I would like to draw an analogy between the Kashmir contractual tragedy and Bhopal gas tragedy deliberately as both are same in nature and function in the sense that they had hazardous consequences upon mankind. But the only difference being that the former killed the people slowly and silently while as the latter killed people all of a sudden and very openly when thousands of people died due to leakage of methyl isocyanate gas in a plant namely Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal, M.P-INDIA on 2-3 December 1984.So for as the former is concerned, it started in 1998 when the govt of J&K adopted a policy to fulfill the dearth of permanent faculty in school education department with the parameters that post graduate candidates would be engaged as contractual lecturer on academic arrangement pattern for an academic session which normally begins in March and ends in December in winter zones and has its course from April to March in Summer zones. It remained in vogue unto 2003 when PDP govt issued an order [Ref. No 1304 EDU of 2003] with regard to upgradtion of middle schools and high schools to high and higher secondary level respectively. This cabinet order mentioned at Para no vii that the eligible post graduate candidates would be engaged on academic arrangement basis for a period of three years and thereafter they would be regularized. And same was done in order to run the schools smoothly. Meanwhile the govt issued another order[REF.NO 1584 EDU OF 2003] to the effect that all such arrangements will be made on contractual basis with all the provisions provided in order no 1301 ,but with an exception of regularization. Now it becomes clear that the candidates engaged hereafter in such a way were not academic arrangement lecturers, but contractual lecturers. But the fact being that this order was never implemented on ground and the practice of academic arrangement went on until 2016 when Dr Shah Faisal was Director School Education Kashmir conducted a screening test of all the applicants who had applied for the said job as a reformative step in order to ensure that the quality of education remains intact in terms of best teachers. This practice continued up to 2018 and in 2019 the department of education through chief education offices received applications from the post graduate candidates along with a fee of 100 rupees, but the irony of the fact that arose is that the screening test was never conducted while the department rehired 2018 batch contractual lecturers and the most ironic situation arose when all of them were disengaged on 10th of August after the abrogation of article 370 and 35-A.
Although, in Feb 2017 this contractual fraternity started fighting for their demands with a hunger strike under the banner of All J&K +2 CONTRACTUAL LECTURERS FORUM at press club Jammu and this hunger strike continued for more than 1000 days until Mr Satyapal Malik took charge of J&K as a governor. When the said forum approached honorable governor, in Feb 2019, he constituted a committee with the mandate to examine the case. Very unfortunate that the said committee reported negatively in the sense that there would be a violation of equal opportunity to all in case said lecturers are absorbed permanently in the department. These lecturers knocked each and every door both at political and executive level, but all in vain. Despite repeated promises on part of beaurocrates and politicians nothing was done in their favour. Consequently some of these unfortunate lecturers crossed the age limit and some are close to that limit.
Now the question arises who is responsible for spoiling the career of such educated and unemployed youth? Are these contractual lecturers themselves responsible or should we held our govt responsible for it? For the sake of argument let’s hold these lecturers responsible on the pretext that the department had not given them any guarantee for permanent job as it was mentioned in their bond that they shall not claim for regular absorption in the department on the basis of such appointments. But the counter argument that is valid here that how for is the govt justified in adjusting Ret’s in state budget while as the SSA scheme was launched by union govt of India and it is obvious that the sate govt of j& k was not bound by any means to adjust them in state budget as it was the responsibility of central govt. so we may easily conclude that the govt took the matter on the pretext of its state subjects and on humanitarian grounds.
Recently an order bearing the No: DSEK/Estt-iii/B-Trs/9585 And dated 20-08-2020was circulated on social media requiring the documents from contractual teachers appointed in 2018 and re hired in 2019. This sounds to be a good fraud as the case is same with these contractual teachers. They have also given the bond to the effect that they shall not claim for regular absorption in the department. Now that if the department of education takes any positive step regarding the said batch of teachers what about those who were engaged in 2014 on the basis of a cabinet decision. So all this seems to be a lion and fox game being played on part of govt with the unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir.
Not only this ,but there are also sixty thousand daily wagers of different departments who are waiting in ques with the hope that they will be regularized. There are Lakhs of candidate falling in the category of NYCs, Rehbare-khel, Rehbare-Ziraat, Rehbare-Janglaat, Khidmat Center Operators, Land donors who are living a miserable life with the only hope that their services will be regularized and they will live a happy and comfortable life. But their dream seems to get never fulfilled as there is uncertainty prevailing in the state and there are no chances of betterment but there will again be situations like Bhopal gas tragedy but in the guise of contractual tragedy of Kashmir.