Not So Intellectuals…

The illegal detention of Muzamil Farooq, a PG student of Kashmir’s University’s English Department and its follow-up left a blot on highest seat of learning in Kashmir. The incident, which not only triggered huge demonstrations bythe students but also exposed how our premiere institutions are overshadowed and trespassed by police in Kashmir.

Shockingly in the past week, what hit everyone’s conscience was the visible silence of academicians and scholars on the arrest of Muzamil, who maintained a ‘keep away and be safe’ strategy. The students have realised the bitter fact that the adored professors and intellectuals,who pretend to be their  well-wishers, actually are keeping with students a kind of relationship which is like a small layer of dust on a surface of a stone,which flies away even with a little breeze. Yet they expect rather demand respect, honor and compliance from the students. Similarly,we as a student’s expect from them a friendship or a parent-child like relationship in order get benefitted from the bulk of knowledge they possess, but their discrepant attitude which later symbolizes in their approach and actions; ultimately never let the plants to grow and fruits to ripe.

Our professors at the varsity never tire of making claims of doing every good act for students well-being. But those claims fell flat on June 25, 2015, when none of the respected professors visited or tried to meet the angry student’s, demonstrating against the detention of Muzamil by SOG men in Saderbal Srinagar. Not only this, after couple of days they even went one step ahead by condemning the students for holding demonstrations for violating the ‘so-called University regulations.’

Professors in their cold-hearted comments told students of their respective departments not to get involved in the mess,instead get back to their classes. Expectedly majority of the students defied. As one among the protesters thundered: “I have to protest, I have to shout and I have to seek justice and make accountable those torturing innocents, later forcing them to confess the crime which they have never commit at all, against their will. My protest was not to sit in leisure or project myself as a hooligan, but I wanted to send a clear and loud message to those, who feel no hesitation in torturing the innocent university students and least care about their feelings and sentiments.”

For the one and a half year, professors at English Department would have given a standing ovation to Muzamil for his punctuality and hard work and might have taught him to be firm and ‘never compromise on his integrity’. But after his arrest for alleged links to militancy which Indian forces were still unable to prove,those admiring professors turned their back towards this boy not even for once cared for his being innocent.

The helplessness of Vice-Chancellor and the mighty presence of military personal inside University campus astonished everyone.In-spite of this, students continued their protests. If not assurance of release, at least students were expecting a positive response from the Vice Chancellor who had kept himself sealed in his room and never came down to meet the protesting students.

The issue was sensitive and was continuously swelling. But the administration was lazying inside the secretariat. Suddenly, some students became exasperated and bashed the windowpane of the VC secretariat. The police, not caring about the sanctity of University and its students, opened gunfire to disperse the students. But students assembled again peacefully and continued protests against the administration and the detention of Muzamil Farooq.

The officials somehow managed to escape the scene but their inefficiency to get back the Muzamil distressed the protesting students. It rose-up concerns among them, if they themselves would be safe given the powerlessness of authorities of this premiere institution.

The administration called protesters the violence mongers and some professors referred them as hooligans. Some local media outlets while publishing only the official versions of a story continued to remain in dark shades by providing space to those articles and news items, which only spilled the salt on the wounds which were yet to healed.

Muzamil has been now released on bail, but the incident has ruined his career. He would be now on radar for police and military forces. Life from now would be scary for Muzamil and less than hellfire for his family and relatives.

This incident in Kashmir is a blot on the so-called World’s largest democracy, where a simple post on social networking site and single word to show dissent can put someone behind the bars.

Unfortunately, University officials and our respected professors might shout that this is not the right way to express your anger and dissent but for their memory I would like to say that this has been and was the only option left to the caged students of Kashmir University to get their demands heard. 

The author is a journalism student at Kashmir University. Feedback at…. [email protected]

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