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Governance-no Cakewalk for Malik
9/2/2018 9:43:56 PM
Omkar Dattatray

"Uneasy lies the head which wears the crown" is an old adage but in the restive state of J&K King is more uneasy. Jammu and Kashmir has recently got a new governor in Malik who is of a political and socialistic bent of mind. It is a welcome departure from the earlier practice and precedents as the occupants of this constitutional post were only bureaucrats, retired army Generals and retired police officers as Governor's in the last more than 50 years of self rule and democracy. The political governor Malik has clearly expressed that he has no political agenda in his mind. The new occupant of the gubernatorial office has said this in his maiden interaction with his advisors, Chief Secretary, administrative secretaries and other higher civil and police officers in civil secretariat at summer capital Srinagar. The 71 year old governor has made it clear that his immediate priority is good governance and has called for giving new impetus to the "mission on delivering governance" and "mission on delivering development" to bring state on the right path. It seems that from a political governor he is transforming himself into a people's governor as he has said that the doors of Raj Bhawan are open to all people and the governor's office will be a people's office. This is really a good development for the people of the disturbed state. But then the crown which the new governor is wearing is not a bed of roses but it thorny, bumpy and difficult. The job of the governor is very challenging, formidable and cumbersome given the fact that he does not know the pulse of the people of the sensitive and disturbed state and has little experience of handling the state which is fighting a proxy war unleashed by the enemy state of Pakistan. The governor will have to tread the path with utmost care and caution to steer the state out of the present uncertainty and turmoil. But the governor has started his innings well with his declaration that there is no political agenda before him and that he only wants good governance, pro-people approach and pro-people policies. Thus he wants to win the confidence and trust of the people, as the state is facing trust deficit which is no sign of good governance and democracy. However tasks before the governor's administration are not easy but uphill and challenging. In fact the crown which the new governor is wearing is not bed of roses but is thorny and busy with bumpers and boulders. Thus the governor has a very difficult environment to work in as the state is facing three decade long monster of terrorism, extremism, militancy and fear psychosis. The governor will have to win the heart and soul of the people while ensuring upper edge over the terrorists by security agencies. Thus he has to make a clear balance between good governance and deliverance to people and the fight against terrorists and militants. So the governor has to make a tight rope walk while administering the disturbed state and reaching out to people. The governance of the state is not an easy job for the new incumbent as on one hand he has to deal firmly with the separatists', secessionists and terrorists and on the other hand he has to see to it that there is no collateral damage to civilians while the fight against terrorist should be carried on with redoubled zeal and zest by the security forces. So the governor has to strike a happy balance between the fight against terrorists and the expectations and hopes of the people. This is no easy affair but a very herculean task keeping the magnitude of terrorism and secessionism into consideration. The governor will have to take the people of the state by his side while dealing with militant ravaged state and it is not an easy task by any standard. However, the only silver lining is his pro-people attitude and declaration expressed after assuming the reins of the highest office. His remark that he will be a people's governor and the Raj Bhawan will be a people's office is a good development and this will have very positive effect upon the citizenry of the restive state. His policy that the process of dialogue will continue and his resolve of addressing the pressing and mundane problems of the people is no mean development by any stretch of imagination. Now it is to be seen as to how will he reach out to the people and try to deliver and address their day to day problems in spheres of education, power, health, transport, water, security, law and order and the like. These mundane areas and service facilities along with law and order will be a litmus test for the success of the new governor. But for all this he will have to take the people of the state into confidence. However one thing is a matter of comfort for the common people that they will have open and free access to the Raj Bhwan as it will be a people house. The governor has to see how terrorism and militancy will be fought and how the basic services will be delivered to the people. Since there is no popular government in the state and it is expected that the governor will perform the functions of pro-people governance in consonance with the highest values of democracy. since he is neither a bureaucrat nor a retired army general nor even retired police officer but is through and through a political and people's governor to hold office for the first time. So all eyes are set on him as to how he will try to relieve the pressing problems of people in the sensitive state. It is hoped that the governor will put in earnest efforts to grease the civil and police administration so that the burning problems of people will be addressed on war footing. Good governance, prompt delivery, reaching out to the people, security and law and order are no easy tasks for any administrator and more so for a governor when the state is on governor's rule. Therefore governor has to play his role in the best possible manner to mitigate the pressing problems of the state and ensure good governance while fighting terrorism with an iron hand. Fighting terrorism and ensuring de-radicalization are the challenging twin tasks before the new governor. But the more challenging task is the holding of Municipal and Panchayat elections in the state which are long overdue. It is more so when the terrorist organizations have given a boycott call. Since the schedule has been set for the conduct of unicipal and panchayat polls, the governor's administration has to ensure that overdue elections to these bodies are held without any fear and favor. This is a very cumbersome task given the threat perception and volatile security scenario of the state. But it is necessary and in the interest and for the development of the people that gross root democracy is restored by holding fair and free elections to Municipal and Panchayat units so that democracy is percolated down to gross roots. It is also necessary to receive financial and developmnet aid from the finance commission for various flagship programs. When there are no municipal and Panchayat institutions, the state will continue to suffer for the grant of much needed finances. So holding the Panchayat and Municipal polls is one of the challenging tasks for the governor.
In fact, maintaining law and order, fighting militancy, de-radicalization of youth, good governance and above all holding of civic body and Panchayat elections are the tasks before the new governor. These are all formidable tasks and thus governance is no cakewalk for Malik.
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