With nine days left for the bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir into two new Union Territories, Governor Satya Pal Malik Tuesday went public saying pressures are brought on him, that the “Governor is a very weak office… a poor fellow who has no power to address a press conference or speak openly” and “my problem is many a time when I do end up speaking, I remain scared for three days wondering if I have annoyed anyone in Delhi”.
Speaking at the convocation of Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board University, Malik, while urging the youth to empower themselves and the state with education, hit out at leaders of Hurriyat and mainstream parties, religious clerics who, he said, have used their influence to get the children of ordinary Kashmiris killed while none of them lost their own to terrorism.
He also accused intelligence agencies of not giving correct information to both the Centre and the state government. “After coming here, I did not take inputs from intelligence agencies as they do not tell the truth to Delhi or us. I spoke directly to 150-200 youths and tried to identify those in colleges and universities who do not stand up for the national anthem. I spoke to them and those in the age group of 25 to 30 years, whose dreams have been crushed, who have been misled and are angry… they do not want Hurriyat, mainstream parties, Delhi government or autonomy because they are being told that the way to paradise is by getting killed,” he said.
Stating that he told them he will not say anything on their religious belief, but “I did say that it is a matter of debate whether or not death will get them paradise. But I am giving you two paradises, one during your lifetime which is Kashmir and another that you will get after a lifetime of doing good.”
“You have a beautiful place in the world to live…. Come forward and be part of the new phase and tread the path of progress and development,” he said.
Referring to the days leading to the appointment of the university’s vice chancellor, Malik spoke of the pressure that was brought on him: “I do not want to share many things here about how much pressure you face during the selection of a vice chancellor… I was very perturbed. I went to Delhi after seeking time from the Prime Minister and told him that his people visit me with lists containing people right from Director General to a police constable, many of whom they do not even know… I asked him as what were his orders for me.”
“I want to praise the Prime Minister of India that he told me these people will keep coming. It is their right as they have made the party. However, if there are candidates with a difference of 20-21, give a thought to the latter as well, but not the one who is 19. At the time of selection of (vice chancellor R K) Sinha… even those people who were for someone else said that though their recommendation did not work, the one appointed as vice chancellor is a very good choice,” he said.
He criticised the rich in the country for not donating to education of children. “There are seths, people with money who spend Rs 300 crore on an engagement, but will not give a penny to a university. Big people in our country do not have the habit of donating…” he said. “They spend on their comforts… but they are not ready to pay a single penny for the education of children of the country,’’ he said.
“Many times, people call them with respect and political leaders run after them to shake hands. But I say they are poorer than even a common man. They are rotten potatoes,’’ he said.