Unabated Bloodshed consuming Kashmiri Youth
The youth is rightly termed as the season of hope. But in Kashmir this very season of hope is facing many perils- The biggest among them being the unabated bloodshed and rising trend of Kashmir youth opting for armed rebellion again India. Even some highly qualified youth have very recently chosen to walk this path.
The latest being an MBA post graduate, Junaid Ahmad Sehrai, who happens to be the son of senior separatist leader Ashraf Sehrai, who reportedly joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. Nobody would have even thought that from a politically active family which has had decades long political presence will emerge a well educated boy who would opt for gun rather than political expression. Sehrai recently took over as the chairman of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, replacing Syed Ali Geelani.
The cracking down on resistance politicians and disallowing them their fundamental rights can be one of the reasons that has drawn youth towards militancy. It seems that such huge scuttling by the government and repressive tactics have backfired leaving gun as only option to youth in the valley which is certainly an alarming trend.
Now that PDP-BJP has said they will set resistance leadership free, it remains to be seen as to how this promise unfolds. However such promises have been made in the past as well but what happened post that every time resistance leadership gained some political space among people in General and youth in particular they were again put behind bars and walls.
Though this latest joining of militant ranks by a person belonging to a political family has challenged the cliché that children of the separatist leaders are enjoying a merry life while the kids of poor die but on realistic levels, youth joining militancy in an increasing quantum and in fact in an unprecedented manner should alarm us.
The future of every nation in this world has just hinged on its youth and sadly youth of Kashmir is dying in the kiln of violence and if figures are to be believed now in every three days a Kashmiri youth joins the gun movement. We already have high qualified youth from Kashmir University and other institutes who have gone missing and are believed to have joined militant ranks.
While nobody can raise any questions over the grim nature of situation as a result of which we are witnessing a shift in the thinking of a generation which thinks violence has power. But despite all this we cannot lose the real barometer of the overall scenario as all our efforts should be rendered so that youth do not think that gun is the only option. If youth continue on this path we know the life with gun is very short and we will have to be alive to fight look for a political solution to the issue. Thus the clear logic and rationale is that violence as an instrument should not be and cannot be glamorized.
Now, we also need to fix our responsibilities to save our youth and give them hope amid all the gloom and in this regard the intellectual class, religious preachers as well as the whole society has a role to play.
As a sheer optimist, I hope that all the stakeholders come together-the state government, the separatist leadership which has failed to inspire the young to see beyond vicious cycle of death, violence and martyrdom, to think beyond the obvious and take pledge to settle issues through dialogue and let deaths take a backstage.