The State Cabinet’s green to shifting the High Court from Nainital to Haldwani is not just pragmatic, but also a courageous decision. This is because there is a strong lobby for the court remaining where it is. The matter can become political in the days to come, but should hopefully be resolved after the necessary concessions are made to assuage feelings.
Such decisions are necessary in the people’s interest. In the case of the High Court, it was becoming increasingly difficult for ordinary people to obtain access owing to the high costs involved in visiting a highly popular and overcrowded tourist destination. There was also the question of accommodating the court, itself, as its need for amenities, including lawyers’ chambers, is rapidly increasing. Hopefully, the shift will take place in a properly planned manner, instead of setting up another makeshift arrangement in the new location.
Pragmatism is gradually prevailing over mere sentiment in Uttarakhand, which will prove beneficial in the long run. This has been the case with Gairsain, regarding which the common sense decision to declare it the Summer Capital, instead of the permanent one, was eventually taken. If the purpose is to provide their share of good governance to the people of the hills, it is better done through ensuring basic services and infrastructure, rather than have the hills accommodate an unwilling and surly gaggle of government functionaries.
Another relic of the past that will hopefully be transformed soon is the institution of revenue police. It may have been suitable at a time when serious crime was almost non-existent. As the Ankita incident has shown, this is no longer the case. There are many such anomalies that exist in the name of tradition which will require change, thereby leading to creation of a modern state utilising technology and best management practices to function in an effective way. The sooner done, the better.