Annual Durbar Move, a practice continuing from the times of Dogra Maharajas, is not merely movement of few truckloads of records and a few buses of Durbaries accompanying a couple of luxury cars carrying Mantri’s and Babus, it’s an exercise that deprives people of a government when they need it most.
In the first half of eighties during one winter month the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Kashmir Valley.While in Srinagar Mr Rajiv Gandhi found government absent. His remarks that there was no Government in the Valley prompted the then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to declare that ‘let’s do away with the Annual Durbar Move’.
Mr Abdullah’s remarks sparked protests leading to an agitation in Dogra heartland of Jammu province.
Incidentally I was in Srinagar at that time as I was deputed by the IGP from Jammu in connection with a matter related to gun licences.
Without even waiting for my return to Jammu I wrote a letter to Mr Ved Bahsin, editor of the Kashmir Times underlining my thoughts about the issue.
I wrote that among other bonds between Kashmir & Jammu the annual Durbar Move was an important factor that holds the state of J&K together.
Nearly three decades down the line my view point has not undergone any change but my experience allows me to offer a solution that would not only retain the exercise, important for unity of the state but also help people of both the regions.
I suggest Durbar be shifted to Jammu in summers instead of winters and vice versa. Durbar should shift to Kashmir Valley for winters when people of the Valley need the Govt most.
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