Deciphering Revenue language

That writing , reading and interpreting revenue language was traditionally made monopolistic , if not hegemonic in absolute terms, and generally people other than the core personnel of the Revenue Department, were finding the same quite all Greek which is well known and felt too by most of them in Jammu and Kashmir. This tradition was going unhindered down the generations in this most vital and important department. Besides, it was not only resulting in the concerned applicants and those coming in contact with them in matters of revenue issues, being totally dependent on the veracity, contents and description of the documents issued by the field personnel of the concerned department but the same was breeding corruption as a matter of accepted inalienable practice . ‘Excelsior’had been raising this issue intermittently through our columns, the latest one being in late March this year voicing due concern over this much obsolete practice requiring a breakthrough in its proper reversal.
It is heartening to know that the Government has decided to rid the Revenue Department of maintaining records and issuing extracts in obscure and indistinct manner for which purposes, necessary guidelines areissued. This was necessarily going to induce much needed transparency and clarity in dealing with revenue related matters and no longer keeping it cloistered and confined to thosewho had traditionally been keeping it unto themselves alone and passing on to those only who replaced them . It may be recalled that in order to suggest ways and measures as also sowing transparency in delivery of public services to the citizens, the Government had constituted a ‘High Level Committee’ in 2018 which had given its recommendations to smoothen and make easier, the language and numerals in documents and records or demystifying them in Revenue Department. Now, in order to achieve the desired results, English language was to be used as the medium to note and record sub-scripts in revenue titles etc. What seems to be more important is the much awaited need to standardise the Revenue Registers with bar- coding . This decision, when implemented, was going in a long way in pre-empting ways and means of perpetuating frauds and manipulations in the relevant revenue records.
Not only had been the language , style of writing and narrating and issuing extracts and ‘farrads’ been crypticbut even the numerals had been in obscure and peculiar form, hard to be understood by even the ‘educated’ people who had to rely upon the concerned employee for authenticity and accuracy . This peculiar way and style of establishing monopoly and employing the traits only to hoodwink and ‘milk’ the hapless ‘faryadi’ citizens, a unique but well established way of modus operandi breaking the cycle of which even the highest officers and bureaucrats in charge of the Revenue Departments were finding quite difficult. This scenario is now sought to be streamlined and well established monopoly broken. In an era of digitization and transparency even legal documents though written in English language generally are sought to be and are issued and made in non bombastic and less complicated narrations in order to be understood with ease and less efforts , Revenue Department in Jammu and Kashmir cannot afford to remain untouched and unscathed of the new changes to obliterate complications, wilfully crafted for obvious reasons.
However, what we feel and therefore,suggest isthat merely by issuing orders andguidelines , the problem existing for decades in a row, was not going to be resolved unless the same were ensured to be strictly implemented as most of the field staff might put spokes in the wheels of introducing the innovative and transparent ways of writing and recording revenue related matters for which wilfully defaulting personnel should be dealt with sternly . More trainings and acquainting with the revenue related knowledge to employees from identified related departments would render the entire reformative process more meaningful and the writ of the hard core monopolistic working ‘regime’ in the Revenue Department less effective rather ineffective. We shall be closely monitoring the developments.