ARJIMAND TALIB

Would Budget 2010-11 address the Basics ?
P17

IN FOCUS Dipankar Sengupta: The Dilemma of Rather How to Pay for the Predecessor’s Party!
P15

ANMOL SHARMA

Evil Deeds of Kot Bhalwal Jail
P46

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BUDGET
KEY FEATURES OF PAST 10-YEAR'S BUDGETS
Subsidies Fiscal Surplus Budget Surplus Capital Receipts Plan Expenditure Revenue Deficit Revenue Expenditure Aggregate Receipts Revenue Receipts The Money Movement Balance from Current Revenues Central Plan Amortization Budget Deficit Plan Expenditure Primary Deficit Primary Surplus Non-Plan Expenditure Capital Expenditure Revenue Surplus Aggregate Disbursements Miscellaneous Capital Receipts

Public Agenda For JAMMU & KASHMIR

2010-11

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT J&K BUDGETS

nsible jo se
h year of 4t

39th f o issue e sens

I have found Epilogue interesting. May be you need to broaden your convas to look at what has been happening in PaK and the Northern Areas and the solutions on offer or desired. Also the surrounding scene - Tibet, Xinjiang, Afghanistan - the last being closely linked to developments in J&K. And, of course, Pakistan. BG VERGHESE

m nalis ur

P7

Baba Ghulam185131Badshah University Shah RAJOURI Attention Admission Seekers
S.No
1. a. b. a. b.

Programme
MBA - Management Studies MBA - Financial Management MCA - Computer Sciences M.Sc - Information Technology M.Sc Biotechnology & Bioresources

Admission Procedure
Through MAT Exam of February and May 2, 2010 followed by Group Discussion and Personal Interview. Centres for MAT Test : Rajouri, Jammu and Srinagar Entrance Test : July 4, 2010 Eligibility : Graduation in any discipline with at least 50% marks (45% for SC/ST) Entrance Test : July 4, 2010 Eligibility : B.Sc. in Biology / Agriculture / Forestry / Pharmacology / Biotechnology with at least 60% marks (50% for SC/ST) Admission on the basis of merit in B.A./B.Sc.

2.

3.

4.

a. b.

M.Sc - Applied Mathematics M.A. - Arabic B.Tech Computer Sciences & Engineering Electronics & Communications Information Technology & Telecommunication Civil Engineering Diploma Courses Civil Engineering Electronics & Communications Electrical & Renewable Energy Engineering

5. a. b. c. d. 6. a. b. c.

Entrance Test :

June 13, 2010

Eligibility : 10+2 with atleast 50% marks (45% for SC/ST) and Physics and Mathematics as compulsory subjects.

Entrance Test :

June 13, 2010

Eligibility : 10th with atleast 50% marks (45% for SC/ST)

d.
7. a. b.

Mechanical Engineering
Bachelors in Computer Applications - BCA Bachelors in Business Administration - BBA
Entrance Test : June 13, 2010

Eligibility : 10+2 with atleast 50% marks (45% for SC/ST) with any subject combination

Application forms alongwith Information Bulletin : Available on payment of Rs. 600/- by Demand Draft, drawn in favour of Registrar, BGSB University payable at BGSB University Campus Rajouri, from the following offices : 1. Office of Assistant Registrar (Admission), University Campus, Rajouri - 185131 (J&K), 09419171665; 2. Camp Office, Opposite Channi Himmat, Bye Pass Road, Jammu - 180015, 0191-2466892 / 2464402; 3. Regional Office, H.No. 201, Sector - B, Bagh-i-Hyder, Hyderpora Bye-Pass, Srinagar, 9419011449 and 4. Can also be downloaded from University website : www.bgsbuniversity.org MAT forms will be available from the above mentioned offices somewhere in the month of March. For More Details Contact : Dean Academic Affairs, 09419103563 and Assistant Registrar (Admission), 09419171665.

No. BGSBU/Acad/10/22

1

Epilogue
because there is more to know
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CONTENT
Contributors to this Issue Prologue Letters Current Affairs Kashmir Policy Create Discussion, not Confusions
Ram Chander Sharma

Editor Zafar Iqbal Choudhary Publisher Yogesh Pandoh Consulting Editor D. Suba Chandran Associate Editors Irm Amin Baig Tsewang Rigzin General Manager Kartavya Pandoh Art Editor Keshav Sharma Research Officer Raman Sharma Phones & email Office : +91 191 2493136 Editorial: +91 94191 80762 Administration: +91 94191 82518 subscriptions : +91 90188 87136 editor@epilogue.in subscription@epilogue.in Printed and Published by Yogesh Pandoh for Epilogue NewsCraft from Ibadat House, Madrasa Lane, Near Graveyard, Bathindi Top, Jammu, J&K - 180012 and Printed at : DEE DEE Reprographix, 3 Aikta Ashram, New Rehari Jammu (J&K) Disputes, if any, subject to jurisdiction of courts and competitive tribunals in Jammu only. RNI : JKENG/2007/26070 ISN : 00974-5653 Price : Rs 30
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3 5 6 8

Volume 4, Issue 3, March 2010

Books Women in Kashmir The Glorious Roles they Played
Nyla Ali Khan

30

I N FOCUS
Budget 2010
15 17 18 19 20 20 21 21 22 23 24 24 25 26 26 27 28 29 29 The Dilemma of Rather How to Pay for the Predecessor’s Party!
Dipankar Sengupta

Exclusive Series By George : The Cunningham Contribution
Rakesh Ankit

33

Would Budget 2010-11 address the basics?
Arjimand Hussain Talib

Ladakh Affairs Media: Ladakh’s Best Friend, AIR Leh needs urgent upgrade
Tsewang Rigzin

36

Give women their due
Manisha Sobhrajani

Political and Religious Organisations Join Hands for UT
Tsewang Rigzin

37 37 38 38

Put Rural Ladakh on Agenda
T. Namgail

Think of saving precious glaciers
Padma Sethi

Prioritise Quality Education
Tashi Angchuk

Focus on Education
Thukjay Tashi

Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey visits Leh Son of Ladakhi Soil, Stobdon is Indian Envoy to Kyrgyzstan Education Students Launch Movement ask ‘fourth idiot’ to come back
Rinchen Dolma

Make Separate Power Budget
Syed Basharat Bukhari

Senior Citizens : Think of this 9% of total population
Vikram Gour

Governance Council reviews plan progress
Epilogue Report

40 41 42

Make Agriculture Engineer of Growth
Ashwani Sharma

Make Tax Collection Transparent
Arjimand Hussain Talib

Academy Urged to Preserve Ladakhi Culture, Heritage Profile Nawang Rigzin Jora : The Unconventional Politican
T. Norfail

Bridge Rural-Urban Divide
Choudhary Zulfikar Ali

Do the Regional Balancing Act
Balwant Singh Mankotia

Give Air Connectivity to Unreachable Areas
Tsetan Namgyal

Gender Not a fledging anymore : Women’s movement in Ladakh
Tashi Morup

43

Do Need-Based Mapping
Sajjad Kichloo

Revisit Your Previous Promises Before Making New
Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen

Rs 500 Crore for Illuminating Ladakh 45 11998 Youths Jobless in Ladakh 45 Column Evil Deeds of Kot Bhalwal Jail 46
Anmol Sharma

Put Brakes on Price Escalation
Peerzada Mansoor

Brain Drawn Indifference pushing youths away from their homes
Vikram Gour

47

Invest Creative Ideas
Abdul Majid Wani

No Fresh Taxes, Please
M R Qureshi

Opinion Paying Price for Justice Assassination of Shahid Azmi
M Shamsur Rabb Khan

49

Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

INTERNATION

The World Ban

PETITION 2010 AL ESSAY COM
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TOPIC:

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

Ali, Choudhary Zulfikar; (In Focus p24) is a Member of Legislative Assembly representing Darhal constituency in Rajouri district of Jammu province. He belongs to Peoples Democratic Party. Angchuk, Tashi; (In Focus p20) is a businessman bases in Kargil district Ankit, Rakesh; (Forgotten History p33) is a young historian from Bihar. As a Rhodes Scholar recently he studied various missing links in the making of Kashmir conflict. Based on his first hand study, he is contributing exclusive series to Epilogue Bukhari, Basharat; (In Focus p21) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Sangrama constituency in Baramulla district of Kashmir province. He belongs to the Peoples Democratic Party. Dolma, Rinchen; (Ladakh Affairs p38) is a journalist and researcher based in Leh Gour, Vikram; (In Focus p22) is an Engineer and activist. He specializes in energy matters and works for welfare of senior citizens in Jammu and Kashmir. Khan, M Samur Rabb; (Opinion p49) is Editor with Indian Institute of Dalit Affairs Khan, Nyla Ali; (Books p30) is a Kashmir writer and scholar and author of (most recently) Islam, Women and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan. She is a professor of English at a US University

Kichloo, Sajjad Ahmed; (In Focus p26) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Kishtwar constituency in Kishtwar district of Jammu province. He belongs to National Conference. Kumar, Ashok; (In Focus p28) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Ramban constituency in Ramban district of Jammu region. He belongs to Congress Mankotia, Balwant Singh; (In Focus p25) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Udhampur constituency in Udhamour district of Jammu province. He belongs to J&K National Panthers Party. Mansoor, Peerzada; (In Focus p28) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Shangus constituency in Anantnag district of Kashmir province. He belongs to Peoples Democratic Party. Morup, Tashi; (Ladakh Affairs p43) is a journalist and researcher based in Leh Namgyal, T; (In Focus p19) is a journalist based in Leh Namgyal, Tsetan; (In Focus p26) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Nubra constituency in Leh district of Ladakh region. He is an Independent Legislator Qureshi, MR; (In Focus p29) is Member of Legislative Council representing Poonch district of Jammu region. He belongs to National Conference

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Epilogue, March 2010

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

4

Rigzin, Tsewang; (Ladakh Affairs p36) is an eminent journalist and researcher. He is Associate Editor of Epilogue based in Leh, Ladakh Sengupta, Dipankar; (In Focus p15) is a Professor of Economy at the University of Jammu Sethi, Padma; (In Focus p20) is a development activist and Director of an NGO Rural Development and You Sharma, Anmol; (Columns p46) is a lawyer based at Jammu. He has been regular writer with Epilogue since 2008 Sharma, Ashwani; (In Focus p23) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Bishnah constituency in Jammu district of Jammu province. He is an Independent Legislator. Sharma, Baldev Raj; (In Focus p24) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Reasi constituency in Reasi district of Jammu province. Belongs to Bhartiya Janta Party. Sharma, Ram Chander; (Current Affairs p8) is a veterinary doctor based in district Rajouri. He is also an activist working for the welfare of refugees.

Sobhrajani, Manisha; (In Focus p18) is a Delhi based independent researcher working at various aspects of Kashmir conflict. She divided her time between Delhi and Jammu and Kashmir Talib, Arjimand Hussain; (In Focus p17) is an international development consultant and a widely read columnist based in Kashmir. His book 'Omar Abdullah: The Burdens of Inheritance' is due for release in the coming months Tashi, Thukjay; (In Focus p21) is a development consultant working in Leh Wani, Abdul Majid; (In Focus p29) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Doda constituency in Doda district of Jammu province. He belongs to Congress. Yaseen, Hakeem Mohammad; (In Focus p27) is Member of Legislative Assembly representing Khan Sahib constituency in Badgam district of Kashmir province. He belongs to Peoples Democratic Forum.

Readers' requests for getting in touch with the authors, for feedback, comments and further discussions on their subjects of interest, are welcome. Since all authors/contributors are not interested in taking mails directly, the readers are requested to send us interview requests at editor@epilogue.in for passing on to the authors

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Epilogue, March 2010

5

PROLOGUE

From the Editor

Agenda for 2010-11
ZAFAR CHOUDHARY

t Epilogue, reporting state budget has always been a very serious business. Since 2007, it has been a unique process for us involving the makers of budget, the behind-the-curtains architects, and experts on economy and, of course, those seeking to know how state's budget is prepared. Each year we have brought out two exclusive issues on the subject –one pre-budget, analyzing the previous year's performance and listing public expectations and one post-budget carrying comprehensive reports and analysis on the year's budget. We have often been asked by our readers that why we lay so much emphasis on budget reporting. The answer to this question is very simple. It is all about public money and the public deserve to know how their money comes and goes. Before presenting Budgets, the Finance Ministers often engage with a not-sowide section of society in, what is called as pre-budget consultations. These consultations are always almost limited to a pre-identified set of business chamber representatives and a handful of teachers of economics, commerce and management from the Universities of Kashmir and Jammu. They are the

A

same people who have been meeting the Finance Ministers for years with almost same sets of suggestions. Finance Ministers are not to be entirely blamed for keeping their consultations limited to some known faces. In fact, the public at large, particularly the elected representatives show a very little or no interest in such exercise. This lack of interest stems from the lack of knowledge for the process as most of the people believe that budget is a pure arithmetic and it better left to the Finance Minister and his key staff. In this pre-budget issue we have made an attempt to reach out the legislators with due care to the parties they belong to and the districts they come from. First such exercise of this kind, it was aimed at gathering feedback for the Finance Minister on what the general public want his Budget 2010 to reflect. Most of the legislators, economists and other stakeholders we spoke to have strongly emphasized on capitalizing on the natural resources to create a robust economic base in Jammu and Kashmir. It is hoped that the Finance Minister takes note of these suggestions. Feedback : zafarchoudhary@epilogue.in

SEPTEMBER 2009

FEBRUARY 2008

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

Letters

6

Readers Write
Why You Ignored Two Ministers
Dear Editor At first sight, the photographs of Ministers page after page (performance review of coalition government, Epilogue Feb 2010) appeared little out of place for a scholarly journal like Epilogue. However, the reading of articles allayed the fears. This kind of review was important, timely and, of course, well balanced exercise. The only aspect of this review which goes unexplained is that you blacked out two Ministers –Taj Mohiuddin and Agha Roohullah. Even though I don't think it was FEBRUARY 2010 an oversight but bias is least expected from Epilogue. It is strongly suggested that working of the government is constantly monitored, reviewed and reported for enabling the public to make well informed opinions. AKNIT SHARMA Jammu

Movement is Driven by Peoples
Dear Editor The movement for rights to self determination in Kashmir seems to have been slightly underplayed by the author Ahmed Ali Fayyaz in his essay 'Revisiting Srinagar Central 20 Years After Bloodshed'. The sentiment for rights in Kashmir is as strong today as it was 20 years back, the leaders of the movement wield far more influence today than they did two decades back, the fire is growing only brighter and stronger. He is right in pointing out that leaders are now a divided lot and drawn in different directions but I would like to assert that ongoing movement in Kashmir driven by the sentiments of the peoples and not the leaders. MIR IFTIKHAR Sumbal, Kashmir

Three-points Govt Must Consider for Panchayat Polls
Dear Editor, As you know, there are indications that the State Government is intending to hold the much - awaited Panchayat elections soon. I am sure that while making preparations, the concerned Ministry is also considering policy measures required to be taken before elections are held. I think that at least 3 aspects should not escape Government's attention. First, it must spell out a timeframe for constitution of PRIs at all 3 tiers - Halqa, Block and District, so that this time the entire structure of Local Self Government is put in place. Second, it must clearly spell out a mechanism for effective devolution of functions and funds to local bodies at each level so as to rebuild people's confidence that PRIs are going to be real (and not cosmetic). Third, it should declare reservation of 50% seats of Panches and Sarpanches for women so as to ensure their effective participation in grassroots democracy. In my view, the above measures, taken before elections, will send a strong signal to the people of J&K that the process of democratization of governance has finally begun here as well! G. M. SHEIKH Director Leh Development Organisation, Leh

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Epilogue, March 2010

7

Letters
Readers Write

Give Youths Choice, Not Chance
Dear Editor Epilogue is one of the best Magazines and I request that Editors should focus more on youths. In our society the ethic of moral education in lacking behind, as a result of which many evils such as corruption, crime etc prevail very often. The logic behind all this is that the youth are in depression and this syndrome is increasing day by day. With the growing significance and having seen the prevailing status of youth, it has becoming more challenge task to bring out the sustainable future for our younger generation. Unfortunately, under the present circumstance there is no common platform for our youth to discuss their problems. I strongly believe that youth can play an effective role in bringing about sustainable and equitable development in the world through their actively participation in the developmental work and their positive active. Today's our youth are tomorrow social reformer that why they need to be encouraged in every positive field. They need right guidance and good environment, work environment, political environment, quality leadership, so that they can have a future by choice not by chance. SONAM DORJEY Sakti, Leh

Give Fair Deal to Geo, Socio, Psychology
Dear editor, This is the response to 'spreading literacy' (Epilogue, Feb 2010) in which I got to know that the new government brought some good hopes for the future of the education sector, especially the recruitment of various teaching and non teaching staff in education department which also includes the creation of 200 posts of lecturers for the subjects viz, IT, Bio chemistry, Functional English, Environmental Science and Bio Tech. at Higher Secondary level. Impressively, the creation of 200 posts for above mentioned subjects are welcome for those with career holders of those subjects and for students as well. But on the other hand, there is no clear indication about future of those with subjects specially Geography, Sociology, Psychology etc, as a career that the concerned authorities of the Omer Government couldn't give the proper attention to these mentioned subjects in creation of post for these subjects at Higher Secondary level. If various states and central universities are offering master degree programmes in these social science subjects under UGC, then why the concerned authorities of in government fail to consider these subjects at 10+2 level. Moreover, the teaching of these subjects at said level will not only solve the unemployment issue to some extent, but also are more relevant for the indepth study of subjects that assume importance in our state. TSERING ANGCHUK Leh

I have found Epilogue interesting. May be you need to broaden your convas to look at what has been happening in PaK and the Northern Areas and a the solutions on offer or desired. Also the surrounding scene - Tibet, Xinjiang, Afghanistan - the last being closely linked to developments in J&K. And, of course, Pakistan BG VERGHESE

Wish, Epilogue Stands Tall
Dear Editor, It was really very nice to scan the special issue of epilogue...luckily it was also first time for me to come across this magazine and visualizing the warm recommendation from my close mentor Mr Ramchandra Guha. Hope to see good future of this magazine albeit also wish for continuance of standing. ATUL THAKUR New Delhi

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

CURRENT AFFAIRS

8

Opinion
KASHMIR POLICY

Create Discussions, not Confusions
RAM CHANDER SHARMA

The proposal for safe return and amnesty to the youths who crossed over to the Pakistan administered Kashmir during years of turmoil as mooted by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and quickly endorsed by Union Home Minister P Chidambram has kicked off confusion among several sections in Jammu and Kashmir. Recently the report of Prime Minister's Working Group headed by Justice Sagheer Ahmed has already caused criticism in Jammu and Ladakh regions. These developments have taken place at a time when many steps being taken on Kashmir are seen influenced by external pressures –may be America's dilemma in Afghanistan. Need of the hour is to evolve a broad consensus on Kashmir issue and not a confusion among the stakeholders.
reaking the long frozen ice of Indo-Pak dialogue New Delhi recently jumped into Foreign Secretary level talks with Islamabad putting terrorism as topic of discussion. Pakistan, on the other hand, insisted on downplaying the issue of terrorism and stressed for resumption of composite dialogue including discussions on 'core' issue of Kashmir and Indus water sharing. The Pak Prime Minister went to the extent of declaring diplomatic win over India –that its neighbor bowed before international pressure over the bilateral issues and resumption of dialogue. The bilateral relations between two nuclear South Asian neighbors are running at low after 26/11 terrorist attacks. The American engagement in Afghanistan and the failure of NATO forces with rising financial cost has led the Obama administration to review its South Asian and Central Asian policy to lead and finance the war against terror. US is in a hurry to wash its hands off the unending vicious cycle of violence and possible fall out against the US national interests and is on the track of reconcili-

