The Kashmir has completed 100 days of lock down this week. It is believed to be the second longest shutdown in the world after Palestine. As the lockdown is continuing mindlessly all the crucial economic and social sectors have suffered irreparable losses. The unrest began when government forces shot dead top Hizbul Commander, Burhan Muzaffer Wani in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district during an encounter on July 8. So far in the mass uprising to contain protests which were potentially causing large scale of destruction of public and government proprieties 91 people died. Thousands suffered brutal injuries and many hundred lost eye sight to pellets.
This ongoing unrest spearheaded by the separatists is unlikely to end anytime soon. As they try every possible way to seek the political autonomy of state from the Union of India however with all their weapons in hand they failed so far. The people are yet to understand as what they achieved while observing the second longest lookdown.
The vital social sector-education remains the worst hit of this ongoing agitation.
As the government is yet to clear its stand whether the exams would be conducted in the scheduled season of fall, the dilemma is deeply concerning the conscious minds and parents across the valley. If the government is unable to conduct the exams on the scheduled time, the students will lose another academic season. They have already lost one year in 2014 to massive floods in valley.
The move will have serious ramifications economically for the parents and socially for students. It will make difficult for them to compete with their counterparts later in the life. No civilized nation can afford to lockdown schools for their children for over three months to stress for their political demands. Even no political resistance is worth at the cost of children’s education. The separatist camp must revisit their strategy and spare the education system once for all. Let it find other means to fight politically. These children who are away from books and schools this time are actually going to take over the reins of state for tomorrow. The students refusing to appear in exams also understand that they will lose crucial year of their life to nothing if they refuse to sit in exams. But it is the responsibility of government also to ensure that the exams are conducted in a cordial and favourable academic manner. The concession in syllabus is a best offer government can deliver to angry students and convince them to appear in exams. But it has to make sure that the exams are conducted on time to save the future of students.
The editorial appeared in print edition of Oct 19 to Oct 25, 2016.