Jammu and Kashmir High Court has taken the initiative to wake up the whole of Kashmiri society , primarily the state government to the disaster of the burning of schools in the Valley . The way High Court took suo motu notice of this growing tragedy of burning of one school after another speaks loudly for the collective failure of Kashmiri society as a whole.
The government had surrendered its authority to the separatists who were giving call for protest calendar since the killing of Burhan Wani , after he was declared as a “ martyr” by Pakistan , and refused to take any action against the arsonists and those stoning the army and police camps . The politics of protecting vote banks overweighed the need to govern and to nip trouble in the bid.
Now when 27 schools have been burnt , the Kashmiri leadership has not learnt the right kind of lessons. There is a lot of rhetoric and blame game in the air rather any concrete step to open schools for the students who do not want to be part of the self-destructive path of the stone throwing .
It is a dismal scenario . The whole of Kashmir is responsible for it . Neither let it be clear that the psyche that the repeat of few months of violent disturbances in Kashmir would yield them the “azadi” or force the Government of India to its knees to succumb to the demand of secessionists, has not happened nor it would ever happen. India is not a banana republic.
Two aspects flow out of this self-destructive strategy – the force in streets would be met with more force by the state, secondly each generation of stone throwers would harden its attitudes and swing toward the fundamentalism – a complete recipe for the death of the tolerance that characterizes Kashmir and its people.
The High Court judges , who are part of Kashmiri society could not have kept themselves aloof from the need for the education for the children. The burning of schools is intolerable , for the simple reason that these places of learning are not an asset for one generation but for generations together. Keeping the children off education is an unpardonable crime .
It is pointless to rely on the leaders who have no particular stand on education. Some like Syed Ali Shah Geelani say that “ barbarism and education cannot go together .” Geelani should also educate as to who unleashed and promoted the anarchy in Kashmir which brought the barbarism is Kashmir. Isn’t the burning of schools an act of savagery of middle-ages . Then there are others like Omar Abdullah, who says that burning of schools is “ unacceptable.” He also needs to answer a question, “ why had he kept silent on the agitation . “ His silence on the violence by the protesters too encouraged these arsonists who believe that they can get away with anything .
Education Minister Naeem Akhtar is in a constant stage of debating with Yasin Malik as to who is responsible for the burning of schools. This blame game will not guarantee the safety of the schools, but summoning of a collective will can deliver this objective. It is time to ponder.