“We are the most corrupt state…” these words resonate ubiquitously, unfortunately true, but the matter is that who is going to hold the liability for taking the state to this height. Every govt. blames its previous counterparts flicking off the responsibility and posing as spotless, desperate and clean but eventually feeling helpless. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-BJP Govt. has to pass the acid test while tackling the corruption in the state, which has infected the system from inside as well as outside. Besides, other challenges for the Govt. to rebuild and restore the credibility of the state Govt. and developmental issues, eradicating the unemployment, maintaining peace and ensuring safe and secure future to next generation, the present govt. has to deal the corruption with a stringent mode. Mufti led PDP-BJP coalition govt. is a unique combination of two opposite ideologies shaking hands to guarantee a corruption free Govt. which this state has been ailing for a long time. Mufti’s tall claims to curb the corruption have put him on an acid test as people who have associated their faith with this govt. have fixed their eyes on the actions of the Govt. with the hope to observe a significant transformation in the system. Before moving ahead with more innovative experiments in dealing with the corruption, nepotism and favoritism, people expect it to rejuvenate and stimulate the existing institutions meant for the same purpose viz. State Vigilance Organization, State Accountability Commission and State Information Commission etc which, till now, have proved to be nothing less than the tree with rotten fruits. State Vigilance Organization has been vested with powers to investigate but simultaneously the govt. sliced away its wings and claws to take the appropriate action against the big fishes. Numerous cases, after investigation, involving ex-ministers and top brass officers are collecting the dust on the table of govt. awaiting the sanction for the prosecution. All the previous Governments have utterly failed to prove their curiosity, sincerity and rigidity in curbing the corruption consequently providing impunity to the culprits and strengthening their courage. Several cases are still asking for their sanction for the last more than twenty years but contents and intendts of the Govt. do not correlate and the corrupts and fraudulent are sometimes awarded with prize posting paving way for dreaded situation in the system.
The establishment of another institution of Accountability Commission to inquire into grievances and allegations against public functionaries is not producing substantial results and files are piling up, collecting dust and raising the finger at the intentions of the Govt. The State Information Commission, established with the objective to bring transparency in the system has failed to do so in letter and spirit. Disposal rate is quite unacceptable as only few penalties have been imposed on the erring PIOs since inception of the commission. Adding to the apathy, Govt. in 2012 just curtailed its powers by making unnecessary amendments in the rules rendering another blow to the whistleblowers.
The system has become hollow as the termite of corruption has eaten up it inside and turning it into a fragile structure. PDP has been orchestrating the drums to eradicate the menace of corruption from the state and it’s a chance for them to substantiate their claims. Mufti Sayeed has always acknowledged and pointed out that J&K Govt. is a combination for mis-governance and corruption, even he has called J&K Govt. as synonymous to corruption. But now, the thorny garland is in his neck and the blot of most corrupt state is still there on the face of the state. Now, it’s time for action rather than playing the blame game as it is now worth observe whether Mufti would act upon his own words or would prove to be another eyewash.
(The author is RTI Activist and Chairman Awake India)