November 5, 2020

Not words, actions Speak themselves: Testing time for J&K LG

As Lt Governor Manoj Sinha speaks on new key laws and policies announced for implementation in Jammu & Kashmir, his own words are contracted by the actions the Jammu & Kashmir Government takes for implementation on ground and people reserve the right to seek clarifications from the Lt Governor over contradictions in his words and the actions of the government headed by him. Almost a fortnight ago Lt Governor put to rest the speculations about imposition of property tax as he said that government headed by him has plans of imposing property tax in Jammu & Kashmir but municipal bodies would take calls over property tax whenever they deem it fit but barely few days later the reports about the constitution of property tax board hit the headlines of major newspapers in both Jammu and Srinagar. Clear and huge contradictions in the words of  Lieutenant Governor  Manoj Sinha over the imposition of property tax and the actions of the Jammu & Kashmir Government headed by him shows that he speaks out of compulsion but not conviction. Now Lt Governor has himself assured people of Jammu & Kashmir that not even a single inch of agriculture land would be sold to non J&K residents under the new land law but given the contradiction in his words and actions of the Jammu & Kashmir Government over a contentious issue like property tax the people of Jammu & Kashmir won’t by any standards of understandabilities believe his words over a more contentious issue concerning land buying rights to outsiders under new land laws in Jammu & Kashmir.

Peace and political stability won’t fall from skies in Jammu & Kashmir but can be restored through a process of restoration of trust and confidence which obviously requires immediate implementation of confidence building measures (CBMs). Interestingly the trust and confidence are only two key factors required for establishing a strong and vibrant democracy and if trust and confidence is to be restored in Jammu & Kashmir, the top public functionaries of the Jammu & Kashmir Government including the Lt Governor himself have to ensure that their words on key policy issues are not contradicted by their own actions. The imposition of post August 5 measures in Jammu & Kashmir too have proved it beyond doubt that actions speak louder than words.  

The contradiction of words and actions have eroded the faith of people in the leadership of the even mainstream leaders who held the positions of Chief Ministers of the erstwhile Jammu & Kashmir and a similar disqualification becoming the hallmark of LG Sinha’s working in a hostile political atmosphere won’t take him closer to the people either in Kashmir valley or Jammu region but would instead further intensify the trust deficit standing at the core of difficulties in the restoration of peace and political stability in Jammu & Kashmir. Peace and political stability won’t fall from skies in Jammu & Kashmir but can be restored through a process of restoration of trust and confidence which obviously requires immediate implementation of confidence building measures (CBMs). Interestingly the trust and confidence are only two key factors required for establishing a strong and vibrant democracy and if trust and confidence is to be restored in Jammu & Kashmir, the top public functionaries of the Jammu & Kashmir Government including the Lt Governor himself have to ensure that their words on key policy issues are not contradicted by their own actions. The imposition of post August 5 measures in Jammu & Kashmir too have proved it beyond doubt that actions speak louder than words.

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