Dear students, please go back to class rooms!
Published on May 18, 2017

Dear students, please go back to class rooms!

Dear students, please go back to class rooms!

Mind, education is the key to liberation

Why are Kashmir students protesting? Don't you know? I know, you have closed your eyes and are pretending like you're asleep. Kashmir schools and colleges have been affected by the biggest student protests to hit the valley since 2010. Day in and day out, you get to see students in different parts of the valley protesting against the atrocities committed by the security forces. New headlines continue to evolve. Closing down of schools and colleges has become easily predictable now. Protests in Sopore simply mean that, 'there will be no class work in GDC Sopore tomorrow', and so on. There is a limit to everything. But civil administration and security forces have crossed all the limits. Mistakes and more mistakes are committed. And it has forced the students to boycott classes and come out on the streets to protest and raise slogans against the government. Violent protests first erupted on April 15, when security forces raided a college in southern Kashmir's Pulwama district and assaulted students - at least 54 sustained injuries.

However,  the student community is considered the most disciplined and a decent one. Continuous protests and turning to violence doesn't give a good impression about them. You get angry too easily. You need to control your anger. A person who's studying at a school or college is there for some purpose. And that's education- an enlightening experience. Good education is essential for a well-run society. Neither we can compromise with it, nor there is any question of sacrificing the education.

Freedom is like the rising sun with its magnificent rays that brilliantly illuminate the earth. Its existence is both tangible and intangible. The first key to freedom is the importance of education. Learn to read and be free forever. Unless and until you don't know the consequences and aftermath of your actions, you're an illiterate. And ignorance is not a bliss to keep with. If you agree with my point that 'education is the key to liberation', many will for sure, it has to become clear that if education is about liberation, the people who are being liberated have to be a critical part of their own liberation. There is a way and the best way is to educate yourself. We’ve got to change the narrative and make sure that the people we’re trying to liberate are critical definers of what they need to be liberated from.

There should be no doubt that Kashmir is key to India's progress and development. Similarly, PaK to Pakistan. Kashmir is really special and that is making two nations go crazy over it. You decide -- You have every right to decide. But don't do anything in haste. Think twice. Control your emotions. Emotion is just a temporary feeling. Turn on your humanity. There lies the secret, solution, successful resolution, breakthrough and an end to this suffering.

As an African proverb reminds us, “If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.” Our ancestors sought out knowledge as one of the most powerful keys to freedom. They were not insane, that we sane people usually label them as. It is imperative to teach our young people that they can’t expect to get far in life if they attempt to hold or bring one another down. Education must be seen as an  important way of resolving problems. Half-educated fanatics are a waste.

I understand, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” But struggle for the education first. Fix it- thrive and strive. An oppressor can only maintain control if he keeps the oppressed illiterate and dependent. Lack of access to education exacerbates conflict. Unemployed and poorly educated youths commit the atrocities. But that's not the case here. Our youth is sensible, well-educated and keen to learn more. And learning is a relentless process. They still believe in pen is mightier than the sword. But unfortunately, sometimes they get carried away. Thinking less about the repercussions, go to the extreme. Standing on your own two feet is appreciable. But axing your own feet is hurting you and none.

"What is not present internally, cannot be exhibited externally." Be true to yourself. Sick are those who say there will be no end to it. However, our failure to differentiate between right and wrong, good and bad and combatant and non-combatant is a matter of great concern. And if we continue with it, I tell you, there is no question of Azadi!

Because education is the key to power, it is the most effective tool students and individuals can use in combating political violence, poverty and injustice. When an illiterate person gains educational experience, he comes to a new awareness of self, has a new sense of dignity, and is stirred by a new hope. Donkey's live a long life.

Fighting fire with fire is unlikely to stem Kashmir student unrest. Some of the causes of the unrest are already well known. One of the reported triggers is the excessive use of force by troops. Government’s counter-measures include only strict forces action to quell the growing protests and nothing.  It remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in discouraging students from engaging in delinquent behaviour. What is clear is that they do not seem to focus on the root causes of the problem at hand. Grievances of the students should be addressed peacefully without wasting much time. Investigations in the Pulwama college incident should have been completed by now. But it hasn't been the case which is directly fuelling the protests. Also, students at this age are experiencing turbulence associated with adolescence. This must be at the centre of any proposed solutions.

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