By Kaiser Gazi
It has been over a month now since Mufti Muhammad Sayeed left for his heavenly abode. Just a few days after that the state was put under Governor’s rule, a phenomenon that is not uncommon in this part of the planet. Right from that moment, the people have been fervently discussing the possibilities of government formation and the enthusiasm refuses to die down. It looks like the people are highly concerned about the political uncertainty of the state. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has his own special expert analysis about the current political discourse! You can’t even think of escaping the unsolicited lectures regarding the issue, be it in a bus, at a shop or in a Masjid hamam.
Seeing the religiosity with which people are indulging in the issue, one would never give a second thought as to people’s sense of the importance of government formation in this part of the world. This, however, is only one side of the coin. Unfortunately, things here aren’t as straight as they look. The story has a sadistic part too.
It is due to the pure and innocent nature of Kashmiris that they draw so much fun from gossiping; a talent innate to every Kashmiri perhaps. Otherwise, it hardly matters who rules and when. We, as the sufferers, know only one thing and that is suffering, irrespective of the hands in action against us. For us, the days of government are no different than the days of no-government. Whether there is a change or not, our state always remains constant. Our story today is no different from that of yesterday. We faced dark nights yesterday, we face them today. We trod dilapidated roads yesterday, so do we today. We were asked to prove our identities by outsiders yesterday and we continue to pronounce our names with our I-cards held in our hands even today.
Yesterday, we couldn’t forward our file from one table to another, adjacent, table without having to do some under-the-table actions, so is the case today. Yesterday, our highly qualified unemployed youth would get a daily dose of rebuke at dinner, so they dine the same way today. Today, our private schools continue to fleece gullible parents, along with the economically vulnerable teachers they employ, with the same impunity they enjoyed yesterday. Today, our saviours of the nation (read doctors) continue to maintain their focus on their savings rather than saving lives as brazenly as yesterday.
The case may, however, find some exceptions. The heat faced by our builders of the nation (read government teachers) from the education ministry is surely more intense today than it was yesterday. The change here has really occurred for the good. We admire the endeavours of the government on this front and are highly hopeful of witnessing a radical change in this most important public sector.
But, in fact, for us commoners, nothing really matters and probably never will. It is better for us if we utilise our energy for some reasonable causes and stop worrying about things which aren’t in our control.
P.S. The views I have expressed are based on my definition of the government, which, in short, means welfare of the common people on all fronts. However, if government means welfare of the babus and the VIPs, then I apologise.
—The writer is a school teacher in Pulwama