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ation with a faction of moderate Taliban having the Pakistan backing –handing over the administration and law and order to the beleaguered Karazai Government. Pakistan is playing as a mediator and guarantor to the new formula. India as a major player in the sub continent has considerable interests in Afghanistan. If the new set up turns a reality than Pakistan would definitely cut Indian diplomacy to its size and the Indians in a knee jerk reaction are on the fast mode to have bilateral dialogue with Pakistan and some populist measures in Jammu and Kashmir as well. Keeping these fears and the recent spurt in anti Indian emotional flare ups in Kashmir valley following killing of two young boys the Omar Abdullah government proposed the carpet amnesty to the Kashmiri youths in Pakistan administered Kashmir who denounce militancy and return to Jammu and Kashmir without arms. The Home Minister has supported the scheme openly despite a warning statement of Defense Minister saying that the terrorist infiltration has increased in the year 2009. The Union Health Minister and former Chief

Minister of Jammu and Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed reservations over the scheme as similar to the right wing nationalist Bartya Janta Party. Pakistan's intelligence outfit the ISI is running scores of armed training camps in the PaK and Pakistan and pushing the Kashmiri youths across the LoC for subversion. The recent suicide attacks of Taliban inside POK areas against the Pak army are the direct fall out of Pakistan's army action against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pak restive FATA and North West Frontier Province including that of the South Waziristan with full military force under the terms and conditions of Obama administration. The American drone attacks have killed the top leadership of Tehrik-eTaliban inside the Pak territory making the anti American sentiment more vocal and open inside the Pak political circles and the tribal Pushtun community terming the attacks as direct threat on the sovereignty of the country. Pakistan has fully exploited the situation in the troubled Jammu and Kashmir to its main agenda of internationalizing the Kashmir issue. On the

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Epilogue, March 2010

9

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Reports

other hand the Indians are failing with every passing day in dealing with the situation. The alienation of people and the aversion against the Indian army and other security forces in J&K –release of Justice Sagheer Ahmed report on the Center and State relationship at this juncture has proved disturbing. The Ladakh Union Territory Front, PoK Refugees, West Pak Refugees, KP organizations and other Jammu based political parties including the BJP have opposed the 5th working group report which was hurriedly handed over to the Chief Minister. Now, the new amnesty scheme for the Kashmir youth across the LoC is opposed tooth and nail by these groups. Government of India has been generous with the surrender policy of the militants in J&K. This has already backfired in the valley, as most of the surrendered ultras are linked with further killings and looting on the behest of J&K Police and the security forces. The relief and rehabilitation of PoK Refugees, WP Refugees, KP Migrants and other Displaced Persons has been put to cold storage by the State and GOI and the state government. On the other hand the fresh amnesty and surrender policy mooted by J&K Govt with full central govt backing is creating confusion. The quiet diplomacy is a failure right from the beginning with major separatist groups and even the moderate Hurriyat M is keeping away for the moment due to internal opposition within the group. The sensitive issue of resolving the Kashmir imbroglio needs all party discussion and consensus instead of promoting the vested political interest inside the state.

Don't links talks resumption with Kashmir: Holbrooke tells Pak
S President Barack Obama's Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke has said that while Washington supports renewed contacts between Pakistan and India and wants the process to continue, Pakistani leaders should not burden the nascent process with insistence on core issues, specifically Kashmir. Holbrooke said it was encouraging that India had agreed to engage with Pakistan and issues could be brought onto the agenda once the talks progressed. Holbrooke was in Pakistan in mid-February and had meetings with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani among others there.

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HOME MINISTER: Incident of Terror up in J&K
hile commending the role of security forces in combating terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister P Chidambaram admitted, on February 17 in Jammu, that there has been an increase in terrorism-related incidents in the state. Sixty five terrorist incidents have taken place in the state in the first 45 days of this year, Chidambaram said at a press conference after reviewing the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir at a meeting of the unified command, a strategic group comprising representatives of the army, paramilitary forces, police and intelligence agencies. "In these incidents, seven civilians, nine security personnel and 24 militants have been killed," he said, but felt that the "security forces were making gradual progress, and the situation was improving." He commended the role of security forces. "They are dealing with the situation with great caution and wisdom." The home minister made it clear that zero tolerance would be exhibited towards human rights violations. Evidence of that was the arrest of a Border Security Force trooper who was suspected to be behind the killing of Kashmiri teen Zahid Farooq. "The commandant has been suspended and investigations are on," Chidambaram said. At the unified command meeting, sources said, the home minister took stock of the situation on the borders and also in the hinterland. He urged security forces to neutralize militants but avoid collateral damage.

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Pak Pushing in Ultras: Army
rmy Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor said on February 19 that Pakistan was continuing to push in militants from across the border into Jammu and Kashmir but the armed forces deployed there were capable of tackling it. "Our neighbour is continuing infiltration of militants from across the border into Jammu and Kashmir. It (infiltration) will continue. Forces are deployed in the border and they will make all efforts to stop the infiltrators there. If some militants do come in, our forces will tackle them”.

A

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CURRENT AFFAIRS
Reports

10

J&K IN NATIONAL PRESS

Earning Goodwill
Times of India, Feb 17

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ew Delhi's show of resolve in continuing with the IndiaPakistan talks despite the Pune blast has been heartening. Now, it must also stand firm on defusing internal tension without letting the latest terror attack cloud the issue. This is particularly so when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah's recent proposal backed by Union home minister P Chidambaram for the return of Kashmiris who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). It is a potent statement of intent. And given that hard questions will be asked of Islamabad in the wake of the Pune blast, this is an opportunity for it to back up its rhetoric about a sustainable solution in the region with concrete action by cooperating with New Delhi on the issue. The devil lies in the details, of course. Concerns such as the ones raised by Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad about militants using this as an entry point are overstated. Similar concerns came up when the Muzaffarabad trade route was opened; they came to nothing. But this does not mean the process is risk-free. Rigorous controls and screening mechanisms must be put in place before any such initiative can be launched. There should be thorough procedures for

Establishing accountability for incidents such as the shooting of 17-year-old Zahid Farooq Shah is another. Credibility is the currency of any dialogue; moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's backing out of talks with the Centre because of the killing shows how such incidents degrade that credibility. It's essential to restore trust in the Valley where large sections of the people are alienated from the administration.

Amnesty Call Goodstep
Asian Age, Feb 12 nion home minister P. Chidambaram's readiness to endorse J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah's suggestion for the return of Indians trapped in PoK is a positive development. Seen in any light, the chief minister's proposal to grant amnesty to former Kashmiri militants stuck in PoK over the years, and encourage their return and reintegration into society, is a useful one. Given the ups and downs the state has known for two decades, such an idea should have been formulated long ago. In the light of experience, it was easy to see that bringing the former flame-throwers back into the fold would have had a salutary effect on Kashmir society. Using their ingenuity, some young men, who had crossed over to PoK for arms training in the late Eighties and the early Nineties with one or another militant outfit in the backdrop of an insurgent movement, have been returning. Their narrative is uniformly one of disillusionment with the “jihadi” establishment run by Pakistan in “the other Kashmir”. The articulation of this on a wide scale — were an amnesty scheme available — was certain to have had a positive impact on the younger generation in the Valley, some of whom continue to be wooed by jihadist ideologues. What has prevented a wholesale trudge back of the prodigal is the absence of a suitable amnesty scheme and the consequent fear of long jail terms. Quite apart from young minds in the Valley being influenced by the negative experiences of their brethren who had gone across, accepting people back into society is a “public good” in its own right. It is such thinking that lay behind amnesty schemes in respect of dangerous Chambal dacoits initiated through the aegis of stalwarts like Jayaprakash Narayan in the past. The ending turned out to be good for all concerned, the government included. Taking people back into the system removes a source of festering bitterness. This has been seen to be the case in some states of the Northeast as well. In Kashmir also, there are several people who have committed serious crimes but have emerged as political leaders of the so-called

U

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CURRENT AFFAIRS
Reports

identification of returning militants, with corroboration from family members. Abdullah and Chidambaram must focus on reintegration efforts as well. Laying down arms can be temporary if the individual finds himself alienated socially and economically from a society that has changed drastically in the intervening years. It's crucial that concurrent to any such proposal, a concerted effort be made by the state and central administrations for the rehabilitation of the tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits still living in transit camps in Jammu. It has been two decades since they were driven from their homes in a blatant instance of ethnic cleansing. To facilitate the return of those who might have crossed the border to take up arms against the Indian state while ignoring the continuing plight of the Pandits would be a gross miscarriage of justice. These are all crucial pieces of the Kashmir conundrum. Establishing accountability for incidents such as the shooting of 17-year-old Zahid Farooq Shah is another. Credibility is the currency of any dialogue; moderate Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq's backing out of talks with the Centre because of the killing shows how such incidents degrade that credibility. It's essential to restore trust in the Valley where large sections of the people are alienated from the administration.

Nilekani takes J&K inch closer to UID project
utting all speculations to rest, the chairperson of Unique Identification Authority of India Chairperson Nandan Nilekani has brought Jammu and Kashmir on his project agenda. It was earlier widely believed that Jammu and Kashmir might go untouched in this ambitions national project. Nilekani recently visited Jammu and made a presentation before the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other government officials to be involved in implementation of the project. The state government has already constituted a high level committee headed by the Chief Minister to coordinate with the UIDAI. Making the presentation at the civil secretariat, Nilekani said that this unique number will be based on data to be provided by each person. His/her biometrics like finger prints, iris scan and facial features will be stored in the database and any person seeking any kind of service will have to prove his identity using these biometrics, Nilekani said. Abdullah appreciated the UIDAI for taking proactive steps in introducing UID number in Jammu and Kashmir. He assured the state government's full cooperation with the UIDAI in the implementation of the project. Abdullah said a committee will be constituted to work on this project, adding permanent resident certificates will also contain this unique identification number to make them more informative.

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separatist camp. If they can be rehabilitated without the state making a fuss, there is no reason why the rank-and-file insurgent, who made the wrong choice at a given historical moment, should be denied a similar opportunity. J&K Congress leader and Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has raised some issues of procedure. He has noted that a general amnesty can be exploited by PoK jihadist networks to push in terrorists. Such concerns naturally need to be taken into account while formulating schemes for the return of Kashmir Valley people. Appropriate vetting procedures will be required to be put in place. However, it will be shortsighted not to see the wider picture. Clear numbers may not be available about Kashmiris stranded in PoK but keen to return. The scheme to be drawn up for their rehabilitation necessarily has to be pragmatic, elastic, and adequately funded, possibly with Central and state government resources. The main idea is to see such a proposal as a political act with wide social benefits. Successful prosecution of the plan cannot but have a beneficial effect on the wider “Kashmir question”, irrespective of the terms in which it is defined. In any conversation with Pakistan as well as the local separatist leadership, a successful rehabilitation programme of this nature cannot but have a strong impact.

Urban Local Bodies polls from Apr 15
ollowing a decision of the state cabinet in its meeting held on February 15, the J&K government has announced elections to the urban locals bodies. The Election Department has been told to to draw a schedule and complete entire election process by first fortnight of May. The election to two Municipal Corporations in two capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar, six Municipal Councils and about 71 Municipal Committees are likely to be held in second fortnight of April.

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Reports

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Advani warns UPA against diluting Indian authority in Kashmir
enior BJP leader and Parliamentary Party Chairman L K Advani on February 19 warned of dire and unprecedented agitation if the UPA took any action that compromised national interests and failed to take measures to check prices of essential commodities. In his concluding remarks at the threeday National Executive and National Council conclave in Bhopal, Advani referring obviously about the Indo-Pak talks scheduled to be held on February 25, said the talks of granting autonomy by the committee headed by Justice Saghir Ahmad was nothing but a 'fraud', as no meeting had taken place. "I warn the Government that if it takes any step to dilute Indian authority in the Northern most State of the country, the Government will have to face unprecedented national repercussions," Advani said.

Mufti appeals BJP to support peace process
alling for a consensus among various political parties for resolution of the Kashmir issue with Pakistan, PDP has appealed to the BJP-led NDA not to create hurdles but support the new efforts of the Central government. "There is a need for parties across the political spectrum of the country to evolve a consensus on resolving the Kashmir issue with Pakistan and also address its internal dimension," PDP patron and former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed said. "There is no substitute to resolving this festering sore that has dampened the immense economic potential of South Asian region for decades and bruised the body and soul of Jammu and Kashmir," Mufti said.

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Sadhus join ex-militants in selling Hindu temple properties in Kashmir
harging the government of failing to protect the religious properties of pandits in the Kashmir valley, the Kashmiri Pandit Sangarsh Samiti (KPSS) has said temples were being leased out or sold by some non-state subjects and a former militant with the help of revenue department. President of KPSS Sanjay Kumar Tickoo alleged that time and again it has been observed that the state administration, particularly revenue department was working against the interests of pandit community. He said the department was working with the unscrupulous elements in vandalising the religious property of the Kashmiri Pandit community damaging the over all social fabric in general and the very existence of the community in the valley. Tickoo said KPSS takes strong note about the recent development regarding the Shri Ganesh Temple, Sonwar, Srinagar. The non-state subjects alongwith one ex-militant turned temple broker was trying to sell or lease the property of the temple. Even some persons (Non-State Subjects) in the shape of Sadhus are trying to change the title of the temple and its property by corrupting the concerned Revenue Officials, he alleged. This ex-militant turned broker in the temple land mafia is involved in many other sale and leases of other temples in the Valley. He alleged that even after repeated complaints against the said person no action was taken by the authorities for the reasons best known to them. Even with the help of former militant some other non-state subjects (Sadhus) are trying to mutate the temple property in their name with the help of the concerned officials of the Revenue Department. He questioned how state administration and judiciary allows sale and lease of the temple property when Article 370 was in force in the state. Tickoo alleged that despite ban by the government on the sale of such property, it was going on. This, he said, was a clear conspiracy against the Kashmiri Pandit Community. In 1819, when Sikh Rulers invaded the Kashmir Valley they tried to demolish the muslim worship places in the Valley, but the Kashmiri Pandits came forward and saved them from the invaders, he said adding now KPSS request the majority community of the Kashmir Valley to come forward and save our religious places from these anti Kashmiri Pandit and Anti Social elements and keep the spirit of Kashmiriyat alive in true sense.

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

Who Writes the Complex Stories of J&K Budget in Simplest Possible Form?

Epilogue, Of Course

---images ---FEB 2007. Jan 2008. Feb 2008. June 2009. Sept 2009.

Our Budget Reports and Analysis Are Written By Top of the Line Experts In A Manner That Even A Layman Enjoys Reading Them

FROM EPILOGUE ARCHIVES SINCE 2007

16 UNPUTDOWNABLE STORIES
Available in Hard Copies, E-Files, CD-ROM
Employment to Empower Growth
Vol 1, Issue 2, Feb 2007 By Prof NISAR ALI Economist

Some Basics About J&K Economy
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008 By BALRAJ PURI Author, Thinker

Buoyancy in J&K Economy Financing Development and Budget 2008-09 in J&K is Financing Peace
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008 By Prof NISAR ALI Economist Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008
Interview: TARIQ HAMEED QARRA

Finance Minister (2008)

J&K State in the Grip of Financial Crises
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008 By ABDUL RAHIM RATHER Leader of Opposition (2008)

Budget 2007-08 The Unfinished Agenda
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008
By ARJIMAND HUSSAIN TALIB

How Not to Promote Economic Growth: The Case of Jammu and Kashmir
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008 By DIPANKAR SENGUPTA Economist

An Economy in Disadvantaged Position
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008 By RAM SAHAI Business Leader (Since Died)

Economist, Development Consultant

A Lot Needs to be Done
Vol 2, Issue 1, Jan 2008 By ANNIL SURI Business Leader, Management Consultant

J&K is a Rich State Run By a Poor Government
Vol 2, Issue 2, Feb 2008 Interview: HASEEB DRABU Economist, Chairman, J&K Bank

Budget 2008-09: Political Courage Sans Innovation
Vol 2, Issue 2, Feb 2008 By DIPANKAR SENGUPTA Economist

Figures Fudged, Statistics Faked
Vol 2, Issue 2, Feb 2008 By ABDUL RAHIM RATHER Leader of Opposition (2008)

We Have Brought Turn Around in Economy
Vol 2, Issue 2, Feb 2008 By TARIQ HAMEED KARRA Finance Minister (2008)

Enhancing Own Resources, Controlling Ensure Taxpayers' Money There are No Quick Fixes; Goes to Programmes We are Working on a Non-Productive That Work Workable Employment Policy Expenditure Are Our Top Vol 3, Issue 9, Sept 2009 Vol 3, Issue 9, Sept 2009 Priorities
Vol 3, Issue 6, June 2009
Interview: ABDUL RAHIM RATHER

By BILAL HUSSAIN Financial Journalist

Interview: ABDUL RAHIM RATHER

Finance Minister (2009)

Finance Minister (2009)

15

IN FOCUS

Budget 2010

The Dilemma of Rather How to Pay for the Predecessor's Party!
DIPANKAR SENGUPTA Economist
here is no person in Jammu and Kashmir whose position is as unenviable as Mr Abdul Rahim Rather. His inheritance as the Finance Minister of the state was an economy rocked by agitations in both in Jammu and the Valley as the result of the Shree Amarnath Land Controversy and the precarious financial position of the government made much worse by the recommendations of the Sixth Pay

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By not renewing the 5-year moratorium on state government employment agreed upon by the NC led state government and the NDA Government in 2000, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh opened the floodgates for a surge in largely non-productive government employment. The Congress-PDP coalition did not “disappoint.” The state's salary bill doubled during the previous coalition's tenure spiking form 2005 onwards. Even with buoyant revenues salaries as a proportion of total expenditure rose to 30% towards the end of the Congress-PDP rule as compared to 24% when NC lost power in 2002. It has fallen to Mr Rather's lot to handle the consequences of the 6th Pay Commission which was announced just prior to the present coalition coming to power. This coalition will have to think of ways to pay for the previous coalition's party

