It is rightly said: “Only the bearer knows where the shoe pinches.”
It is so sad to accept the fact that there is a need for regular schooling for the youth. Well, it may seem nonsense in 2020, when highly ambitious students of our country plan to reach the moon. When students are tired of climbing the Everest or exploring the Earth, they try to explore other planets. When the students from the rest of the country enjoy bunking classes, students from the Kashmir valley dream to attend them.
There has been unrest in the Valley since 2008, and students have been missing the classes since then. The unrest then surged in July 2016. It seems so easy to mention in passing or read the headlines that ‘Schools again shut down in the Valley’. But for how long? Till we remain capable of nothing? I am afraid of the day when the masses of the Valley become unqualified, uneducated and illiterate masses. That day will be the day when there is serious threat to the security and integrity of India.
It is not easy to accept the fact that the best years of the Kashmiri youth are wasted. The perception power gets reduced. Interest in studies is hampered. Students get used to staying home without any formal schooling. The thought of attending schools again seems disturbing, because they know that schools will open for few days and they will be betrayed again later, when they shut down.
Attending school for 2-3 months in a year will do nothing. There has to be a regular formal education to impart knowledge to the youth. It is easy to target the deviant youth, or call them anti-nationals, but have we ever asked ourselves who is actually responsible for this? Have we ever realised the importance of education? Have we ever understood the fun of going to school?
The fundamental right to education and to life, as guaranteed by our Constitution, gets violated almost every day in the Valley. Who will give these rights back to the students? The young years lost will never come back, who is responsible for such loss? What will a student do when he is not allowed to attend school? How will he channelise his energies? Who will do justice to his teenage and energetic years? Are we waiting for a day to see the deviant masses? Are we waiting for a day to see the uneducated ones leading our country? Do we want them standing in queues to buy liquor?
It is so shameful to hear debates on opening of wine shops throughout the country. What about the opening of schools in the Valley? Why isn’t anyone concerned about the future of the kids in the Valley? Why are we being silenced every time we demand our rights? Students in the Valley have forgotten the taste and essence of going to schools. Studying, enjoying, learning, playing and making friends seems like history.
Many of them hardly remember the last time they did their homework, many miss writing in their notebooks. The reality is turning to dreams, and later dreams shattered. The highly ambitious students are now the deviants, the misguided. Instead of guiding the students to the path of education, the country is misguiding them to wine shops.
Can anyone assure that schools will remain open forever in the Valley? Can our dreams come true? We are students, and citizens, not slaves!