Editorial: The rot within

Srinagar: A former IAS officer, Sonali Kumar who along with his husband-who also happened to be an IAS officer of the JK cadre who too had a tumultuous stint in the state, has now come forward and written a book giving us an insight of how the ruling class in collaboration with the bureaucracy is holding the state at ransom. 

The revelations of the book ‘Unmasking Kashmir’ by Sonali Kumar, is an extremely racy book which is full of juicier scandals and provides in-depth details of the rot the whole administrative system in the state is infected with.

The revelations by the IAS officer can be countered by the fact that they have come at a time when she and even her husband have retired from the service and unlike their former colleagues have not been able to find rehabilitation by the government or some other forces, that may be.

So to counter the book and its disclosures on the premise that the allegations are nothing but a vendetta against the government holds water. Similarly, the questions as to why she kept mum all these years when she served the state for almost three decades and did not bother to bring these issues to the fore, also stands out against her.  

These arguments are relevant and can be used anytime to counter the allegations leveled by the former officer. But all said and done-whatever allegations have been leveled by the officer need no proof. These issues have been discussed in the corridors of the civil secretariat and the closed door gatherings that happen in government guest houses and bungalows. 

These facts that have been brought to the fore by the officer have proved once again that the state of Jammu and Kashmir has been mismanaged by the vested interests who have not allowed an establishment of a system which is transparent and accountable.

Various cases that the officer has raised in the book are so serious that one wonders what has New Delhi’s role been vis-à-vis these misadventures and how has the federal government been so oblivious to the plight of the common man in the state.  

A former Chief Secretary holding meetings of separatists at his official residence and worse enough, a former Chief Ministers divorced wife and kids enjoying on the state exchequers contribution are some of the facts that really should put the ruling class to shame.

The revelations should not be taken easily but a serious approach is needed to set the state on a correction path. The alienation factor that everyone is talking about in the state is the creation of the happenings like these where the state’s ruling class has taken the state and its administrative machinery as if they have inherited it for their personal gains.

The governments over the years have been acting like this and even the present dispensation too has followed its predecessors. After all exploiting the state exchequer and the state administration has been a legacy which the ruling class has followed with unfathomable discipline.

 It’s high time that New Delhi takes a call on this. The time to set the record straight should begin now. Otherwise tomorrow can prove to be very late.




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