I understand that you have been doing your best to restore peace and normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir, but some vested interests are targeting schools, the centres of learning.
Their intentions seem to be clear: they don't want children in the state to be educated so that they don't grow up to be educated thinkers. They want to scare away children and teachers as well, so that schools do not function normally. The situation is alarming as 25 schools have already been torched. The miscreants need to be booked immediately.
If this trend continues, all other educational institutions will shut down voluntarily and students may never return to schools and colleges again. This issue needs to be dealt with an iron hand. Though Home Minister Rajnath Singh is putting in all efforts to restore peace, it needs to be an united effort for things to fall in place. Until and unless the local Kashmiris unite and fight the trouble-makers together, sanity will not prevail.
It is high-time the curtains are drawn on the decades-old Kashmir issue. The 'Paradise on Earth' needs to be given it's due. More than anything else, it requires your political will and sustained efforts from the Union government as well. The locals also need to understand the gravity of the situation and stand by the government. I am sure that the 'crowning glory of India' will be back to it's pristine days.
I believe in you
I am writing this letter because I believe in you.
A chief minister’s job can’t be easy, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. More so, in a state riddled with highly sensitive issues. Dilemmas and decisions in politics aren’t black and white, and the stakes are always very high. And so, very few can actually muster courage to take up this office.
So, with 25 schools and many government buildings burnt down, whether to surrender to the separatists, or to look at them in their eyes, fight and get them to surrender? Neither is easy.
I do appreciate the arrests of some of these miscreants and your hint to reopen schools in the following weeks. But, let this not be just symbolic lip service.
Not only do we love our children, but the very future of our society, too, depends on them. So, the separatists’ strategic strike at our society’s very foundation requires a powerful response from our side.
If the separatists believe that by destroying school buildings they can stop education, let us use the power of internet and other informal means to keep the education going.
If the separatists believe that they can gain power using fear and terror, let us teach and emphasise to our children that love is an agent of change more powerful than force.
Mehboobaji, I believe that you will do what a mother does when others try to threaten and attack her children. You are a mother yourself. What more do I need to say?
Keep children out of it
Being the chief minister of such vexed and disputed state is not a piece of cake. So, kudos to that.
Kashmir is an unfinished result of partition between India and Pakistan. Unrest has engulfed the Kashmir Valley since the Burhan aftermath. As a result, stone pelting, torching of schools and educational institutions, ceasefire violations are some of the many repercussions India is facing on the border.
Burning of school buildings is the worst form of terrorism and it is a diabolical infection that has spread across the state. The PDP-BJP government has become a mute spectator and is blaming the separatists. Even though no casualties have been reported, arsonists have not been brought to book. Setting fire to educational institutions is a ploy to destroy the future of the children. No major breakthrough has been established in the ongoing investigation even though 25 schools buildings have been targeted and burnt.
This devious plan has set to cripple the education system. They are the foundations of the modern society and are temples of learning. It is a monstrous and repulsive crime perpetrated on the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
On behalf of the entire nation, I request you in this open letter, to investigate this repugnant crime and to keep innocent children out of this.
Protect the schools
Kashmir has been on the boil for quite a few days. Daily protests and agitations have become part of Kashmiri life. Normal life is totally disrupted and there is no light at the end of the Banihal tunnel. You are in a hot seat and we do appreciate your struggle between being a good chief minister and one who is genuinely concerned with Kashmiri people’s sufferings.
Unfortunately, there are forces inimical to peace and normalcy in the Valley, which are doing their best by disrupting normal life by organising agitations. The worst act is to set fire to schools, which are abode of learning. One fails to understand who is behind such diabolical acts which would impinge directly on the future citizens. Without proper education there cannot be progress.
Students are denied education; some of them have already lost a year. Surely, you are doing your best to prevent such incidents. We need not only have security forces protecting schools but people in the neighbourhood of each school should have the passion to protect them. A thinly spread security force may not be expected to protect far flung village schools which are easy targets.
The perpetrators of such acts are committing unpardonable crimes. Committees should be formed in each village or town to oversee that schools are protected from vandals. We wish you all the best in bringing normalcy to the state by sending children back to schools where they rightly belong.