Shahid Majeed Mir

Can’t afford to shut educational institutes!

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Kashmir- the hotbed of violence, which has seen conflict unfolding in the worst ever forms and taking a heavy toll on human life, dignity, health and also property, has suffered massively on all fronts. Historically speaking, this piece of land and its inhabitants have hardly seem any substantial period of peace and tranquillity as some of the most barbaric and autocratic rulers from the neighbouring areas have always subjugated the local populations and pushed them to the worst hardships.

Speaking about the recent spate of violence, death and destruction that began in early 1990’s when an armed rebellion broke out against India, the valley again began experiencing the brunt’s of violence that continues till date. Marked by grave human rights violations, the valley continued to witness the cycle of violence and there seemed no end to it.

In the recent years, particularly after the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani and the subsequent civilian killings triggered a massive out lash and anti government resentment was more visible than ever.

However, in the doldrums of the events, there was something that was silently suffering the worst onslaughts and was being ignored by one and all-the Educational Institutions! There have been times when our educational institutes remained closed for months together forcing students to stay either indoors or engage in something either unproductive or counterproductive. The disappointment and psychological setback that students suffer due to the uncertainty that hovers over their academic careers pushes them to, sometimes, extreme levels of anxiety and self doubt.

It is a crystal clear fact that every society is shaped by its strong academic and educational standards and by institutions that ensure a healthy and convenient ambience to conduct such academic activities.  Unfortunately, here in Kashmir, it seems to least bother anyone across the wide spectrum of political divide and thus our academic institutions never gain such importance which they might deserve.

Education is a premise for development as well as advancement for every society in every country. This forms the base on which foundation of a society rests. It is systematic training of a population to equip them with qualities and qualifications required to contribute for the betterment of a society in whatever way possible. The societal attributes are modified through set procedure in institutions of excellence and it will be too self damaging for us if we keep our academic institutions shut and our young generations out and away from schools, colleges and universities.

People must understand, and so should the political elites that academic institutions have a great role to play in shaping our future and that by closing down or paying less attention to this aspect of our reality, we are hurting our own interests very badly. By doing so, we are actually moving towards a time when people of reason and scholastic traits will be very rare amidst a crowd of people who won’t be able differentiate between what is good and what is evil!

For this reason, let’s just create ways and means to keep our academic institutions functional and vibrant.

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