Education is the indication of national progress, if education is conducted on sound principles, the life will be happier and effective. Education is a tool which furnishes the human, ability to differentiate between right and wrong, good and evil, justice and injustice, truth and lie etc. Education in other words opens up mind and bestows the person; the capability to grow into full stature .Through education society can formulate its own purpose, organize its means of attainment and shapes itself in direction it wishes to go.
The age we live in is modern age and I don’t believe anyone of being unaware about significance of education, thus delivering sermons, lectures and writing about it is blasphemy ,for the people know significance of education very well. But we need to understand the fact that for acquiring education, the schooling and schools are imperative. Without schools we cannot even dream of education. In fact it is school which provides the required environment for accession of real education .Moreover, School provides platform where we learn important things of life .The essentials of truth, justice, morality, discipline and responsibility. School has a social significance; it enables us to discover own individuality, as the individuality emerges through the experience of group of relationships and activities. It also enables us to workout own personality and develop power of initiation and of execution. Additionally, School is not merely a building made up of bricks and cement .It is place that produces citizens ready to put their special abilities to the best services of the community thus building our future. School is ultimate source where from streams of wisdom, knowledge and education flow irrigating conscience of human being.
However from last year schools badly fell victims to conflict in our Kashmir .Recent 2016 agitation led to closure of schools for almost six months with government miserably failing to make conducive atmosphere for their opening .After 2016 unrest it was least expected that schools would turn into battle grounds.
Entire fracas started when government forces entered into institution of Pulwama that lead to incessant protests which spread to every institution of the valley with students coming on roads with stones. Now almost every college and school is witnessing clashes between students and government forces that have rendered dozens injured.
Factually ,role of students in struggles has historical background .India’s Swadeshi Movement ,Non-Cooperation Movement or Quit India Movements were strengthened by Student participation .In Swadeshi Movement ‘Charka Swaraj first and education after ” was the motto of students. In creation of Pakistan the role of students has been unquestionably remarkable. Female students regardless of culture helped in arousing political consciousness among Muslim women under the flag Muslim Girls’ Student Federation with Begum Ikramullah as it convener. Russian Liberation Movement was also animated by students which significantly aided the Russian proletariats in resolving democratic issues in the struggle for liberation to overthrow tsarist autocracy .As is said “History Repeats itself’’, Kashmir has turned out a new place for student movement. Since 2016 mass agitation, Kashmir witnessed student protests that are refusing to die down. However, the way students are confronting currently can have repercussions. Protesting on daily basis, escaping classes cannot be accoladed. Converting seats of learning into fields of confrontation is not wisdom rather it is unwise, no civilized society can accept and endorse it. Parents send their wards with the purport to arouse their conscious so that they can lead the society with their awakened consciousness and to educate them to become pioneers and guides for future generation but things go against their will, when instead of appearing in class they come on streets and when trigger-happy forces rain pellets on them. People are still unable to overpower the horrendous memories of 90’s how come these tender brains tend to absorbs all this; it cannot only have psychological implications but would also influence them badly.
If Government is sincere to bring normalcy in state as they claim, they need to provide vent to pent up feelings and brutalism has to end somewhere else restoration of peace would remain a dream.
Students have expressed resentment against barbarism and exploded the myths like Hurriyat backed, Pakistan sponsored and paid “Stone pelters’’ they made it clear that people come on streets not for money, but to provide vent to the pain they harbor within hearts. They also rejected the notion that laptops are not the solution when people are being deprived to breathe in free atmosphere. Also they clarified, for national cause; everyone is ready to contribute irrespective of social and economic barriers. Whether establishment would bat eyes or not, the message has gone loudly and clearly .Now it is time to control anger and rejoin classes to maintain the purpose of schooling. For the Nation resisted pellets and bullets but can’t bear uneducated future. Education is a key to achieve objectives; illiteracy renders people blind and lame. There is no substitute to education, what we can achieve through education can’t be achieved by anger. Undoubtedly success of most of the passive and active movements was the result of education, which imparts knowledge and develops awareness, communication and various skills to reach the goal thus need of hour is to be realistic instead of emotional.
However it is unfortunate on the part of the people who instigated these blooming buds to leave books and pen and resort to stone-pelting and don’t budge an inch from their unavailing strategy of handling situation. Cordoning schools and colleges before arrival of students can’t be justified. Arresting teens and lodging FIR, thrashing and threatening them is sheer deplorable. When they won’t change their attitude how youth? Whose nerves of fear are desensitized due to every day barbarism and who now say “Why should we fear? Things can’t get worse than what has already happened in Kashmir”. Earlier govt. accused separatists of pushing Kashmir back to Stone Age but today they see no problem when class work remains suspended because of their “governmentality”. Instead of taking college and school administration into confidence and to make attempts to appease the youngsters, govt. has declared war against them through forces. People at helm, including separatists and civil society need to think beyond interests and make efforts to bring students back to classes as it is matter of concern and can lead to serious consequences with regard to their education and future that seems to have become endangered .Moreover, if Government is sincere to bring normalcy in state as they claim, they need to provide vent to pent up feelings and brutalism has to end somewhere else restoration of peace would remain a dream.
(The author a postgraduate student of Zoology at Kashmir University has mailed this article to “Kashmir Horizon”)