Whiplash

Arshid Malik

While the people of Jammu and Kashmir, the latter region especially, voted in whatever numbers for a democratically elected government they got a dictatorship instead. Yes, the PDP has overtime, since its coming into power in alliance with the BJP, rose as the modern day dictatorial regime resting comfortably on the “auspices” of a make-believe democracy. Be it doctors, teachers, students, young people in general who carry a certain kind of antagonism towards the state and India for its brutish approach towards Kashmiris, the separatists and everyone else. And since dictatorships don’t last long and are met with outbound resistance and rebellion once the regime tightens the noose around the neck of the common people to the extent that they can hardly breathe. This is what is happening in Kashmir right now. There is a surge in violence; there is unspent unrest and immense anger among the common people. The Mufti-led coalition has generally misused the brand genre of democracy to terrorize people and this is just not going too far.

I am intrigued by the manner the present government is handling things. The PDP thinks since it has taken over the leash from the NC it has every right to do what it pleases to do – with a spoilt generation of people who had, as per some of their “visionary” statements, been holding golden spoons in their mouths and now need to be tamed. Take the case of the education sector for instance; what is the Minister for Education doing with this system? He is terrorizing the people who work in this sector, the teachers that is. He is scaring them enough to “get them going”. He is like a bullying head of school who thinks he can go to any extent to make things work and this is just not fit for a man of his stature. He is a Minister in the state government and needs to apply more thought to better the system than act like a tyrannical nanny.

Again the sentiment borne by the Minister, as is with his government, is that the previous regime has played it foul and spoilt the brats and it is his preordained task to set the record right as soon as he can. The Ministry fails to understand that the education system in Kashmir has been reeling under a lot of stress, working under inadequate supervision while being ill-equipped to educate, and the system in itself essentially has been in tatters for decades now and it needs to be revamped after proper strategizing and planning with ample time for the eventual implementation. It should not be hard to understand that the modern world mechanisms work in a manner that if they are on the right track and you try to hammer things back into place what you get is an executed failure. That is why corporal punishment has been done away with. You just cannot afford to change things overnight if you do not even have an insight into what actually is cooking. It has been decades of mass corruption, nepotism, and self-appeasement among the bureaucracy and administration that has landed the education sector where it is today. The education system does not need a tyrannical nanny but a reformer who works in tandem with the best minds in the education sector as also allied psycho-social sciences at a global level and draws a better system to replace the current rot.

If the government continues to act dictatorial under the garb of democracy then all they should expect is a whiplash and a premature return to the pavilion.

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