Puran Chand Sharma
At this critical juncture common masses of people seem to be in angry mood on account of apathetic attitude of the current dispensation at the helms. The bold step of abrogation of Article 370 and 35A and simultaneous re -organization of J&K state into JK UT and LADHAKH as separate UT was quite a herculean task under the circumstances so far as national integration of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned. People of Jammu have profusely applauded and celebrated this monumental event. Having said that it shall be imperative to seriously brood over and focus on the excessively tormenting issues which have caused deep hurt and unwanted unrest into the psyche of Jammuites and thinking ahead of the times what could be the practical steps to pacify them.
Feedback from ground zerois clearly indicative of underperformance of local leadership of Bhartiya Janta Party during Lt. Governor’s rule. It is a general grouse that B J P top central leaders together with principal leaders from Jammu frequently undertake organized official visits/ tours to Kashmir and just token visits to Jammu.In view of this dismal scenario, Jammuites are passing through exceedingly bizarre and precarious conditions. This is not a good augury for Jammu as a whole as the beleaguered region has already suffered a lot during the rule of Congress, National conference and even when the B J P and P D P were running a coalition Govt in the state on account of appeasement and undesirable bias. Temperamentally the Dogra citizens of Jammu are cool and peace loving but when confronted with a challenging situation they valiantly fight for justice as proved in the case of retrieval of their land for Amarnath Shrine Board from the clutches of then Kashmir centric leadership. All sections of the society, children, youngsters, elders, men and women as well quickly responded to the call and successfully steered the agitation to achieve the coveted goal.
In democratic system of Governance, the process of development, improvement or some significant changes in relation to the common masses are required to be executed in consultation with the elected representatives of people and in this typical case they are out of reckoning because of non existence of state assembly. UT status is not permanent, statehood status shall have to be restored on a prompt note in view of recent observation of apex court and union govt’s quick response gesturing Election commission to take the call. At this point of time Jammu as a whole is on the boil and simmering with extreme discontentment so far as BJP is concerned. People had harboured high hopes from their side and accordingly a good chunk of 25 MLAS got elected for the first time. Jammu fervently expected that they are very committed and public service oriented, so they pinned high hopes on them. In their first tenure they tasted power in coalition with PDP with intractable Mehbooba as chief Minister. In fact they had ample experience as opposition party but they were quite novice in the realm of governance. Power has a natural tendency to inflate ego and arrogance if we lack awareness and steadfastness. The crux of the matter is that, right from the beginning they are exhibiting a phase of dismal performance. In the given circumstances masses of Jammu are flagging their displeasure and anger on the following issues.
* TOLL PLAZA :- As per public opinion It has not been installed at a proper place. People raised their concern in the beginning and lodged strong protests. BJP president jumped into it and promised to get it resolved but in vain. The matter could be sorted out through mutual interaction and positive mindset. The issue is just lingering on.
* Smart Meters:- first you make the city smart to the satisfaction of people, check leakage and mal practices and also one and all in the Administration must lead by example. Reforms are welcome but lopsided approach is not advisable in democratic set. Meet people, apprise them about your programmes and plans, also have a deep insight into their difficulties. Where are the so called representatives of people, why don’t they come to their rescue. UT is a stop gap arrangement, spirit of democracy can’t be mercilessly stifled. All bureaucrats holding key positions must be sensitised to perform and help people. Unrest, disaffection, displeasure and anger are products of non performance , arrogance, malpractices and vested interests.
*Soaring prices especially eatables for daily consumption happen to be the worst irritants.
* Unemployment is rising day by day. There has been paper leakage scam for recruitment resulting into cancellation of papers.
* Industry is not flourishing in Jammu on desired lines in absence of proper focus and well thought out policy.
* Drug Mafia is dangerously and clandestinely spreading its tentacles across Jammu Region especially in semi urban and rural areas. This dreaded social evil has been contagiously spoiling many households.
* New liquor policy has also badly affected good number of small traders in this business pushing them into deep trouble and uncertainty.
*The much orchestrated TAWI CORRIDOR is still in limbo. It must have been put in place prior to Smart City Project. Surya Putri Tawi , the cynosure of Jammu is dying exponentially. It has not been accorded highest priority.
Inference drawn is that BJP being the principal political party in Jammu region should have proactively responded and stood by the common masses in their period of trials and tribulations but in vain. This has caused severe and biting resentment, anguish and anger in the mind of Jammuites. It appears as if BJP has slipped into a state of inertia and passing through turbulent waters. Every Tom, Dick and Harry vociferously speak about their non performance . This is a kind of wake up call and alarming bell for the party. They need to rise to the occasion, meet people, address their genuine issues, be bold in your interaction with the authorities that be. Elections appear to be round the corner. Gird up your loins to strengthen your base and empower Jammu to meet the lurking challenges.
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