Aadil Habib Bhat
It is our pre-final year (3rd) in Punjab Institute Of Engineering & Applied Research, located at, Malakpur Lalru Mandi Distt: Mohali Punjab, off Chandigarh-Ambala-Delhi highway. It is just 25 minute drive from the cleanest city Chandigarh.
The students mostly belong to Bihar, Jharkand, Assam, Aurnachal, Delhi besides locals. There are very less number of students from Kashmir.
College’s location is noise free, pollution free surrounded by vast agricultural fields. Owing to its location we can see the agriculural, farming activities being done by the farmers of Punjab. It was amazing to see farmers getting two major crops in a year while fields in Kashmir remain untouched for about half a year.
In Punjab, education system is quite different from Kashmir. Here a number of institutions recruit fresh pass out graduates, in most cases passouts from their own colleges, as faculties which is something unheard of in Kashmir. Without any experience or exposure these fresh passouts fail to do justice with their jobs.
But it is not same everywhere. Established colleges follow proper recruitment procedures while recruting faculties.
Unlike back home, here a number of colleges lack neccessary infrastracture like labarotaries required for the courses they impart. But at the same time most of the colleges here have tie ups with many companies even MNCs for future placements. Students need to go through such things before joining any private AICTE engg college outside Kashmir.
In my opinion, teaching system in Kashmir is far better than what I experienced in Punjab.
There is one more thing which I think I should talk about here. How it is like being a Kashmiri outside Kashmir? So far my expericence about the place is good. During my initial days I had to struggle with language.
Being a Kashmiri, I was not able to understand clearly the language of teachers, class mates (from other states) and people whom we have to deal with on a daily basis like shopkeepers etc.
They all speak ‘shud’ Hindi which is somewhat different from our Urdu. I think Punjabi language is more understandable than ‘shud’ Hindi. Even they are not able to understand fully if we speak in perfect Urdu. When we use to talk in Kashmiri they get amazed at its complete ‘strangeness’. They want to speak it but they can’t. They find it much more difficult language. Muslim students mostly speak Urdu instead of Shud Hindi, we feel more comfortable speaking to them. It is the langauge that binds people together.
And then one cannot escape the K word. It seems they are ignorant of reality about Kashmir. They have fallen blindly in believing the Bollywood movies, Indian media which depicts bad picture of Kashmir. For them every Kashmiri is a ‘militant with a Pakistani rifle’.
One must admit they behave open mindedly when we discuss with them about the reality of Kashmir. They listen keenly. We try our best in removing their confusions and misconceptions they have about Kashmir and Kashmiris and we often invite them to visit Kashmir.
Recently some of my classmates had been to Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Katra etc. They appericiated the beauty and they say, ‘’We felt a difference in what we are being shown on television and what we saw ourselves’’.
They know now what is really going on in Kashmir. Many parents are worried about the safety and security of their children studying outside Kashmir. Personally speaking, I never faced or felt any discrimnation, humilation, negative reaction, abuse etc so far from anyone here for being a Kashmiri. Yes,we can’t deny the fact that there are many places in India where Kashmiri students are humilated by fanatic forces, even in neihbouring state like Haryana, there are some elements who harass Kashmiri students. But it is so much different in Punjab. This place is quite peaceful for a Kashmiri student. Here you can feel safe as long as you are peaceful. There is no provocation.
There are lot many things which we can learn from Punjabis. For example, Punjabis are very proud about their culture. You can find students coming to colleges in their traditional dress i.e. kurta payjama. They don’t feel embrassed like we Kashmiris do. I wonder! Why can’t we wear pheran in our own land proudly. Why do we feel shy while flaunting our traditional dress.
In short it is a great learning experience.
Aadil Habib Bhat is student of B.tech Civil Engg 3rd year. With inputs from his friends Manzoor, Tahir, Altaf and Ishaq.