September 20, 2020

Reachout has not to be selective

While the attempt of  Lt Governor Manoj Sinha  to reach out to people in the deadliest conflict area like Pulwama in South Kashmir  few days ago is a good omen for the accountability of the government functionaries holding key positions in the districts, the curbs on mainstream leaders becoming a part of government’s law enforcement policy for foiling their reach out plans is not a good omen for the restoration of democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir.  Lt Governor undoubtedly reserves the right to reach out to people with the development plans listed for execution in different parts of Jammu & Kashmir this year but political leaders too have the constitutional right to reach out to people with their own responses to the measures taken by the government either for execution of the developmental plans or for the revival of political process after an year of detentions, curbs and restrictions. Decision to allow the senior most mainstream leader and three time former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah  to make his maiden appearance in parliament after the withdrawal of special status and statehood on August last year is a welcome step but the unprecedented delay shown in lifting the PSA slapped on another former Chief Minister and PDP President Mehbooba Mufti is by all standards of understandabilities a bad omen for the future of mainstream politics and as well as  revival of democratic process in Jammu & Kashmir.

Not the panchayat representatives who have won accidently due to boycott of polls by biggest regional mainstream parties’ way back in the year 2018 but the political leaders who have represented people twice or thrice in the assembly of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state have to be allowed to become part of the public outreach initiatives. Not discrimination but political reconciliation is the only way for the government to reconnect itself with the people at grass roots for the purposes of improvement in ground situation in Jammu & Kashmir.

A discriminatory policy on public outreach won’t take government any where nearer to the restoration of the faith of people in the working of the institutions connected with the delivery of services and execution of developmental plans in any particular area of Kashmir valley. Unless and until the government does not allow political leaders of all shades and opinions to reach out to people with their responses on measures taken by government since August 5 last year, the situation on ground won’t change by the surprise visits of the Lt Governor in deadly conflict areas like Pulwama in Kashmir valley. To bring about a perceptible change on ground in Jammu & Kashmir the Lt Governor will have open all his channels of communication with political leaders, civil society groups and the people at grass roots. Not the panchayat representatives who have won accidently due to boycott of polls by biggest regional mainstream parties’ way back in the year 2018 but the political leaders who have represented people twice or thrice in the assembly of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir state have to be allowed to become part of the public outreach initiatives. Not discrimination but political reconciliation is the only way  for the government to reconnect itself with the people at grass roots for the purposes of improvement in ground situation in Jammu & Kashmir.

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