Wake-up Call for J&K Administration

O P Sharma
The 256-page book entitled “Unmasking Kashmir-A Bureaucrat Reveals” is an exciting hard look into the  affairs-administrative, political mismanagement and  sheer discrimination in sensitive Jammu and Kashmir State. An insider view  by  former top  bureaucrat Sonali Kumar , a IAS cadre officer  who was the first “outsider female” in J&K State.   She shares her experiences in her memories of eventful  IAS cadre  till she superannuated on  November 23,2015. She remained put in J&K State as her husband Dr. Arun Kumar (IAS) also served in this State. Her bold and impressive narrative makes an interesting, revealing and  instructive  reading  for the  readership.
It is noteworthy feature that  Jammu and Kashmir , bestowed with natures charm and bounty, has been suffering for the  seven decades with mal-administration, political bungling, economic mismanagement, tough terrain and backwardness compounded by nefarious continuous external intrigues   and interference. Those at the helm of political and administrative set-up have not  risen to the  aspiration and  genuine needs of the people. The e-Governance  is  urgent and immediate need   of the time.
Glimpses of Attitude
The misrule and mal-administration with widespread prevalent corruption  have made the life of common masses difficult. The dissatisfaction against the administrative functioning    have been providing breeding ground for anti-social and anti-national sentiments  further fueled by communal , regional and  anti-India attitude. Surprisingly, the public sensitivity  is harshly damaged  and even driven to  negativity to such an extent that the administrative  system  is mostly unable  to provide clean , efficient and fruitful public service in  the crown of India’s state.
Apt Narrative
Interestingly,  Mrs. Sonali Kumar has aptly quoted an African proverb : “Until the lions learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter”.  She most appropriately describe “events and happenings” which she faced  without any notice or action by the State or the Central Government. Her story should now   bring about more understanding and solution to the problems of discrimination,  neglect and injustice. Lessons must be learnt and  the firm actions taken swiftly
Though   much water has flown down the  Jhelum and Tawi but still many acute career intricacies and hurdles are  prevailing. There is prejudice prevalent against section of people and  gross  favoritism  for   many others. If the State has to  march forward rapidly the  first task  is to tone up the administrative  set-up and system,   let the rule of law prevail and  firm commitment  ensured by the  administration   for just, speedy and  service-oriented administration to the people of J&K State.  Only by gearing-up the administrative machinery , the State can be brought back from ” restlessness” and put it on the path of accelerated growth and all round  development so that it moulds  itself as a modern State  in the county and restore its legacy  as “Paradise on the Earth” once again!
Wake-up Call
Sonali Kumar’s book will certainly act as a wake-up call for J&K State administration for shaping some new  policies for  dealing  and improving the administrative system and tackling with the socio-economic  problems  facing the Jammu and Kashmir State. A dynamism  is  required to replace static , insensitive and corrupt administrative engine of J&K administration.
The book makes absorbing reading and  is of immense interest for the  administrators, political leadership, academicians, students and  the common readership. While the author deserve a  high word appreciation for boldness and stylish expression, the Manas publications, New Delhi too should be praised for having  published this bold memoir of a  senior bureaucrat. It is praiseworthy that an epilogue and  index have been  included in the book. A good word must be expressed for Prasenjeet Kumar for ably editing this most interesting book.