Commission which no government would have the courage not to accept. The previous Congress-PDP coalition had handed Mr Rather a time bomb in the form of a state government with a huge salary bill, the result of the lifting of the freeze on government employment for Jammu and Kashmir in 2005. By not renewing the 5-year moratorium on state government employment agreed upon by the NC led state government and the NDA Government in 2000, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh opened the floodgates for a surge in largely nonproductive government employment. The Congress-PDP coalition did not “disappoint.” The state's salary bill doubled during the previous coalition's tenure spiking form 2005 onwards. Even with buoyant revenues salaries as a proportion of total expenditure rose to 30% towards the end of the Congress-PDP rule as compared to 24% when NC lost power in 2002. It has fallen to Mr Rather's lot to handle the consequences of the 6th Pay Commission which was announced just prior to the present coalition coming to power. This coalition will have to think of ways to pay for the previous coalition's party. As if this were not bad enough, inflation, particularly food inflation is assuming alarming proportions. Strictly speaking this is a matter that the central government's responsibility. However, in these matters, the closest

person to the masses who symbolise political authority are state level politicians. This unfair fact of life means that Mr Rather will have to think of ways and means to tackle this problem as well. Last but not the least, he will also have to deal with the consequences of the drought. Mr Rather's work therefore is cut out. He will have to deal with the fall out of three major timebombs none of which is his doing! As if that was not bad enough, the deficit on account of the power sector still remains abnormally high even after generous power grants for the central government under a MOU signed with the state government that was supposed to bring this sector to order. With the enhanced pay to be paid for the entire year (unlike in the previous year when it was paid for only part of the year), the salary bill will probably cross 8000 crores as opposed to 6500 crores the previous year. Thus Mr Rather has no room for financial manouevre. Nor can her abuse the previous government to his heart's content, as his coalition partner was part of it. Such, as they say is life! The NC government therefore has two choices. It can seek to play the politics of victimhood and blackmail and seek extra central government assistance and carry on with business as usual. Alternatively, it may choose to bite the bullet and carry out painful adjustments as it courageously did a decade ago when it froze hiring at the state level. The chances are it will do neither. Some financial room may accrue to the state for an action that is purely non-budgetary in nature. Once the long-delayed panchayat elections are held, grants-in-aid recommended by the 12th Finance Commission that could be spent only through Panchayati Raj Institutions may resume. These were withheld as the previous coalition

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Epilogue, March 2010

IN FOCUS
Budget 2010

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had not held elections to these bodies long after their terms had expired. .The 13th Commission has been requested by the state government to release this amount once elections are held. Crucially this assistance, by its very nature is biased towards rural areas. Potentially therefore they may be dovetailed with a state-government sponsored scheme so that investment in the state's rural economy especially irrigation infrastructure receives a much needed fillip. Equally importantly, the State Government must find a way to dovetail existing schemes with NREGS for which Panchayats should be involved so that the farce of the entire allocation under this scheme lying practically unspent does not reoccur. Given the severity of the recent drought and the fact that for most crops the state's productivity is below (the already low) national average, the importance of this step cannot be doubted. For a state facing a financial crunch, this will be a significant step taken largely at the expense of the central government under the aegis of an arrangement open to all states. As for setting the state finances right and creating an environment for growth, the government is unlikely to take any courageous decisions. This

As for setting the state finances right and creating an environment for growth, the government is unlikely to take any courageous decisions. This state government is unlikely to freeze hiring as it did in 2000. The trauma of the subsequent loss of power in 2002 still lingers. In any case the space created by that action was utilised by its rivals in power (although in a most wasteful manner.)
state government is unlikely to freeze hiring as it did in 2000. The trauma of the subsequent loss of power in 2002 still lingers. In any case the space created by that action was utilised by its rivals in power (although in a most wasteful manner.) What it can do is to take steps to plug the power deficit. The muchtouted political difficulty in executing this measure is simply overstated. It must be remembered that after initial resistance, the exercise of metering power went ahead smoothly in the Valley. Indeed, this very fact led to a fall in power consumption as consumers realised that power would no longer be a free commodity. The new government has now to begin charging for power consumed. This may be unpopular in the short run, but in the long run may deliver political dividends if the power outages and shortages become a thing of the past. But this too is essentially a nonbudgetary governance exercise. The budget will merely signal if the government wished to take this step. The budget to be presented to the state assembly cannot hope to overcome the state's problems in a single stroke. But its nature will tell whether it is business as usual or longterm political sagacity which will be at play.

F L A S H B A C K

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The NC government therefore has two choices. It can seek to play the politics of victimhood and blackmail and seek extra central government assistance and carry on with business as usual. Alternatively, it may choose to bite the bullet and carry out painful adjustments as it courageously did a decade ago when it froze hiring at the state level. The chances are it will do neither

Ø deficit down to mere Budgetary Rs 124.84 crore, Next year's budgetary deficit provisionally estimated at Rs 618.73 crores. Ø up by Rs 1701.81 crore. Receipts Expenditure down by Rs 205.80 crores. Ø Total disbursements for next year decrease to Rs 9070.49 crores as against Rs 9178.59 crore provided in BE of current year. Ø Tax collection targets exceeded by Rs 53.16 crore excluding electricity duty, which is lower by Rs 12 crore in comparison to budgetary targets. Ø Tax revenue targets for next year fixed at Rs 794.91 crore and non-tax revenue targets at Rs 661.58 crore. Ø Plan expenditure estimated at Rs 1750 crore and for the next year provisionally fixed at Rs 2000 crore. Ø Related Expenditure Security over and above the normal expenditure on law and order up from Rs 253.12 crore to Rs 401.94 crore. Ø Salary payable to migrant employees estimated at Rs 83.41 crore in 2000-2001. Ø support to PSUs kept Budgetary in RE at Rs 75.41 crore. Ø crore for modernisation Rs 13.50 of police force. Øduty on IMFL up from Rs Import 5 per LPL to Rs 10 per LPL. Export fee on IMFL abolished. Liquor industry taken out of negative list. Ø rates increased upto 10 Toll tax per cent . Fresh fruits and vegetables exempted.

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Epilogue, March 2010

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IN FOCUS
Budget 2010

FLASHBACK 2001

Would Budget 2010-11 Address the Basics?
ARJIMAND HUSSAIN TALIB International Development Consultant
&K state today looks akin to those African states which survive by foreign aid. For years, poverty eradication and economic growth strategies in such countries have failed to deliver for many reasons. The most striking reasons being donor dictates, lack of political sovereignty, unjust international trade regimes, poor taxation systems, abysmal governance and acute corruption. Zambian economist, Dambisa Moyo's path-breaking book 'Dead Aid' has some unmistakable lessons – especially why the 'aid model' has actually failed, and what havoc aid dependency was wrecking with most of the African countries. Given J&K's case of aggravating aid dependency and poor tax revenues, our case also needs to be looked from the same prism. As the government is finalising the state's budget for 2010-11, a focus on the macro picture is expected. That macro picture would help us analyse where the state is headed. Excessive focus on the micro aspects of the budget exercise would, at best, address the populism constituency. We require a political will to look at the policy part of it – from a macro perspective. J&K state is at a highly critical juncture today. The level of dependency on the Government of India (GoI) aid – in our case 'grants' – is reaching a critically high level. In Budget 2009-2010, the GoI grants constituted 59 per cent of the state's total annual income. Salaries, pension liabilities, interest payments and the power bill alone constitute 53 per cent of our expenditure. Capital expenditure in 2009-10 was a mere 34 per cent. In 2002-03, the overdraft from the Jammu and Kashmir Bank (the state's official banker) was Rs 814 crore as against the maximum permissible limit set by the Reserve Bank of India of Rs 950 crore. Today, the government has a whopping overdraft of Rs 2,200 crore to deal with. Then there are other systemic problems, as acknowledged by the Finance Minister himself, related to delayed payment of salaries to government employees and the delayed clearance of bills in the government treasury. The state's debt to GSDP ratio also requires some imaginative thinking. J&K's overall fiscal liabilities are constantly increasing. Fiscal and primary deficits are also burgeoning. The growth rate of fiscal liabilities was 18.33 per cent during 2005-06 over the previous year. The ratio of fiscal liabilities to GSDP also increased from 60.37 per cent in 2000-01 to 73.78 per cent in 2005-06. That means that the fiscal liabilities had grown faster than the State's GSDP. The state's spiralling debt liabilities have become a sort of a vicious cycle of deficit, debt and debt service payments. There is a constituency that believes that since J&K's GSDP and the per capita incomes are relatively better, the state can ward off any public finance crisis. That is only partly As the government is finalising the right. We must bear in mind that in J&K's case a relatively state's budget for 2010-11, a focus on the better GSDP does not necessarily mean corresponding macro picture is expected. That macro buoyancy in the state's tax revenues. Our taxation system has too many loopholes. Imperatives of public order and peace picture would help us analyse where the through populism measures would continue to remain as state is headed. Excessive focus on the long as the larger political conflict remains unaddressed. micro aspects of the budget exercise The crisis of our power sector is acute and beyond the band would, at best, address the populism aids of any budget exercise. The revenue deficit in the sector constituency. We require a political will is again likely to make the state's budget go haywire. It is to look at the policy part of it – from a again a political issue, which requires a political solution. macro perspective. And it remains to be seen whether Mr. Omar Abdullah can go beyond the usual band aids or not.

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Ø and Electric electronic goods, Plaster of Paris and Earthmovers brought under the existing list of 12 items for purpose of entry tax. Ø reduced Sales Tax by four per cent on motor spare parts, tyres and tubes and by three per cent on jewellery and ornaments. Ø Small scale industrial units exempted from ST on service component of sales of their products. Ø of selfBenefit assessment scheme extended to the dealers with taxable turnover upto Rs 25 lakh as against the present limit of Rs 10 lakh. Ø Golden Handshake Scheme proposed for Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs). Ø Daily wagers wages enhanced from Rs 45 per day to Rs 60 per day. Freedom fighters pension up by 50 per cent. Ration allowance of police jawans up from Rs 300 to Rs 450 per month.

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Epilogue, March 2010

IN FOCUS
Budget 2010

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B U D G E T

G L O S S A R Y

Give women their due
MANISHA SOBHRAJANI Researcher
n any society, women—consciously or unconsciously—strengthen social structures and fabrics. In Jammu & Kashmir, they do much more. Contrary to popular perception, women's issues are not 'soft' subject matter, but a plethora of complex themes with unimaginable parameters, and this is especially true of women in J&K. As I write this column, the State Assembly has just got down with 45-day long budget session, one of the highlights of which will be the controversial Jammu and Kashmir Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill which seeks to annul permanent resident rights of Kashmiri women who marry outside the state. Based on my interactions with several women from different walks of life in many regions of J&K over the years, I have two suggestions towards the state's budgetary planning. Economic independence is the one thing that is most crucial: creating work opportunities for women

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It is suggested that there are interventions towards personality development (of women), self-defence, confidencebuilding etc., keeping in mind the fact that the region has been witnessing a political turmoil—especially in the last 20 years—which has translated into extreme situations for women where many have not had the chance to go to school or utilise their potentials to the maximum.

on a priority basis is the need of the hour. In the 2009 budget speech made by the J&K Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, the word 'women' is mentioned less than ten times in a 85-page long document. The references are as bleak as '...a special scheme has been devised for their economic empowerment. Under this scheme, 100 women entrepreneurs shall be selected from each district taking the total to 2,200 in the first phase.' The budget speech also mentions: 'Special provisions have been made in the budget for development of Gujjar and Bakerwals, Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes, Women and Child Welfare.' I am not sure if mentioning women in the same breath as other categories mentioned above is the smartest thing to do. My second suggestion is towards creating educational awareness for women. And this does not simply mean knowledge from books and educational institutions. Rather, it is suggested that there are interventions towards personality development, self-defence, confidencebuilding etc., keeping in mind the fact that the region has been witnessing a political turmoil—especially in the last 20 years—which has translated into extreme situations for women where many have not had the chance to go to school or utilise their potentials to the maximum. My humble suggestions can be achieved by initiating a grassroots representation of women in civil society organizations which, based on their work in

REVENUE RECEIPTS are all those receipts, which do not incur repayment liability. These include, in addition to the State's own revenues (Tax and Non-Tax), share in central taxes, grants from the Central Government for the financing of State Plans as well as non-plan grants. These also include interest and dividend on investments made by the Government. REVENUE EXPENDITURE is that which covers the routine administrative expenditure of the State, such as wages and salaries, expenditure on maintenance and repairs and other overheads like payment of rent, taxes, user charges of services, insurance premia and interest. It also includes expenditure on goods for sale like in Stationery Depots, Govt. Presses, Agriculture Production Department, Health institutions and CAPD. BUDGET DEFICIT, the conventional deficit, is the difference between total expenditure and total receipts and has to be zero in the absence of monetization, State Governments have no access to the monetization route and as such Budget Deficit in their case ought to be zero.
the field, make policy recommendations to the government. Based on their feedback of the ground realities, the government will easily be able to assess the situation and create suitable opportunities for women. And hopefully, the next budget speech will acknowledge women as individuals who ought to be given their due.

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Epilogue, March 2010

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G L O S S A R Y

Put Rural Ladakh on Agenda
T. NAMGAIL Journalist from Zanskar in Kargil
n today's age of information and technology, there are many remote villages in our state which still don't have motor road connectivity and telecommunication facility. Such things should be kept as top priority of the government. At the same time the government should also invest a lot in the field of information and technology. Our government must also keep provision to produce electricity from different kinds of renewable energy such as hydro, wind and solar energy. Ladakh is perhaps the only area in the country which has a very high potential for producing electricity from solar and geothermal energy and these should be tapped. As the unemployment is rising day by day everywhere, setting up of industries of different kinds needs to be encouraged by providing due incentives by the Government. Production of local and organic produces and local handi-

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Government should come up with a scheme to provide subsidies and incentives for Ladakh region to construct green house at a large scale so that every household in Ladakh can produce vegetable for their own consumption in the winter months

crafts must also be encouraged. Ladakhis have seen that construction of greenhouses for producing vegetables in winter in Ladakh has revolutionized life in Ladakh in the past more than one decade. Therefore the government should come up with a scheme to provide subsidies and incentives for Ladakh region to construct green house at a large scale so that every household in Ladakh can produce vegetable for their own consumption in the winter months. In the 2009 budget speech made by the J&K Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather, the word 'women' is mentioned less than ten times in a 85-page long document. The references are as bleak as '...a special scheme has been devised for their economic empowerment. Under this scheme, 100 women entrepreneurs shall be selected from each district taking the total to 2,200 in the first phase.' The budget speech also mentions: 'Special provisions have been made in the budget for development of Gujjar and Bakerwals, Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes, Women and Child Welfare.' I am not sure if mentioning women in the same breath as other categories mentioned above is the smartest thing to do. My second suggestion is towards creating educational awareness for women. And this does not simply mean knowledge from books and educational institutions. Rather, it is suggested that there are interventions towards personality devel-

CAPITAL EXPENDITURE relate to the creation of assets. This corresponds to the State's own investment outlay on the acquisition of permanent assets like land, buildings, power projects, Irrigation and water supply schemes, establishment of Industrial Estates, all extensions and structural alteration of existing assets, construction of roads, railways, airports, plant / machinery, InterState Bus Terminals etc. etc. Disbursements, which are comprised of repayment of State public debt and the loans and advances made by the State to the various entities, are also taken as Capex.

opment, self-defence, confidencebuilding etc., keeping in mind the fact that the region has been witnessing a political turmoil—especially in the last 20 years—which has translated into extreme situations for women where many have not had the chance to go to school or utilise their potentials to the maximum. My humble suggestions can be achieved by initiating a grassroots representation of women in civil society organizations which, based on their work in the field, make policy recommendations to the government. Based on their feedback of the ground realities, the government will easily be able to assess the situation and create suitable opportunities for women.

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Epilogue, March 2010

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Think of saving precious glaciers
PADMA SETHI Director, Rural Development and You (RDY), Leh.
e the people of Ladakh are expecting a lot from budget 201011. I am sure the government will fulfill ours basic needs in the upcoming budget. Ladakh, with its peculiar geo-climatic conditions, is situated in the northeastern part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a high-altitude cold desert, with settlements located as high as 16000 feet above sea level where the winter temperatures dips down as low as - 40° C. Most of Ladakh's population lives in rural villages where people still follow agrarian lifestyle. Scarce resources make everyday life further difficult in this environment with harsh climatic conditions. Still, Ladakh

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has been home to a centuries old indigenous culture that has not only survived this land, but has thrived in it. In view of above circumstances, I shall impress upon the government to come up with programs in the upcoming budget for Sustainable Development of Rural Ladakh and also for Renewable Energy Development in Ladakh besides allocation of funds for saving the precious Himalaya Glacier that have been lifeline for lakhs of people inhabiting in many Himalayan mountainous enclaves. The sudden advent of globalization and modernization has posed a threat to Ladakh's traditional lifestyle, like what

I call upon the Finance Minister to come up with programs in the upcoming budget for Sustainable Development of Rural Ladakh and also for Renewable Energy Development in Ladakh besides allocation of funds for saving the precious Himalaya Glacier that have been lifeline for lakhs of people inhabiting in many Himalayan mountainous enclaves.
has happened in the past in other parts of the globe on account of industrialisation and globalisation. Therefore the need of the hour is that the government should take steps to bridge the gap between Ladakh's traditional lifestyle and the modern development by striking a fine balance between the two. At the end I am also expecting more and more fund allocation for the development of the far-flung areas of Ladakh like Dipling area, such villages are still lacking very basic amenities.

Prioritise Quality Education
TASHI ANGCHUK Businessman, Chiktan village of Kargil District
feel that the Finance Minister should give his top priority to the education sector because it is only education that ensures a peaceful, bright and a sustained future. Teaching community should not face any obstacle while they pursue their due rights, be it a case of getting promotion or any other privileges, because teaching is a highly honored profession. The Government should foresee a future

The government should come up different schemes and programs customized to different cultural identities of the State for their promotion and preservation

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wherein, unlike today, not a single dilapidated school building should exist. Secondly since the State is composed of three distinct regions, Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, with their own respective culture and history, the Government should also give its priority to promote and preserve the diversity of the cultural richness of the State. Preservation different historical monuments and distinct

cultural identities will help the Government to promote the State as a unique tourist destination. Hence the government should come up different schemes and programs customized to different cultural identities of the State for their promotion and preservation.

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Epilogue, March 2010

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IN FOCUS
Budget 2010

Focus on Education
THUKJAY TASHI Programme Officer, GYURJA, TATA-LAHDC Support program
ammu and Kashmir is economically backward state despite its high potential of economic development. Low literacy, quality education and lack of employment opportunities are enforcing the violence in the state. The full potential of human resource is still a dream to make a reality as a result the state is infected by the low quality and unskilled labour to be employed in a production units while compromising the productivity and efficiency of a production unit. Thus it is most urgent that state allocates its financial resource strategically in building the education infrastructures and in line with providing quality education to its citizens. The second impediment for the

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Centralized nature of entrepreneurship promotes “survival of the fittest” and leaves the gaps between “haves and have nots” among the citizens that is against the state's social tradition and human right therefore decentralized small unit entrepreneurship is the solution for it

state development is the poor and lack of entrepreneurship development which drags the state way behind others. Centralized nature of entrepreneurship promotes “survival of the fittest” and “have and have not” among the citizens that is against the state's social tradition and human right therefore decentralized small unit entrepreneurship is the solution for it. Economic decentralization can be promoted through tourism industry that the state has unlimited scope to tap by promoting more attractive home stays and travel companies. This is already the main source of livelihood to thousands of people and still the pressure on it is dramatically increasing. So reasonable financial resource allocation

would not only rejuvenate and synergies the state's crippled economy but a provision of constitutional right to life. In conclusion investment in better educational infrastructure in order to produce skillful and resourceful citizens to be more productive is the need of the hour. The Promotion of decentralized entrepreneurship by tapping the greater potential of tourism industries will not only provide livelihood to growing population but bring back the life in its economy. Therefore sufficient budget allocation will meet twine objective of the state peace and development.

