Deadwood: Where does it come from?

Nowadays, “Deadwood” has become a buzzword and talk of the town in every nook and corner of Jammu and Kashmir. It is not only making rounds in newspapers and social media but also discussed on telephones, our dinning tables, in buses and offices as well since UT government has announced that it will deal with an iron fist on such a stock in school education department.

As a reaction to this announcement, some people (who are numerically insignificant) are rejoicing. While as some others (a significant lot) are deeply pained. There is one more section of people who are still in doldrums about the term “Deadwood” and wondering as to how would government of the day identify deadwood from such a large department with a strength of more than one lakh teachers. For those people, let me make it very clear at the outset that government, which is an organized mechanism of properly set rules, regulations and best serving brains, can utilize multiple yardsticks for that purpose.

To name a few, it can evaluate teachers based on their performances of last few years, student’s feedback, duration of total online classes taken in a definite time period or a semester of six months or even satisfaction of students with a teacher’s teaching on a point based scale.

Keeping this aside, let’s ponder into the basic question of what actually is “Deadwood” or where does it come from? Does it appear out of blue or a specific mental setup produces, multiplies and consolidates it.?

In order to answer this question, let’s present some factual data of recently announced posts and number of applicants for the same in our UT. The premiere recruiting bodies of the Jammu and Kashmir, JKSSB and JKPSC, notified 6,000 plus vacancies in year 2021 in various departments including jal Shakti, horticulture, hospitality, information, GAD, revenue, health and medical education, skill development, home department, panchayats, finance, agriculture, rural development, police, cooperatives as well as Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) which is indeed a developmental and welcome step.

The number of applicants for Panchayat Assistant exam alone was 1.62 lakh for 1889 posts and for other SSB exams, Assistant Registrar and JKAS exams, it was 80,000, 19,370 and 30,888 for 5732, 91 and 187 posts respectively. What do these figures indicate?

To a layman, it simply indicates that 1,62,000 candidates are ready to be work as panchayat accountants, 50,000 candidates are willing to be finance assistants, 22,000 are ready to work as assistant compilers, 19,000 are willing to join as assistant registrars and 30,000 are willing to be JKAS office bearers. Nothing is wrong in it.

People should keep options of employment wide open for them. But, has anybody ever tried to look into this data from an ethical and moral prism at microscopic level. In lucid terms, if we look into these figures from that perspective, it does mean all those candidates who have applied for all these categories of posts want to become an accountant, a compiler, an assistant, a gardener, a driver, a mistry, a wildlife guard or an officer or else ranging from class fourth to class one, whatever they qualify for. What will it result into? Think about it.

Let me make it more clear. Suppose a candidate with a doctorate degree from a reputed institution of the country or abroad gets selected as a compiler or on a class fourth post as a peon. What would the department expect from him/her and in turn what would be his/her expectations from the department? Keeping the nature of his job as well as his/ her qualification into consideration, will justice prevail in any sense? I don’t think so. Rather, there will be a bi- directional injustice. Neither the department will be able to do economic or social justice with that candidate nor would the candidate do justice with his/her under paid job.

In the long run, this multi-faceted injustice will deepen and with every passing day a sense of inferiority complex will develop in such a mind which will affect not only his/her productivity but also the output of the system. A day will come when such numbers will multiply as well as consolidate. A chain reaction type mechanism will be produced and reproduced which will engulf the entire system. From here will take birth of hitherto a highly motivated and qualified brain what will be called as Deadwood hereafter.

Who is responsible for producing this Deadwood is a matter of care and concern. It is none other than us who lack a clear vision of our dreams and goals due to lack of exposure and confidence in ourselves or due to an appetite for merely a “profession by chance and not by choice”. Had we been employees by choice, not only our love for the job would have multiplied but our productivity and level of satisfaction would have also touched skies.

A genuine person would have got a genuine portfolio as per his/ her choice. This would have put a cap on the genesis of Deadwood for ever.

Swami Vivekananda once said, choose a dream, live by that dream and consistently strive for that until you achieve it. The bottom line is one must not flow with the flow. Relax, fix your destination , work for that ,don’t dwindle, have a broad outlook, enhance your mental horizon and don’t stop until you accomplish what you aspire for. Once we choose a goal, the whole universe conspires with us in getting that fulfilled.

Dr Rafi Ramzan Dar teaches Geography at GDC Kulgam and can be reached at rafiramzandar@gmail.com.

News Desk

News Desk staff at The Kashmir Radar. Posting unbiased news as we believe in pure journalism!

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