Wind Talkers

The only individual in Jammu and Kashmir’s who-is-who catalogue making a little bit of news these days by referring to the Kashmir floods of last year appears to be the state’s Governor. Rather than make a song-and-dance about Kashmir’s perennial financial crunch, the Governor is reported to have gone and made New Delhi cough up over Rs 1100 crore, for starters, and coaxed intricately-worded promises of more, on heads not necessarily exclusively to do with post-flood reconstruction. The official statement on the Governor’s meeting with a Union Minister in New Delhi could have been recommended as essential reading for students aspiring to serve in governments, if only in the capacity, on the one hand, of keeping the public guessing, and on the other, of inciting those so inclined to take an advanced course in the science of decryption, which, in the terminology of old-timers, has a lot of scope, for survival.

The complications introduced, in enterprises of great pith and mo(ve)ment , largely by the sangh parivar’s pronouncements and rapid electoral advances elsewhere, may have sent a ripple of excitement in some quarters and caused dismay in others, but are unlikely to salvage political fortunes pegged to speculatory prospecting,  wishy one day and washy the next. Outlooks are often amenable to prospects of gain, but seldom has the graph of sanguinary exploits put so many at the mercy of so few.

Reminders of assurances given at the starting block can do no one much good at this late stage, but evocative phrases, not to speak of numbers, and the confidence behind them, must definitely have started to ring hollow in the light of events shaping up closer to home. The wise course, as is always the right course in most such cases, is course correction, which in the present instance requires to be a roll-back. But this is an across-the-board onus, hues wise, and may be a little unpalatable in quarters more used to under-the-table activity often involving undertakings of the literal kind at subsequent stages. But nevertheless an imperative when issues at stake concern keeping necks….above the water, let us say.