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G L O S S A R Y

Make Separate Power Budget
SYED BASHARAT BUKHARI MLA, Sangrama
y strong suggestion to the Finance Minister would be to consider reverting back to the brief practice of presenting a separate budget for the power sector. While sitting in the capital cities we talk big about the power projects while situation in the rural areas still present a gloomy picture. A separate budget for power sector will not only

FISCAL DEFICIT is the difference between aggregate disbursements net of debt repayments and recovery of loans and revenue receipts and nondebt capital receipts.
tional Budget brings to discussion the latest economic scenario and proposals for the next year, a separate budget for power sector will serve as an annual reality audit to improve the state of affairs. My other suggestion is to make employment policy a workable proposition and support it with budgetary provisions. While, of course, I strongly suggest against imposing any fresh taxes, the Finance Minister should also think of easing some areas to de-escalate prices of essentials.

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help in better fiscal management but also streamlining of the projects, supply of power and realization of revenue. We talk of going about mega power projects but there are many villages where people are yet see the first glow of an electric bulb and then there are villages and power supply lines are tied through the trees. Like every March, our conven-

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B U D G E T

G L O S S A R Y

Senior Citizens : Think of this 9% of total population
VIKRAM GOUR Engineer, Activist
udget 2010-11 is the second budget of the present term of Abdul Rahim Rather, one of the ablest of the Finance Ministers of the State so far. He must have many things in mind for running the government in most economical manner to achieve optimum benefits for the citizens of the state. I would only like to add a few public beneficial items to suggest from both for increasing revenue as well as for meeting the aspirations of the people of the state. The Senior Citizens: The Senior Citizens (SC) constitute more than 9% of

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The Senior Citizens (SC) constitute more than 9% of the population of the state and the number is on the increase. The population is estimated to increase to more than 12% by 2015-16. Majority of the SC are in the rural areas and most of them are uncared for. Till date no FM has shown any interest in the welfare of CS in the state. We expect the FM in his budget will provide adequate funds to care for the SC in the shape of opening Day-care Homes, Old age- Homes, Pay and stay Homes, removal of VAT on Medicines for SC, reduction in charges on government/tourism guest houses/tourism huts, providing Emergency Services, both medical and otherwise to the CS etc and advise the government to enact laws that will protect the right of the hapless CS visa-vis their financially sound children

the population of the state and the number is on the increase. The population is estimated to increase to more than 12% by 2015-16. Majority of the SC are in the rural areas and most of them are uncared for. Till date no FM has shown any interest in the welfare of CS in the state. We expect the FM in his budget will provide adequate funds to care for the SC in the shape of opening Day-care Homes, Old age- Homes, Pay and stay Homes, removal of VAT on Medicines for SC, reduction in charges on government/tourism guest houses/tourism huts, providing Emergency Services, both medical and otherwise to the CS etc and advise the government to enact laws that will protect the right of the hapless CS vis-a-vis their financially sound children. Such laws already stand already enacted by the GOI. This act of the FM will certainly assure greater political support to the government from this large section of the population of SC. That Court Fee on registration of the property in court at present is 21% which is highest in the country. We do not understand whether this high rate has been fixed for optimising the revenue of the state out of property registration or encouraging people for under-valuing the property while getting it registered or not getting it registered at all. As per our information majority of the incumbents are keeping away from getting their property registered and those who getting it registered or enormously undervaluing their property for registration and final looser the state. We would

CAPITAL RECEIPTS include loans raised by the State from the market, borrowings from RBI and other institutions, loans from the Centre, receipts from special securities issued to NSSF and the State's recovery of its own loans and proceeds from disinvestment of Government's stake in Public Sector Undertakings, all form part of Capital Receipts. CENTRAL PLAN refers to the Central Government's budgetary support to the Plan and, the internal and extra budgetary resources raised by the Public Sector Undertakings. SUBSIDIES are financial aid provided by the Government to individuals or a group of individuals to become competitive. The grant of subsidies is also aimed at improving skills of those who benefit from the subsidies. AMORTIZATION refers to liquidate (a debt) by repayment in installments is called Amortization. PLAN EXPENDITURE consists of revenue spending and capital spending in the plan. Under the former is included salary and maintenance expenditure. Latter includes expenditure on creation of capital assets.

like to advise the FM to reduce the Court Fee to around 10% so that the purchasers are encouraged to get their property registered thus increase the revenue of the state.

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G L O S S A R Y

Make Agriculture Engine of Growth
ASHWANI SHARMA MLA, Bishnah
eople of all the three regions of the State have voted for good governance and as such expect peace and progress. Budget is not merely a heap of stapled papers with seal of government. It must not only reflect the agenda of the government but should also pave the way for various developmental projects (both ongoing and new) in the state for the year ahead. As a public representative I would like to see allocation of more funds for my constituency which mainly comprises of rural population. Otherwise also in overall context to state, around 80% our population resides in rural area and earning their livelihood through mean of agricultural pursuits. The crisis of unemployment can be catered or minimized if the government comes with a comprehensive plan for agriculture sector. The attention of the government should be focused for incentives to the farmer's community. The fertilizer, loans and other requirements of the farmers may be given priority. Since we don't have any major industrial establishments in the state so the growth of the state is directly proportional to that of agriculture productivity. The irrigation facilities need to be strengthened. Power is one of the major issues concerning every member irrespective of political affiliation. We have so much potential for hydro-power generation in Jammu and Kashmir. The pending power generation and power grid projects should be taken into on war-footing speed. In my own constituency there are

PRIMARY DEFICIT is Fiscal Deficit net of 'Interest Payments and Debt Servicing' under Non-Plan. REVENUE DEFICIT is the difference between Revenue expenditure (Plan / Non-Plan) and Revenue Receipts (Tax / Non-Tax). BALANCE FROM CURRENT REVENUES (BCR) is the difference between Revenue Receipts and the sum total of all Plan grants and Non-Plan Revenue Expenditure. AGGREGATE DISBURSEMENTS include (i) Revenue Expenditure (ii) Capital Disbursements and (iii) Disbursements under Public Account. AGGREGATE RECEIPTS include (i) Revenue Receipts (ii) Capital Receipts and (iii) Receipts under Public Account. MISCELLANEOUS CAPITAL RECEIPTS (MCR) are treated as Non Debt Capital Receipts.

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two such projects costs Rs. 70 Cr. are pending. I feel the government will also take the problem of people into consideration and complete the projects well in time. In my constituency, the people of the border area are not given compensation by the government for the loss of crops and fields acquired by the army and other security forces for the purpose of border fencing. The land is acquired but neither rent nor any other compensation is being awarded to many poor villager of my constituency. The state government must take the issue with government of India. Let us be hopeful that this time the Finance Minister is sincere in delivering it to the people of the state, and Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir get their equal share. Special attention is also required towards health and education sector especially in rural areas. Though in the government schools the situation has improved but yet we are not able to bring private players in rural education sector. The Government Medical College in Jammu is under staff and over-burdened with patients. To tackle this problem we must upgrade our rural health facilities. Primary Health center may be strengthening, Sub District and other district hospitals must be equipped with modern techniques and proper staff strength. The regional discrimination is there and no one can deny this fact, be it employment or other incentives each

government ignored Jammu region, whether it was question of releasing funds for the district development. Jammu is perhaps the largest district in the state in respect of population and area. We are having 11 constituencies but the amount released in the district development board is not sufficient to meet the requirements. There is need for allocation of more funds. I am hopeful that the Finance Minister will not burden the ordinary citizen of the state with more taxes as already the poor man finding it difficult to make both hands in this era of pricehike and inflation.

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Make Tax Collection Transparent
BALDEV RAJ SHARMA MLA, Reasi
efore listing my demands for the upcoming budget, I would like to know from the Honourbale Finance Minister, Did his government deliver all the promises made in his previous budget? As an elected representative of the public I would like to see a public friendly budget without burden on common people in form of direct and indirect taxes. The tax collection system needs more transparency without humiliations to the tax payers. In the budget it is also expected that government make some announcements regarding a visible policy on Kashmiri Pandits. The government must make it clear that what do they want to do with them ? there should be no more experiments. The migrants from Jammu region may also be treated at par with that of Kashmir without any prejudice, discrimination and delay. Now they must be allowed to live a

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dignified life. It is shameful that the state government supported by union government is asking for amnesty and other incentives to the terrorist returning from PoK. It is unfortunate that the Chief Minister of a terror victim state is advocating amnesty to the terrorists. The government is keen to rehabilitate those who adopt the path of violence and killings but they have no sympathy with innocent educated youth of the state. Today, educated youth of the state feels being humiliated, carrying big degrees with them but denied of any job. Instead of initiating a rehabilitating policy for the state, the focus of the government should remain on exploring new job opportunities for the people. The hyped employment policy of the state is nothing but a joke with the educated young peo-

ple of this state. The discrimination issue is not being sorted out. When Omar government took over there were big sloganeering of dealing with the regional discrimination. I feel it sorry to say that during the present government the level of discrimination has widened instead of being bridged. The funds released for the district development are not sufficient. The districts of Jammu region and especially that of my constituency is being almost ignored. There is acute power shortage in the state and there are many remote villages that are yet to be electrified. The power scenario is also worst in towns and villages, there power remains off even for days and week together. For the past few years, there has been dry seasons without rain. The wells are dry and it's just drought like situation. No water for irrigation and also scarcity of drinking water. This issue needs to be address on priority. The government must come with a policy to deal with the alarming situation. The government seems concerned on Cross LoC trade but I feel it has not been able to give any benefit to small businessmen and common people may be it is good for a few businessmen. Don't orchestrate about the political issues but concentrate on developmental issues. and disincentives for accelerating infrastructure and services in the rural areas. I would also like to recommend that there should not be any new taxes in the Budget 2010. Instead of levying any fresh taxes, the Finance Minister should look at some areas where tax regime can be eased. Recently there has been central tax rebate to Jammu and Kashmir and its benefits should percolate down to the masses in general through measures in the upcoming Budget. We understand that inflation is national phenomenon but some cess on petrol diesel etc levied in last year's budget has further contributed to price escalation in Jammu and Kashmir. This local inflation is hitting the poor hard. Budget 2010 should come up with definite measures to ease the prices of essentials.

Bridge Rural-Urban Divide
CHOUDHARY ZULFIKAR ALI MLA, Darhal
hether it is Union Budget or State Budgets, when the presentation is round the corner it is just the urbancentric view point that comes under discussion. There has never been any process of consultation in the rural areas and therefore the fears of not factoring in majority feedback always remain. My

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first and foremost suggestion to the Finance Minister would be that his budget should lay emphasis on schemes that are aimed at bridging the rural urban divide. You look at education, healthcare, power supply and road network, the rural areas lag far behind. There should be a scheme of incentives

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APPEASE ALL BUDGET

Do the Regional Balancing Act
BALWANT SINGH MANKOTIA MLA Udhampur
udget defines goal of the government and it also reflects the action plan of the government for various sectors in the state. I feel no hesitation in saying that this government has failed in meeting with the aspirations of the people of the state, especially that of Jammu region. The role of the government is not only to rule but also to govern and administer the system, the Omar government is just confined to 'rule' but failed to govern and administer in a proper way. Today, the common citizen is loaded with the burden of unchecked price hike of essential commodities. He is not even able to have bread and butter for his family. It would be soothing to see Jenab Finance Minister making some announcements to take steps so that the graph of inflation is brought down. The government needs to take immediate steps to revive its Pubic Distribution System, which is a total a flop show. The ration card holder are being deprived of their due ration. The

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V O T E

O N

A C C O U N T

Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather had taken a Vote-onAccount of Rs 9503 crore on March 3 in a brief session of the Legislature for a period of five months for the financial year 2009-10 beginning April 1.

poor people are totally depend CAPD ration stores and when they are shown out of stock board they feel humiliation. So this needs special attention and there must be accountability of the officers concerned. The affected people are not even paid compensations under drought relief fund. The drought relief fund amount may be enhanced and should be made flexible so that victims and genuine people are not being harassed unnecessarily. To deal with the rising graph of unemployed youth the government should accommodate private investors in the state, a industrialization policy should be formed so that more private players come in the state and our young educated people get the job opportunities. Though the government has announced an employment policy but it has no sense. The banks will be asked to give loan to the educate youth, but we all know that banks demand mortgage from the applicants hence if a person has own capital then what's role of government. ? In the Health sector also we need more attention; we are at 3rd end and at number 28 in national health graph. People of the state and especially that of my constituency have to cover a long distance to reach Jammu even for minor health related problems. Again in Jammu patients are forced to visit AIIMS or PGI Chandigarh. We need more health institutes in the state with modern techniques and medical

The last budget of the last National Conference regime was presented by then Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather on March 6, 2002. Aiming at Assembly elections due in September same year, Rather announced wide ranging concessions for tourism, hotel and entertainment industry ranging from slapping of taxes to extension of tax holidays. This Budget carried a deficit of Rs 1200 Crore. Finance Minister also appeased the State Government and public sector employees by announcing the installments of Dearness Allowance (DA) and Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) and reviving the scheme of housing loan upto Rs 50,000. Key features ? 100 pc interest subsidy to house boat, taxi owners ? 5 years tax holiday on ST charged from hotels ? Surcharge on fruit orchards totally abolished ? Tax enhanced on deluxe liquor, middle class exempted ? DA, COLA sanctioned for Govt employees, housing loan revived ? Show tax abolished, excise duty reduced in cinema halls
professionals. The pace of work on ongoing projects should be speed up so that they can be completed without any further delay. No one can deny and ignore the discrimination with Jammu region of the state. Be it tourism sector or any other area. The people of Jammu have always felt the blunt. The government must ensure that discrimination be it regional or sub-regional will be erased.

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Give Air Connectivity to Unreachable Areas
TSETAN NAMGYAL MLA, Nobra
ith a positive hope and as a representative of people of Nobra I am confident that in the coming budget there will be a good deal with the people of the state and especially with the remote areas. We all know that in Ladakh region the road connectivity is question of life and death, because of difficult terrain and hostile weather the people of the area remain cut off from the rest of the world. Even within the region the people find it difficult to reach the nearest village. The only life line during the long winter season is air-services which are unfortunately not in everyone's reach. Since people and students of the area have to either move to valley or to Jammu region for education, health and other official matters. It is prayed that in the budget more air-services are allowed with low-fare. The pending tunnel projects may

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be taken in a fast track manner so that complete well in time saving precious life of the people. The medicines and other goods of daily use are air-lift from other parts of the state-country which costs more carriage and ultimately the common people have to bear the burden. I am confident that the present government is able to make it to the aspirations of the people of the state and will do justice to them. The traditional silk route can be of a great help as it can join the country with rest of the world. There is no industrial sector in the area and the people of the area have limited resources to earn their livelihood e.g Ladakh region is a favourite destination for international tourists, the government of India if moves in direction to open Mansarover Road, then there can be enormous expansion of tourism sector which will help the regional economy to

grow besides giving employment to the people of the area that are not able to carry their agricultural pursuits during the hostile winter season. The region can be serve as corridor to Indo-China trade helping both the countries. We can import essential commodities from them at a low cost and similarly export our item to them making it convenient for both the neighbours. Besides tourism, Ladakh region is also enriched with minerals resources the area has the potential to be developed as a hub for mineral resources. There is no need to go even deeper even minor mining can bring the results. The state government must look into this and draft a policy in this direction to explore more possibilities, funds may also be allocated for making further researches so that the possibilities could be developed. There is even possibility of exploring Uranium, hence we need to go with pace and plan. Since we have long winter span making it difficult for the people to make their routine work, we meet with biggest challenge of power sector. This also needs a comprehensive plan, the present power system needs a revival and up gradation. We require more funds meeting out power crisis in the region of Ladakh.

Do Need-Based Mapping
SAJJAD KICHLOO MLA, Kishtwar
ammu and Kashmir being geographically very uneven state ill affords a uniform development policy. What is important in our state to do a need based mapping in all rural and urban areas and then formulate

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development projects accordingly. The Government often talks of connecting all those villages with population of more than 5000 persons but still there are many areas with more than 60,000 souls awaiting first 'invasion' of a vehicle of any

sort. Many areas in my constituency Kishwar and in Gurez and Tulail etc are live examples. Road connectively should, therefore, become a priority sector in the rural areas. When I talk about the need based development mapping, what comes to my mind is the plight of people in remote and rural areas. I am happy to learn that the Chief Minister has shown his keen interest in rural road connectivity and has asked for Detailed Project Reports for around 200 villages. I would suggest that 2010 should be declared as a year of rural roads connectivity and its reflection should come in the Budget speech of the Finance Minister.

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F A C T O I D S

Revisit Your Previous Promises Before Making New
HAKEEM MOHAMMAD YASEEN MLA, Khan Sahib
would like to suggest the Finance Minister that first of all he should restudy the budget 2009-10. He should come with all the related data about his previous year's budget. What did he promise and how much he could do. The upcoming budget should not be merely a reprint of the previous budget with few alterations and editions. The budget is not a document but it defines the fate of the state and its people. Today, world and the country are facing unemployment problem and I think the problem is more grave in our state because of political unrest and other allied factors. The proportional growing graph of educated unemployed youth is much more in our state than any other part of India or elsewhere in the world. I assure, if they (youth of the state) are given jobs then the state can witness an unprecedented atmosphere of peace and progress. The government has to match the policy on papers with its implementation on grounds. Of course no government can accommodate everyone in the government jobs but you have to carve out a policy so that more private players invest in the state and people get employment opportunities. For industrialization in state we have to provide un-interrupted power supply but even today the government has failed to do so. Until and unless we tackle the power crisis, we cannot dream peace and progress. We are naturally resourceful state well-vested with potential of hydro-power and tourism industry.

