Burning of schools, a part of a sinister bigger game plan of Pakistan
Brig Anil Gupta
In the last three months, more than twenty schools have been burnt in South Kashmir. The separatists and the
fundamentalists in the Valley are determined to turn the clock and take the Valley back to the medieval era where the Maulvis and Qazis ruled the roost and their writ was unchallenged. They want the common Kashmiris to remain ignorant, poorly educated and
under-developed so that they continue to hold their sway over the masses. “Great minds are always feared by lesser minds,” goes an old saying. It would answer the question as to why schools are being targeted. Schools are temples of learning. They impart knowledge. Through proper curriculum schools imbibe the quality of reasoning in young minds, cultivate the spirit of nationalism and inculcate the habit of acquiring knowledge through the process of learning. Knowledge allows one to decide what would be best for one to do. This is what the akas of radicalisation fear and hence want to deprive Knowledge to young Kashmiris.
As per Cambridge English Dictionary Radicalisation is defined as, “Process to make someone become more extreme in their political or religious beliefs.” Radicalisation is one of the
components of the “Bleed India through Thousand Cuts” strategy unleashed by Pakistan to avenge the humiliation suffered by its Army in 1971. Separatists, soft-separatists and
fundamentalists are employed by Pakistan in furthering this agenda. Gradual easing out of Sufi Islam by radical Wahhabism is part of this strategy. Unfortunately, rather than addressing the issue and attempting to catch the bull by horn political blame game has begun in the Valley. Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has blamed the Hurriyat leadership and State Administration. The irony is that the Hurriyat leaders who are reportedly responsible for these acts have also started issuing statements
blaming the government. The intention of the current outburst is obvious and that is to criticise and defame the State Government. It hardly makes any difference to them because their own children are continuing with their studies uninterruptedly in various Public Schools in the Valley, in other parts of the country and even in some foreign countries. The
victim is the common Kashmiri. That is why the separatist leadership keeps issuing repeated bandh calls and ensures schools do not open despite the government having announced opening of schools for the last two months. The intention of the Hurriyat leaders is to ensure that common Kashmiri children are deprived the opportunity of studying and gaining knowledge thus furthering their agenda of
Burning of schools abets the process of radicalisation. The children will be forced to join Madrasas being run by various radical outfits. These Madrasas will radicalise the young impressionable minds and act as the nurseries for the
universities of terror. One does not mind if the children study in Madrasas which provide modern education and act as seminaries of faith. But the ground reality is different. The Government of India under the “Scheme for Providing Quality Education in Madrasas” has spent more than 1000 Cr in seven years for modernising Madrasa education. Surprisingly the Madrasas in Jammu & Kashmir have refused to accept grant under this centrally
sponsored scheme, depriving students from Science kits, Maths kits and other essential pedagogical equipment for teaching modern subjects and for appointment of teachers for modern subjects. The reason for refusal is not known.
It is established beyond doubt now that the separatists, fundamentalists and their
sympathisers are not at all concerned about the well – being and future of a common Kashmiri. They are only exploiting them to further their own agendas and Pak-sponsored agenda of
radicalisation. The Kashmiris have to realise that they are being systematically and gradually pushed back into the dark era of medieval years. The civil society of Kashmir has to rise to the occasion to save the future of Kashmir. The
tender hands that should be holding pen and books are being forced into “Sang Bazi.” The burning of schools has been more prominent in South Kashmir, a strong hold of Jamat (Jamat-e-Islami) and the current hub of jihadi terror in Kashmir. It has to be fought and eradicated as a social evil.
(The author is a Jammu based columnist, political commentator, security and strategic analyst)