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Darbar Move: Harsh delusions, sweeter realities

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Mohammad Hussain Khan
Today from every nook and corner of the Jammu and Kashmir UT the cosure of Darbar Move has become a hot issue for debate. Both public and political institutions are not far away from this issue and fritter away their energies on debating it.
General public is of the opinion that Darbar move was hugely symbolic. It was a political appeasement at the best and administratively disrupt at the worst. The real costs were not financial but the continuation of a feudal mindset of the government.
The democratic representatives slipped into the royal shoes of erstwhile Maharajas, as the continuation of the name signified. Darbar move was a century old practice and practice was reportedly started in the late 19th century by Ranbir Singh, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, who used to shift his capital between Srinagar in summer and Jammu in winter to escape extreme weather conditions in these places?
This movement of royal court was continued by the all the governments since then, without understanding the things in their proper context.
Unfortunately all government offices in Civil Secretariat and some outside the Secretariat were ordered to move just like a royal court of Maharajas. Right choice means a satisfied life and wrong choice means a dejected life. Time passed and the governments could not stop this old practice which has not only resulted in much wastage of time and energy but also led to discontentment and frustration.
They never thought what help it would give in making the progress and prosperity of the Jammu and Kashmir. They felt like a square peg in a round hole. This added to the sobs and sufferings of the people. They totally failed to feel the pulse of the people. They remain slaves to the system and were never ready to make cool and composed deliberations on “Darbar move”. What a paradox! We the people produced a class of politicians viz Kashmiris, Ladahkis and Jammunities in blood and origin who soon became Maharajas in taste, intellect and opinion, because of Darbar move.
They stitched to their royal taste and never bothered how hapless people of JK could be taken to great, heights of achievement where life be all gay, grand and glorious. They thought of their happiness and comforts. These leaders had always shown wrong kind of patriotism. They have never thought what people needed. They have loved the perverted notion of patriotism that believes in the dictum “I &My J and K, right or wrong”
Dear readers, Patriotism is the sense of duty and responsibility coupled with service to the people irrespective of class, cast and religion. It is an egalitarian approach. Let them think now how UT administration has come forward with a sense of responsibility to put an end to this royal journey involving shifting of offices from one capital to another.
There is no denying the facts that saving of time and capital for a cause is exclusively meant for upliftment of humanity and this indeed incorporates true patriotism. The simple waving of flags is not enough for patriotism but to take care of people and to watch and guard public money like a soldier does in arena for the safety of his countrymen is indeed a true patriotism. A true patriot is caring about friends, neighbours and community regardless of political view and opinions. Let the others, leaders and alliances may not turn a deaf ear.
It merits a mention here that during my interaction with the cross section of government employees as well as common masses, I received a unilateral flow of opinions and information about Darbar move practice.
Surprisingly I found deep rejoicing in the voices of the general employees and public. They feel that by closure of Darbar move they shall now heave a sigh of relief as they had experienced isolation in social fabric which is very hard to regain.
They apprised that with the support of information technology everyone wants that full time Civil secretariat offices should be opened throughout the year in both the regions Jammu and Srinagar in the large interest of people. This will mitigate the sobs and sufferings of a common man living in distant district as he or she would have to travel to Jammu or Srinagar for small matters.
They said for how long we have to live with the idea of a half capital? Well, opening of Civil Secretariat throughout the year in both the regions will also create opportunities of promotions for many when two proper functional Secretariat offices with full staff strength are created as there is a huge stagnation in various departments.
As per the common masses Darbar move leads to lack of governance and cause delay in justice dispensation as government records are not available to the pleaders in one region for six months. Even the court observed that expenditure incurred on Darbar move could be utilized for protection and propagation of culture, heritage and welfare of both the communities and consideration of extremities of weather, which was the case, reason and basis for the Darbar move, does not hold weight today.
A group of lower rung employees have given me to understand that people should be given what they need rather than what they want. Isn’t it true that blue eyed employees were enjoying to their fill and thousands of poor employees were subjected to hardships and asked to live in C- class, single room flats, like animals in dingy sheds while our ministers who arrive in Jammu/Srinagar were escorted to spacious bungalows permanently reserved for them at both places and that is why they are hell bent to impress upon the UT administration for restarting of the Darbar move.
It is true that decisions are the hardest thing to make, especially when it is a choice between where you should be and where you want to be. Thus the decision of UT administration is a great salute and signal for common people.
Making a choice and making it right is based on values and not options. Choice is change.. “Kabi Kabi drust intikhaab rasstay ki tawalat ko kam kar daita hai”.

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