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Besides power there is also scarcity of skilled labour in the state, for the purpose we need more ITI's and Polytechnic colleges even at tehsil and block levels. The serving employees of the state government are being ill-treated and the promises made to them are not made so far, they are forced to adopt the path of agitation, the sixth pay recommendations are not implemented in toto. It is really an embarrassment for the state government that the old retired government employees are totally ignored. The FM should announce proper implementation of sixth pay panel recommendations and release the pending arrears of serving retired government employees. I am sorry to say that government is exploiting the youth of the state, you are not adhering even your own rules and laws, where is your rule of minimum wage policy? You want a post-graduate and professional graduates to stake his future for your 1100 and 1500, what are you offering to ReT and other contractual agricultural graduates?. I am hopeful that in the coming budget the government comes with without any further delay you must enhance their wages. I also feel that the government will make more efforts to appreciate crossLoc trade, the on going trade between the businessmen of the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir should be given a boost. The barter system of trading may

THE HARSHEST BUDGET Annual Budget for the year 19992000 presented by then Finance Minister Mohammad Shafi in the Legislative Assembly on March 4, 1999 is considered as the harshest of two decades as it carried a wide range of takes on almost all range of people in the state also hiked most of the existing taxes. The Finance Minister had said that he was left with no other option to bring Jammu and Kashmir out of the financial mess. A tentative breakup of Rs 1750 Crore Budget comprised a Revenue component of Rs 738 Crore and Capital component of Rs 1012 Crores. In 2004 the Plan expenditure was pegged at Rs 3300 Crore and NonPlan expenditure at Rs 7379 Crore. In 2002-03 the Plan expenditure accounted for only 25 per cent of the total budget.
be replaced with proper system. The traders of the state are demanding for banking and communication facility between the two business communities, under the present system the concerned people will not be able to carry on it. It is quite unfortunate that we pose the state as tourism destination but every day people are being killed on roads, the state needs to be careful for that . The issues of road connectivity and widening of roads may be taken on war foot. Because of difficult terrain the health system in the state is in a very vulnerable stage, you cannot allow a patient in some remote village of Kupwara to cover a long distance of some 100 miles to reach SKIMS, Srinagar. The budget-2010 should allocate more funds for health sector.

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Put Brakes on Price Escalation
PEERZADA MANSOOR MLA, Shangus
am not hesitant to say that this government has failed to act on the expectations of the people. More than 60 % people voted just for peace and progress and on both the fronts the Omar Abdullah government has failed. Peace and progress and interlinked the present government able fail to bring normalcy in the state. During N-C Congress regime we tried to normalize things and of course we were able to move forward in the direction of normalcy and calm. Today the people are crying and dying because of the uncontrolled price hike of essential commodities. The government must ensure a check on the rising inflation. The BPL and other weaker sections of the society may be given more subsidies. The CAPD ration store has failed to deliver it to the people. There is need of transparency and accountability in the Public Distribution system. The ration quoto for the rationees must be enhanced. There is a flood of unemployed educated youth, they possess higher qualifications but are without job. It is the duty of the government to take a note of that and make proper arrangement for their employment. Because when these educated youth are deprived of their rights then they take the other way which is not good for the society. Though the government has announced an employment policy for them but again it would not be wrong to term it as a flaw. We are already having PMRY ( Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojna) and we know the financial insti-

Give Roads to Villages
ASHOK KUMAR MLA, Ramban
would expect that the Minister for Finance, Abdul Rahim Rather to allocate special package for connectivity to far-off places in Ramban constituency. Still hundreds of villages are inaccessible and people have to walk on feet for kilometers together. If you don't have road connectivity, development in other sectors would remain elusive. Besides road connectivity, we have great expectations from the coalition government that it would announce measures for improving health sector in remote areas of the State. “The hospitals particularly subdistrict and primary health centers, where infrastructure is very poor, we hope the government would take measures for improvement of these institutions so that the people could be provided better health care system. As far as power sector is concerned, my constituency still has 20-25 villages which are still un-electrified. For instance Dessa, Sadan, Chortha and Balihota villages don't have electricity. Government should take a keen interest in providing electricity to these villages and I hope the ruling alliance would allocate special funds for electrification of rural areas. Last but not the least, the Government's main thrust should be on providing potable water to villages where streams and other water resources got dried due to existing dry spell.

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tutes attributes impossible conditions making it difficult for the poor applicant to either withdraw his application or stop following the already submitted one. The loan facility to the educated youth is not going to help. We demand that there should be a separate employment budget besides power budget. The Horti-Floriculture industry of the state needs special care because in the absence of any major industry in the valley the people of the Kashmir are depend on these two industries. The handicraft industry of the Kashmir has no match and that should also be given incentives for boost. In the upcoming budget we want that there must be a separate power budget for the state. Today the whole state is suffering because of power shortage and this needs to be addressed at an earliest. Power is key to growth, be it for industrialization or for irrigation purposes. The state needs an economical boost and that can be possible with peace in the region. We ought to have friendly relations with our neighbours. The ongoing Cross-LoC trade can be of tremendous help in this direction. People of both the region can be benefited with this if it is fully operational. At present the business communities of the two region are having traditional barter system ( exchange of goods). And the businessmen are finding it difficult to carry on, the communication link with PoK may be allowed and a branch of Jammu and Kashmir Bank may be set up there in PoK.

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B U D G E T

G L O S S A R Y

NON-PLAN EXPENDITURE consists of salary, interest payments, subsidies and grants. It can be divided into revenue spending and capital spending.

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WORST FINANCIAL CRISIS

Invest Creative Ideas
ABDUL MAJID WANI MLA, Doda
here is a unique paradox in Jammu and Kashmir. For years and decades we have been hearing about abject poverty, unemployment and economic downturns. These terms sound strange for a resource rich state like Jammu and Kashmir. On one hand we talk about the massive hydel potential, mineral reserves and forest wealth and on the other hand we have to rush to New Delhi for funding for every petty schemes. I would like the Finance Minister to break the precedence of presenting routine Budgets and come up with systematic plan of exploiting the natural resources. The routine patchwork exercises of cutting taxes from one sector and levying on the other will not help for long. Someday, the government will have to sit down and think of major policy initiates for massive economic growth. In the first stage, I suggest, a systematic and scientific resource mapping. Second stage can involve fund mobilization and third stage on execution. Forget the losses accrued of Indus Water Treaty. We need to ask ourselves how much of available waters have we been able to use? Not more than 10 to 15 per cent of the total resources. I understand big hydel project need huge investments but these projects can be put to Public-Private Partnership or Built Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) mechanism. For the economic development it is not always important to invest money. What is important to invest creative ideas.

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The year 1998-99 was of worst financial crisis. The mismatch between resource raising capacity of the State and the unavoidable mounting expenditure resulted into depletion of resources and cash crunch. The main reasons contributing to the severe resource gap were attributable to (a) that the year opened with a high overdraft of Rs 944.92 crore and unpaid bills and hundies of Rs 206 crore. (b) the State extended the benefit of pay/pension to its employees and pensioners as recommended by the 5th Central Pay Commission which resulted in financial impact of Rs 510 crore. © two instalments of JDA of3% and 6% to the State Government employees/pensioners added the burden of about Rs 120 crore on the State exchequer. (d) the losses of the State Electricity Board continued to be very high and since additional power became available from Uri, the expend hire for purchase of power reached the level of Rs 537 crore. (e) the security related expenditure has not been fully reimbursed by the Government of India and as per claims of the State Government be outstanding is of the order of Rs 896.92 crore as on date.

No Fresh Taxes, Please
MR QURESHI MLC, Poonch
he Government must ensure that the commitments which it had made with the public last year and which have not been fulfilled thus far, should be on its priority. It should assess the ground realities and basic needs of the people so that special provisions are made in this year's budget. The theme of the Governor's address should be given a practical shape on ground and the government must take measures for the welfare of the people. Special focus should be made on education, health and power, besides expediting recruitment process for unemployed youth. No new tax should be introduced so that common man doesn't suffer in view of sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities. We hope that the Government would take pro-people and peoplefriendly measures to resolve the genuine issues of the employees.

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Epilogue, March 2010

BOOKS

30

Extracts
WOMEN IN KASHMIR

The Glorious Roles They Played
NYLA ALI KHAN

The articulation of the fervent patriotism of Kashmiri women, which manifested itself in their emboldened personae in 1931, 1947, 1950, and 1975 until the dawn of insurgency and counterinsurgency in 1989-90, requires research paradigms and hypotheses that give as much credence to the path paving work of women within religious, familial, and communal frameworks and to the work of those women who deconstructed well-established frameworks in order to lead subaltern movements, motivate minority education as opposed to state controlled education, and recognize culture and history as sites of struggle.

While reminiscing about Begum Akbar Jahan's significant role in 1947, Krishna Misri writes about the formation of the National Militia and Women's Defense Corps, volunteer forces of men and women organized under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah to ward off the onslaught that occurred on October 22, 1947, when hordes of tribesmen from the Northwest Frontier Province, under the patronage of the Pakistani army, crossed the border of the princely state of J & K in order to coercively annex the region: In the absence of a competent civil authority, volunteers of the National Militia filled the void. They patrolled the city day and night with arms, kept vigil, guarded strategic bridges, approaches to the city, banks, offices, etc. With preliminary training in weapons, some of them were deployed with army detachments to fight the enemy at the war front. With its multi-faceted and radical activities, Women's Self Defense Corps (WSDC) was a harbinger of social change. It provided a forum where

S

ome Reminiscences about Women's Agential Roles or Lack Thereof, 1947 and 1989:

women steeped in centuries old traditions, abysmal ignorance, poverty, and superstition could discuss their issues. Attired in traditional Kashmiri clothes and carrying a gun around her shoulders, Zoon Gujjari, symbolized the WSDC. A milk vendor's charismatic daughter, hailing from a conservative Muslim family that lived in downtown Srinagar, she received well-deserved media coverage. My elder brother, Pushkar Zadoo, joined the National Militia, while I along with my sisters, Kamla and Indu, became volunteers of WSDC. We were first initiated into physical fitness and then divided into smaller groups, where weapons' training was imparted. It was essential to follow the instruction given by our instructor, an ex-army serviceman to a tee. Soon we understood the operational details of loading and unloading a gun, taking aim, and finally pressing the trigger. To get acclimatized to shooting the 303 rifle, sten-gun, bren gun, and pistol, practice drills were organized in an open area, known as “Chandmari.” The initial nervousness soon gave way to confidence and we would hit the target when ordered. For all parades including “ceremonial

guards” and “guard of honor” the practice was that men's contingents were followed by women's contingents. During that gut-wrenching invasion, Begum Akbar Jahan undertook exhaustive relief work in order to rehabilitate displaced and dispossessed villagers. “She addressed the volunteers on political issues to raise their political consciousness. Miss Mahmuda Ahmad Shah, a pioneering educationist and champion of women's empowerment, along with other leading women, was in the forefront of WSDC. Begum Zainab was a grass-root level leader. She took charge of the political dimension of WSDC. Shouldering a gun, she was in the forefront, leading women's contingents. Sajjada Zameer Ahmad, Taj Begum Renzu, Shanta Kaul, and Khurshid Jala-u-Din joined the 'Cultural Front' and worked with Radio Kashmir as anchors, announcers, and actors. Several women writers and poets emerged on the literary scene and contributed to the cultural renaissance that followed down the decades.” Women, as evidenced by the work of constructive and rehabilitative work undertaken by political and social women activists in the former princely

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state during turbulent and peaceful times, have more or less power depending on their specific situation, and they can be relatively submissive in one situation and relatively assertive in another. Assessing women's agency requires identifying and mapping power relations, the room to maneuver within each pigeonhole and the intransigence of the boundaries. A woman's level of empowerment also varies according to factors such as class, caste, ethnicity, economic status, age, family position, etc. In 1950, the government of J & K developed educational institutions for Women on a large scale. That year the first Government College for Women, a watershed in the gendered landscape of the State, was established. This institution provided an emancipatory forum for women, broadening their horizons and opportunities within established political and social spheres. Higher education in the State received a greater impetus with the establishment of the Jammu and Kashmir University. The mobilization of women from various socioeconomic classes gave them opportunities to avail themselves of educational opportunities and enhance their professional skills, attempting to reform existing structures so as to accommodate women. The educational methods employed in these institutions were therefore revisionist in nature, not revolutionary. But the pugnacious militarization of the political and cultural discourse in the State in 1989-90 marginalized developmental issues and negated the plurality of ideologies through a non-negotiable value system. In the e-mail, Misri wrote about the gory landscape of 1989: In 1989, Kashmiris were caught between the terrorists and state terrorism, two sides of the same coin. Women bore the brunt of the suffering since, ironically, the two forces wielding

ISLAM WOMEN VIOLENCE IN KASHMIR
BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN

&

power shared a patriarchal mindset that views women as symbols of individual and collective “honor.” As has been the case throughout history, women's bodies in Kashmir became sites of war irrespective of their class, caste, religion, region, or ethnicity. Physical violations of women became common and were used to challenge the collective honor of the community. Rape, gangrape, abductions, kidnappings, naked corpses with amputated limbs hanging from tree tops, were visible manifestations of the grim reality that gripped women's lives in the Valley. In addition were the hordes of panic stricken people on the run, uprooted from their moorings, bereft of their home, history, and identity. They had become refugees in their own land. For women, the new reality was in part reflected in the new identities they assumed, rape victims, abducted women, widows, grass widows, migrants, and so on. The United Nations Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women states that pervasive violence against women is a product of “unequal power relations” between men and women, which characterizes gender relations in all parts of the world. Violence is built into patriarchal structures and it is practiced during peace as well as war. Kashmiri women have gone through immense turbulence and torture in the last two decades and reconstituting their devastated lives is a formidable challenge. Given the urgency of the problem, what they need is empowerment. However, much of the discourse in the last two decades has focused on women either as victims/losers or welfare beneficiaries. Scant attention has been paid to their attempts to reconstitute their lives and to face the struggles of everyday existence. One of the ways that that victimized and displaced Kashmiri women are rebuilding and creating meaning in their lives is by taking

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up agency oriented roles. The resourcefulness of under-privileged women in becoming part of a larger reconstitution and conflict mitigation process is to be commended. For example, Parveena Ahagar's untiring search for her son culminated in the creation of the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons. This association has become a rallying forum for parents and relatives in search of their missing kith and kin. Others have set up self-help groups that deal with specific issues pertaining to widows, grass-widows, and orphans. Still others have become involved in large scale social work and/or social activism. Agency oriented roles are highly visible in the political participation and mobilization of women. Outnumbering men at times, they have made their presence felt in a big way in protest rallies and dangerous political missions. Women are organized under several political organizations that are affiliated to their male counterparts. “Dukhtara-e-Milat” (Daughters of the Nation) is affiliated to a radical Islamist group and advocates restrictive codes of conduct for women. They even condone the use of coercive methods to enforce their agenda. Those aligned with moderate militant groups, on the other hand, have less restrictive codes and refrain from the use of coercive methods. At the other end of the continuum is “Daughters of Vitasta” (Daughters of the Jhelum, a river which is the lifeblood of Kashmir), the women's wing of “Panun Kashmir” (Our Own Kashmir), mainly operating from Jammu and Delhi. They seek resolution of the problems of internally displaced Kashmiri Pandits in terms of a separate homeland within the geographical space of the Kashmir Valley. Despite their varying perceptions, all women's organizations in India Administered J & K share some

common traits: they are based on a radical politicization of religious identities and their agendas exemplify their exclusionary ideologies; though these women have served in the low and mid tiers of their respective organizations, they have to date been excluded from the upper echelons. Some organizations have expressed deep reservations about including women in the top tier. None of these agencies has a plan of action for women. How women perceive their future after struggle in a regressive discourse is unclear. It appears that they

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Women, as evidenced by the work of constructive and rehabilitative work undertaken by political and social women activists in the former princely state during turbulent and peaceful times, have more or less power depending on their specific situation, and they can be relatively submissive in one situation and relatively assertive in another. Assessing women's agency requires identifying and mapping power relations, the room to maneuver within each pigeonhole and the intransigence of the boundaries.
look at issues from the lens of their patriarchies and believe in an illusionary post-conflict resolution. While women have gained some “agentive moments,” these gains are flawed as their agendas stem from an insulated worldview. I agree with Misri's passionate articulation of the merciless forms of oppression that Kashmiri women now confront, “The focus has shifted from empowerment of women to the brutal politics of intimidation and coercion symbolized by attempts to enforce a dress code on them. . . . The burden of the new adjustments has disproportionately fallen on women.”

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exclusive series

New Research on Kashmir
FORGOTTEN HISTORY BY GEORGE:

The Cunningham Contribution
RAKESH ANKIT

Facts are subversive, and expensive' – writes Timothy Garton Ash. Subversive of political and historical claims; of lies, half-truths, myths and – it can be added – memories. Yet as he asserts – a few lines down – 'the first job, not the only job, perhaps not the most important, but the first job of the historian and the journalist is to find facts'. While the loc-marked frontier between the two halves of Kashmir may be heavily wired, guarded and patrolled; the frontier between fact and fiction in the literature on Kashmir is open and unmarked. In fact, much of it is history as storytelling – and a short wa y a wa y from postmode rn ist relativism. India and Pakistan have disputed over many 'facts' related to the October 1947 conflict in Kashmir but none so heavily as India's conviction that the government of Pakistan gave raiders facilities in the October invasion. Pakistan equally strongly denied the allegation. The British, on their part, while being 'satisfied that Jinnah has been feeble or unwise in acquiescing or tolerating the activities of the tribesmen or more probably in not stopping his people from pursuing such a policy', did 'not believe that Jinnah planned or designed what in fact has happened'. To recapture the various positions, very briefly, India claimed that Pakistan gave raiders facilities and must

'

withdraw them. Once they go back, India will pull its troops back. Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdullah's administration was a valid one as he represented the people of Kashmir and a plebiscite will be organised under the Abdullah administration. Pakistan responded by claiming that it can not control the tribes till an impartial administration was in place. Plebiscite must be organised under a neutral set-up and once India could guarantee these two promises, Pakistan can help bring the tribes back. In addition, it pointed out that Poonch, Jammu and Sialkot had seen the Sikh and Dogra troops attacking the Muslims leading to a refugee crisis in Western Punjab and NWFP. This excited the tribes to go into Kashmir which Pakistan tried to prevent short of use of force. And of course, the fountain of Indian legality – the instrument of accession – was stingingly termed as 'fraudulent and based on violence'. What of the British view? By 31 October, HMG's position had crystallized thus: It would have been natural for Kashmir to have acceded to Pakistan given the demographic, geographical, trade-transport and communication factors. Srinagar's conduct in Poonch in September and correspondence with Karachi in October suggest that it valued differences with Pakistan as providing an excuse for accession to India. There was no evidence for Pakistan having organised incursion.

Instead they brought strong political pressure on the tribes and refused to recognise the provisional government set up by the Muslim Conference (on 6 October, headed by Md. Anwar) even though India had openly facilitated Junagadh's provisional government. Pakistan was unwise in not physically stopping tribesmen and doubtless local authorities showed some connivance but Jinnah could not actually have stopped the movement of tribesmen however ardently he had desired. Pakistan was weakened by the refugee problem and just like the Indian Punjab had difficulty in imposing its authority over local officials. The Indian government made a dangerous and provocative mistake by accepting even provisionally the accession of Kashmir into India. There was no need to do this. Military help could certainly have been sent to Kashmir from India without accession to the state. Moreover, India did not seek to keep alive the spirit of cooperation with Pakistan by informing Jinnah what they were about to do and of explaining that it was not intended to produce a fait accompli as regards Kashmir's future position. All this suggested that one object of government of India was to secure Kashmir's accession to India and Pakistan could hardly be expected to put any other interpretation. The solution: stop fighting to arrange plebiscite or rather arrange plebiscite to stop fighting.

