With the transfer of Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, conjectures over his Diary of Scams gain momentum
By: Naseer Ganai
Despite being transferred to the Union ministry of commerce, outgoing chief secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam is yet to leave Jammu and Kashmir. He continues to meet officials and visit places. Besides his extended stay, what has generated a lot of curiosity in bureaucratic circles is Subrahmanyam’s ‘black diary’.
“I have a black diary and its three pages are full of scams,” he had said last year, in a briefing in August. “If I go into the scams, all will be caught. Everybody is complacent…. It’s a fact of life…. The system needs a lot of cleaning…. J&K was a broken state and there was no system in place due to years of misgovernance, corruption and unbelievable levels of fraud committed by leaders of mainstream parties and separatist organisations. Not a single soul cried over their detention (ahead of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5, 2019)….”
Now that Subrahmanyam would be leaving J&K, references to his ‘black diary’ have surfaced once again. If there was indeed such a diary, then why did the government, which was virtually headed by Subrahmanyam, waste the bureaucrat’s time on history, geology and geography while detaining ‘pro-India’ leaders, including three former CMs, for six months under Section 107 of the Criminal Procedure Code, without pressing any charges? And after those six months, why were they booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a preventive detention law, instead of being accused of corruption or misgovernance?
The PSA dossiers of the three former CMs—Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti—are there for everyone to see. The charge of turning J&K into a broken state due to years of misgovernance does not figure in any of the dossiers. The dossier against Farooq states he could potentially create an environment of public disorder. The dossier against Omar reads: “The capacity of the subject to influence people for any cause can be gauged from the fact that he was able to convince his electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers even during the peak of militancy and poll boycotts.”
The dossier against Mehbooba refers to her as “Kota Rani”: “The subject is referred, for her dangerous and insidious machinations and usurping profile and nature, by the masses as ‘Daddy’s girl’ and ‘Kota Rani’, based on the profile of a medieval queen of Kashmir, who rose to power by virtue of undertaking intrigues ranging from poisoning of her opponents to ponyardings.” Those who didn’t think twice before invoking Kota Rani to denigrate a female politician claimed that Article 35A of the Constitution strips women of J&K of their land rights if they marry anybody other than a ‘state subject’! In fact, the narrative woven around such lies, and regarding corruption, misgovernance and militancy, ahead of the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A was nothing but a means to create the grounds for it.
He will soon leave J&K and take his ‘black diary’ along. If someone ever writes a diary about events of the past three years in J&K, historians who dig deep into Kashmir’s history wouldn’t find anybody quite like the outgoing chief secretary.