Superfluous Exercise

Superfluous Exercise
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The shift of the administration from Jammu to Kashmir, anachronistically known as the “Durbar move” is in the process of happening. The shift, harking back to the times when Jammu and Kashmir was ruled by hereditary rulers, is not only a misnomer but also is defined by a disconnect with modern times. Moreover, the so called “Durbar move” is in the nature of a financial burden. But, regardless, the practice persists. This is perhaps because of legacy issues and a kind of a quasi functionalism that binds the two components of the region together. From a rather philosophic point of view, this “logic” might be fine but, in practice, the Durbar move entails costs and prices, both tangible and intangible. One major price is the governance deficit that each constituent of Jammu and Kashmir has to bear and endure when the move happens. A skeletal framework of administration is kept in place for the constituent from where the move happens, either in summer or winter. It stands to reason that this rudimentary framework cannot suffice and cope up with the escalating and burgeoning demands and needs of the people. Given all this and the anachronistic nature of the move itself, the practice’s rationale becomes rather irrelevant. New and fresh alternatives must be devised that actually are in tune with the times and neither imply or entail costs nor make the people suffer for want of responsive measures, on account of the administration. In this day and age, where the Information, Communication Technologies (ICT’s) run the roost, it might be prudent to employ these technologies and techniques thereof, as a potential substitute for the move. This can obviate the need for an actual transfer of men, machinery and physical movement of people, to a large extent. But, this leaves open the question of the functional aspect of the move wherein people from both constituents of the state interact with each other, perhaps the only arena where they actually share space(s) and so on. This void can be filled by commercial and trade links between Jammu and Kashmir. In fact, these links might also serve as a deterrent or even antidote to the deep splits and polarization in and of Jammu and Kashmir. Let, therefore, rationality and prudence take over in terms of the significance and utility of the move and let not politics thwart the potential exercise. The time for this might be now!

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