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Now, among the many witnesses with a ring-side view of the unfolding events in Pakistan – events which were at the very core of the above positions – was Sir George Cunningham (1888-1963) who was then the Governor of the North-West Frontier Province (here after NWFP). Sir George, GCIE, KCSI and OBE, joined the ICS in 1911. Early in his career, he served as Asst. Commissioner, Punjab (1914-17); Political Agent, Waziristan, NWFP (1922-23) and Councillor, Kabul (1925-26). He rose to be the PPS to the Viceroy, Lord Irwin (1926-31) and, subsequently, was appointed first as Acting Governor of the NWFP (Nov. 1932- May 1933) and then confirmed in that capacity for a nine-year long tenure from 1937 to 1946. He returned to Peshawar following Sir Olaf Caroe's departure in August 1947. Cunningham kept a diary – written in longhand. It can be accessed as manuscript no. MSS Eur D670/6 at the Oriental and India Office Collections, British Library (London). This next few paras bring to light Cunningham's entries between 6 October and 22 December 1947. Cunningham was worried at 'quite a lot of talk of the actual danger of war' as October began. On 6 October, he confided to himself: 'The Pakistan government seems to me to wink at very dangerous activities on the Kashmir border, allowing small parties of Muslims to infiltrate into Kashmir from this side. That might easily become a casus belli'. A week later, one can see the horizon darkening: 'There is a real move in Hazara for Jehad [sic.underlined in original] against Kashmir. I have warned everyone I could, including the Afridis and Mohmands, of the danger of taking part in anything like this, in case it leads to war between India and Pakistan'.

On 15 October, Cunningham wrote that 'the Kashmir affair is boiling up. I am not quite sure how far my own ministers know about it, or sympathise with it, but they have sanctioned quite a lot of petrol and flour'. He sought to do his constitutional duty by warning the Governor-General. Writing to Jinnah, he said: 'I am perturbed by the move which a lot of our people are making in the Kashmir direction. The talk now is not merely of defence against attacks from Kashmir by Sikhs, but of invasion into Kashmir'. Three days later, Cunningham got his answer from his Chief Minister Abdul Qayyum. A barrister and a member of the Muslim League in 1940s, Qayyum was the CM in NWFP in 1947 and later became the Federal Interior Minister during the Bhutto years (1971-77). He put it bluntly to the Governor that, 'It would be a good thing to fill Kashmir with armed Muslims. Even if we do not give any support or sympathy to the movement, it would be difficult to stop small parties trickling over'. It was clear that Pakistan was nervous about the strategic danger if Kashmir joined India and there was a strong school of thought arguing that direct action now would make the Maharaja join Pakistan. On 20 October, 900 Mahsuds left in lorries for Kashmir along with 200 Mohmands as 21 October was 'tipped as the “D” day'. The same day, Cunningham confidentially informed General Sir Rob Lockhart (C-in-C, Indian Army from August to December 1947): 'I am afraid that certain people up here have been playing with fire; I have pointed out to them the probable results of their activities and they have at last realised, I think, the dangers; but, I am afraid that it may be too late. Anyhow we shall know one way or the other long before you get this'. (Lockhart got the letter on either 23 or

24 October) The next morning 'several thousands' left Hazara and took over Muzaffarabad and Domel. On 23 October, Cunningham finally lost his innocence when Liaquat asked: 'How many men have we there? Are they getting supplies all right?' The movement of tribes continued over the next couple of days as they took Garhi, Uri and Baramulla. Cunningham confronted Abdul Qayyum on 25 October thus: 'I know pretty well all that had been going on in the Province, and who had been instigating our tribesmen to go to Kashmir'. In reply, Qayyum 'grinned'! The next day clouds parted. Iskander Mirza [then Defence Secretary (194754), Pakistan; later Governor-General (1955-56) and President (1956-58)] came to the Governor and finally brought him into the loop. The Defence Secretary briefed the Governor 'all the underground history; apologised on behalf of Liaquat for keeping him in dark and confirmed that it was decided about a month ago that Poonchis revolt should be helped. Jinnah sanctioned the project 15 days ago while Abdul Qayyum was in it from the beginning'. Cunningham met Jinnah for the first time since the invasion began over 28-29 October. In Karachi, the Qaid-aAzam convened a meeting of all the state governors and chief ministers to explain the government's position. While admitting that he 'could not quite follow Jinnah's reasoning about the fraudulent accession of Kashmir'; Cunningham, nevertheless, agreed that 'the only thing to do now was to pump in more tribesmen but with proper organisation of rations, ammunitions and supplies'. Cunningham quotes Jinnah imploring that it was 'essential for Mudie-Gracey-Cunningham [Sir Robert Francis Mudie, Governor West Punjab (1947-49); General Sir Douglas Gracey,

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C-in-C, Pakistan Army from 1948 to 1951] to enter into the full spirit of this struggle for safeguarding of the lives and rights of the Kashmir people'. On his part, he told Jinnah that if this was his definite policy then he was quite prepared to support it. The next couple of entries attempt some rationale and reflection. Cunningham insists on one hand that 'nothing could bring back the tribes except to satisfy them that justice was genuinely going to be given to the Muslims of Kashmir' and on the other that 'we [Pakistan] must avoid suggesting that we can influence them'. He feels that he has become, previously unthinkable, 'practically a member of a tribal lashkar'. He consoles himself by claiming that 'the fact that it is aimed against the Sikhs and people like Patel is some consolation'. This readiness to accept the fait accompli gets reflected in the advice that Cunningham gives to Brown of the Gilgit coup fame on 1 November. On 4 November, Cunningham's entry takes a tone of pained resignation, naïve idealism, sober selfrighteousness and even irony. He admits that, 'with the backing of Ministers, Muslim officials have been giving orders to help tribes'; and, notes: 'I could have found half a dozen excellent grounds for resigning in the last two weeks or so, but I feel that we may be able to get the thing gradually under control again and that one must try to see it through'. Ten days later, Cunningham was still caught at the crossroads of conscience: 'It is difficult to keep the balance between being cold and constitutional on the one side and entering con amore into the plots on the other'. Four weeks later, Cunningham had made his peace – much like almost every British officer/official employed with the Pakistan government: 'However

much Pakistan may be criticised for encouraging this situation/invasion, it is quite certain that if they had not done so Kashmir would have joined the Indian Union; and this would have been unnatural'. There was 'no question…of resisting this movement from this side, any more than a Turk in France in the 12th century would have resisted the Crusade'! Which is why it did not matter that the Chief Minister of NWFP was 'so occupied with Kashmir' – in the words of his Governor – that he had 'little time to attend to real administration'. As he wrote to his former boss Lord Halifax [Viceroy, India as Lord Irwin from 1926-31; later, UK Ambassador to US (1941-44)] on 17 December: 'When the whole of India was being carved up it seems to me quite ridiculous that the states shouldn't [be]…Hyderabad ought obviously to have gone to India, and Kashmir, just as obviously to Pakistan…[Because of]…this Kashmir business…official eyes, from top to bottom, have to be closed to certain things that ought not to be done. Whatever criticism may be made of those who have encouraged this Muslim invasion of Kashmir, there is no doubt that, if it had not been made, Kashmir would have irrevocably slipped away into the Indian Union, and some two million more Muslims would have been decanted on Pakistan'. On 14 February 1948, Sir George Cunningham wryly noted the pattern of the 120 days since 14 October 1947: 'There are probably…2 or 3, 000 (tribesmen in Kashmir) now, though at the outset there were 5 times that number. They often come and see me (though I am not supposed to approve), and sometimes congratulate me on the success of their operations! A funny situation'! This then is Sir George Cunningham's contribution in helping us

look back and compose the picture of the past. There is a postscript, however. Long after the initial dust had settled, Louis Mountbatten – always conscious of his place in history – engaged Cunningham in a spirited correspondence to thrash out the sequence and the sentiments of those tumultuous October days. Cunningham's response – in the light of what we know now – is interesting and worth quoting at length. I leave the readers to draw their own conclusions about the personality and politics; character and conscience of Sir George: 'I am not able to say who were the actual people who incited our tribes and stirred them up. I know some of them and suspect others but I honestly do not know (I never felt there was much use in enquiry) where the real initiative came from. Facilities for the tribesmen's actual transit through the province (lorries and petrol) were no doubt made available which would have been impossible if officials had not shut their eyes'. 'From the beginning the tribes looked on the Kashmir conflict as a “holy war” – an obligation to help their fellow Muslims in Kashmir against – in particular – the Sikhs. If October onwards we had ordered our police to shoot down the tribes as they passed through (which would have been the only way of stopping them) we could probably have enforced in some cases under great protest, but the result would have been such an outburst of popular feeling that not one of our men would have been left alive'. Prediction and prescription about the future of Jammu & Kashmir have proved dubious products. Description and analysis of the history of past as well as 'history of present' provide a better preparation to answer the everpresent question, namely, 'What is to be done?'

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MEDIA

Ladakh's Best Friend,
AIR Leh needs urgent upgrade
TSEWANG RIGZIN

ll India Radio Leh has been the only media for the people of Ladakh for decades to have relied upon for things such as news, issues related to health, education, religion, science and so on. People of Ladakh are extremely nationalistic and are very proud to be Indians, for which one cannot ignore the role played by patriotic programs this radio station has catered to even the remotest areas of Ladakh in the last few decades. In Ladakh a relatively poor family would have a radio set. As the world has entered an era of information and technology with sophisticated digital technologies, radio station Leh also needs to be improved in terms of both power and manpower. In the last few years, people living the border areas of like Changthang, Nubra and Sham have been complaining for bad reception for Leh radio on both Short-Wave or on MediumWave. Ladakh's strategic location further makes it all the more important for the Government of India to give priority to these media organizations because bad reception of Leh radio on the border might even lead people to listen to the programs broadcast by the high-powered stations across the borders as this region shares its borders with Pakistan in the west and China in the east. In view of these circumstances, the Government of India has been time and

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again requested by the people of Leh to upgrade this radio station in all respects. Recently in a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, Padmashree Morup Namgail, a former employee of the All India Radio Leh has urged the Government of India to pay attention to strengthen the All India Radio Leh and the Doordarshan Regional Kendra Leh in all respects on the ground that these media organizations are the only source of communication and information for the people of Ladakh region. In his letter Morup Namgail has said that Leh radio station, which set up in the year 1971, has served as a very important medium for the people of Ladakh region to depend upon as the only source of information for everything. Regretting the delay being caused in the renovation and construction of the All India Radio, new complex, Namgail has written: “To our dismay there is no sign of getting them completed till date, as a result it has led to poor infrastructure facilities to the employees in particular. Even many of the staff members have already retired from their services without seeing new infrastructure being materialized.” Mr Morup Namgial has also apprised the Prime Minister of the circumstances under which local programs are being telecast through the Doordarshan Kendra Leh. It is pertinent to mention

Ladakh's strategic location further makes it all the more important for the Government of India to give priority to these media organizations because bad reception of Leh radio on the border might even lead people to listen to the programs broadcast by the highpowered stations across the borders as this region shares its borders with Pakistan in the west and China in the east.

here that Doordarshan Kendra Leh telecast an hour long local program a day for five days a week. Padmashree Morup Namgial has requested Dr. Manmohan Singh to send a team of experts to asses and evaluate present state of affairs the All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra Leh. Over the decades since its inception, Leh radio station has been managed and run by a team of dedicated local officers. Since many of the senior local staff are retiring from their services, it will be appropriate for Prasar Bharti to have relaxation with its norms in appointing editors and program staff from the region itself who have adequate understanding of local issues and knowledge about Ladakh's distinct linguistic, social, and cultural conditions.

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LADAKH Affairs

Political and Religious
Organisations Join Hands for UT
TSEWANG RIGZIN
s reported in the previous issue of Epilogue that a conglomeration of Leh based political and religious organizations was being floated in the wake of the Justice (retd) Sagheer led Working Group Report on 'Centre-State Relations' having not recommended Union Territory status to Ladakh, the first meeting of this forum was held in Shenam Community Hall Leh on February 18, 2010. The meeting participated by representatives of religious organizations, Ladakh Buddhist Association, Ladakh Gonpa Association, Anjuman-mion-ul-islam, Anjuman Imamia and Christian Community, and political parties District Congress Committee, Ladakh UT Front, Peoples Democratic Party, Bhartiya Janata Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, welcomed this move and unanimously resolved to struggle for the UT demand for Ladakh in 'one voice' till Ladakh achieves it. Since there was unanimity by all parties on the UT demand for Ladakh, it was unanimously agreed to form “Joint Action Committee for U.T. demand” to struggle for the UT demand in a sustained and planned manner. This 'Joint Action Committee' will be led and spearheaded by an individual who has not been actively involved in politics with any of the political parties in Leh. Somebody capable of spearheading such a composite forum is yet to be looked for by all concerns. It was also made clear in the meeting that this committee will not be spearheaded by any religious association. However, all religious associations will be members of the 'Joint Action Committee'. It was recommended in this meeting that another few sittings of this conglomeration are conducted in near future for finalizing strategies of this committee to pursue the demand. In this regard, Ladakh Buddhist Association – the organization that took the imitative to bring together all parties – has called the next round of meeting for the 8th of March.

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Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey visits Leh
s comes spring session, Ladakh 'the land of lamas' starts getting blessed by highly spiritual lamas. His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey arrived Leh February 17 for holding a 10day religious sermon called “Takpo Thargyan” at Naro Photang Pushpa Hari, Shey. The sermon is being organized by the Young Drukpa Association, Ladakh and is being attended by thousands of devotees. On his arrival at Bakula Airport Leh, Rinpochey was given a rousing reception by the people of Ladakh. Among the prominent who received Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey included the Chiarman, LAHDC, Mr. Chering Dorjay, President Ladakh Buddhist Association Mr. Lobzang Rinchen, former MP, Mr. Thupstan Chhewang, MLC, Leh Mr. Norbu Gyalson, Executive Councilor Health Mr. Tsering Angchuk, and Vice President, Ladakh Gonpa Association Leh. The Ladakh Buddhist Association and Ladakh Gonpa Association have jointly accorded a warm reception to Gyalwang Drukpa at Chowkhang Vihara from where the Rinpochey was taken to Shey Photang in a large motorcade.

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Thousands of devotees holding khataks, traditional auspicious white scarf, and flowers were seen all along the road from Leh to Shey Naro Photang to receive the Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey. On Feb 24, the 47th birth anniversary of His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey was celebrated today at Naro Photang Pushpa Hari, Shey which was participated by thousands of people from all over Ladakh including monks, nuns and prominent political, social and religious leaders of Leh. Gyalwang Drukpa Rinpochey in his speech extended appreciations and thanks the people of Ladakh for celebrating his birth day in such a befitting way maintaining the typical Ladakh's traditions. He stressed for preservation and promotion of age-old cultural heritage of this region which in the long run would help to protect the distinct identity of the people of this Himalayan region. Rinpochey has strongly emphasized for cultivating fine mind, compassion and helping attitude in order to maintain peace and harmony among all the co-existing communities.

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Son of Ladakhi soil, Stobdon is Indian Envoy to Kyrgyzstan
t is a pride and encouragement for all people of Ladakh region to learn that Professor Phunchok Stobdan, a Ladakhi son, has been appointed by the Government of India as the Indian Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan in February replacing J.S. Pande. Professor P. Stobdan was born in Stok village in Ladakh to Loksyapa family. Professor P. Stobdan is the third person from Ladakh to serve a foreign country as an Indian Ambassador after Padmashree Late Sonam Norbu, one of Ladakh's renowned engineer and former minister in the State Government and Padma Bhushan Late Kushok Bakula Rinpochey, the architect of modern Ladakh, another former State Minister and former Lok Sabha MP from Ladakh. Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister for Tourism and Culture and Chering Dorjay, Stobdan is third Ladakhi to serve a Chief Executive Councilor, foreign country as an Indian LAHDC Leh were among the Ambassador after Padmashree Late prominent social and politiSonam Norbu, one of Ladakh's renowned cal leaders from Ladakh engineer and former minister in the who congratulated Professor P. Stobdan for his State Government and Padma Bhushan appointment as the Indian Late Kushok Bakula Rinpochey Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. Professor P. Stobdan is a leading Indian expert on issues concerning national and international security with specific focus on Asian affairs covering Central Asia and Inner Asia, including Xinjiang, Tibet, Myanmar and the Himalayan region. He has written extensively on a wide range of security-related subjects in a number of professional journals on strategic affairs, books and newspapers both in India and abroad. He served in Central Asia as the Director of the Indian Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India, Almaty, Kazakhstan between 1999 and 2002. He has also served as Joint Director in the Indian National Security Council. Between October 2006 and November 2007, he was Director of the Centre for Strategic and Regional Studies at the University of Jammu. He is a member of the India International Centre, New Delhi.

