December 22, 2020

Reshaping The Political Landscape In J & K

Good governance goes beyond better government. It is the healthy interaction between government, youth, civil society and other stakeholders of the state that truly can create a roadmap towards better resolution. We must perhaps even re-think and re-discover a kind of government that is more open and inclusive, especially of the young intellectualized and highly educated innovative minds who are the future political and economic engines of their nation. To be more precise in the article , I believe in order to re-shape politics in a state particularly that has gone through such a deep political transition from having a special state honour to just a mere central union territory, we need to have good quality leadership – a leadership that can truly and honestly represent their people in more productive way and address their issues in more democratic accent. However , the electoral political leadership that has a key role to play in shaping the socio-politico-economic environment of the state – has been seen illegitimate since last several decades. Though it is quite understood that to run politics at a place like Jammu and Kashmir has never been easy and is bound with many extraordinary challenges to political machinery. However, we can relatively say that the electoral political leadership of the place need to re-imagine and re-establish in such a way that it could functionally and efficiently pay due attention to the dissent voices of its citizens and build a constructive roadmap for development in health, education, economy, social and political rights of its people. To build a sense of true leadership, a political leader must inherit the following qualities:
Honesty: Facing vulnerability and speaking out for people with true intention comes out to be a challenge though. However, honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust, which are the foundation to evoke confidence and respect from those around you, and in the case of political leaders, teammates and constituents.
Compassion: Compassion is the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something to alleviate that suffering. While many see compassion as a weakness, true compassion is a characteristic that converts knowledge to wisdom. Good political leaders use compassion to see the needs of those he or she leads and to determine the course of action that would be of greatest benefit to all those involved.
Integrity: The word integrity is defined as ‘the adherence to moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character.’ It is a synonym for honesty and uprightness, and is a vital characteristic for those in political leadership. Political leaders who possess integrity can be trusted because he or she never plays with his/her inner values, even when it might benefit them to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers. This requires the highest standard of integrity.
Confidence: Having confidence in a political leader is about having faith or belief that he or she will act in a right, proper, or effective way. A good political leader needs to be both confident in himself or herself as well in their ability to lead. Leaders who possess this quality inspire others, drawing on a level of trust which sparks the motivation to get others on board and get the job done.
Flexibility: Flexibility for a political leader is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find the common ground. Good politicians listen carefully to all sides; to not only hear their arguments but to especially learn what it will take on behalf of all parties involved to reach a consensus. This characteristic allows political leaders to recognize setbacks and criticism, to learn from them and move forward.
Knowledge: Knowledge and intellect is crucial. Being a Ministerial candidate, he/she should possess knowledge about our system, constitution, laws etc. A leader’s behaviour flows from three main sources- attitude, desire and knowledge. A leader must get aware that with power comes responsibility and that responsibility has to be executed through the true representation of the issues of the people .Great political leaders have all of the above qualities – and more. Each aspires to respect different views, analyse problems, and identify the best solutions – not based on loyalty to their political gains, but rather based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the state as a whole. So the first step is getting the right people in the room. I must say that intellectual community has an immense role to play in reshaping the distorted political landscape of Jammu and Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370. It is well understood to everyone that abrogation of special status and concomitant downgrading of the erstwhile state to a Union Territory – has drastically changed the overall political scenario and emerged new challenges to face for the existing and de-novo political leadership of the place. I would like to infer with hope and optimism that in these testing times of massive political transition, we shouldn’t reflect hopeless and helpless, rather we need to instill positivity, braveness and courage among people to move forward towards dawn of development and light. Our intellectuals need to get enough sensitive now seriously towards the growing challenges in education, health , economy, basic human rights and the existing political system in Jammu and Kashmir and should shoulder responsibility to set it right. And it is high time to reimagine political landscape at grass roots level, do a kind of thorough introspection and foster an internal dialogue mechanism among ourselves to design a way forward in reshaping the politics of the place. Having said that I believe actively engaging in electoral political process through dialogues, debates and discussions to explore new, effective and innovative ways in choosing the right political leadership – is the way forward in finding solutions to every posing challenge in today’s era. Moreover, DDC Elections awaiting final results would serve as an initiation to that provided young intellectualized and educated minds find a place and emerge victorious in such elections. There is a need to seriously re-think and disrupt the way the politics has been happening in the erstwhile state for decades and come forward with a new intellectually built leadership to reshape it.

(The author a Medical Practioner at SMVD Narayana Super Specialty Hospital, Jammu is also a motivational speaker, activist, columnist and a top educator awardee. Views are his own)
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