Jammu: AIIMS Row- An introspection

To Give:  A while ago there was video which had gone viral in social media especially amongst Indians both at home and abroad. In Mumbai there is this famed system of Dabbawalas, men on cycles who collect and deliver lunch boxes to people in their offices at lunch hour. This particular Video showcased a novel and a supposedly noble concept of people sending back their ‘dabbas’ and signing up for the distribution of any leftover food in it, amongst the poor and the hungry. This was hailed as an act of worthy charity, since the food is not wasted and the hungry are fed too. This kind of charity though has serious flaws.

The very fact that to give someone something as an afterthought, to give them at our own convenience, to give only because we do not know what to do with our surplus, to give because we are pushed to a corner and there is no other way out, to give with an intent which is not pure and we expect to gain something out of the act, to give only that which suits us and not the receiver necessarily, does not qualify as giving in our Shastras or in any other philosophy for that matter. Shraddhya Dheyam is to give gracefully and in time.  

This concept of correct giving is clearly absent in the current context of AIIMS to Jammu. Much has been already said in detail about why our Region needs AIIMS. No faults can be found with either the reasons or the need and hence one wonders why Jammu Region has been made to work their way through a maze of confusing statements, unmet deadlines, and silence on the part of some key leaders. If there is anything comical in this tragedy of errors, it is the fact that the people of Jammu had to overnight brush up their English language grammar skills. A lot many Wren and Martin, the trusted English grammar book were dusted off and studied to make sense of this labyrinth created by the curious play of words by the Government. ‘Like and similar’ overnight became dirty words.

What is confounding is the reason that has driven BJP to sabotage their own popularity after people put tremendous trust in them and brought them into power. The lack of prompt and effective communication on their part has caused much avoidable confusion and anger. It has also forced Jammu to take sides. Although people stand united in their demand for an AIIMS some remain skeptical of the Parties backing the ACC today, because these very parties in the past have been unable to fulfill the regional aspirations. On the other hand the trust they placed in the 25 MLAs they elected is also shaken and old murmurs of the Region lacking direction and good leadership grow louder.

Statements in reference to the Dy CM “kudhar gwaach gaya” though bringing comic relief reflect the sense of betrayal Jammuites are feeling. The situation could have been better handled by the Government through dialogue and transparency in its dealings with both the public and the ACC. PDP on the other hand could have shown some genuine interest in the issues concerning Jammu Region and atleast tried to pretend that there does not exist what seems like a clear division of roles between itself and its alliance partner. It looks like Jammu is BJP’s responsibility and PDP works primarily for Kashmir.

When the need is legitimate why is there a delay in the giving. To not give at the correct time has already snatched away the brownie points the Government could have earned itself replacing it with anger and distrust.

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