Govt makes mockery of State awards, no ceremony held since 2015

Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Jan 24: Making a mockery of State awards, the previous Governments failed to organise ceremonies to confer the awards to people who had been nominated for them in view of their excellence in different fields of life and contribution made to the State as well as nation at large.
According to sources, the erstwhile J&K State Governments failed to confer the awards to the people who were nominated for the same since year 2015 which has been a cause of concern for the awardees as the announcement of the same was made with much fanfare every year by the authorities at the helm of affairs.
Sources said that scores of personalities who had excelled in various fields of Art, Literature, Sports, Science, Journalism, Administration, Music, etc over the years had been nominated for the State Awards by the then Governments but much to their chagrin the award giving ceremonies were never organized after 2015 to confer these awards to the nominees.
Though the nominees were waiting anxiously for the announcement from the Government for holding of the award ceremonies over the years, but the Government failed to organise the same making a mockery of these awards. Some of the awardees are of the opinion that there is no fun of announcing these awards when the awardees have to wait for years together for receiving the same.
They said that if the award was to be announced it should be conferred the same year by organizing the award ceremonies. Even some of the people have died before receiving the award. As per the set precedence the Government calls the applications from the reputed people who have excelled in various fields of life for their nomination to State Government awards to be announced on the eve of Republic Day every year.
On the basis of the application forms, the General Administrative Department (GAD) after verifying their veracity as well as on the basis of recommendations from the concerned departmental heads, the selection is made by the Government and the names of probable awardees are announced on the eve of Republic Day.
But unfortunately for last several years these awards were not conferred to the people nominated for them. This way the Government has killed the basic spirit of these awards which was to induce the others to do some yeoman’s service in the field of his choice and show talent.
Among the towering personalities who were selected for these awards included former Director Radio Kashmir Jammu and a well known writer, Dr Jitender Udhampuri who was nominated for the State Award for his life time achievements in year 2018 while Ganeshwar Ji another towering literary figure of J&K was nominated for the this award in 2017 for his service in the field of literature.
While talking to Excelsior, Ganeshwar said it is the great travesty that though selected for the award in 2017 the same has not been conferred on him till date.
“I am not alone but there are many more persons who have excelled in their respective fields and were nominated prior to me for these wards but were never conferred the same till date. They are in a great dilemma now, he added.
Prof Mohammed Zaman Azurdah, a renowned scholar who has also made a tremendous contribution to literature was nominated for the State Award in 2015. He said despite passage of five years the Award ceremony was not held to confer the same to him and others nominated for the award along with him in the same year.
He said moreover the Award was established late in sixties and the award money prescribed that time has devalued now. Besides, a shawl costing Rs 10,000 was to be given along with citation and the cost of the same has also gone up tremendously now, he added.
Ghulam Nabi Aatash, another well known figure in Literature was selected for the State Award in the same field in the year 2016 and to his utmost shock, the award was not conferred on him over these years. Aatash has 65 publications at his back in the field of Children’s Literature, folklore, poetry , literary research and criticism. Since the announcement made by the Government in 2016, this versatile writer is waiting for the day to come when the award will be presented to him.
Bimla Raina, a well known poetess, Tsering Wangdus from Ladakh who was selected for the award in 2015, Anil Bhat and Ashwani Kumar, Journalists, Makhan Lal Saraf, artist and scores of other personalities who were selected for the State Award since 2015 have not been presented the same till date.
The awardees said there is no fun of announcing these awards if they are not given in time. Either the Government should present the awards to the nominees within the same year by holding ceremonies or close them once for all, they added.
Sources said that in 2016, the Government had decided to hold the ceremony and the awardees from all the three regions had come to attend the ceremony but to their utter dismay the function was cancelled at last minute.
When contacted, Commissioner -Secretary GAD, Farooq Ahmed Lone, while admitting that the ceremonies were not held for last some years said the Government is on the job and the issue will be sorted out soon.