KU: Limited Freedom

It has been said that it is better to be unborn than untaught. Education brings an overall improvement in the personality of an individual. Education is the means through which one can achieve his objectives and contribute positively towards his society. Education plays an important role in moulding ones behaviour and is considered to be of prime importance in the development of a country. It is considered to be the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world. Imparting proper education is a key role of our educational institutes. Bu when same are used for political purpose then what meaning would these educational institutes render?

Kashmir University being a premier educational institute has achieved a superior position and commendable respect from all corners of the society. The contributions made by its students stand witness to the quality education that is being provided to them. But the recent spate of activities has diverted the attention of its students from academics to mundane political issues. The most recent one being the visit of Mr. Rahul Gandhi which according to most of the students was aimed at creating a political base for his party. Kashmir university ground has been turned into a field for political battle between the mainstream political parties with some top University officials actively participating in it. If Mr. Gandhi was really concerned about the youth of Kashmir and wanted to resolve their problems, he should have chosen a a proper venue where youth from all sections could have joined.
A select group of students were allowed to interact with him. Why? Why were the questions relating to the political issues not allowed to ask? Why the students were briefed beforehand not to ask or say remotely anti India? The students were of the opinion that the university authorities were mere puppets of New Delhi and the State Govt with less or no concern for them. They even staged demonstrations and stressed that the authorities cannot muzzle their voice. For them any kind of economic package was not worth the lives that had been lost in the past 20 years. In addition to all such claims they even said that the Indian govt has failed to address the issue of Kashmir and now they were trying to trap them by offering jobs. Furthermore the students also expressed their anguish over the banning of KUSU (Kashmir University Students Union) while at the same time allowing the main stream political union to operate. This is in contrary to the principle of justice where the voices of others are being suppressed while allowing only a few to participate in the decision making democracy selective.

While KUSU office was demolished KU authorities shut their eyes to activities of mainstream unions. Days before Rahul’s visit NSUI put up posters in the campus to which the administration did not react. This shows the active support that the university authorities are extending to these unions in carrying out their activities.

In order to restore its credibility among the students and keep on rendering quality services in each and every sphere, there is a need to understand the conflicts going on within the student community. To retain its reputation, Kashmir University needs to address the demands of its students and solve their issues amicably. By providing a congenial atmosphere where all have the right to express their opinions will definitely help. It should also be a point of concern for the authorities that they should keep a limit on such activities so that they get more time to concentrate on core issues rather than providing such platforms to national politicians. Understanding their perspectives and working for the betterment of its students will create a positive atmosphere. There should be mutual cooperation among the authorities and the students in their welfare. Knowledge brings an opportunity to make a difference and the same should be kept in view so that the future course of actions are designed in such a way that imparts the necessary and the required skills in the students.

Syed Maajid Rashid Andrabi

[email protected]

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