I hope Kashmir is done with celebrating the personal achievements of a few Kashmiris, who cracked the UPSC exam. I too congratulate the ones who did it this time and my best wishes to the ones who aspire to qualify it. I congratulate them more for achieving what they wanted to achieve, rather than for becoming “babus”, whose powers are determined by lesser qualified ministers and MLAs.
They got lot of attention and pampering from the local media and from every Kashmiri parent, and very well deserved. However, I have a serious problem when all this attention and pampering is reserved only for fellows who succeed to secure a “Sarkari naukri”. I am not opposed to someone wanting to be an IAS officer, I only oppose the way this exam or any other exam that gives an instant Sarkari naukri is perceived and promoted as the father of all successes.
Well, there is no doubt that these qualifiers are our heroes and should be the inspiration of our youth, but these are not the only heroes of ours and should not be. Our heroes are those Kashmiris too who could make it to Ivy league institutes for higher studies, who are pursuing their higher studies in the world’s best universities, those entrepreneurs (social or business) who have walked the paths less travelled and created jobs and solved our problems, those IITians who chose to return to Kashmir and help more Kashmiri students get into IITs and IIMs.
How many of us know about a guy who just left a “Sarkari Naukri” to start a business of his own in Srinagar city? How many of us know this Kashmiri veterinary doctor, who left a job in a foreign country to set up a vet pharmaceutical company – TrueVet in Kashmir that will export medicines from here and create jobs for Kashmiris. How many of us know about the promoters of kashmirbox.com, who are helping the local artisans go global and employing local engineers. If the IAS guys are our heroes, why cannot these guys be?
My request to Kashmiri parents: please understand government job is not all what success means. If your child is a genius, trust me Kashmir needs him/her somewhere else than in a government job. We need genius fellows in entrepreneurship rather than in a government job. We need untiring and hardworking fellows in establishing new ventures, so that for every one government job available they create twenty better paying jobs.
Please don’t put pressure on your children to secure a government job as soon as possible. Encourage them for higher studies in institutes across the globe, encourage them for doing social work, and encourage them for entrepreneurship. Kashmir needs more of it.
If we really want our future generations not to curse us, we will have to create a viable private sector now. We have already an oversized government that burns the majority of our public money.
I request our new generation bureaucrats to be entrepreneurial in your jobs. So far we have experienced bureaucracy more of a hurdle than a facilitator, please try to change it. We understand the system is such that it trims your wings. One step against the wish of your “mantri” or boss, and next day you are transferred to the remote corners of Ladakh. But don’t forget, we have huge hopes associated with you.
(Author has worked as a Business Analyst across India and is now back in valley to start his own business.)