J K News Today Commentary

Jammu, July 26:

There were political whims that ruled the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The competition among parties and leaders was fierce , while the common people had to remain content to live in an environment of political corruption and contempt for them from the institutions of governance. There was no governance but only contempt for the people.

This much of history needs to be understood in these times when Covid-19 has squeezed and suffocated lives of the people. Imagine , what would have been the fate of the people had there been the kind of the governments that ruled over them for several decades.

The change has come about after J&K’s special status was withdrawn.  and its statehood dismantled into two union territories of Ladakh and J&K on August  5, 2019 . This was a necessity to change the system that had become unbearable for the people of J&K.

The change is that there is unhindered decision making for all the people. Now, politics cannot hinder or divert the resources reserved and directed against the fight of the coronavirus.

The political influences did not work at all , instead there were decisions that took care of patients without looking for the political stripes on their shirts, nor they were asked about the party flag  to which they owed their allegiance.  These considerations  of the past  were buried and a new approach was adopted to identify the patients , treat them and to see them walking home after their recovery. Many were lucky to reunite with their families – their number is more than 9,000 out of the total infested people of 17,000. That means that more tan 50 percent of the people have  recovered .

No doubt there were complaints about many shortcomings in the hospitals, quarantine centres and shortage of ventilators and inadequate treatment. Some of these reports were genuine . But there was no political interference  that could have added to the discrepancies and discrimination in the patient care.

Beds  and medicines  were not determined by the political considerations , and that was a big relief in these distressing times. That  was a big relief.  More could have been done, but absence of the real-time  health infrastructure  put  double burden on the UT administration while tackling the health emergency of Covid-19.

Whatever the UT administration did  was enabled by  August 5, 2019 . It changed  the whole idea of dealing with the crisis.  The Article 370 was a great deal of protection for the politicians, their kin and their party workers . Not that these influences will disappear with the new political arrangement, but there would be some accountability to the people.

How? The politicians will not be able to use this slogan to perpetuate their own interests . The beneficiaries will be the people. In J&K the political corruption had become institutional and there was no way to break it as the Centre had limited role and could not bring in institutional accountability on its own.

And any step by the Centre in pre- August 5 times by the centre was seen as an interference into the state’s autonomous character and that would start a cycle of political skirmishes, adding to uncertainties.

Covid- 19 could have been handled better in J&K  had the political leaders operating under the shield of autonomous status not used  their petty politics to shelve and slow the development.

The super specialty hospitals, AIIMS are the glaring examples that how politics inflicted irreparable damage to their early completion . J&K was denied  high quality health infrastructure, the ill-effects of which are being borne by the people .

Today, the pandemic has caused a severe situation, but there was no such health emergency before . Now , Covid has taught new lessons . Anything can be handled if the development is free of captivity of politics. August 5, 2019 has shown the way.