Darbar Move: Practice started by a monarch, followed by democrats set to end?

Darbar Move: Practice started by a monarch, followed by democrats set to end?

Afaq Bhat
Srinagar, June 21: The recent decision of the Jammu and Kashmir government to keep civil secretariats functional in Jammu as well as Srinagar has evoked a mixed response, but it seems that barring a few politicians, common people are happy as they see it as  a step towards ending the 150-year old Darbar Move practice, which was started by Maharaja in 1872.
Recently, J&K Government announced that 19 departments will function from Srinagar and 18 from Jammu. “Keeping both the secretariats open is a step towards ending the Darbar Move practice on which crores were spent every year,” said an analyst.
According to the history books, when this practice was started by the Maharaja  winters in Kashmir used to be very severe  and Jammu used to record very high temperature is summer months, the Maharaja used to shift his capital to Srinagar to escape the sweltering Jammu heat and then move to Jammu to keep himself comfortable during winters. “This practice was followed by all the politicians in J&K who came into power after 1947. The practice started by the monarchs was followed by the elected representatives,” said an observer.
He said, “Politicians in Kashmir lacked the political will to end this practice. Whosoever, came into power in J&K played politics over the issue of Darbar Move. Some leaders were of the opinion that by shifting the capitals people of both the regions remain happy. So, it’s no point annoying them. These leaders have been proven wrong as the government’s decision to keep both the secretariats functional has not evoked any adverse reaction from the people. The general opinion is that Darbar Move helped elites more than the common people.”
It’s in place to mention here that last month Jammu and Kashmir High Court had termed Darbar Move as a “futile exercise” but had put the ball in government’s court and had asked it to take  a final call over the issue. The government had informed the court that crores are incurred every year to shift the secretariat from Srinagar to Jammu and vice-versa.
“There is every possibility about the administration facing initial hiccups as in the beginning it won’t be that easy to run the government from two cities but things can become simpler with the use of technology and other means,” the analyst added.