Political agendas thrive on controversies. A glaring example is the chaotic situation gripping the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Srinagar. The controversy is the perfect example of how a small situation snowballs into a major issue in our country. The premier engineering institute has fallen prey to devious schemes of hard core fanatics. It is shocking how a minor and stray incident was used to both disturb the peaceful environment of the institute as well as to present an ugly and grim picture to the world. The institute has a long history of being sensitive to such passions as the ones which led to the present controversy. But peace and order was always maintained till now through well-planned and mature strategies.
The controversy grew from gross mismanagement of the concerned officials and was quickly exploited by politicians for their gains. Had a good sense prevailed over the management, the incident would not have been allowed to morph into such a tense situation. Celebrating the Indian ouster from a prestigious world cricket championship cannot be a basis for such careless emergence of a law and order situation. Has this celebration been an aberration? No, not at all. Such celebrations have been a part of the Kashmiri students studying in the institute for decades, yet never has been the word, anti-nationalists, used to refer to them before. The reports, by some Indian news channels, about how the non-local students are facing a hostile and threatening situation are nothing but concoctions of deluded minds. While the administration at the institute should definitely be held responsible for the chaos, the interference by the centre, which is basically what ignited the already dying ambers, should also be condemned. The illogical replacing of the Jammu and Kashmir police by the Central Reserve Police force, gave the communalists and other people of dubious morals an opportunity to further their malicious designs. The veteran actor, Mr.Anupam Kher and a group of more than 150 youth from outside the state, left no stone unturned to flare up the already tense situation. The actor, who despite his denials is desperate to consolidate his base as a politician, embittered the student relations in name of his solidarity with the non-local students.
During the Amaranth land row in 2008, followed by the 2010 agitation, when every activity in Kashmir came to a halt and the overall situation deteriorated, not even a single non-local student studying at the institute, is known to have had a brush with an unpleasant scene. Anupam Kher, being a Kashmiri, should be well versed with the fact that Kashmiris are well known for their hospitality all over the world. But then one must not forget that politics is consistent with memory loss. Otherwise why would our great politicians forget the promises they made to their janta, the very next day of being elected.
The fact that the Ministry of Human Resource Development, that planned and architectured the institute to provide quality education in Kashmir, did not out rightly deny the demands for shifting the institute elsewhere, is simply outrageous. Giving in to such demands or even swaying a little in such matters has a lot of political connotations. It wont be an exaggeration to believe that the Ministry is being influenced by the right wing ideologists. Instead of appeasing the non local students, by giving an impression that the Ministry is considering their demands, had the verdict that their demands were averse to the Ministrys commitment, been announced instantly, a sense of relief would have been felt in Kashmir.
Using minor altercations to flare up communal tensions has long since been a strategy of certain fringe elements, who dont wish to see peace prevail. They have long since been gearing up for such a day when their devious schemes would unleash terror and misery on the common people. Nowadays these fringe elements are targeting the students and using them to carry out their evil plans. In such a situation, the only shield the mankind has, is the sense to differentiate between the real and the fabricated truth. May this good sense prevail and help us defeat the evil once and for all.
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