Moving Again

Almost every year, when 150-strong fleet of state road transport trucks carrying loads of important government documents and other paraphernalia start to make their way towards one of the twin state capitals, it is a common practice to debate the futility of move.

In a cash-starved state like Jammu and Kashmir, which has so far failed to fulfill even the basic necessities of its citizens like uninterrupted electricity, clean drinking water and healthcare, spending Rs 9 crore of the state exchequer’s money annually to sustain a monarch’s legacy is insensitive.

However, these loud voices against the practice of Darbar Move remain silent on more sensitive issues that directly affect common masses.

Last year, as the debate about Darbar Move made headlines, the tech savvy young chief minister Omar Abdullah wasted no time in terming the practice as ‘waste of money’. He also lost no time in adding that “there is no viable alternative also.”

The notion that government was caught napping on more serious issues of basic human needs like health care, safeguarding human rights etc.

Instead of showing sensitivity towards people in general and those affected by the ongoing turmoil in particular government is busy trading blames before next year’s elections.  The time and energy wasted in planning the darbar’s movement between twin capitals of Srinagar and Jammu is not only waste of money but insensitive too.

Maharjas are gone but the futile exercise survived. It shows lack of respect on government part towards its people who have to undertake long journeys to get things done during six months when state machinery functions from Jammu or Srinagar. It is time to devise a workable mechanism to tackle the issue of roving state once and for all for general good. Why can’t state have divide work between twin capitals so that nobody suffers? Why people pay the price to keep bureaucrats warm during winters and cool during harsh summers?

With winter round the corner Kashmir faces acute energy crisis which cannot be addressed by bureaucracy while staying in Jammu. One cannot just abandon his people and leave.

But the ease with which government sidelines itself from its responsibility to ensure safety of the people, it leaves less doubt about its willingness to end the menace. Instead of wasting money on Darbar move, it would be prudent for the government to divert these funds for betterment of healthcare of Kashmir. And rest the Darbar debate, once and for all.

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