Kashmir’s Lalajis

Sameer Yasir
In his own brilliant style Shekhar Gupta once wrote that in his post-politics life, Swami Agnivesh may not like to be reminded of it, but in his electioneering days he used to be a delightful storyteller. His most devastating one was about a village money-lender who was woken up by his wife one night as she heard strange sounds in the house.

“Do something, there are robbers in our house,” she pleaded. “It’s too dangerous. The clever thing is to pretend to be asleep, jaan hai to jahaan hai…” (the world matters only if you live) said the Lalaji. “You are such a chicken and you claim to be a man,” the wife said, tauntingly. “I maybe a man, bhaagwan, but I am your man, not that of the robbers. So go back to sleep,” the Lalaji ended the argument.

There are ample number of lalajis in todays Kashmir. Whose manhood would only be proven when they oppress the weak. When they steal, cheat or help their cronies.

One might add to the already long list of Lalajis, the name of – Peerzada Mohmmad Sayeed.

In a conference last year, education minister Sayeed made an impressive speech about corrupt practices which malign our education system. He said we are fighting the monster of corruption though “unfair means” in education which we have to tackle “with an iron fist.”

It all came back to mind when a local newspaper carried the facsimile of an answer sheet in two handwritings – alleging that part of it had been written by an official to help Sayeed’s son pass the secondary school exam in 2009.

Nobody would be surprised if Sayeed’s son in coming years would become the education minster of this state and develop curricula for our children. The news, came at the time when his son got a distinction in recently declared class 12th exams. A student who had spelled Annual as “ enul”.

Actually a confidential report by Board of School Education (BOSE) has that one of its academic officer had found an examinee, bearing roll number 228211, copying during the inspection at centre number 228 (Al Ameen School). The examinee was Sayeed’s son. It all happened with the alleged help of Deputy director of the board! He is suspected to have written the papers instead of Syeed’s son.

The question is, will he step aside until he clears his name.  Many outraged people are using social networking sites to protest and demand the minister’s resignation.

It is not only the credibility of Peerzada Mohmmad which is at stake but that of the institutions controlling the education system in the state.    

The blessed sons and daughter of the ruling class of Jammu and Kashmir have always followed each other in trampling the norms and bending the rules. Remember congress leader G.M. Saroori who had to resign from the cabinet in 2010 in the wake of reports that he used an impersonator to write his daughter’s exam  in the medical college entrance test.

But the only difference being former Minister of Works, GM Saroori, had been dismissed from the Cabinet before the inquiry and Peerzada, in an identical matter, would depend on the outcome of an inquiry.


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