“Ironically a new trend that has developed in Jammu and Kashmir is preference of female candidates to male candidates. This particular trend is not because of some gender bias or something like feminism but for simple reason like that of delicate and obedient nature of women candidates. And for the reason that women candidates accept very meagre and low salaries and private players exploit these opportunities in their favour.” Writes Mudasir Khanday
When Kalhana wrote his masterpiece in 1149 AD he prescribed few rules to help the contemporary ruler for maintenance of order. Of many of these rules one was to, not let the people economically prosper above a particular limit .To Kalhana the rule was simple that people start thinking in terms of rebellion (Azadi) only when they are economically effluent, prosperous and satisfied. This kind of thought was not only limited to genius like Kalhan but many others including Chanakya who wrote his political and administrative master piece during 3rd century BC. Ironically many of policies of 20th and 21st century were drawn from geniuses like these and for that matter the case for Jammu and Kashmir is no different. The post 1947 history of Jammu and Kashmir reveals that with such policies in mind government at the local level and the metropolis too, have always been indifferent to Jammu and Kashmir at most of times. Jammu and Kashmir is having a great amount of human resources which has been laid to shambles because of such policies. According to recent estimates of Jammu and Kashmir government there are more or less 1 million youth with the tag of “educated-unemployed”. In such a kind of atmosphere the response of government to this challenge should have been very positive, but unfortunately it’s vice versa.
There are only few sectors which could help in generating employment in Jammu and Kashmir and include power development department, education- government and private, banking, telecommunications and others. Unfortunately the power sector is totally under the control of metropolis and recruitment for post of engineer to a peon is done at so called national level, leading to such a situation that currently we hardly find a local employee deputed there. Banking sector suffers from malice of corruption whereby youth who toil day in and out hardly finds a place in the final list. The recent selection lists of one of semi government banks in Jammu and Kashmir could be better case study in this regard. Telecommunications which mostly spread its wings in the state since 2001 has most of its technical sections in Jammu province and thus fails to quench the thirst of unemployment at the pan state level. Therefore Education sector is probably the largest employment generating sector in Jammu and Kashmir with large number of private players on ground and most probably is the only ray of hope for the unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir, when there is such an absence of other private sectors. But ironically youth have to face humiliation there as well with problems like low wages, irregular salaries, gender bias and others. Most of schools don’t pay according to minimum wages act and there is no check on these schools as well, leading to exploitation of well educated youth for meagre salaries and in turn leave them vulnerable to mental and psychological calamities. The government actors usually focus on government schools and leave private players to rule there empires as per their will, whim, fancies and choice without having any regard to established law. Students are charged hefty sums under the tags of better education, comfortable classrooms, clean environment, co-curricular activities and highly qualified trainers, but teachers who are the backbone of schools are paid very meagre salary and that too after months. This in turn adversely affects the development of better education in Jammu and Kashmir as the nation builder emits frustration in class instead of delivering better education. Not only they deceive the teacher, but notoriously every year fleece parents in the name of annual fee, to “other” fee and in the name of prescribed books to prescribed uniforms. Ironically a new trend that has developed in the state of Jammu and Kashmir is preference of female candidates to male candidate. This particular trend is not because of some gender bias or something like feminism but for simple reason like that of delicate and obedient nature of women candidates. And women candidates accept very meagre and low salaries, and private players exploit these opportunities in their favour. Having said that we need to we need to ponder upon illegal profiteering of the private players on one side and read the frustration of the teachers at these schools on the other side. The practice of fleecing by these schools is in practice for decades, but successive regimes have failed to make these institutions accountable to anything. There is dire need to make these institutions the cradles of excellence rather than corruption.
Author is a law graduate from Kashmir University and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org