On the Abysmal Conditions and the New Normal in Kashmir

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Dr. Shahid Amin Trali

We have the children of conflict who are always at the receiving end. Our future seems to be in dark when our children are not given good opportunities today to develop and groomed in a better environment. No one seems to be really caring for our promising children of Jammu and Kashmir. Our students are pursuing their studies with greater difficulties. But the system is corrupt when we don’t have better infrastructure and proper policies in place. We live in an Internet age and the world is claiming to be ready for its 5G revolution. But we are deprived of proper internet services in the valley. When it comes to our valley, every ‘G’ is missing and the tardiness of internet makes people suffer. The bad internet service is giving more troubles to the businesses and the students. Now , we have online filling of application forms as a requirement for many jobs but our valley students can’t apply on time. It aggravates the unemployment rates further and shatters dreams of many deserving candidates.
Our administration poses a bad look when it comes to justify with its concerned services. Whenever there is a testing time for them, they are totally a mess. During my three months long recent stay in the valley, most part of the valley was kept under darkness. It is really surprising to see outside states having 24 / 7 days access to electricity. But the valley as a good producer of energy on average is having just 4-5 / 7days access to power. We have no rights to use our own power. But, there is no leniency given in our electricity charges and, in , fact the rates have taken a big hike. Due to global climatic changes, snow fall is now rare in the valley. (But, when God became kind, it exposed many)
The early snow fall revealed the lack of preparations in the valley. Neither we were prepared nor do we try to learn to be proactive for any kind of weather vagaries. The corrupted system in our valley has made us badly suffer. When the board exams were announced recently, the timings were too harsh and unrealistic for our students. Some of the exam centers used candle lights and some centers took shelter in a mosque due to poor arrangements. Our schools don’t have proper arrangements.
It is the people who form a good society. But our lax approach being a part of the society has turned this state into more gloom. Our labors, businesses and employees have become too casual in their approach. We have lost our strength and high spirit. Now everyone means business and self centric approach is prevailing at its peak. Our Kashmiris have lost almost all good trades. There are better alternatives available. Nowadays, we prefer outside workforce for every work and there are reasons for analysis and high introspection.
Jammu and Kashmir has always been very unfortunate to be dogged by destructive politics. Our administrators have a vision for our Kashmir in terms of opening of new cinemas and thus improve our economy. But they don’t seem to have an eye on the essentials of a common man. Cinema is a luxury which is hardly required in the valley and in fact everyone carries a mini cinema in his pocket. The basic amenities are missing in the valley and a common man is at the suffering end. On one day big scams are being exposed and the next day they turn into strong forces of development.
Ah, it seems that it is one’s honesty that gets defeated in the end. Yes, my words refer to the brave traffic officer IPS Basanth Rath’s transfer, which was a suspicious one. The transfer of an officer is never a good move. The great officer commanded huge respect and a fan following for his selfless and honest services. While travelling in a passenger vehicle people were murmuring “honesty has lost its sheen now” and there is bad politics behind his transfer……Just asking “If we are really fighting for any injustice in our valley why we have not shown any strong resentment against this transfer to teach a lesson to the dishonest ones”?
Our policy makers act clueless. Our contractual teachers and the ones accommodated under different schemes are always suffering. They are suffering just because they have accepted their fate some day when they were selected on a merit basis. It is a pity that the employees work with same nature of job and job descriptions but some get access to every luxury in life while the others working under schemes receive peanuts. The height is that the contractual teachers recently were informed that from next day they don’t need to join their duties and their contract was over. The teachers who were employed on one day turned unemployed the very next day. It was like a life for them met with a sudden death. With such a gloomy picture and misery all around, there is only a hope left for our valley now. Let’s pray for a better, safer and progressive Kashmir!

The author is an Assistant Professor at ITM University, Gwalior. He can be reached at: dr.shahidamin15@gmail.com