In an era of competitive politics across India, the spokespersons assume huge relevance in reaching out to the people and communicate their party positions and policies on various issues through media. In a way, they can be described as conscience keepers of their political outfits, who can make or mar images of their leaders. The concept of spokespersons is gaining larger acceptability in the strife-torn and terrorism infested Jammu and Kashmir.
A senior advocate of Jammu and Kashmir High Court has come out with an innovative and appropriate suggestion for tackling separatism. The learned advocate is a senior spokesperson of the ruling BJP in the State and in this capacity he can be hugely influential in devising a policy to deal with separatists, terrorists, stone pelters, hate mongers and promoters of secession, especially in the Kashmir Valley. Who doesn’t know about the nefarious role of a section of employees in promoting separatism, thriving terrorism and generating hate against India, national symbols and the security forces? Notwithstanding lackadaisical approach of the successive dispensations in identifying such elements, efforts were made in the past to sternly tackle such segments in the government.
During the then Governor Jagmohan’s tenure, action had been taken against employees for alleged links with terrorists and 123 employees were placed under suspension. However, they were reinstated when the Farooq Abdullah government came to power in 1996.
During the tenure of Ghulam Nabi Azad as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, the Cabinet had agreed in its meeting on 9th March 2007 to the action recommended against 18 employees by a panel under Section 126 of the J&K Constitution. Considering it a big step at that point of time, the government had given clear indications of not tolerating black sheep in the administration. Ironically, the Cabinet was boycotted then by the PDP, which was a junior partner to Congress then. Now the PDP is leading the coalition and hence the suggestions mooted in the High Court by a senior advocate, who is incidentally BJP’s Senior Spokesperson deserves serious consideration.
This should not be a big deal, considering the present coalition dispensation’s move on 20th October 2016, sacking several employees who were accused by the J&K police’s intelligence wing-the Criminal Investigation Department-of spearheading or participating in protests during the pro-freedom uprising in Kashmir in the wake of terrorist Burhan Wani’s assassination. This measure is needed to be enlarged in view of unscrupulous government employees indulging in anti-national activities.
In this regard the suggestions of the senior advocate are quite relevant and there is no reason why he should not prevail upon the BJP to roll out the proposal for consideration of Mehbooba Mufti led government.
While seeking appropriate action against persons who are propagating separatism and are instrumental in the propagation of communal hatred, the senior advocate has expressed surprise that instead of taking stern action against such persons, the government is spending huge expenses on them. Obviously he was referring to separatists, who have become law unto themselves due to lack of policy and appeasement. He also submitted that during the phase of unrest large numbers of Government employees are found actively involved in the protests by absenting themselves from their duties and surprisingly they are getting paid even for such period. He rightly sought installation of Biometric attendance in offices. This was readily agreed by the Division Bench, which directed the State to take decision regarding installation of biometric attendance system in all the Government Offices by or before next date of hearing that is July 5.
The senior advocate also sought providing of uniform to government employees, saying this will add discipline to the Government offices and will make it easy to identify that whether Government employees are attending the office or not. “This will also help in identifying Government officials taking part in demonstrations or protests and further more during the police check and search, the Government employees can be easily identified which will be even beneficial to these Government employees”, he added.
Stone pelting and street corner demonstrations have attained menacing proportions in parts of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the Valley. These have spread to parts of Jammu as well. Recently, some employees of a university in the border belt of Rajouri openly defied standing up during National Anthem despite the presence of the constitutional head of the State in the function. This has happened many a times at many places with unscrupulous employees giving vent to their anti-India sentiments. Who knows some of them are participating or actively leading protests and Intifaada like activities? Some demarcation line is needed to be drawn.