RIP Meritocracy?

RIP Meritocracy?
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One of the outstanding and defining features of a fair and a decent society is how meritocratic it is. The dictionary defines meritocracy, as “a system or condition where progress, development and growth is predicated upon talent and ability than class privileges or wealth”. Class privilege here does not merely mean the privileged accruing to traditional and conventional classes; it is a broader rubric and term which can mean any privileged class. In the context of Kashmir, it best refers to those who have access to political power and privilege thereof. The misuse of access to this power and privilege was eloquently revealed in Kashmir after an appointment of a person, through rather dubious practices came to light. In reality, this appointment might just be the tip of an iceberg for appointments to positions in and across the administration appear to be contingent on the connections of a job seeker or applicant. This condition is morally and ethically wrong for intrinsic and inherent reasons. But, it also has practical consequences. These pertain largely to unfairness and thereby the diminishing and dwindling opportunities for the deserving young. It stands to reason that the opportunity structure in Kashmir is already narrow and constricted. There is, on account of this, strongly fierce competition for what is actually available. Obiter dictum, this competition is set to grow more intense against the backdrop of demographic pressures and a growing youth bulge. But, if and when the influential and the privileged are “selected” through dubious and unethical practices at the expense of the deserving young, it would mean short changing these eligible youth of a future. There is also a broader point or even dynamic involved here. Declining or disappearing meritocracy can only breed and foster corruption at all levels. The scourge of corruption , as is well known, eats into the vitals of society and hollows it out. It also breeds incompetence. It then behooves powers that be to not only to take recourse to so called probes or committee led investigations which , in this part of the world, lead to nowhere, but introspect and give short shrift to dubious, unethical and corrupt hiring practices. At stake is the future of the deserving and eligible young and even posterity. A fair, decent and respectable and equal society is owed to them.

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