Talk Loose and Lose Track!

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Zamir Ahmed

“And then a scholar said, Speak of Talking. And he (the prophet) answered, saying: You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thought; And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered….and there are those who talk and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.”—-Kahlil Jibran (The Prophet).
Read the above words of wisdom carefully and you will notice their timeless sagacity. More so, in wake of the recent events that shook Kashmir. Given the fact that tempers were running extremely high especially in the first few days of the crisis, the government could have, at least, scored a few brownies for itself by coming before the public through rightly-worded statements backed by genuine concern and more importantly by proper homework.
However, no less a person than the Chief Minister himself out-rightly rejected any foul play and dismissed the incident as a simple case of drowning. In ankle deep waters that is. Ironically, in the same vein, he also announced setting up of a Commission of Inquiry which, as per his orders, was to submit its report within ‘a month’. This statement added fuel to the fire and rightly so.
The words of the Chief Minister were, to say the least, irresponsible and clearly showed his inexperience in statesmanship as well as statecraft. Startling as much his revelation was, it was also depictive of the fact that he was taking the words of his officers-as testified by his father, Dr Farooq Abdullah- as gospel truth. From his Kuch Nahi Hua Hai to Kuch tou Hua Hai and ultimately the testimony of forensic reports indicating bohot kuch hua ha, many questions are raised about the ability of the Chief minister to run a state as torn by troubles as J&K. Especially when he claims to make it a model state and his coming six years of governance a benchmark for others to follow!
“There are those who talk and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand,” says Kahlil Jibran. How apt and true for our not-so-young Chief Minister! His mishandling of the crisis has revealed not one but many truths. One, the expectations of the middle-of-the-road common masses about his efficiency and ability are ill founded. Being able to talk fluently in televised debates is one thing and handling the public sentiment is other. Wisdom, after all, is said to be comprised of two parts: having to say a lot of things and not saying them.
Two, the naivet? of the Chief Minister is astonishing. How can you believe and go public about the reports fed to you by the same people who are, directly or indirectly, the alleged perpetrators of the crime. Numerous newspaper reports have been suggesting the ab initio cover up employed by the police and district administration as and when the crime became public. So much so that certain officials from civil administration openly decried the role of the district police in hushing up the whole affair. The question is who does the Chief Minister rely on for information and feedback?
Third most important truth revealed by the uttering of the Chief Minister was the abject role of his advisors, who so ever they are. His words were bereft of the accumulated wisdom that comes after years of public life. True, he is relatively new to politics, but the expert advice from the political stalwarts in his party and his government could have filled the void created by his inexperience. It seems, Omar is – intentionally or otherwise – not benefiting himself from the experience of the old war horses in his party. This could be his nemesis. Not only because avoiding their advice will affect the quality of his decisions but also because it will earn him antagonists within his own party. Terrible antagonists at that! If that happens it will become worse than ever. Only God can save him then. And us too!

About Author

A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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