Since decades, Kashmir valley commonly known as the valley of Sufi’s and Saints remains under the innovative ways of corruption. Every time this ominous monster not only creates hurdles for common people but also undermines the delivery of good governance, its accountability, alienability and transparency. Unfortunately, the term corruption is diverse and omnipresent across the Kashmir valley. More importantly, one could say that it is sowing the seeds and strength’s the deep “political alienation” and “political distrust” among the people and in general leaves a society bankrupted, powerless and a place of many ills and evils.
Corruption is an illegal and misuse of power especially by the elites and so called the bureaucrats who are enjoying sweeping of powers in different government institutions in Kashmir. Nowadays, in Kashmir, the word corruption and favoritism has become a common and a familiar language. Apart from bureaucracy it has also a large presence in our education department including colleges and universities, banks and in other government and private sectors of the region.
Corruption in Kashmir is not following the ways by through hard cash or worth cheques but it also follows the ill form of Safarish , phone calls from politicians, bureaucrats and many others who holds power or wealth either directly or indirectly. Perhaps it would not be wrong to say that we the people of Kashmir have given a clean chit to nepotism through many forms, even people here accepted it on social and moral grounds. Some viewed it as their honor and some as power. Pertinent to mention here that the world history bears the witness that how the great empires and dynasties of the world got destroyed and dismemberment because of the height of corruption. In Kashmir it follows the same way; meritorious guys are being deprived from their posts either during JKPSC or JKSSB recruitments, rather the posts are being fulfilled before advertisement through phone calls or by other means; later these exams and the interviews for the said posts are only held to fulfill the moral grounds of the advertisement. As Daily Greater Kashmir reported “The Centre for Media Studies (CMS) in its annual corruption study- CMS India Corruption Study 2017 has placed Jammu and Kashmir among most corrupted states along with other states of India”.
Indeed, the height of nepotism in Kashmir have left a profound impact on the intellectual, competent and dedicated youth of the valley, especially the ones who are being deprived and denied everywhere despite being highly meritorious in every form. Unfortunately it is the incompetent system and the absence of anti – corruption departments in Kashmir which promotes rampant corruption through government officials who frequently use their government chairs for bribe and nepotism. Unfortunately we live in a state where a crisp note can take you anywhere and get you out of anything.
There are many such examples where high profile politicians, bureaucrats and famed persons of Kashmir valley where caught red handed but nobody was brought to task for their faults and flaws, you know why? because they have gained two magic’s one is money and the other is Power for example the big cricket scandal which was exposed in Kashmir few years back headed by former chief Minister Farooq Abdullaha and many others went unnoticed and unpunished, The corruption case of Peerzada Mohammad Syed when he was stepped down as the state congress president in 2008 and the case of many other politicians and bureaucrat’s as usual all went unnoticed only hijacked few days in news headlines but at the end nobody talked about them.
However, as nepotism in Kashmir became common, hopes are getting disappeared and the more misery prevails. Thus, it’s high time for anti-corruption agencies and other means through which this menace can be tackled and mitigated. It is time for state government in particular and common masses of the state in general to raise serious efforts and best improvements in administration against this ill thing. I personally think that the hard punishments and the strong judiciary will create a fear among those who became habitual of it. Moreover, it is time we people of the state seriously start work against this injustice which is being done in each passing day with the dedicated and competent youth of Kashmir. Let us pledge to demolish and expunge the heights of nepotism and favoritism in Kashmir and restore the lost charm and glory of “Vadi – e – Kashmir “. Indeed, it is duty of every citizen of the state to raise voice against the heights of corruption and activate others as well against it.
(Javeed Bin Nabi a student of International Relations at Islamic University of Sciences & Technology –IUST Awantipora writes on socio-political issues concerning Jammu & Kashmir. His views are personal)