Hartal: The unofficial holiday

I still remember the day when I was selected for cabin crew in an airline. I had to show them my qualification documents. As one knows, in Kashmir no government office rightly guides you about your documentation, so I spent three to four days to get my documents from different schools and on one Friday I had to collect my last document that is the final year marks card from college. An officer in college told me to visit University of Kashmir (KU) as they (college) had not received my marks card from KU. In hurry, I visited university and after going through different departments I was told to contact Examination Block. But after pleading for about two hours, I was told to wait and visit after 2 pm. Hartal - The unofficial holidayFinally, a rude officer came in and yelled that I should visit tomorrow because they were busy with gossiping and buying insurance policies. Saturday was last date of showing documents. On Saturday, I was told that there is strike of teachers and non-teaching staff in Kashmir University and other colleges, so I cannot get my document because it will be against the ‘ethics of strike.’ With this reply my dreams of becoming a cabin crew member shattered. Who was responsible for this? Yes, it’s our own hard working government employees.

Like me, this is the story of hundreds of boys who even left the education due to the bad attitude of government employees, college authorities and university staff. I still member how an officer once threw admission form on the face of a student in Anantnag college and his eyes were telling the story of his helplessness in front of the cruel and authoritarian system.

I don’t think there is such a kind of work culture prevalent anywhere in the world like we have in Kashmir. Out of 365 days in a year we spend hundred days in strikes and next hundred days with the strike of government employees, and remaining 165 days with public and bank holidays. Our employees always warn government with pen down strikes but I fail to understand when they use their pen?

We have strange system in Kashmir where strikes are as normal as daily food. All good or bad decisions of government are treated with a strike. If government does any pro-people decision, we always have that one sect in society who calls for a shutdown. Strikes are very rare in other parts of the world but here in Kashmir strikes are more normal than the normal days.

We have destroyed our economy by such an approach. This is no way of solving any problem. We have so many forums and organizations and number of unions of government employees, one gets frustrated by their hartali approach. All these forums have turned Pratap park of Srinagar into a Hartal park. It is a fact that most of these organizations and unions have political backing and no one can deny this fact and we know how the presidents of these unions join politics after retirement. They destroy careers of thousands of youths and promote dead work culture just to benefit their own future. They have built huge bungalows for themselves and their children study in foreign lands but they hate to sign a document of a poor boy because a poor boy cannot pay them bribe and he has no political backing.

Kashmir has been made an ill nation and after politicians if we have to blame anyone for this illness that certainly will be government authorities and employees. They are becoming boot lickers of the bureaucrats. They spend most of their time in the offices of political workers and get sides of bureaucrats.

Most of government employees can be seen enjoying picnics with their families on the day of strike. They say government is doing injustice with them but can anyone answer how much just they are with the people. One of the corrupt departments of Kashmir is the Revenue Department. They have made non locals as the permanent citizens of J&K and locals are going from pillar to post to prove that they are domiciles of J&K. Our government school teachers take 50 thousand as monthly salary and there results are 5 percent or even zero percent in board exams.

And at last my words on the deaf ears of government employees are that Kashmir has already topped the list of most corrupt states due to your hard work in promoting bribery now stop destroying the career of thousands of youths who have no political support or who are not able to pay you bribe.

Views are author’s own. Author can be mailed at thought2123@gmail.com

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