EDUCATION

Students ask 'fourth
RINCHEN DOLMA
Introducing to new leaf in the book of their glorious history, the Ladakhi students, pursuing their studies in different parts of country, have resolved to put all their acts together for launching an education movement back home. Nearly a thousand of them recently gathered in Jammu, a rare gathering of its kind, called upon Sonam Wangchuk of SECMOL fame to come back and lead from front Idiot is not one without brain but one with special brain and I'm an idiot with thousand other idiots gathered here today,” said Sonam Wangchuk, Founder and Former Director of SECMOL Leh, addressing the jam-packed Zorawar Auditorium Hall, University of Jammu on February 21. He was invited as the Guest Speaker in 'An Interactive Seminar on Education with Sonam Wangchuk' organized by the All Ladakh Students Association Jammu (ALSAJ). As stated by all the key speakers of the day this seminar was indeed a page written in the history of Ladakh because it was for the first time that all the Ladakh Students Unions from almost all parts of India, that is, Jammu, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Dharamshala and Varanasi have united on one platform for one purpose which concerns them the most and that's nothing but 'Education in Ladakh'. The seminar was attended, if not more, by thousand Ladakhi students besides student monks and their representatives from Dharamshala and Varanasi and many others from Ladakh who are in Jammu for winter holidays. “When one talks of education in Ladakh one cannot ignore the name Sonam Wangchuk as he is the hero, the father, the path maker of education system in Ladakh, a precious gem that unfortunately we Ladakhis have lost,” said Gyan Konchog Rafstan, representative of Varanasi Ladakh Student Union. The objective of the seminar was to know about the past, present and future of education standards in Ladakh from the man himself who has laid nearly 20 years of his life in mak-

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Launch Movement, idiot' to come back
ing and improving the education system in Ladakh thus to ensure a bright future for the aspiring young generation and for a better Ladakh. “Ladakh is diseased in terms of education and the Ladakhi students' going outside Ladakh for studies after 10th or before has made them like educational refugees and reason being not having better education standards in the region at primary and middle class levels which is in dismal state and a matter of grave concern. The onus is on the people of the region; they have to leave the 'chalta hai' attitude and come forth with their needs and demands to bring the necessary changes and improvements in the existing education system. I assure that the day people of Ladakh will feel the thirst for education I will readily and happily come to serve you all again; its not that I don't want to work for your welfare but I see no point in banging head against the wall, its like forcefully pouring water into someone's mouth who is not thirsty at all, instead its better I give the water to others who are thirsty,” expressed Sonam Wangchuk in his speech. Sonam Wangchuk said it loud and clear in the gathering of thousand students that neither he would possess a land on his name nor he would have children of his own and he has no interest in politics so his name would never be seen or heard in political sphere. “I have denounced my personal life at the age of say 12-13 years and I held it deep and strong that as a self I'm dead and it's physically I'm alive to work for the welfare of others with education as my tool. I don't say I am God or something, I too have negative qualities or traits but my intentions are never wrong; may be my actions contradict the conventional system or tradition but they are never done with an intention to harm the local public but with a mind to bring prosperity through change,”

shared Mr. Wangchuk. Answering to the question on how can the education system be improved in Ladakh asked during the open discussion session Mr. Wangchuk stressed on the importance on the profession of teacher. He said that teachers play a vital role in shaping the future as the making of the future lies in their hand; on their dedication, sincerity and efficiency towards their duty rely the future of students and in turn of the region. He cited the best example of Sir Elizer Joldan who was the only postgraduate in Ladakh during 1940s and had the offer to pick and choose any of the gazetted post but he opted for the profession of teacher as he felt teaching the best job to serve his people and disseminate his knowledge among them. “Today's most of the successful and emi-

nent senior doctors, engineers, govt. officials in Ladakh are the result of Sir Joldan's hard wok. If you really want to bring a sea change in the education system of Ladakh and get it at par to the system in Delhi or UK then I suggest you to choose the teaching profession with clear mind because it demands great hard work, dedication and determination as it is not so easy a job specially in regions like Ladakh,” added Mr. Wangchuk Enthusiasm among the participating students was clear from the sheer strength of their presence and they sat throughout the sessions that lasted till late evening. “I just wanted to know Sonam Wangchuk's views on education, and in case he decides to come back to Leh what would be his future plan regarding education enhancement in Ladakh,” said Tsering Dolma M.Sc. Jammu University. Speaking in tandem, Stanzin Zompa, a trainee in nursing, said, “I had heard about SECMOL and had some idea about their activities, but its role in educational aspirations and progress in Ladakh along with preserving Ladakhi tradition was what I was curious to know.” Besides Mr. Wangchuk who was the guest speaker, other key speakers who too expressed the views on status of education in Ladakh on behalf of their students union included President of Student Union of Chandigarg, Jammu, and Executives representing Delhi, Dharamshala, Dehradun and Varanasi. Later Mr. Wangchuk also advertised the annual magazines namely Yontan (bi-lingual, English and bhoti) by Central Institute of Tibetan Studies, Varanasi and Singey Khababs by monk students from Dharamshala. The programme was given a tinge of entertainment with three songs sung by the students of Jammu union and one of the songs was sung by Norphel, President of Jammu Union as he said the film 3 Idiots is 'related' to Mr. Sonam Wangchuk and the story line projected in the film co-relates to his life story, so this song is dedicated to Mr. Wangchuk and “we hope rather we know that one day the education system will definitely shine in Ladakh.”

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GOVERNANCE

Council reviews plan progress
EPILOGUE REPORT

o review the financial and physical progress under district plan and BADP for the year 2009-10 and to approve the drafts rules of procedures and conduct of business of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh, a three-day General Council Meeting of LAHDC, Leh was held in the Council Assembly Hall between February 22 and 24. The Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Chering Dorje chaired the meeting. The Executive Councilor Minority Affairs, Mohammad Khan, Executive Councilor Health Tsering A n g c h u k . E x e c u t i v e C o u n c i l o r, Agriculture, Tsewang Tondup, Executive Councilor Education Dorje Stanzin, the Opposition leader of the House and former Chief Executive Councilor, Rigzin Spalbar, Chief Executive Officer, LAHDC Leh Ajeet Kumar Sahu, the Councilors and the district officers attended the meeting. In his welcome address, Chering Dorje said that a total of Rs: 71.31 crore has been allocated to Leh under district plan for the year 2009-10 which include Rs: 54.03 crore under capital, Rs: 12.00 under NABARD loan, Rs: 5.00 crore as Projectized Schemes and Rs: 27.96 lacs as Revenue. Dorje said that against the allocation of Rs: 54.03 crore under capital normal, Rs: 35.90 crore has been spent up to ending Jan. 2010 which is 66.45% of expenditure. He said that an expenditure of Rs: 2.32 crore has been made

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against Rs: 5.00 crore under Projectized schemes. He further told in the General Council that against the allocation of Rs: 12.00 crore under NABARD scheme, Leh district has so far received Rs: 9.00 crore and by the end of Jan. 2010, Rs: 8.39 crore has been spent registering 93.20% expenditure. Mr. Dorje said that overall 65.63% of expenditure has been achieved in spite of the Planning and Development Department releasing funds in the month of October 2009. The CEC further told that the Action Plan under BADP has been approved for Rs: 12.07 crore which include Rs: 8.34 crore under Indo-China and Rs: 3.73 crore under Indo-Pak and so far the Planning and Dev. Deptt. has released only 85% of the approved fund. He said that against the released fund of Rs:6.19 crore under Indo-China Scheme, Rs: 3.76 crore has been spent while as under Indo-Pak scheme, Rs: 1.92 crore was expended against the released amount of Rs: 2.77 crore registering a overall expenditure of 63.37 % under BADP. The Opposition leader, Rigzin Spalbar took the issue of giving maximum admission to the non local candidates in the Polytechnic College Leh ignoring the interest of the locals. In this context, he strongly demanded the Hill Council Leh to properly investigate the issue so that the interests of the local students are not harmed. The CEC assured the General Council that LAHDC will examine this case.

The Executive Councilors have presented the progress reports and expenditure statement concerning various departments under their portfolio. The Chief Executive Officer, LAHDC, Leh AK Sahu gave explanations of the quarries raised by the Councilors. The Councilors of respective Constituencies have raised important issues with relate to their constituencies and also demanded to complete the pending works. During the second day of the meeting, four resolutions were moved by different Councilors and out of these, only two resolutions were passed. The Councilor Deskit, Tsewang Rigzin moved a Resolution regarding preservation and promotion of distinct culture of Ladakh was unanimously passed by the general Council. This resolution demanding out of the four Executive Councilors, one should be named as Executive Councilor, Art, Culture and Language in order to give due attention for promotion of culture of this region, LAHDC to identify a line Department as the “Executing Agency “ to carry out policies and programs of the Council for the promotion and preservation of cultural heritage of Ladakh, all govt offices and institutions coming under the purview of the Council to have their sign boards written in Bhoti script along with English, Hill Council to honour individuals and associations who contributed significantly for the preservation and promotion of Art and culture and LAHDC

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to allot sufficient funds under district plan for promotion of culture. Such a resolution also moved by the Councilor Thiksay, Mr. Tondup Spalzang demanding the Hill Council to formulate a plan on the promotion and preservation of Ladakh's Art, Culture and language and allocation of sufficient fund under district plan was also unanimously passed in the meeting. L a t e r, t h e C h i e f Executive Councilor, Mr. Chering Dorje in his valedictory address expressed satisfaction over a fine achievement under district plan and realizing satisfying expenditure. Mr. Dorje made a special mention that under the aegis of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Leh district is doing well in all developmental sectors and hoped that the district will have a remarkable achievement in its annual plan this year too. He appreciated the PWD, Sheep and some other departments for performing well in their fields during last financial year as well this year. At the same time, Mr. Dorje also urged other departments to redouble their efforts in achieving the target by the end of current financial year. The meeting concluded on the third day with a Power Point presentation on Greater Leh Master Plan b y Te t r a Te c h . I n d i a Limited.

Academy Urged to Preserve Ladakhi Culture, Heritage
hen Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Secretary Jammu & Kashmir, Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages, visited Leh recently for the launch of two volumes of Books on 'Lama Tsultrim Nyima', 19th century Ladakhi religious, cultural and social reformer, and 'Prophet Mohammads Biography in Ladakhi', a delegation of Ladakh Cultural Forum Leh led by its president Tsering Norboo Martse called on him and submitted a charter of points concerning preservation, promotion and the development of rich cultural heritage of Ladakh. Demanding the inclusion of a capable person from Ladakh into the Central Committee of J&K Academy of Arts, Culture and Langues, the Cultuaral Forum regretted that for many years Ladakh has been grossly neglected and not being incorporated in the Central Committee which has deprived Ladakh region in terms of benefiting from all the privileges and shares at all levels. It was also brought to the notice of Zafar Iqbal Manhas that a few years back, a Fine Arts Institute was sanctioned for Ladakh but unfortunately it was never brought into existence or implemented for whatever the reason maybe. The fine arts institute has a wide scope and potentialities for the Ladakh community but it, according to sources, never materialized on the pure pretext of lack of funds. Ladakh is known for its century's old rich cultural heritage, and therefore, establishing this institute in Leh would play a vital role in preserving, protecting and promoting the distinct culture of this unique Himalayan region. Hence the Forum requested the J&K Academy to take up the funding issue with the government to ensure setting up of the Fine Arts Institute in Leh with a special provision to promote traditional musical instruments and other culture values of Ladakh. Demanding creation of an Additional Secretary post for Leh Cultural Academy in order to effectively and efficiently carryout the cultural policies, Cultural Forum pointed out that in Kashmir and Jammu regions, the heads of the departments are of the Additional Secretary ranks while in Leh the Academy has a mere Cultural Officer. According to the newly constituted norm of Cultural Academy, the qualification for the post of a Research Assistant should be an M.A in Urdu. This for Ladakh is completely irrelevant and not applicable since the entire population of Ladakh speaks and writes Ladakhi (Bhoti) and as such, the qualification of Research Assistant for Ladakh should be either BA or MA in Ladakhi (Bhoti). Therefore an amendment in this regard was also demanded. Zafar Iqbal Manhas, Secretary Jammu & Kashmir, Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages, assured the delegation that Ladakhi knowing would be made an important criterion for this post. Ladakh over the last decade has been a major producer of documentary as well low budgeted feature films. But, Ladakhi filmmakers feels that Jammu & Kashmir, Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages, has not acknowledged and appreciated our contribution in this creative field and also never gave any opportunities to the film producers to represent our films in the Annual J&K Film Festival despite repeated requests. Therefore, Secretary was requested to include Ladakhi films in the annual J&K film festival in order to enrich Ladakhis cultural values. All the post of the editors at the academy in all languages like Kashmiri, Dogri, and Hindi etc. are all upgraded to chief editor post but unfortunately the editor for Ladakhi in Leh has been retained as editor. Ladakh has a rich drama culture (opera) and a drama instructor was appointed and also various programs were carried out under this post. But the instructor along with the post has been shifted to Kashmir years back and since then Cultural Academy Leh has been deprived of this opportunity. It was therefore urged the concerned authorities that restore this post back to Leh.

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PROFILE

Nawang Rigzin Jora:
The Unconventional Politician
T. NORFAIL

n utterly straight person and an avant-garde statesman, Nawang Rigzin Jora is a leader of a rare breed— one who always stands up to his promises and delivers the public goods efficiently. Some experts and journalists call him the “Reformist Politician”. His tenure as a Cabinet Minister in the State Government has become a watershed era in the history of Ladakhi politics: Never before him came a leader from the transHimalayan region who has had such a popular and admired image in the State Government; and it would also be hard for the future leaders from Ladakh to match the persona and image that Mr. Jora has curved today in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir. As far as clean and upright image and steady performance is concerned, nobody appears to come close to him in the entire Council of Minister. Innovative and visionary, he has always been able to leave a mark in every department that were/are under his portfolio (both during this and the previous coalition). In fact, his performance as a Cabinet Minister in the previous Coalition Government in the state was the only reason for his remarkable victory over the veteran Ladakhi leader and LUTF mentor, Thupstan Chhewang in the 2009 Assembly Elections. Apart from his performance as an innovative and dedicated Minister, one more thing that sets Mr. Jora from the rest of the politicians is his easy accessibility— not only to the people of his own

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constituency but for others with genuine grievances. This distinctive trait makes him a true representative of the people his constituency worthy of giving popular mandate many times. Defying party and religious lines, he always extends a helping hand to every person coming to his chamber for any kind of

help. He almost lets nobody down, particularly the Ladakhis. Even a cursory look at his chamber will make one realise this fact. There are quite a few accomplishments during Jora's last one year tenure as a cabinet Minister vis-à-vis his constituency. One of them worth mention-

ing is that on his initiative, four blocks (Kharu, Saspol, Chushot and Panamik) have been regularised very recently thereby, fulfilling a long pending demand of the people of Leh District. Secondly some major projects have been put into NABARD to materialise some of the major demands of his constituency. Under his current portfolio (Tourism and Culture), there have also been some noteworthy achievements: ? T h r e e To u r i s m Development Authorities viz. Leh, Kargil and Zangskar have been created. ? Tourism infrastructure in Leh is being created at a cost of Rs. 50 crores. ? Food craft institute at Leh has been set up at a cost of Rs. 4.75 crores. ? Revival of water sports like white water rafting in Zangskar, Leh and Bhaderwa, Sonamarg and Pahalgam is being done. ? Development of tourist facilities in Kargil has been taken up at a cost 200 lacs. ? Development of Drass and Panikhar has been taken at a cost of Rs. 247.70 lacs. ? Development of Drass and Sankoo as tourist destinations is being done at a cost of Rs. 472.32 lacs. In short, it appears that despite the ambiguity and haziness of the coalition politics, nothing seems to hold this man back.

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GENDER

Not a fledgling anymore:
Women's movement in Ladakh
TASHI MORUP

In a traditionally patriarchal society, the rising awareness, collective action of women's groups has been a growing phenomenon. From addressing social evils like alcoholism, effecting a ban on polybags to forming SHG's for developing small enterprise, women in Ladakh have been leading movements for social, economic and political change. Policy levels however still remain very much a male bastion though there is a growing recognition of the women in this sphere too.
omen in Ladakh seem to have taken it upon themselves to change the socio-cultural and political landscape of this traditionally patriarchal society. Organising themselves into groups, they have taken up causes which according to Stanzin Dolma, President Ama Tsogspa Choglamsar are threatening their social fabric. Ama Tsogspa or Women Alliance is a movement of housewives, mostly illiterate which led a spirited campaign against plastic in this highly sensitive ecological zone. Polythene bags have been officially banned in Ladakh since 1998, a pioneering move within India, the need of the hour in the context of environmental degradation on our planet. It goes beyond campaign for plastic ban. Alcoholism has been rampant in the region having a disastrous effect on youth and women have taken up cudgels against it beginning in 2006. Taking on the role of keepers of the law, in the light of a recalcitrant local police, women undertook several raids to recover hidden supplies of liquors sold by illegal bars and destroyed them in full public view.

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Starting with a small group at Leh town Ama Tsogpa now covers virtually all 111 villages in the district Leh extends to the icy Zanskar region and areas in Kargil district. “We have over 5000 members spread across entire Ladakh including Leh, Zanskar and some areas of Kargil,” says Rinchen Dolker, General Secretary. Ama Tsogspa is a reflection of the changing face of Ladakh, of its women speaking up and taking collective action for bettering

their society. Several Self Help Groups (SHGs) have also come into existence over a short period drawn together for both economic self-reliance and a greater participation in decisionmaking processes. This has been the domain of men but now women are extending their more traditional roles to take an active part in the development of society. While social movements like the SHG's causes are an expression of this new role,

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representation of women at the policy level is woefully inadequate. The highest policy level body in the region, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, does not have a single elected women councillor. In Panchayati Raj, of the 639 elected Panches only 37 are women and not a single woman is Sarpanch. The sole woman MP from Ladakh was probably due to her royal lineage, the queen of erstwhile Ladakh kingdom. No woman has ever represented Ladakh as MLA or MLC. Out of 30 councillors in LAHDC there are only two nominated women. “It gets very difficult at times to put across our demands. Men can relieve themselves in open we cannot, but Hill Council pays no heed to our strong demand for public convenience at different places including the Leh town,” says Dolma, a nominated Panch from Likir village. Dolma raised this issue in a meeting of various representatives on Vision Document 2020 prepared by Hill Council. The resistance by an entrenched mind-set and an inflexible polity is strong. The proposed 33% reservation for women by state government continues to be in limbo while several moves to make Ladakh an equitable society languish for want of attention by those at the helm of affairs. Meanwhile the spirit and momentum on the ground continues unabated. Despite the challenges, several SHG groups have come into existence under a guideline provided by Central Government's Watershed Development Project. In Saspotse village one of the mother-SHG's formed in 2001, facilitated by Ladakh Development Organisation, a local NGO has triggered a chain of several groups engaged in small enterprise

activities like handicraft and fruit processing. Today there are 500 odd SHG groups in the entire district selling agricultural produce like peas, barley, hay, vegetables, handicrafts like pashmina shawls and carpets. The collective saving generated through micro credits runs into crores besides a growing awareness and access to government schemes. “SHG has greatly benefited us, we have learnt to speak for our demands with concerned departments and it gives us a new

The highest policy level body in the region, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, does not have a single elected women councillor. In Panchayati Raj, of the 639 elected Panches only 37 are women and not a single woman is Sarpanch. The sole woman MP from Ladakh was probably due to her royal lineage, the queen of erstwhile Ladakh kingdom. No woman has ever represented Ladakh as MLA or MLC. Out of 30 councillors in LAHDC there are only two nominated women
confidence,” says Yangchan Dolma, an SHG member and Deputy Chairperson of SHG Federation at Saspol village. This Federation itself indicates a strategic step towards mobilizing women in the economic, social and political spheres in Ladakh. As a body, they are able to leverage funds from the Hill Council, which as individual SHG's was difficult. “SHG has established itself as a viable mechanism for organizing and empowering women in Ladakhi villages. This should be taken note of while considering future policy options for women's development,” states a

review report (2007) by Ladakh Development Organisation (LDO). The writing on the wall is clear. There has been a recognition of all these developments at different levels of governance and policy. The Ladakh Buddhist Association, a leading soicocultural organisation has opened a women wing For the time being, even though access to the highest decisionmaking process is denied, it is not diminishing their involvement in the affairs of society nor their move to strengthen their collective base, economically and politically. Political parties like Congress and Ladakh Union Territory Front(LUTF) too are unable to ignore the growing influence of women. In the Assembly elections last year, they held separate meetings with them, an indication if not an assurance of a growing political space in the region. Several women are today active members in the respective parties. Spalzes Angmo, former nominated Councillor (LAHDC) has recently been appointed as member of Minority Commission of Government of India. Angmo has been pushing for setting up of Women's Development Department in the region. In the Panchayat elections in J&K promised by the state government, women are expected to play a leading and decisive roll not only as voters but as contenders. The winds of change are now unmistakable. For the women in Ladakh, the time is now, to speak up, stand shoulder to shoulder alongside men, to bring in their ideas and energy into the public domain and to work towards a society that is inclusive. (Charkha Features. This was written under Sanjoy Ghose Medial Fellowship. Series Editor SUJATA RAGHAVAN)

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Rs 500 Crore for illuminating Ladakh
n a major step towards addressing energy issues in Ladakh, the Union Government has allocated a budgetary support of Rs 500 Crores. This has been possible with endeavours of Ladakh's representatives, particularly the State Tourism Minister Nawang Rigzin Jora, and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr Farooq Abdullah. In his Budget speech in Parliament, the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: “The Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir faces an extremely harsh climate and suffers from energy deficiency. To address this problem, it is proposed to set up solar, small hydro and micro power projects at a cost of about Rs.500 crore” On behalf of the people of Ladakh, Minister for Tourism and Culture Nawang Rigzin Jora has extended a sense of gratitude to UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherji for announcing Rs. 500 Crores for setting up of solar small hydro and micro power projects for Ladakh region of the state. Jora said this was a much needed package for years as the area faces extremely hard climate particularly in winter and the package envisages construction of ease out the energy requirement of people of Ladakh to make their lives more comfortable. He said this package envisages construction of 30 small /micro hydel projects of 23.5 MW, 300 SPV power plants of 5-100 KWs. Besides 2000 SPV home lighting and about 40,000 solar thermal systems such as water heaters, solar cookers, solar passie building and solar green house will also be installed under the programme. The Minister said that it is a major initiative by the Congress Government to minimize use of diesel and kerosene as well as firewood and to make the life of the people more comfortable and added that setting up of a large number of green houses would also help people of Ladakh to grow vegetables in the winter months. . He said that the amount of Rs. 500 Crore will be spent over a period of 3 years.

