JAMMU: Few days after a middle rung officer of the Academy of Art, Culture and Languages demonstrated open disrespect to National Anthem, yet another shocking event took place when intending candidates sitting in the written test for the post of Patwaris found mention of ‘Azad Kashmir’ in the paper set by Subordinate Services Selection Board. These cannot be dismissed as instances in isolation. Something appears to be common in the two episodes that should worry compatriots as to whether soft-separatism is gaining official patronage in Jammu and Kashmir.
This is not occasion to question the mute silence of the so-called hyper nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which is partnering the government with PDP, a political outfit with definite agenda. The BJP is pursuing a specific agenda in the government, which need no elucidation. The spirit of nationalism will dawn on the party only when elections will be round the corner.
However, questions can be asked as to why the ‘offender’ in the offence of disrespect to National Anthem in Abhinav Theatre will just be served ‘show cause notice’, known in official parlance as ‘explanation’ and not booked under relevant provisions of law at the strength of video footage in circulation. He showed arrogance in presence of the Governor, who is the Patron of the Academy.
Similarly, can the setting of paper with ‘Azad Kashmir’ go under the carpet by cancelling the paper, as is flaunted by a civil servant, heading the organisation? In fact, a quick and high level multi agency probe should have been ordered to go into the circumstances leading to setting of the paper and credential(s) of persons involved. Chairman of the SSB, Simrandeep Singh, is reported to have nullified the question after outrage on social media and ordered an inquiry into the matter.
“I was told a question had come in Patwari exam where the term ‘Azad Kashmir’ was used. Subject expert of Geography has been asked to submit a report on same. We’ve asked him why he shouldn’t be penalised,” Singh is reported to have stated.
The objectionable question, in the recruitment exam, read as: Jammu and Kashmir has an international border with China in the north and east, and the Line of Control separates it from the Pakistan-controlled territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in:a) north and north-east respectively, b) south and south-east respectively, c) east and north-east respectively, d) west and north-west respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir is sitting over a volcano with the environment seemingly free for all, under the friendly ‘PDP-BJP’ dispensation. This is why, the former Education Minister Harsh Dev Singh has sought a high level probe into the whole gamut of setting of question paper and its distribution amongst the students taking the aforesaid exams.
How could such an obnoxious terminology be used for ‘PoJK’ by the paper setters, who are supposed to be highly qualified men of letters? Is it a mischief or a deliberate attempt? He has raised these pertinent questions while denouncing the highly reprobate and offensive term used for the territory, which is a part and parcel of the State and of country and illegally occupied by Pakistan. This is not mere misrepresentation but a highly outrageous act committed in an official exam changing the nomenclature of ‘PoJK’ to Azad Kashmir, he said.
The former education minister has rightly apprehended the setting of question paper as indicative of the handiwork of the separatist forces, operational in the government and wielding influence in the incumbent regime. Several other points have been raised to substantiate the point that anti-national sentiments are gaining subtle patronage under the current dispensation.
Raising pro Pakistan slogans inside the Legislative Assembly recently could also be a part of the same plot. People must not have forgotten how the Social Welfare Department, in one of its functions early last year, had included Asiya Andrabi, the Chief of terrorist outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat in the list of “Women Achievers” and published her photograph in its official documents along with the leading women achievers of the country including Indira Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Kalpana Chawla, Lata Mangeshkar besides others.
Time has come for those at helm to take the call, as to what all is happening in Jammu and Kashmir.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper