Since J&K has been under the bureaucracy’s authority for the past few years, it is a living example of how bureaucratic setups are always harmful in the long term. A system, where decisions are made by babus, and a system, where decisions are made in accordance with people’s preferences, differ significantly from one another. In a system where there is no elected government, the decisions made by the authorities do not reflect the wishes of the populace; rather, they are made according to the opinions of those in high positions.
Depriving the people of a popularly elected Government is a violation of the democratic rights which are guaranteed under the constitution of India and what is happening with the people of J&K is exactly the same: a violation of the constitutional right.
There are cries and screams of people echoing around who are seeking to have a democratic government which could listen to their issues and take steps to address the same, but those cries and screams are in a vacuum where they do not reach anywhere.
The government provided a timeline for the holding of elections and the restoration of the statehood that had been lost following the repeal of Article 370 in Au- gust 2019.
The Government had previously stated that delimitation would take place first, followed by the elections , but after some adjustments, it was stated that the process of holding elections would begin after delimitation and the completion of the draft electoral rolls.
As of now, delimitation has been completed including the draft electoral rolls, but the Government has not talked about holding elections, let alone setting the process for the same, moving. Delaying assembly elections in J&K despite repeated promises is a sheer injustice to the people because: under the current set-up, they don’t see themselves being represented on any front.
They see the process of decision-making going from top to bottom, rather than going from bottom to top. They are unable to hear a voice speaking for them, advocating for them, and resolving their challenges and problems.
They keep waiting for high-chaired officer led darbars to be convened so that they might have their complaints heard. They are fully aware of the futility of their appeals and petitions. They still yearn for people to serve in the government they choose, but they can clearly see that the current system is preventing that from happening.
Why is the government delaying the announcement of assembly elections in J&K? Why does it use delay tactics and deny the populace its right to a government chosen by them? The people of J&K deserve some relief by having a Government which represents them rather than having babus—who do not even speak the same language—speak and decide on their behalf.