11998 Youths Jobless in Ladakh
s many as 11998 educated youth are registered as unemployed in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. Over 5.67 lakh unemployed educated youth have registered with various District Employment and Counselling Centres of Jammu and Kashmir as on December 2009. In a written reply to the state assembly, Minister for Higher Education, Labour and Employment Abdul Gani Malik said that of the total 567358 youth, 272072 belong to Jammu division, 283288 to Kashmir valley and 11998 are from Ladakh region. Besides, 27069 unemployed technocrats, agriculture graduates and post graduates have registered with the district employment and counselling centres. The minister said the government has introduced an employment welfare programme whereby a monthly voluntary service allowance (VSA) will be provided to eligible unemployed educated youth having educational qualification of matriculation and above for the next three years, commencing from the financial year 201011. The Minister said that it is a major initiative by the Congress Government to minimize use of diesel and kerosene as well as firewood and to make the life of the people more comfortable and added that setting up of a large number of green houses would also help people of Ladakh to grow vegetables in the winter months. . He said that the amount of Rs. 500 Crore will be spent over a period of 3 years.

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Errata!

Evil Deeds of Kot Bhalwal Jail
ANMOL SHARMA

ny thoughtful civilian or for that matter any common man would have definitely come across a situation, where an unexpected incident not only disheartened him but also left a lasting impression on his mind. It can be because the kind of behavior he experienced or the words, conduct etc, of the other person was far below the basic courtesy and not at all expected of him. The extreme image clash we saw unfolding on National TV in the graphic sexual escapades of Gov. N. D. Tiwari's with three young girls was in complete antithesis to an image of a person who is eighty something and a vociferous self professed Gandhian, which we over the time had also adapted ourselves to indentify with him. Similarly, incredibly savvy, 'secular' and sophisticated image which Dr. Farooq Abdullah flaunts was put up for question mark when he shocked us by arguing with Sheikh Shakeel Ahmad on NDTV for being a Muslim but supporting Hindu Dogras during one of the SASB land row debates. The cash-at-judge's-door-scam that jolted conscious of every Indian was in sharp contrast with the upright and sincere image of an Indian woman and also with the sacrosanct image of a High Court Justice. What was the reason for the treasury officers of Town Hall or Mubarak Mandi in the past to misbehave and treat the elderly retired people like dogs who

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would go over there just to get their legitimate and well earned pension? Why is that a patient hailing from a remote area of Thana Mandi has to die in the strike called by the GMC doctors over some (non)issue of few hundred rupees here and there in their pay scale. It would have been sufficient to humble them down, nonetheless, to see that the Doctors of Apollo, Escorts etc throw their reports into the dustbin merely at the mention of the word GMC, Jammu. The suggestion that has to be understood very clearly is that the problem or the general rule here is not that it is the self apologetic command man who has to each and every time bear the brunt or be at the receiving end of the system. Be it at the hands of a bureaucrat, a GMC Doctor or a Policeman. These incidents have two important lessons that they offer to teach to anyone who experiences them. First is that they teach the new aspects of human conduct and also they challenge you to not to take things lying down and confront the delinquent person how so ever high he may be. This kind of situation also confronted me when just a few days ago, my friend took me along with him to get the charge sheet of one the detainee in the high security Kot Bhalwal Jail. The experience turned to a pretty extraordinary one and forced me to think out loud in the shape of this writing. I know nothing will change but still it

I N S I D E

J A I L S

Ø the latest details, As per

2329 prisoners of different categories are lodged on two Central and 12 District Jails of Jammu and Kashmir. Of all the prisoners, 179 are detained under Public Safety Act (PSA), 337 are convicts, 1805 undertrials, 4 juveniles and 4 civil prisoners.
Ø PSA detenues, 55 Of 179

are of foreign origin. There are 61 other prisoners of foreign origin lodged in jails within and outside the state.
Ø As many as 728 persons

were booked under PSA during last two years, 16 of them were booked more than twice.
Ø 316 PSA detenues

were released at different points of time between January 1, 2009 and January 31, 2010

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Brain drain

Healthcare blues in J&K
might have some chance to snowball into a consequence. At least I am talking about the nonsense in the form of a Kot Bhalwal Jail. The standard thing anticipated from the jail staff is that they are meant to facilitate the meetings between the detainees and the near relatives that are allowed to meet them. For this purpose various rules and orders have also been made under which the visit has to be carried out and which are to aid the both. But in reality visit to this prison turns to be an insulting, dehumanizing experience. The trademark training of the staff is to be totally uncooperative and utterly impolite with the people. The jail manual has been rendered an empty formality and some other unwritten commandments are being obeyed. They even have the nerve to flout the rules in front of law knowing persons. When I called the DG Prisons on his official number, he kept on repeating the words 'main kisi se baat nahin kerta phone pe, main sunta he nahin baat phone pe'. Although it is debatable whether a public servant can refuse to talk on his official phone or whether I could have called him repeatedly until he listens! Are phone provided to them only to make calls and not to listen the grievance of an ordinary man? Kot Bhalwal Jail is the victim of total mismanagement and is being ignored by the authorities. It needs a person like Kiran Bedi who took every posting as a challenge brought radical reforms in the running of Tihar Jail, be it spiritual Courses, Vipasna and the like. KBJ does not need a bossy DG who does not bother to look into the irregularities that are bought to his notice. The present form which this prison is evolving into is akin to that doomed hutment in the movie 'Evil Dead' where anyone who went inside also became an evil spirit. The simile here is that the people managing the show are themselves evil in their conduct and the poor soul who enters this prison also gets haunted. However, this engine of oppression goes a step further and also harasses the relatives of the people who go inside it. What is more surprising is that the top notch people managing the Jail are supposed to be literate in the sense that they must be knowing that oppression, atrocity etc can never make a person repent. To make a person repent and atone he has to be elevated to the higher level of consciousness. The wisdom in the teaching of Lord Buddha who transformed a hardcore criminal called 'Aungli Mar' into his most beloved disciples or the way Sage Narada metamorphosesed Saint Valmiki from a barbaric dacoit reveal undoubtedly that reforming a person needs a subtle and humane approach. Putting unnecessary pressure or strain upon the inmates or their families will result in a similar kind of answer. If Jail staff deliberately makes their families members to wait for 2 hours, even if they come within the scheduled time. If money orders etc sent to the inmates for doing IGNOU courses never reach them or are sent back. If the food items which family members bring for their relative lodged in the Jail are gobbled by the staff themselves. If the members and the inmate are made to sit on the dirty floor and basic facility like a chair is not provided. If, even the chargesheet is not allowed to be discussed between the lawyer and inmate etc then what else remains for them not breed disgust and anger for the Jail authorities. The Kot Bhalwal Jail which also houses militants from Pakistan etc gives us an excellent opportunity to deprogram them and to understand the mind of the terrorist. These people are living materials for the analysts and also services of Islamic scholors could have been utilized to preach them the real interpretation of Islam. On the other hand the impression that an outsider gets is that the Jail Authorities are least bothered whether they live or die. We all know, by the way, that all of their 'strictness' collapses the moment someone living in shanty area of Peshawar or in the plains of Afghanistan utters 'khul ja Sim Sim' and person like Moulana Masood Azhar reaches grottoes of Kandahar on an Indian Airlines fight free of cost.

BRAIN DRAIN

Indifference pushing youths away from their homes
VIKRAM GOUR
ast month one of my very close friends had an encounter with the medical services both government as well as private available locally in the heart of the winter capital of the state. I leave it to the readers to decide how to rate this most important public utility service required in an emergency. My friend's wife was ailing for some time and was under treatment of a very well known doctor. Her condition worsened one evening and she was rushed to government medical college for immediate medical help on a very cold and foggy evening. The sick lady was admitted to an emergency ward and treatment was started. As the condition did not improve, my friend's family and close doctor friends insisted on immediately removing the sick lady to Delhi for further treatment. A close relation with some influence was able to arrange for an 'Air Taxi' of Escorts Hospital, since the patient had to be trans-

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

Brain drain
Healthcare blues in J&K

48

ported to the Air Port in the cold and foggy evening the Medical College authorities were requested to provide an ambulance for transporting the patient. Surprisingly, we were informed that the Government Medical College that the state has long been trying to get converted into an institution of national importance like AIMS, New Delhi had no fully equipped ambulance to transport critically ill patients. They, instead, advised us to look for such ambulance available with one or two private Nursing Homes in the city. One such ambulance was provided by a private Nursing home. Although, we were charged Rs 7,000/- for transporting from medical college to air port yet it was found that the ambulance did not have any heating arrangement in it to protect the patient from intense cold weather and the emergency equipment installed in the ambulance was not automatically switched on to watch the patient during transportation. The accompanying doctor had to be persuaded to switch on the emergency equipment to watch the patient's condition during transportation. The flight had taken off from New Delhi and we had reached Air Port but the air craft could not land on account of very thick fog. By 5-30 PM we were informed that the air craft had landed in Amritsar and it could come to Jammu only next day in the morning. The patient had now to be shifted back to hospital. Knowing well the conditions prevailing in the Govt. Medical College during night hours it was decided to take a chance with the Batra Medical College on National Highway for spending the night. Next morning we again needed an ambulance to transport the patient to the Air-port. This time it was Batra Medical College that provided the ambulance. The ill-equipped Ambulance was to drive to the airport with patient at around 10-30am almost at the traffic

peak load hours. The ambulance had no automatic Siren it had to be hand operated although it had the rotating red light at the top. With siren being handled by one of the patient's relation and blowing and the red light rotating at the top of the ambulance none of the traffic police men tried to clear the way and the traffic along the way giving no preference to the ambulance to move it took more than 45-minuts to cover the distance up to the air-port which should have taken not more than 20-minutes. The family members were greatly relieved after reaching

This latest experience of the services available to citizens outside the country as compared with the services available in J&K made me think about the reasons the younger generation prefers to keep away from their hometowns. A doctor in the hospital or his clinic, a traffic police man on duty, a worker at work, a government employee on duty or even a common citizen driving/walking on the road or attending to his routine work, all are indifferent to others problems. And the government itself is indifferent to the people's problems. All this because there is no rule of law. No one is accountable to anyone above or below.
the Air Port without any untoward happening and putting the patient in the air-craft. Immediately after this experience I had a call from my son from Dubai asking us to visit him for a month, this being a pleasant weather period in Dubai. In Dubai, I had a similar experience of calling for emergency Medical Service. My grand child had swallowed something and my daughter-in law being alone in the house immediately rang up for emergency medical service kept available in each locality by the UAE government free of cost. They immediately sent an ambulance fully equipped with all medical gadgetry

required in an emergency. The ambulance reached within 10-minuts and in these ten minutes doctor in the ambulance obtained full information from the mother to keep himself ready to handle the situation and continuously advised the mother how handle the child during the intervening period. After shifting the child into the ambulance the accompanying doctor enquired from the mother which hospital she wanted to take the child. The ambulance immediately sped towards the hospital blowing siren and flashing red light at the top of the ambulance. Although, there was no traffic police visible en route, yet the busy traffic gave immediate gave preference to the ambulance and cleared the way. The ambulance covered a distance of about 15-km in about 10 minutes. In these intervening 10-minutes drive to the hospital the doctor in the ambulance had established contact with the hospital and informed them about the conditions of the child to keep them ready with treatment they had to gi ve to the child. After the ambulance reached the destination the hospital authorities took charge of the child. This latest experience of the services available to citizens outside the country as compared with the services available in J&K made me think about the reasons the younger generation prefers to keep away from their hometowns. A doctor in the hospital or his clinic, a traffic police man on duty, a worker at work, a government employee on duty or even a common citizen driving/walking on the road or attending to his routine work, all are indifferent to others problems. And the government itself is indifferent to the people's problems. All this because there is no rule of law. No one is accountable to anyone above or below. The party that rules is worried only about the their vote and not about welfare of the people or the country.

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

49

opinion

In Defence of Justice

Paying Price for Justice : Assassination of Shahid Azmi
M Shamsur Rabb Khan

he bloody assassination of 32year old Shahid Azmi on February 11, 2010, the defense counsel of Fahim Ansari, the 26/11 coaccused, is not a simple murder. There is a dark scheme behind this brilliant lawyer's brutal killing when four assailants barged into his office at Kurla and pumped bullets into him at point blank range. From Mumbai to Jaipur to Lucknow, the thread of this scheme running through various court premises across the country whereby Muslim lawyers are being targeted, thrashed, shot at, injured or killed for defending accused of bomb blasts. Azmi is the third lawyer killed in Mumbai. So, if the securities agencies go on to arrest innocent Muslims randomly, or on mere suspicion and their lawyers are intimidated or threatened, where do they go for justice? On August 12, 2008, Mohammed Shoaib, a senior lawyer of Lucknow High Court faced the wrath of angry Hindu lawyers, who pounced upon him and beat him black and blue besides shouting slogan 'lawyer of Pakistani terrorist', while he was going to defend a terror case. The lawyers were angry at 56-year old Mohammed Shoaib since he was able to secure an acquittal for one of his clients Aftab Alam Ansari of Kolkata, who was framed as a Harkatul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) terrorist in January 2008 by the Special Task Force

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of UP Police that later admitted to a case of mistaken identity. AM Faridi, another Lucknow High Court lawyer, who was successful in securing acquittal for a terror accused, was even threatened that his family would be eliminated if he did not withdraw from the terror cases. In August 2008, the Lucknow Bar Association held an emergency meeting and passed a resolution expelling both Shoaib and Faridi. In Jaipur, lawyers affiliated to the Rajasthan High Court Bar Association declared that they would not represent any of the suspects in the

Jaipur serial blasts case. The Association took the decision after Shahbaz Hussain, one of the alleged masterminds of May 13 serial blasts was arrested in Lucknow in August 2008 and produced in a local Jaipur court. Defending the boycott, the Association President Madhav Mitra Sharma reasoned: "It might be wrong legally but it is justified morally”. Similarly, a resolution was issued by the Faizabad Bar Association warning lawyers against representing those suspected of involvement in the Ayodhya blasts of 2005, while the Varanasi Bar Association followed suit

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

opinion
In Defence of Justice

50

after the attack in that city in 2006. Similar fatwas are being issued by lawyers' associations in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh as well. Along with terror attacks on our country came the great communal divide between two major communities, i.e. Hindus and Muslims in the court premises and among the legal professionals. The divide is so deep that those lawyers who have read 'innocent until proved guilty' a thousand times are blinded by the sheer hatred they nurse for the terror suspects, if they happen to be Muslims. And while the Hindu lawyers, like hooligans, beat up the Muslim lawyers, police personnel are found to be standing idly. Will the same bunch of lawyers and their associations go for the same hostile treatment against Hindu terror accused Pragya Singh and Col. Srikant Purohit? In this dark scheme, security agencies, in collusion with media, play the major part. And as is the wont, after every blast, Muslim names start flashing on TV channels while the police go on arrest innocent Muslims indiscriminately. Like a lie, if spoken a thousand times seems a hard truth, it sends a strong message across the country that Muslims who are arrested as terror suspects are actually the perpetrators, and they have no legal right to defend themselves even if they innocent. Albeit police as an institution has been rated one of the most corrupt body, public sentiment tends to believe it in case it arrests Muslims as accused in terror cases. Numerous instances point to the fact that many innocent Indian Muslims have been framed falsely by the security agencies as terrorists only to be released after torturous trauma and terror tag. In framing fabricated cases against innocent Muslims, the

Special Cell of the Delhi Police has no parallel. In 2005, it arrested Maulana Dilawar Khan and Imam Masood Ahmed of Delhi. Branded as LeT terrorists, they were falsely charged with plotting a suicide attack on the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun and spent five years in jail before a Patiala House Court judgement set them free in January 2010 for want of evidence. The court also criticised the Special Cell for its lapses in investigation and for misusing its powers. Once arrested the two Muslim clerics were paraded

The murder of Shahid Azmi is not a murder of an individual only, it is a welldesigned campaign to intimidate and ultimately obliterate the idea of justice and silence the voice of the innocents. Every accused has a legal right to defense and lawyers must respect since a fair trial will prevent several retaliating minds to calm down

like animals in front of cameras, while the Special Cell officers were jostling with each other to stand next to 'the terrorist' so that they could also figure prominently in the picture. In the aftermath of Batla House encounter, more than a dozen Muslim young boys have been taken into custody, and more than 50 cases have been registered against some of them in four states and six cities. Is it possible for a poor or middle class family to defend their wards? Such deliberate prosecutions clearly show that the judicial process has been made so stringent for such families a near impossible exercise to

get bail for their wards. In a scenario of gross injustice, if a lawyer likes of Shahid Azmi, who was arrested under TADA by Delhi police in 1995 for being a member of SIMI, gathers courage to take up cases of those falsely implicated, they undergo a hell of an experience. Azmi's first big case was Mumbai local explosions in 2006 in which he was defending three accused, including one of the prime accused, Faisal Sheikh, the LeT's alleged Mumbai chief. In the fake encounter and murder of Ishrat Jehan, Azmi played a pivotal role to get justice to the bereaved family. In his short career, Azmi successfully pleaded in court against the application of MOCOCA as well as POTA for his clients. His successful pleading in the Ghatkopar blasts case of 2002 led to the abrogation of POTA. The murder of Shahid Azmi is not a murder of an individual only, it is a well-designed campaign to intimidate and ultimately obliterate the idea of justice and silence the voice of the innocents. Every accused has a legal right to defense and lawyers must respect since a fair trial will prevent several retaliating minds to calm down, besides giving a new impetus to our unified fight against terror. In the face of many proven cases where the security agencies have erred in prosecuting and killing innocent Muslims as well as the threats to their lawyers, there is an urgent need for the creation of a special court at Delhi or any one chosen city to try all cases related to terrorism. All such cases pending in various states ought to be transferred to this special court. On the lines of the National Investigative Agency, the government should create such court so that it would be convenient for both – the prosecution and the accused – to seek justice.

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Vol. 4, Issue 3

Epilogue, March 2010

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