An Open Letter to Haseeb Drabu, the finance minister of J&K
Mr. Haseeb Drabu You will be well aware about the figures of unemployment in Jammu & Kashmir. J&K had earned distinction in unemployment with more than six lakh educated youths unemployed and J&K ranks first in the unemployment in northern states. Due to scarcity of jobs and that of ill established private or public sector it becomes easy for small private entrepreneurs to exploit highly qualified educated youths on meager wages. Due to lakh of political will, the unemployment is increasing at an alarming rate which paves a smooth path for these private firms to exploit youths while the pockets of private firms, entrepreneurs and politicians are swelling day by day.
Mr. Haseeb Drabu, when you took charge as a finance minister, a ray a hope emerged in all classes of society. As an economist, people thought you will stabilize the deteriorating economy of the state and as a highly educated personality unemployed educated youth began to dream of a respectable job. Dear economist, in this valley of distress which is already in the grip of both unemployment and political instability, J&K Bank is the only mega recruitment agency, providing jobs to thousands of people directly and many thousand people indirectly. What I am going to bring into your notice had been already digested by your highness. J&K Bank’s recent RE recruitment, the type of recruitment which is mysterious in all aspects from selection to rejection. There is no doubt that the political intervention in J&K Ban’s RE recruitment had eroded the dreams of educated youths who had qualified for online test conducted by IBPS and had much grieved the middle class of our society which work days and nights on their handlooms, in fields, at construction sites or work as daily wagers to nourish and educate their kids in hope of pleasant future. The attitude of management is such that they have not bothered to disclose the number of RE’s to be appointed, so candidates can’t even work out the probabilities of selection.
Mr. Finance Minister, your statement hurt we people, perhaps IBPS would be ashamed for conducting J&K Bank’s online RE examination test. You said, “You are failures”. I do not want to be rhetorical, but I want to pose you a simple question: Who is failure, me or you? Who deteriorated the political system of our state? Who is responsible for allowing bulk loans to private firms raising banks NPA? Who compelled educated, upper class youths to join militant ranks? We have passed online test conducted by IBPS. We are not failures. Ironical but an intimate truth, the institution which the educated youth of the state are so fond of has been eroded by political system of our state. We know J&K Bank had not betrayed us, it is political intervention which let RE aspirants to raise finger on the honesty of the CEO of J&K Bank Mr. Parveez Ahmad. Why should one curse his fate, it is your majesty which shattered the dreams of few selective candidates, might they have not been in your political party domain.
It is need of the hour to remind you that we were invited for interview when Kashmir was under the siege of political unrest. Might authorities have shown trust on us and we too thought that bank is in need, so we came for our interviews. Think of the pain of unemployment; we people put our lives in danger while reaching HRD for interview when stray bullets and lethal pellets were raining in every part of our valley. Your government came as an ill omen for our state. Mr. Finance Minister, data reveals that 88 youth had joined militancy ranks post Burhan encounter and all were well educated, from rich families and they bore a dignified status in society. Who compelled them to join militant ranks? Neither Mr. Narendra Modi nor Syed Ali Shah Geelani nor their poverty but it is the mistrust that prevailed in valley from the day your coalition government took the chair of the state.
Mr. Savior of J&K state’s economy, you people demonized police to suppress us and by sending six or seven caveats to drop out students, what do you want to prove? It is your guilty conscience that compelled you people to send threatening caveat letters to drop out who have not yet heard the word “caveat”. It is not me who is crying for justice, it is dying soul of the trust that demands justice. In an incident on 23 March at HRD, a two storey high police man (someone called him Bhat Sahab, dressed in civil) deployed at HRD beat us, tore our banner and pushed us when we were just protesting peacefully demanding our merit list. We aren’t arsonists, we are not muggers. We are the J&K Bank RE qualifiers. My chest grew when an old man, passing by, said, “Mr. Finance Minister is not better than UP’s yogi”.
Need I remind you once again, we are not failures? Neither we curse or blame our fate. Yes, we blame and we blame the existing system. We blame those people who put a ray of hope in our hearts and then after two years disappointed us. The greatest authority is the moral authority, which had been evacuated from the hearts and minds of our politicians.