We need pens, not guns. Books, not stones

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Dear editor

Kashmiris have finally realised the importance of education. Gone are the days when a student was more or less like a horse whose eyes were veiled laterally to prevent them from wandering here and there. To become doctors and engineers, which used to be the sole aim of education earlier is no longer true. Nowadays each and every student has a variety of interesting and honourable careers to choose from. Every student dreams of having a successful career but only dreaming is not enough. The ticking clock keeps reminding us that time is slipping away very fast. Therefore, proper utilisation of time is very important to achieve your goals. Time has always played an important role in progress. The gradual decline of development in Kashmir from 1989, is also to some extent a result of our failure to utilize time properly. Had time been properly managed, our Valley would have touched new heights. 

Being from a conflict zone, we witness widespread atrocities every day. Though we may not realise it immediately but witnessing killings and violence almost on a daily basis does take its toll on us. According to a recent study by Médecins Sans Frontièrs in collaboration with the Department of Psychology, University of Kashmir and IMHANS (Kerala), about 1.6 million adults (41%) in the valley are living with symptoms of depression with 4, 15,000 meeting diagnostic criteria for severe depression. Roughly speaking it means that one in every five Kashmiris is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. People were hoping that as the world advances and education becomes widespread, things would take a turn for the better but it seems that nothing is going to change. The ground reality remains the same: Protests, killings followed by more protests and killings. Will justice ever prevail in our beloved vale?

It is true that oppression gives rise to rebels. Same is the case with our youth. Treacherous and terrible incidents force people to resort to violence. May be this is why more and more people, especially our youth, are resorting to violence. But is it really wise? Violence may seem like a viable option when you are emotionally fragile but, in the long run, it only causes more damage. Going on strikes for weeks together will do nothing except waste the precious time of the students. It is said that to get a clearer view of the world you need to first wipe the tears you shed. Kashmir is progressing. The people have started to educate their children instead of putting a stone in their hands. Pens can do much more than guns can ever do. Pens can be used to bring the change we all have dreamt of ever since the struggle for freedom started. In a world where people are interconnected and information flows easily, let the ethics prevail. Let the world know that peace still exists. Let the world see Kashmiris not as people who answered a bullet with a bullet or a stone with a stone but as a community which advocated peace even in the toughest of times. Let the morals which existed before 1990 be revived once again. Let Kashmir be once again famous for its beauty and Kashmiris for their hospitality. 

Quoting Bashir Dada; 

“Baye Maele Lagan, Baye Waan Sajaan Baye Lukh Nearan Panen Kaaran” 

Which means that once again the fervour of festivities will prevail, once again the markets will be decked and once again people will go about their daily routines. 

Time demands from us, every minute and every hour of the day and right now it demands to be utilised in a better and efficient way. Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future and today is a gift that is why it is called the present. Kashmir should enjoy this gift instead of wasting it. Parents should behave as guides in the real sense instead of forcing the young buds to kill their own dreams. Our youth, the future of Kashmir, should be allowed to choose their careers. It will bring out the best in them. Everyone is unique. No two people are alike and forcing them to be alike will never yield any good results. If people are allowed to pursue their dreams, intellectuals will be born and these intellectuals will then put an end to our miseries. They will ensure that the clouds of gloom are lifted from our skies forever and our valley once again becomes the’ Jannat-e-Benazir’ that it was.

 

 

 

 

 

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