Time For A Critical Appraisal

The National Conference-Congress alliance government during its five and half year’s tenure has outclassed its predecessor in nepotism, favoritism and complacency. 

This newspaper had expressed apprehensions about the capability of NC led government to deliver on its promises soon after the party came to power in 2008. The apprehensions were based on the past experience of living under the same regime which begins with big hype and ends with little outcome. 

But at the same time we saw a silver lining in the fact that the government was led by apparently well meaning Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. We had praised the Chief Minister and described him immaculate and clean but unfortunately he has proved to be too tardy. There is no feel of administration in the state. The ministers and their kin are looting the state exchequer with impunity. One could understand the compulsion of the UPA government in supporting the Omar led government because of PDP’s fall from grace in their eyes following 2008-10 events but the equation can change by or before elections. In politics there are no permanent friends but only permanent interests. 

With new general elections round the corner, the NC-led government shall have to make an appraisal of their performance. Eversince taking oath of office, Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has rarely made his mind known on vital issues like AFSPA and relations with Pakistan. The Chief Minister has been silenced on the issue and he too has refrained from making any comments on the draconian laws like AFSPA. For the past 21 years, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have had a bitter taste of draconian laws promulgated in the State during the central rule. The latest exoneration of army by its own court on Pathribal massacre are a case in point.

By government’s own reckoning the situation has improved considerably and the level of militancy has been drastically reduced and ‘separatist’ political parties have been marginalised. In such a changed situation, there is no scope for the draconian laws and acts introduced in the state two decades ago. To create a congenial atmosphere in the state there is need for repealing all the draconian laws. Instead of wasting its time on the transfer of babus, the Omar Abdullah cabinet needs to debate and initiate measures to repeal such laws and to restore freedom to people.

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