The Portrait of a City Unattended

The Portrait of a City Unattended
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Dr Bilal Ahmad Dar

In Kashmir of the fast changing scenario, the youth have a crucial role to play. The demands for change are getting shriller by the day. There is frustration and anger amongst large section of youth. Indeed , the cross currents created by the conflicting waves of change make the youth believe that now is the right moment to replace the obsolete values and notions and metamorphose the existing political structure in the state. There is expression of futility and absolute distrust in the political system, of the desire for change but not knowing how to bring about the change. Development in Kashmir has not happened in four decades because there has been no proper planning and no prioritization. Much has been left undone and unresolved hindering peace and development in Jammu and Kashmir. Inter State and international border matters are unresolved agenda.
Issues like unemployment, rising prices of essential commodities, food and water, security, erratic power cuts, and the disabled, environmental danger continue unabated. Urban poverty is growing and with it the mess that ghettoes without any basic amenities are on display. Challenges of urban life loom large in the shape of housing, health, education, living standards, and jobs and so on. The administration finds itself increasingly unable to address all these problems.
Srinagar city is growing beyond the urban plan. Building construction, drainage, sanitation etc are in a deep mess. Kashmir presents a gloomy picture. This arouses a feeling of despair and leave young people wondering what Kashmir would be like; unfortunately, we hardly had any alternative. One must realize the implications of the extent of corruption that have come to occupy so much space in our society. It affects everything. Not merely that it has the menacing proportion of threatening the very foundations of our society. Corruption in public life is but one manifestation of mal-governance. So often, and especially in these trying times when politics and governance are floundering, political instability, resulting has become a brand name for the state. The young are restless and disillusioned. The level of infrastructural development in the state is almost negligible. It is at the lowest rung of the infrastructure index ladder.
People must wake up to the reality that demographic changes with a large number of youth as voters, growing urbanization, rising middle classes and vibrant media, social networking through the internet are bringing about significant though not so visible changes in the political landscape. Unless they shift their tactics and do not come out of the smugness of their past glory, all are in for nasty surprises.

—The author holds a PhD from Jaipur National University. He can be reached at: darbilalsultan@gmail.com