Drama Over Portfolios

It is time to deliver duties rather than clamor over assignments

After the months’ long haggling between the members of the newly formed alliance partnership of the Jammu & Kashmir state government and the sensation around the oath-taking ceremony, the news in the last couple days has focused on to the drama over the portfolio assignment. Apparently some of the various nascent cabinet ministers are not happy about their assignments. Obviously those making a noise perhaps have no idea of the potential of the portfolios they are assigned with. What is more surprising is that the drama is being created by people who do not qualify for an assessment of the importance of the areas in question.

It is extremely deplorable that such important areas as science and technology, animal husbandry, horticulture, youth services and information technology — areas with a great potential to open up enormous opportunities for the growth and development of the state — should be relegated to the status of “low-key” or “bottom-of-the-list” ministries. Clearly the significance of the various portfolios is being measured not by the limitless possibilities that they offer, nor by the amount of attention they deserve given their current status, but by factors such as the amount of funds allocated in the past and the size of the workforce. This, in turn, points to the nature of work ethics prevalent in the state and the tradition of stagnation in our administrative system where people would rather run away from challenges and problem areas as opposed to meeting them head-on.

It is high time that the ministers-to-be, if they are efficient and capable enough, rather than making a fuss about their “insignificant” portfolios, must accept their responsibilities gracefully and begin to offer their services with no further delay. It is time to perform and prove their mettle by making sure that they manage to succeed in delivering services rather than clamoring over the current status of the ministries in the “list” – an attitude that puts a question mark against their sincerity and credibility. That the previous ministers or governments have failed to cater to the demands in these areas is no justification to shy away from these important responsibilities. It is the job of the ministers in charge to succeed in getting the funds and the workforce needed to run these portfolios effectively as well as work towards opening up various new venues and possibilities.

Let’s see some of those big vows of “public service” now!

(This article was originally published in the March 4, 2015 issue of the daily Rising Kashmir, available at URL  http://www.risingkashmir.com/drama-over-portfolios/)


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