Student Protests: A New Phenomenon

By: Waseem Parveez Dar

Though protests are more of a norm than an exception in this conflict torn state, for last month it has taken a different manifestation as is evident from the clashes that erupted at Degree College Pulwama. Soon, this incident turned into a valley-wide phenomenon as almost every college across the valley followed suit resulting in injuries – grave or mild to plenty of students.

KL Image by Muhammad Abu Bakar

In the normal course of events, things would not have come to such a pass had not army vehicle entered the premises of the Govt Degree College Pulwama, thereby provoking the students into pelting stones and creating war-like situation. Apparently this could be considered as a trigger to the clashes, we cannot brush the pent up anger of students under the carpet.

Unlike the past, youth of today are politically mature besides having a sound understanding of their history –a history full of broken promises, shameless betrayals, bloodshed ,naked injustices.

Earlier, it was the boys who were being violent but now even the girls have started getting indulged in clashes . This has not happened before, hence it must be said that resistance is moving in a different direction. It is obviously clear that when reign of oppression and terror is unleashed beyond unimaginable limits, patience runs out and the things like these are supposed to occur. After all students also form the part of families directly or indirectly affected by the curse of state violence and brutalities, so if situation takes such an ugly turn, it should not come as a sort of rude shock to us. The protests would not have assumed such a massive magnitude and frequency had security forces exercised maximum restraint. On the contrary, they resorted to heavy excesses which caused injuries to many and thus widening the gulf instead of bridging it. Consequently protests are more likely to happen on a far larger scale and growing intensity.

KL Image

Every sane mind will say that closure of educational institutions on account of student demonstrations is detrimental to the growth and development of any civilized society but the thing is that students are psychologically affected to such an extent that they have lost interest in their academic pursuits and are ready to put their carriers at stake only and only to see the Kashmir liberated from the clutches of Indian occupation.

Not long back Narendra Modi issued a statement that instead of stones, youth of Kashmir should carry laptops in their hands, but what is the fun of delivering such high sounding lectures, when ground realities are completely different? It is widely acknowledged that there is no dearth of talent in Kashmir on all fronts but unfortunately enough there is not conducive atmosphere for them to flourish and opportunity to realize their potential to its fullest extent. if the things  go the way they are at present, then one cannot but imagine the worst repercussions.

For peace to return, government must avoid all things which tend to cause alienation in the masses. Let peace prevail!

In order to ensure long lasting peace in the valley,the New Delhi must shun its rigid approach and take all stakeholders into confidence to start a meaningful Dialogue so as to arrive at the solution to Kashmir issue which is lingering since long and having taken a heavy toll on Kashmiri populace. Moreover our political representatives should rise above their petty considerations and call for early settlement of Kashmir imbroglio so as to avoid loss of another generation to the curse of conflict. State police need to maintain friendly relation with public to regain the trust they have lost considerably among them. PSAs slapped upon the youth must be revoked. Voices of dissent need be given space.

For peace to return, government must avoid all things which tend to cause alienation in the masses. Let peace prevail!

(Author hails from Malikpora Pulwama and is pursuing MCA At KU and can be mailed at Ideas expressed are his own)


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