SRINAGAR – As two decades of turmoil continues to spoil Kashmiri Muslims lives, mushrooming corruption is destroying hopes of a better future for thousands of people living in the disputed district.
“I belong to a poor family and my parents could hardly manage my schooling and I did my PG in Education but could not get Job. Had I not been poor I could have got the government Job as here in Kashmir corruption is ruling the roost,” Mohd Ashraf Wani told Onislam.net.
“Kashmir has witnessed many up rises in past but now the youth must fight for the eradication of corruption as the menace has infected even our moral values also.
“One cannot get his work done without paying bucks to babus and other people who are at the helm of affairs and in case of complaint you won’t get anything as nobody is ready to act against the officials as they are the favorites of either the ministers or Bureaucrats,” Ashraf Wani added.
With corruption denying poor people access to social amenities and denting the country's image, many Kashmiris revealed agonies from falling victims to the evil malais.
For Nisar Ahmad Wani, alias Billa from south Kashmir, corruption ended his dreams of finding a government job opportunity.
“I am extremely poor and has to feed ten members of my family, my parents brought me up gave education and after completing my matrix I choose to learn driving and became expert in handling of all types of vehicles including heavy machines despite having the requisite qualification I could not get government Job as for getting Job you have to pay,” Nisar, a driver/Operator who has been working with the Border Road Organization over the past 12 years, told Onislam.net.
“I applied for the post of driver five times but could not get job in government sector. The reason is quite obvious that I could not graze palms of officials at the helm of affairs.
“I am thankful to BECON of India who at least provide me job else I and my family would have died of starvation, Billa told Onislam.net.
Dilafroza Nabi, a Kashmiri citizen, shared similar agonies.
“Corruption has badly affected our lives and if it is not checked in time our future generations will be born corrupt and the words like honesty, dedication, and transparency will disappear from the dictionary itself,” Nabi told Onislam.net.
“We have faced a lot during turmoil and now are facing the outrages of it in the shape of corruption.”
He said for curbing this social evil all of us have a moral duty to work against it.
“We must educate our children about the bad effects of corruption like social evils so that they may not fall in the trap during their life time,” he told Onislam.net, adding, before blaming anybody else one has to polish himself and fight for the cause.
Suffering from increasing rates of corruption in government positions, Kashmir Muslims have blasted the government over its failure to eradicate this social evil.
“Many promises have been made so far by the government to eradicate corruption from the state and in fact accountability commission was established and when exe falls on its own ministers and bureaucrats the commission was made defang,” Masarat Rashid, a girl from Kapran village of South Kashmir, told OnIslam.net.
Moreover, she accused politicians of being not sincere in its bid to eradicate corruption from the society, taking no concrete effort by the political parties to end the virus of corruption.
“See how powerful the common man is in India’s Delhi capital a common man rewrites the history by showing the power of common masses so has to do we people of Kashmir,” she told added.
Irshad Ahmad, a businessman from south Kashmir agrees.
“I am forty three year old and have not seen any official being punished for the violation of the laws related to corruption” he claimed.
“There are hundreds of cases pending in Anti-corruption courts across Kashmir valley, but none has been punished as yet,” advocate Mohd Younis added.
Though there are laws to punish the corrupt officials but the prosecution finally fails to prove the allegations during the trial.
He said if some ministers or officials are punished the corruption will automatically go and the society will definitely free of corruption in days.
“Our politicians are busy in their political gains and slug mud on each other instead to bring such a legislation so that a transparent system is put in place,” a Kashmiri youth studying in class 12th told OnIslam.net.
“Non-Governmental Organizations are on forefront to fight corruption and are leaving no stone unturned to end the role this virus which has infected the society and has worstly affected the Kashmir minds.
Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat head of RTI Moment believes that widespread corruption and lack of accountability were main reasons behind increasing corruption in government departments.
“It might have decreased to some extent but the Government officers find other ways to involve into corrupt practices,” he told Onislam.net.
“The reasons are Political Instability, Conflict and lack of accountability on part of Government as they are themselves involved into corruption”.
“It was a survey conducted by a Germany based International NGO Transparency International but we cannot say this survey is always authentic; it is just like exit Poll results which can be false also. But yes J&K is one of the corrupt states in India, may be it is number 1 corrupt or may be it is number 3rd or 4,” he told Onislam.net.
He said the educationists, religious scholars, civil society, judiciary and government has to work in close coordination.
People must understand that corruption is against morality and basic ethics of humanity.
“We need to have very effective and independent Anti-Corruption Institutions like Lok Pal recently passed in Indian Parliament,” he added.
“Corruption and mal practices in government offices have badly affected the minds of the people particularly young generation of Kashmir who have already suffered a lot during the last few decades,” Dr Raja said.
“Un-employment increases, Frustration among youth, drug addiction, less job opportunities are some of the visible effects of corruption.”
Dr Raja Muzaffar added that the conflict was also of the main causes of the increasing corruption.
“Definitely turmoil is one of the cause because due to turmoil there was political instability and the institutions to check corruption failed, Government of India also patronized some corrupt mainstream politicians as genuine and honest people stayed out of mainstream politics from 1990 till 2008 0r 2009 and even now,” he said.
“I have written more than 100 op-eds , articles on this issue, distributed posters , pamphlets about corruption and its bad effects, conducted seminars , workshops on RTI , Corruption TV Shows , Radio Programs and organized awareness programs in Colleges , Schools and religious intuitions,” he told Onislam.net.
“People are also responsible, definitely but had we a clean, accountable and honest Government the people could also have been reformed,” he said.
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