Sure we have a cause. But we must not overlook the cost we are paying by depriving our children of an asset which nations treasure most – education.
“My lines can offend some and elate many, but my intentions are clear. Just speak your heart out. Translate genuine aspirations of people.”
Quit Kashmir movement has entered its fourth month and there seems no letup of any sort, rather it is becoming more cohesive and intense. People’s whole-hearted support and dedication towards a just cause has unnerved many, not only in the subcontinent but in certain quarters at an international level.
This agitation has given weight to the fact that people’s power is supreme and every leadership and authority of any enormity has to surrender before the aspirations and wishes of the people. Kashmiri people have substantiated the fact that people’s power can turn the tide and wash away all hurdles coming its way of liberation and empowerment. Every struggle for seeking justice comes at a huge cost. Kashmiri people have suffered enormously while making their voice to be heard. During the recent months of conflict hundreds of young Kashmiris lost their lives, thousands got maimed and economy of Kashmir got a severe jolt; a colossal damage to every aspect of life and property. During all these months our education system got paralyzed. Healthcare and other vital aspects of life got severely affected.
Individual interests are of no significance when a nation is in the grip of huge people’s dissent, but national interests have to be supreme at any cost. And we as nation during these four months have paid a huge collective cost of derailed education system, collapsing agenda of enlightening our future generation of prospective torch bearers of Kashmir cause. Since June our schools, colleges, universities and other institutions of learning have remained closed for most of the time either due to resistance agenda or intentional coercive restrictions of the sham administration. Callous attitude of the government worsened the situation. At occasions ego became more dominant over administrative duties and constitutional obligations. In this conflict of resistance and confusion of misgovernance young generation got robbed of their right to knowledge and enlightenment. Education is not only the right of individuals of the civilized society but it is collective duty of the whole society to ensure that healthy and quality education is being imparted to every member of the society.
Aspiration, rights and liberties originate from the mechanism of education and can be of immense importance only in a knowledgeable society. Human beings without education and knowledge are no different from animals devoid of attributes of civility, compassion and urge for freedom and authority. Education leads us to knowledge and knowledge makes us empowered and much civilized. Any society lacking education is much more susceptible to exploitation and can hardly stand and strive for its own basic rights. Seeking and striving for freedom requires an educated social order, the day people become fully educated. They are free, emancipated and empowered and to sustain and safeguard their freedom education plays a major role. Over the last many decades graph of our struggle for liberation has grown gradually in proportion to status of our achieved education and gained knowledge. Kashmir of 2010 is much different than that of 1931 when Kashmiris were mostly uneducated and thus ignorant about their basic rights. Presently Kashmiri youth are not only agitating on the streets but have raised a revolt through other modes and medium of knowledge and education. It implies that present intensity and severity of Kashmiri movement of freewill is not only the result of unrelenting resolve to fight against injustice but is also directly related to quality and quantity of education acquired by younger generation over the period of time.
For the last four months we Kashmiris as a nation are in the middle of a political vortex. A predicament having its roots in the ego and pretentious behavior of our tormentors and neighbours. We are on a path of righteousness and seek ‘only’ justice. Nothing less, nothing more. And it is a fact now that our leadership only steers this situation of resistance and conflict under different banners but with a common agenda. Almost five days a week we are off the road, we as a nation don’t indulge in any activity of trade and commerce. We don’t entertain or get entertained, and rather we are at halt almost in all spheres of life including all activities of imparting education and gaining knowledge. Our present strategy is justified, practical, and essentially required for sustenance of present movement and achievement of our goal. It will obviously affect routine of our daily life. But, genuinely and frankly speaking, like water, healthcare and electricity, in the first instance we should have kept our education system out of any influence of resistance and agitation. No doubt, situation of gruesome killing of innocent young men demanded resentment and deep mourning, resulting in complete halt of our routine life and allied sectors. At this juncture any deviation from the path of agitation and resentment will amount to bartering blood of our loved ones with power of deceit and mistrust but continuing with ceased activities of education will also immensely affect the prospects of our fight against injustice. After four months of unrelenting resistance we need to consider safe passage to education and its uninterrupted resumption. We can not afford to have uneducated lot of people for continuous sustenance of our noble mission of seeking our right to decide our future.
In the first instance we should have seriously considered education and knowledge to be out of any conflict situation, but when excitement of seeking justice engulfs the nation everything become fair in war of this euphoria of liberation. It seems our resistance movement has come out of euphoric stage; has settled down and consolidated for the best where we are able to identify our tormentors and exploiters finely and devise a much better strategy. This situation of fight for justice requires sustainability and for that energetic, learned and educated, manpower is mandatory. Thus education becomes more important than electricity and healthcare. We all as nation, leaders, and civil society and opinion makers should rise to the occasion and plead forcefully for restoring system of education and keep it away from the coercive gaze of both administration and resistance. Both resistance leadership and hostile administration of the time can use their telepathic signals, which they otherwise using to brow beat each other, for interacting and devising a system for uninterrupted arrangement of education. Much precious time of our education mechanism has been lost but yet things are retrievable, so every stake holder should behave seriously and think coolly about giving a passage to education and help in restoring this most vital sector of social system. Education is the only mode of changing hearts of people and establishments, and motivating them to justice and self-determination without resorting to any method of coercive force and violence.