This is perhaps for the first time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir that any Chief Secretary has been removed in the most ‘un-ceremonial’ way, regardless his contributions to the erstwhile State. Interestingly, with the exit of Former Chief Secretary, BVR Subramanyam, the much hyped ghost of ‘Black Diary’ appears to die its own death.
Soon after completing one year in the office of Chief Secretary, Subramanyam made several startling revelations indicating the nature of the polity as it existed in the state prior to the abrogation of Article 370. In a well-attended press briefing, he exposed the deep-rooted corruption in J&K and those involved in scams of all sorts. He didn’t name anyone. He only hinted at in his own style but left none in any doubt as to who actually he referred to.
As if all this was not enough to expose the rot and the corrupt, the Chief Secretary went on to disclose that he has a ‘black diary’ and its three pages are full of scams. “If I go into scams, all will be caught. Everybody is complacent,” Subramanyam said, adding “The whole political system was captured by feudalism. The spine of functioning remains feudal. No rules were being followed. No regulations were being followed. It’s the biggest flop. J&K is run on 80 per cent central government funds. Our (J&K) income is Rs 2,000 crore per month and the revenue is Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 1,000 crore is the share of central tax. However, out annual budget is Rs 10,000 to 12,000 crore. It means we are stealing the money of the Government of India”.
He said: “J&K was a ‘broken state’, the governance was broken badly and there was ‘no system’ in place due to years of mis-governance, corruption and ‘unbelievable levels of fraud’ committed by leaders of mainstream parties and separatist organisations…There were no rules and the decay began a long time ago. Therefore, not a ‘single soul had cried’ over the detention of political and separatist leaders in August last year, when the Centre announced its decision to revoke J&K’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution”.
Pertinent to mention here that despite passage of more than one year and exit of Subramanyam, no ‘Black Diary’ or its three pages on scams in J&K have been brought in public domain. No head has rolled so far.
Talking to The Typewriter, a senior bureaucrat wishing anonymity said that Subramanyam remained the most detested bureaucrats in Jammu and Kashmir. “He was very intelligent bureaucrat, but he acted as protagonist in the system, believing that he is always right,” said bureaucrat, adding that his ‘arrogant’ approach caused ridges in the system.
He revealed that there were alleged tussle between Lieutenant-Governor Girish Chandra Murmu’s office and J&K Chief Secretary B.V.R. Subramanyam. He informed that this tussle impacted different wings of the government as the bureaucracy was divided into two camps.
“If you remember, Murmu had given nod for the creation of an advisory council comprising some former ministers and politicians. The news was reported in sections of the media in New Delhi, saying that Altaf Bukhari and other politicians would be taking oath in June first week,” said bureaucrat, adding that the BJP General Secretary, Ram Madhav advocated an urgent political process along with restoration of 4G services in Kashmir valley. This interview rattled J&K BJP unit and they immediately issued a statement saying that no advisory council or government will be formed in Jammu and Kashmir without elections.
He stated that soon after stiff opposition by the Chief Secretary, even Murmu went soft and did not press for the advisory council and its creation. His silence enraged the local politicians who were in the loop with Murmu and Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the creation of advisory council.
Taking dig at Subramanyam on ‘Black Diary’, he said that the move was nothing more than implementing political vendetta to silence the dissenting voices, who had been questioning the central government about the development, promised post abrogation of Article 370.
“The people of this Union Territory were sold dreams in the name of abrogating Article 370, but when the administration failed to deliver it on grounds, they started targeting local politicians and bureaucrats, by talking about corruption,” bureaucrat said and added that the black diary ghost was one of those ‘good’ diplomacy to keep the public hoodwinked.
Even in political galleries, various leaders admonished rule of Subramanyam as Chief Secretary. “Will be remembered as the darkest person in the darkest hours of Kashmir. A person consumed by the self and also consumed by hatred for the Kashmiris. Saw expression of naked hatred for Kashmiris and belittlement of Kashmiris as a means of upward mobility for his self (sic),” People’s Conference chairperson Sajad Gani Lone tweeted.
“A man who famously said no Kashmiries shed tears when mainstream politicians were detained in 2019. In 2021 it looks like no one can wait to show him the door. Be careful who you step on on the way up, you will meet them on the way down”, tweeted former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.
BVR Subrahmanyam likely to relinquish charge of Chief Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir on 7th June; Arun Mehta likely to take charge on same day. B.V.R. Subrahmanyam will be the next Commerce Secretary, Government of India, upon superannuation of Anup Wadhawan on June 30.