and disrespect towards the sanctity of the State Legislature, Government departments hardly takes care of the communications made by the Assembly Secretariat regarding the assurances given on the floor of the House by the Minister concerned.

Committee has termed the behaviour of various departments of the State Government as disregard towards the spirit of democratic institutions and the Parliamentary system. Making a mention of the statement 'Information is being collected and will be furnished during the current session', committee has said that this information is never furnished. Such is the callousness that even after the adjournment of the successive sessions, the information is neither collected nor provided.

The committee does take note of promises fulfilled by the State Government but says that when the same is done, it serves no purpose. Showing its disgust towards the reluctant attitude of Babus of the Civil Secretariat to share information with public representatives, committee says that seeking information about issues raised by erstwhile representatives of the people is sheer wastage of time and energy.

Committee has recommended that all such assurances which have lost their validity with the passage of time should be dropped. Committee has also requested the Assembly Secretariat to convey its displeasure to the Government for its casual approach towards the assurances given by it on the floor of the House. The committee has recommended that departmental representatives be directed to watch proceedings of the house and take note of the deliberations on various occasions.

It says that State Government is expected to respond within a stipulated period of time after the departmental representative is expected to have informed the State Government regarding the assurances made by it on the floor of the house. But it maintains that departmental representatives are always found waiting for the required communication from the Assembly Secretariat.

The record of the assurances clearly indicates that if they are not kept, they become obsolete with time and three years down the line, another committee would suggest that the same has lost validity with time and deserve to be dropped.

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