Politics of Diversion

Since the onset of this year, many startling revelations have come to fore and with each newspaper headline it seemed that the end of the government was near. But here we stand with just two months left in this year and we can’t recall the first headline that threatened the government.

It is October and last couple of days before the government shifts to winter capital, Jammu, and we are grappling with LPG crises. No one is bothered to recall which the big story before this was and raise a question as to why it has been left mid way, without taking it to the logical conclusion that everyone earlier was so confident of reaching.

Does it sound strange that the issues like Amarnath, Unidentified graves, Healthcare mess, Dog menace, Power woes, Traffic mess etc have been shoved into oblivion!

Whatever the case is we will have to accept that the state government has mastered the art of diversion. It is playing everyone; public, media and none seem to realize it.

For 2008 mass uprising, handing over of forest land to SASB (Shri Amarnath Shrine Board) had acted as a trigger. Well if the latest newspaper revelations are believed to be true, then the SASB has already started constructing concrete structures on the forest land! Now the question rises that what did we, as a people protest against?

The discovery of unidentified graves (Mass graves) seemed to sound doom for the state government and caused a lot of embarrassment to the govt. of India in the international arena. People had hoped against hope that finally the international community will force India to hold an impartial probe. Now it seems that every one has forgot the existence of these graves!

The GB Pant hospital mess, Infant deaths, had caused a lot of uproar, people had come on roads to protest. And then, the game of accusations and cross accusations had begun. Union health minister was forced to pay a visit to the forsaken hospital. Even couple of heads had rolled, but after sometime everyone forgot about the absconding army doctor who happened to be the deputy MS at the said hospital, does anyone know what action was taken against him?

People had asked for reformation of hospital management system in all the state hospitals. Everyday somebody or the other was suggesting the government about how to manage hospitals. Then everyone forgot about the reforms! We were reminded of the infant death only couple of days back when the House committee report was tabled in the state assembly.

Dog menace once upon a time happened to decorate the newspapers as headlines. It attracted attention of people from New Delhi to New York. A sitting MLA even tried to highlight the issue by releasing a truckload of dogs near the civil secretariat but now it seems that as if the problem never existed, even when the government is far from solving it!

The power supply in the summer of the current year has been far from satisfactory; this led some people to compare the performance of the current government with that of the PDP led government. People on social media demanded the removal of the Omar government and installations of Mufti government. People were angry with government, and the comment of
the CM that people should pay market rates fanned the fire and then the son of a minister was caught stealing electricity worth lakhs. But now no one seems to be bothered by the erratic electric supply.

Traffic mess is getting uglier by the day and the government seems to be at loss of wits of how to manage it. They are not making any radical changes in the policy and nor are they trying to improve the traffic police department drastically by providing necessary instruments. Only by installing traffic lights the government can’t assume the disappearance of this problem. Government needs to make a long term policy with respect to traffic management and road connectivity.

J&K government is competent enough to divert anything but the traffic.

It seems to be a strange coincidence that every time government finds itself in the dock, a new controversy comes to its rescue by diverting the attention from the previous. Sometimes the controversies are god sent but at times they have to be created.

With winter approaching and time for the state government to fly to warmer grounds, LPG Cap crises seems to be god sent. Thus the government can avoid answering other uncomfortable questions and try to solve this problem just before its flight.

It is said that for a war to be won not only does a government / state need superior firepower but also a superior propaganda machine. Here in Kashmir everyday is a war and propaganda has to be aided by diversion.

Also appeared in The Kashmir Monitor

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